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Amar Singh claimed that he had stood by the community

April 7, 2009
After testing the patience of the people to its limit, Amar Singh came out and approached the microphone kept outside his house. The stage was set and the speeches started shortly.

First came a firebrand Muslim leader named Nazar Abbas. A former student leader of the Aligarh Muslim University, he is known as a fine orator.

And he lived up to my expectations. He was no less than any maulana that we hear in the mosque -- chaste Urdu with regular references to Islam and some chosen couplets of Allama Iqbal.

He began by praising Mulayam Singh Yadav and his secular credentials. He blasted Mayawati's 'communal politics'. He then went on to international affairs, explaining how America had killed Saddam Hussain, and how the BJP is funded by Israel. He then brought up the Batla House encounter in which some Muslim youth were killed by the police, allegedly in cold blood.

Finally, he exhorted the crowd to vote for Mulayam Singh, who is the 'saviour' of the Muslim community, which is 'living in great danger'.

Then came the main mobiliser -- Azhar Masood Kachauchvi. He explained he hailed from the family of the Khankah of Kachaucha Sharief in Uttar Pradesh. He claimed that his father had once saved the Mulayam Singh government by one vote. He didnít speak much, but asked people to vote for Mulayam Singh.

Amar Singh started his speech by saying he was opening up his heart. He said he would speak only the truth because he was not there for politics. Politics is all about speaking lies, he said. And he genuinely wanted to relate to this crowd. He apologised for not taking them inside his bungalow because there was no space inside to accommodate such a large crowd.

I gasped in wonder. I have personally witnessed several of Amar Singh's interactions with such gatherings inside his home.

Muslims, he said, were living in great danger in India as all the political parties are hostile towards them. Muslim youth across India are being picked up by the police in connection with terror charges, he said, and added that he was the only one who stood by the community during the Batla House encounter.

Despite that, his party candidate from Batla House (which is a Muslim majority constituency) lost the recent assembly election there. He complained that the people of the area voted for the Congress, which has supported the police action. He also apologised to the Muslims for the mistakes his party had committed, due to which his party was dumped in the last assembly election in Delhi.

The hour-long public meeting came to an end.

Also see: Can these 'maskateers' change the face of the polls?
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