24 November, 2020

Raw, Rowdy Appeal

It is rare to see such a wanton display of minority communalism.

Raw, Rowdy Appeal

Having covered the BJP and the Sangh parivar for over a decade now, I have often been confronted with the myth of the “macho Muslim”. Organisations like the VHP actually perpetuate this and I recall Giriraj Kishore telling me on the record that Muslim men prey on innocent Hindu girls because “they have had surgery [a reference to circumcision] and can give them greater pleasure”. Muslims, too, at one level, love the idea of being a great masculine race. I have heard many delight in the fact “that only we can produce fast bowlers”. Prejudices, in fact, are the source of great wit and humour, but cross a thin line and they become dangerous.

Akbaruddin Owaisi manages to cross that line. His speech is particular to the psychology of old Hyderabad and draws from the mentality of the Razakar movement. Many members of a congregational religion like Islam are also skilled at speaking from a pulpit and Owaisi’s speech is delivered with that particular tempo, pace and evocation of religious symbolism. He is addressing a congregation of the...



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