Asaduddin Owaisi is a very interesting character in Indian politics, and I think he should have a rightful space there. He is, in a way, a peculiar mix. An erudite leader, with good oratorical skills, an excellent lawyer…these qualities have served him well, both in Parliament and outside. Also, he has always been a constitutionalist: his language is not the same as that of his brother Akbaruddin. Asaduddin seeks rights enshrined in the Constitution, and seeks them unconditionally, with self-confidence. It is perhaps because of that self-confidence that he is under severe attack by the BJP. Those who attack Owaisi are uncomfortable with him, with his political persona on the whole. Muslims see in him a leader who can fight the BJP on their own terms. Some of that goes back to a historical fact that shadows the AIMIM faintly: its old umbilical links with the Razakars (in the 1940s, the party was headed by Qasim Razvi, the leader of Razakars, the Muslim militia formed to oppose Hyderabad’s merger with India). But it’s a link that probably only the old residents of Hyderabad would know of. Generations have passed since.
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