Unity key factor in Muslims’ success: Indian politician
Muslims can only become successful if they put aside their differences and unite around key political, social and economic development issues, a visiting Indian politician said here recently.
Akbaruddin Owaisi, who is based in Hyderabad, Telangana, and the floor leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittihad Al-Muslimeen (AIMIM) in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, said unity is the key.
“We should forget all our differences, unify and make changes to achieve progress. We are trying to bring all parties under one roof and fight together for our rights and justice,” he said.
He said the party has successfully managed to get college scholarships from the local government for Muslim students from poor communities. There are now 240 Muslim students getting these scholarships, with plans to increase the number and ensure others get free books and education allowances.
On the establishment of Telangana, he said there is a lot of hope and expectations, but only time would tell whether the new state would benefit Muslims.
“We supported (the ruling) Telangana Rashtra Samithi party, with the aim to remove the education barriers for Indian Muslims, and improve their standard of living.”
Owaisi said that young people and members of non-Muslim communities were joining the AIMIM, in a collective bid to improve economic conditions.
He said Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and their children should not be treated as foreigners. The votes of NRIs were important and their children should have places reserved for them at colleges in India. In addition, Urdu should be made a “first language like Telugu,” he said.
He said the party’s main focus is on the Maharashtra assembly elections, and the development of Telangana and Hyderabad by creating jobs and training for those seeking employment.
It also wants to develop an English-language newspaper, set up an official language commission to promote Urdu as a national language, and establish Urdu-medium kindergartens, schools and colleges with qualified teachers. There is also a plan to ensure that Muslims have access to bank loans.
He said that the AIMIM has organized job fairs, and handed out free books, bags and other necessities for school-going children. The party has been able to get sponsorship from the government for students from grade one until their graduation. It was also focusing on providing education opportunities for females, he said.
He said the party does not have any hope it would get help from the new national government and was working to ensure Muslims and other communities become self-sufficient. He said Muslims could only succeed politically if they unite at election time.
He also condemned Israel’s strikes on Gaza and said the party supports the Palestinian cause.