Many feel the star speaker has dealt a body blow to the Majlis

Sharp, incisive and no-holds-barred. That is the trend of public speeches today. Undoubtedly, public representatives take the cake for it. Leaders across the political spectrum are indulging in rabble rousing and getting away with it. Needless to say, political expediency has taken a march over ethics and decorum. Few remember that words can make or mar, heal or wound.

There is nothing new about Majlis leader Akbaruddin’s speeches, which are now the talk of the town. They are always laced with pun, sarcasm and ridicule. Only this time he seems to have crossed the limits –going overboard. His Nirmal speech surely has put the Majlis on the spot at a time when it is going all out to ‘teach a lesson’ to the Congress, with which it has snapped ties.

Even diehard Majlis supporters feel that Mr. Akbaruddin has done a political ‘hara-kiri’ by making insinuating statements against religious personalities. “He just got carried away and doesn’t really want to hurt anybody’s sentiments,” some say.

Whatever the case may be, the controversial speech has not gone down well with Muslims either. Many feel embarrassed at the tone and tenor of the speech. But Mr. Akbaruddin is not alone in making such incendiary utterances. Many leaders of right wing organisations, such as the VHP and BJP, too cock-a-snook at the law with impunity.

Strangely, police have refused to act, emboldening the leaders to pour venom at will. But why the swift action in Mr. Akbaruddin’s case? Many see it as a corollary to the Majlis parting ways with the Congress, its ally of several decades. The party enjoyed unbridled freedom during former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s tenure so much so that police were afraid to act in the old city, the Majlis fiefdom.

Tacit understanding

Though the Majlis maintains that it has never been a pre-poll ally of the Congress, the fact remains that the parties had a tacit understanding, with both drawing mutual benefits. The Congress reaped electoral gains with the Muslim United Front, of which Majlis is a major constituent, campaigning for it openly during 2004 and 2009. On the Telangana issue also, the ruling party has drawn comfort from the consistent stand of the Majlis for a united State.

The sudden aggressive postures by the Majlis, many think, is part of its political build up to the 2014 elections. Its decision to break free from the Congress is also part of this grand strategy and not so much the result of the Bhagyalaxmi temple row. During the election year the Majlis does not want to sail with the scam-ridden Congress, political analysts say.

The rise of the Majlis has been phenomenal from the lone representation of late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi in the State Legislature in 1962 to seven MLAs, one MP and 45 corporators. What is more, when other parties have suffered erosion in their vote bank, the Majlis by and large retained its support base.

Under the current president Asaduddin Owaisi, the party is trying to improve its base in Telangana and Rayalaseema. Political empowerment alone will end injustices of all kinds and help Muslims get a fair share of the national resources, Mr. Asaduddin feels.

He is of the firm view that the formation of Telangana will result in the BJP emerging stronger. And the muscle flexing is seen as an attempt to polarise votes on religious lines. For the BJP, which lost whatever base it had in the state capital, the Bhagyalaxmi temple issue has come as a blessing in disguise to revive its prospects.

Now, has this star speaker dealt a body blow to the Majlis with his intemperate speech? The YSR Congress, with whom the Majlis is reportedly trying to forge an alliance, might shy away from the idea as it would not like to hurt the Hindu electorate. Or will the Majlis emerge stronger from this mess? Only time will tell.

The sudden aggressive postures by the Majlis is said to be part of its political build-up to the 2014 elections. Its decision to break free from the Congress is also part of this grand strategy. During the election year the Majlis does not want to sail with the scam-ridden party