Journalist | Writer | Analyst
Had Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan said Muslim jawans were second to none at Kargil — as documented at the time by Gaurav Sawant in the Indian Express and others — and then denounced those who question the patriotism of Indian Muslims, there would have been no controversy and he would have made a point of some value in a state vitiated by communal tension. Instead he spoke loosely and poisonously, saying:
(Kargil ki pahadiyon par fateh karne vala koi Hindu nahin tha… balki Kargil ki chotiyon par ‘Allah ho Akbar’ kehkar fateh karne vale Musalman fauji the.
[There was no Hindu among those who conquered Kargil’s mountains… In fact, Kargil’s peaks were conquered by Muslim soldiers shouting ‘Allah ho Akbar’].”
It is almost as if Azam Khan wanted to drive fence-sitting Hindus into the arms of the BJP, presumably in order to ensure fence-sitting Muslims stay with, or gravitate towards, the Samajwadi Party.
The damage done, his supporters are now circulating news items about the bravery of the Muslim Company of 22 Grenadiers. “Is it a crime to say that along with Hindus, Muslims have also fought with equal valour in the Kargil war when there are proofs to substantiate this argument?”, asks Azamwadi Yuva Manch secretary Shani Khan.
Of course it isn’t. But then that’s not what Azam Khan said, did he?