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Akbaruddin Owaisi Gallery

  • It has been my experience that the best way to deal with political rabble-rousers is to call their bluff and bluster. I have never met Akbaruddin Owaisi, the 42 year old MLA of the Hyderabad-based Majlis-e-Ittihad al Muslimin, but listening to his recent incendiary speech at a public gathering in Adilabad, I see no reason for him to roam free. Clearly, his hateful vocabulary has no place in a civilised democracy. I have, however, met the elder Owaisi brother, the MIM MP, Asauddin Owaisi. Senior Owaisi in private is a soft-spoken, highly courteous gent, with a Bar at Law degree from the prestigious Lincolns Inn. During parliament sessions, he invites journalists and fellow MPs for a Hyderabadi daawat and is always a gracious host. Since my gastronomic habits are distinctly secular (I have had crabs and red wine with the Thackerays and jalebis with VHP leaders), the haleem at Owaisi's lunch is always a delight. And yet, away from the genteel lunches, the crowded bylanes of the walled city of Hyderabad present a very different picture. This is the Owaisi family bastion where first the father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was a 6 time MP and now Asauddin is a two time MP. Why does an otherwise dignified individual transform himself into a fiery demagogue the moment he steps into his constituency? The answer must lie in political compulsions. In Delhi, Asauddin Owaisi is a back-bencher MP; in Hyderabad, his self-image is of a strident protector of Muslims who seeks votes by preying on the fears and insecurities of his core followers. It is a peculiar schizophrenia that one could almost excuse if only it were not so dangerous. [caption id=attachment_584282 align=alignleft width=380

    It has been my experience that the best way to deal with political rabble-rousers is to call their bluff and bluster. I have never met Akbaruddin Owaisi, the 42 year old MLA of the Hyderabad-based Majlis-e-Ittihad al Muslimin, but listening to his recent incendiary speech at a public gathering in Adilabad, I see no reason for him to roam free. Clearly, his hateful vocabulary has no place in a civilised democracy. I have, however, met the elder Owaisi brother, the MIM MP, Asauddin Owaisi. Senior Owaisi in private is a soft-spoken, highly courteous gent, with a Bar at Law degree from the prestigious Lincolns Inn. During parliament sessions, he invites journalists and fellow MPs for a Hyderabadi daawat and is always a gracious host. Since my gastronomic habits are distinctly secular (I have had crabs and red wine with the Thackerays and jalebis with VHP leaders), the haleem at Owaisi's lunch is always a delight. And yet, away from the genteel lunches, the crowded bylanes of the walled city of Hyderabad present a very different picture. This is the Owaisi family bastion where first the father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was a 6 time MP and now Asauddin is a two time MP. Why does an otherwise dignified individual transform himself into a fiery demagogue the moment he steps into his constituency? The answer must lie in political compulsions. In Delhi, Asauddin Owaisi is a back-bencher MP; in Hyderabad, his self-image is of a strident protector of Muslims who seeks votes by preying on the fears and insecurities of his core followers. It is a peculiar schizophrenia that one could almost excuse if only it were not so dangerous. [caption id=attachment_584282 align=alignleft width=380