The media recently asked a simple question to Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan: What should the Centre do in the wake of the Uri terror attack? The Uttar Pradesh politico bluntly replied that the Government at Centre won’t abide by his wish. True that!
But Khan, a seasoned politician who has been long associated with the SP, couldn’t contain from expressing his whims. The leader, who is considered a minority-puller for the party, boasted that he has all the “qualities” to become India’s Prime Minister.
Azam said, “Make me the Prime Minister of the country and I will show how the country is run… I have experience and education.”
Khan laid his wishes bare, but not without adding the drama: “Barring the fact that I am a Muslim, there is no other shortcoming.” Yes, you heard it right. He played his religion cards, harping on a factor that is not required in the making of India’s PM.
This kind of soap opera-ish comment not only challenges the integrity of India, but also insults the masses who choose their PM. Being a minister with India’s biggest state, Khan might feel that caste politics play an important role in deciding the political course of Uttar Pradesh.Would Azam Khan and other ministers who politicize religions learn anything from this?
But to play reverse psychology on the masses by showcasing oneself as a minority leader is so lame. Indians have never been averse to Muslim leaders. From Maulana Azad to our ex-President Abdul Kalam, we have embraced people from all religions as our ideals. Their religion had nothing to do with it.
Being a Muslim is not a “shortcoming in India”, as the minister has wrongly highlighted. To be a Prime Minister, one need not belong to a particular religion. It’s the mettle that matters, not the God one swears allegiance to.
Only aligning to his party’s “united” stance is not enough. Azam Khan should show great ability to lead the masses by example, not petty remarks. We don’t want a PM who sets communal examples.