While All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Waris Pathan’s comment that “15 crore Muslims (of India) would prove more than a match for 100 crore Hindus” was met with customary rebuke by ‘moderate’ Muslims such as lyricist Javed Akhtar, politician Nawab Malik and some Shia clerics, Hindu politicians have reacted in multiple voices.
The remark by Waris Pathan, a national spokesperson of AIMIM and MLA from Byculla, Mumbai, has found one reaction from the Shiv Sena. Their Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said, “We can answer him in the language he understands.”
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Bala Nandgaonkar has said Waris Pathan will be sent packing to Asaduddin Owaisi’s borough Hyderabad and not allowed to practise politics any further in Maharashtra.
But the Indian National Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and an assortment of ‘secular’ parties full of Hindus have found the statement of only Bharatiya Janata Party MP and Union Minister Giriraj Singh‘s reaction objectionable. Reacting to Waris Pathan’s comment, the minister had said, “It was a grave mistake by our forefathers that when the nation was partitioned, they did not send all Muslim brothers to Pakistan and bring all Hindus to India.”
Singh tweeted to ask whether AIMIM was planning to turn India into Pakistan.
Indian National Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi tweeted, “I don’t see any difference between Waris Pathan and Giriraj Singh. They are the opposite ends of the same coin. They both need each other to survive.”
RJD politician and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav said Pathan should be arrested, but then added, “AIMIM is acting like BJP’s B-team. Leaders like Anurag Thakur, Pravesh Verma should also be arrested. Strict action should be taken against whoever makes inflammatory statements.”
During a public meeting on 15 February in Gulbarga, Karnataka, Pathan had made the provocative statement. A police complaint has been filed against Pathan in Pune.
When Pathan was questioned about his statement, he said, “Those who are protesting are against the law while BJP is trying to separate us from 130 crore people.”