The happening city Hyderabad’s Member of Parliament Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi seems to be making a habit of winning the Best Parliamentarian Award time and again. Asaduddin Owaisi was presented the Lokmat’s Best Parliamentarian Award by former President Ramnath Kovind at a glittering function on Tuesday. From the Sansad Ratna Award in 2014 to the award in 2019 and the Best Parliamentarian Award for 2022, Asaduddin Owaisi has never looked back!
An elated Asaduddin took to Twitter to announce his award and tweeted, “Just found out I’ve been awarded “Parliamentarian of the Year” by #LokmatParliamentaryAwards. Thanks to @lokmat for the honour. MPs have to hold the government accountable. From PMAY to #Pegasus to foreigners’ tribunals, I’ve used my position in public interest & will continue to do so.”
The name Asaduddin Owaisi may be an anathema to the bigoted Sangh Parivar but he sparks euphoria among his uncountable diehard followers across India. Once, a female journalist while introducing Asaduddin Owaisi before an interview had opined: You may love or hate Asaduddin Owaisi but you cannot ignore him! Exactly, you cannot ignore him. He thunders in Parliament and goes hammer and tongs at the Modi Government on issues of national importance. Whether it was the Pegasus spying issue, the foreigners’ tribunals, or the Triple Talaq issue, the territorial integrity of India issue, and seeing Red at China, Asaduddin Owaisi roared and made the Lok Sabha listen to him with rapt attention. He combines wit, satire, irony, repartee, and humour to make his points. The Lok Sabha was sent into peals of laughter when Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi pleaded with folded hands and urged the government to treat a Muslim’s marriage for one lifetime only. ‘Ek hi janam kaafi hai!’ He implied that only one life is enough to handle a wife or a marriage. Being married to the same person life after life is difficult. Even BJP leaders Amit Shah and Giriraj Singh burst into laughter at this observation.
Asaduddin Owaisi fights for women’s rights too – both Muslim and Hindu. Though considered a rabble-rouser by his opponents, Asaduddin Owaisi does not cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ and sticks to Parliamentary decorum during his speeches. The world knows that Narendra Modi and Asaduddin are bitter political opponents. But Asaduddin Owaisi has batted for the rights of his ‘Bhabhi’ Jasoda Ben on the portals of the Lok Sabha. The respect Asaduddin shows towards our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wife Jasoda Ben by referring to her as ‘Bhabhi’ is beyond compare! The respect he shows to his political opponents and their family members makes him look every inch like the son of his illustrious father Late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi. This is the beauty of Asaduddin’s upbringing. It also denotes the dignity and charm of our Indian democracy that there are political opponents but not enemies!
But the mighty and powerful Asaduddin Owaisi wittily expresses his inability to convince his woman at home – his dear wife Farheen Owaisi. Responding to the media after the assassination attempt on him and what the reaction of his wife was about the assassination attempt, Asad Owaisi admitted that his wife was not ready to believe that he was attacked. She also thought that perhaps Asad wanted to avoid going out with her in the evening as promised. Asaduddin Owaisi humourously remarked thus: “Goli se bach gaya, lekin biwi ki tirchhi nazar se bachna mushkil hai (Survived the bullet, but it is difficult to escape wife’s suspicious glances).”
Asaduddin Owaisi has weathered the Narendra Modi wave in 2014 and 2019. He has remained unconquered in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat since 2004. He has a good equation with the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) despite KCR standing with Narendra Modi Government on the issue of Triple Talaq, Article 370, demonetization, etc. Both the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) have been allies for a long time now. I have no hesitation in saying that the outside support extended to KCR Government and not joining the government and sharing power has harmed the Muslim community much. It is significant to note that KCR has spent many thousand crore rupees on Dalit Bandhu, Rythu Bandhu, this Bandhu and that Bandhu but not for Muslim Bandhu. Muslims have not been even given nominal loans of Rs one to two lakhs during the past four years by KCR. Thousands of crores were spent on temples – Yadadri and the recent Rs.1,000 crore for another temple but even in 4 years Rs 27 Crores were not released for the pending works of the historic Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad points out senior journalist M A Majid. As I analyse Asaduddin’s chequered career, all I can say is that all this deprivation could have been avoided if AIMIM had joined the government. It could have had access to funds for the betterment of the deprived Muslim community. It is out of the question to think that Asaduddin Owaisi can match the political wisdom of his late father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi. The senior Owaisi thought it prudent to stay away from the government because of the ground situation then. Not joining the government forever should not be etched in stone. I hope Asaduddin Owaisi would answer the Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao (KTR), who mocked that ‘Majlis is a small party with 7 legislators,’ by fielding more candidates and winning more number of seats in the coming Legislative Assembly elections.’ Empower the community with more number of legislators and silence the likes of boastful KTR.
In his award acceptance remarks, Asaduddin Owaisi thanked the Lokmat Group for the award. He hoped that Parliament would continue to function independently. “There remains a big threat to the theory of separation of powers. I hope Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha shall remain independent. Parliamentarians will continue to work in this direction,” he observed. Asaduddin Owaisi was the cynosure of all eyes when he humbly responded to the handshake offer from BJP’s senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi by greeting him with a warm and respectful handshake with a slight bow.
The following are the Winners of the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2022
Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha
Bhartrihari Mehtab, Biju Janata Dal
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM
Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress