Hyderabad: May 13, 1969. Does the date ring a bell? No prizes for guessing. It was when Majlis leader Asaduddin Owaisi was born. Can you hazard a guess about the climate that day? Well, the weather was very pleasant – baaghon mein bahaar thi, kaaley baadal hatt gaye the, sab kuch suhaana sa tha.

Bollywood’s hit song from Rajesh Khanna-starrer Aradhana – baaghon mein bahaar hai … perhaps played heavy on Owaisi’s mind when he gave details of the day he was born. If yoga guru Baba Ramdev had not provoked the Hyderabad MP with the ‘inauspicious birth time’ remark, one wouldn’t have known the “lovely” climate of the day he was born.

The godman-tycoon was at his controversial best yet again when he dubbed Owaisi as ‘dharti pe bojh’ (a burden on Earth) and called the timing of his birth as ‘inauspicious’. Not one to take things lying down, the Majlis leader promised never to stop being a ‘bojh’ if his siding the ‘Samvidhan’ (Constitution) is considered an immense burden. He further offered special thanks to TV anchor Arnab Goswami for platforming such ‘hate speech’.

Ramdev waded into controversy when he likened Owaisi to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Osama Bin Laden and called him the kingpin of those who want to divide the country. Ramdev hit out at Owaisi while reacting on the Ayodhya verdict. The unsavoury spat spilled onto Twitter, with many terming the episode despicable. Some felt Ramdev’s remark was ‘vile and personal’. A Twitter user, Saif, saw it as a direct attack on Indian Muslims from this “crony” businessman. “Owaisi alone is the representative of 200 million Muslims of India as we have been dumped by all the institutions of India which swore to protect us,” he said.

The controversy seems to have garnered a good number of supporters for Owaisi. Quite a few sided with the Hyderabad MP and said his patriotism could never be questioned although one might disagree with him on some issues. “Jokes aside it’s disturbing to see hate directed at Owaisi. You can disagree with him but how can you equate him with Osama, Baghdadi,” asked Manisha Pande.

Owaisi himself sought to dismiss the controversy when asked about the Ramdev remark. Instead, he wanted to know why the co-founder of Patanjali has suddenly stopped giving ads on TV channels when he is earning so much. “Ask him to issue ads otherwise your jobs will be in danger,” he told the scribes of a few channels.

Also Read: https://newsmeter.in/aimim-opens-ticket-in-bihar-while-retrieving-only-two-seats-in-maharashtra/

J.S. Ifthekhar

J.S. Ifthekhar is a senior journalist with nearly four decades of experience. Ifthekhar cut his teeth in journalism at the Indian Express before he moved to The Hindu. He was also associated with the Siasat Daily, Telangana Today, Deccan Chronicle, Onlooker magazine, Newstrack, Detective Digest and a few news agencies. He has written on different subjects and aspects of Hyderabadi life. However, his passion remains literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular. He is equally concerned with culture, heritage, civic affairs and problems confronting the man in the street. As a journalist he has taken up cudgels on behalf of the underprivileged and many of his stories in The Hindu saw the government promptly taking corrective measures. Ifthekhar has authored two books - Hyderabad - The Nawabi City on The Move and Haj - The Spirit Behind it. He has also translated two books from Urdu to English. Currently he is working on his third book - Poets and Writers of Deccan.

Loves to write and writes to live. Can't imagine doing anything else.

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