Brain Stormer: Owaisi’s topi politics with terrorism
As Islamist terrorists continue to kill and maim innocents around the world, most recently in Iraq and only days earlier in Bangladesh, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s remark that he will be offering legal aid to five Muslim youths arrested by the National Investigation Agency on terror charges, has expectedly kicked off a storm.
But before we go into the matter, let it be said in no uncertain terms that there is technically there is nothing wrong in offering such legal aid. The youths are suspects, not convicts, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. They have a right to legal counsel, and if they are unable to arrange for it themselves, then the state is obliged to provide it for them. Remember, even Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist who was captured alive from the 26/11 attacks, was given legal aid by the Government.
This is as it should be, for this is what makes us a rule-abiding, lawful and civilised society. Having said that, let it also be made clear that Owaisi’s support for the terror suspects does not exactly from the goodness of his heart or because he is particularly bothered about law and justice. His decision is entirely politically motivated wherein he is playing to his core constituency. This is also true for his politics critics who have chosen to make a mountain out of a molehill, and in the process played the exact same game that Owaisi has played.
This is disappointing because it doesn’t even go close to solving some of the real issues that we face – one the one hand, radicalisation within the Muslim community even if it is on a small scale, and on the other hand, a law enforcement deficit. Both of these are serious issues that involve a whole host of socio-political and economic factors. However, instead of addressing these, tackling them hands on, and pushing for real change on the ground, it is unfortunate that our politicians have chosen to play their brand of top politics.
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