Why Owaisi’s ‘victimhood model’ will not work this time
   13-Mar-2020
The powerful ‘victimhood model’ has been in use since the Khilafat movement and resulted in breaking up of the country. However, the current dispensation under Modi and Shah follows the rule of law and not identity politics which will not feed the likes of Owaisi.
-  Kabir Pandit
 
Owaisi vs Shah_1 &nb
 
Mr Owaisi’s carefully crafted appeal to the Home Minister Amit Shah in Lok Sabha (on 11th of March) was a passionate 7 minute long monologue describing the horrors meted out to Faizan & Zubair, of burnt mosques and potential ISIS type radicalization and how Muslims are the definitive victims.
 
One may wonder why Asaduddin Owaisi, an erudite Barrister at Law and an admired parliamentarian, ignores the citizens and speaks only for a community? Once seen as a non-sectarian leader has Mr Owaisi fallen for the Victimhood trap? Is it too lucrative to ignore?
 
This powerful ‘victimhood model’ has been in use since the second half of the 19th century. It then surfaced to back the Khilafat Movement in the early 1920s, then peaked in the 1930s resulting in the creation of ‘Two Nation Theory’, then in 1946/47 with ‘Direct Action Day’ which resulted in India being cut in half for the Islamic State of Pakistan.
 
The model was put to good use during the Shah Bano agitation in 1986 where the Rajiv Gandhi government triumphantly overturned a supreme court judgement. Next it was used in 2002 Gujarat riots very effectively where Modi ended being labelled as a mass murderer for at least one generation of urban English-speaking Indians and NYT, WaPo readers. Subsequently the Vajpayee government was voted out in 2004.
 
The model lying dormant for a while was ratcheted up in 2014 ever since the BJP came to power and appears to be in full throttle now.
 
This ‘Template’ was cast in stone sometime after the 2002 Gujarat riots and since then it has been co-opted by the likes of ‘Karwan e Mohabbat’ activists, single malt socialists, journalists, artists & other loyalists of 10 Janpath who had dreamt of a Padma award. Perhaps even for this seemingly well-read variety, the victimhood model is much too lucrative to overlook!
 
This is the same group which watched in disbelief when Modi took oath as Prime Minister of ‘Bharat’ in 2014. Their ambitions were shattered forever in May 2019 and that’s when we started to witness the ‘meltdown’ on social media, on op eds both in domestic and international publications, with Congress & leftist spokies on TV debates and on JNU, Jadavpur and JMI campuses.
 
To be clear Delhi riots were horrific and over 50 innocent Citizens lost their lives. These include both Hindus and Muslims, desecrated mosques and temples, burnt homes and businesses of both communities. We must condemn such acts of violence because we have to co-exist, we owe it to Mother India!
 
For Mr. Owaisi only Faizan and Zubair matter, Ankit and Ratan Lal are not worthy of being mourned. Tahir Hussain and Shahrukh are victims and Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur are perpetrators of a pogrom.
 
 Tahir Hussain the AAP counselor with dubious credentials is a case study, in spite of eye witnesses speaking of his involvement, video graphic evidences of his house being used as a launch pad for petrol bombs (complete with catapult installations), recovery of home-made weapons, a left-wing news portal published a video of Tahir claiming innocence.
 
These are the same people who gave the Gun wielding Shahrukh a Hindu name and referred to orange colored egg crates as a show of Hindutva symbols and proclaimed Sharjeel Imam and Amanatullah Khan as symbols of resistance.
 
Videos of violent Muslim mobs pelting stones, Swara Bhaskar shouting war cries, DCP Amit Sharma’s wife’s account of events leading up to his broken skull, Mandar and his ilk inciting thousands to hit the street may mean nothing to Mr Owaisi.
 
These blatant lies are part of the template which Mr Amit Shah and Mr Modi are not buying. They won't take a Rajiv Gandhi type turn.
 
The current dispensation appears to be the kind which follows the rule of law and not the rule of caste/identity politics. Maybe that’s where the real problem is for Mr Owaisi and other adopters of this ‘template’.
 
Mr Owaisi it will never be good enough for you because Mr Shah and Mr Modi are unlikely to refer Indian Citizens as Hindus and Muslims.