Siddharth Varadarajan

Journalist | Writer | Analyst

Azam Khan’s poison tongue


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:

कारगिल की पहाड़ियों पर फ़तेह करने वाला वाला कोई हिन्दू नहीं था.… बल्कि कारगिल की चोटियों पर ‘अल्लाह हो अकबर’ कहकर फ़तेह करने वाले मुसलमान फौजी थे 

(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?

4 comments on “Azam Khan’s poison tongue

  1. Mahdi
    April 30, 2014

    There is a documentary by NDTV on the Kargil war:

    This shows the contribution of Muslim soldiers in some of the battles. Azam Khan would have been correct had he said that Muslim soldiers also sacrificed their lives in Kargil war. But he said Muslims only won the war. That was incorrect and false statement.

  2. AB
    April 24, 2014

    The sad thing here is that his statement (and other statements like his) continue to find currency among the largely backward and rural denizens of Western Uttar Pradesh. A climate of mistrust and antipathy is further stoked by these (rather shamelessly calculated) ‘slips of tongue’.

    Don’t be fooled, both Azam Khan and Amit Shah made very calculated political statements. If reports on the ground are to be believed, both of them have hit the mark. I believe we’ll hear more of this on 16 May.

  3. mohit tiwari
    April 21, 2014

    A day after this statement i asked a muslim friend of mine “what do u think about Azam Khan”?
    He replied” he is a … a blot on muslim, APJ Abdul Kalam is true muslim…

  4. Shubashree Desikan
    April 21, 2014

    Well this is unfortunate but a greater blunder was Togadia’s hate speech. Hope and pray it’s only speech.

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This entry was posted on April 21, 2014 by in Bad Ideas, Communal Violence, Indian Politics.



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