Owaisi and Lodh lock horns over Gurugram incident

Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad: Flaying those who shaved off the beard of a young Muslim man, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi yesterday said “those indulging in such tyranny and injustice” will be brought into the fold of Islam and made to keep a beard.

His comments drew a sharp reaction; BJP MLA from Telangana T Raja Singh Lodh, who said that any Muslim sporting a beard would be viewed with suspicion as long as ‘Jihadi‘ Muslims are not boycotted.

Owaisi made the remarks at a public meeting here, where he referred to the reported incident of a Muslim man’s beard being shaved off at Gurugram and urged youth from the community not to fear such incidents.

“If someone is fearing that our Muslim brother’s beard was shaved off… No need to worry. I am telling you, who shaved off the beard, I am telling your father… that you cut, not beard, but throat, we will remain Muslim… It is our constitutional right,” he said.

“Those indulging in tyranny and injustice, we will not stop keeping a beard even if it is shaved off. We will keep even a long beard. We will keep such a long beard that with our truthfulness, we will bring you into Islam (daman e Islam). We will bring you and make you keep beard,” he said.

T Raja Singh Lodh

Lodh, representing Goshamahal constituency here, posted his reaction in a video message on a social networking site, saying there is an atmosphere of fear in the country and that anyone with a long beard is viewed with suspicion.

“See what is happening in Kashmir, which is part of India and those sporting beard there… they throw grenades and fire bullets on the army and explode bombs among common people, killing them. Maybe this led to fear atmosphere and some people, due to suspicion, may have cut off the beard.

He, however, said the act was wrong and government would initiate action. “People like Owaisi are responsible for creating such a situation. People are viewing even real Muslims with suspicion,” he said. On Owaisi’s reported statement that those indulging in such tyranny would be brought into the fold of Islam, he said, “I would like to tell him you will not be able to convert Hindus into Islam.”

Lodha took potshots at Owaisi and his brother for calling themselves Muslim sevaks and alleged that the duo and their party MLAs had grabbed thousands of acres of Wakf board land in Telangana and sold it.

Earlier, Owaisi alleged that attacks on Muslim minorities had increased after the NDA government came to power. He said though the Prime Minister was talking about “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas,” Muslims in India were being killed in the name of cows.

He referred to the lynching of Akbar Khan at Alwar in Rajasthan by cow vigilantes and said that after he was killed, a BJP MLA had branded him as a cow smuggler and said this was what was going to happen.

“It means death is justified… what the Prime Minister of India says… ‘sab ka saath, sab ka vikas.‘ Prime Minister, we are killed in the name of the cow. Since you became Prime Minister, India’s Muslims are being killed in the name of the cow.” “Those who are attacking us in the name of cow, you are not killing us, but you are weakening India,” he said.

Owaisi said the Right to Life is a right given in the Constitution. He said Indian Muslims should learn a lesson from the Jats in Haryana, Marathas, Patels and Gujjars in Rajasthan and Dalits (for the government planning to make a law on the issue of prevention of atrocities against SCs and STs act) and get united to force the government accept their concerns.

On criticism against him as ‘neo-Jinnah,’ Owaisi recalled that he was appreciated by many for taking on some Pakistan representatives when they criticized India during a debate on a visit to the neighbouring country. “I say, how long you will judge us on the measure of Pakistan?” he asked.

Flaying BJP president Amit Shah for his comments on the NRC issue, Owaisi demanded to know how he could say that the 40 lakh people left out in the list in Assam are infiltrators.

“If infiltrators, get it done in Tripura also. See how many come out. Get it done in Jammu. Heard that Tripura’s Chief Minister was born in (19)71. Get NRC done,” Owaisi said.