Days after a Muslim cleric kicked up a row by saying cows will be slaughtered during Bakrid, lyricist Javed Akhtar on Thursday sought his immediate arrest. The noted Urdu poet said the comment was “irresponsible and outrageous.”
The cleric, Tanveer Peera Hashim, had made the purported remarks in the presence of Health and Family Welfare Minister Shivanand Patil during his sermons on the occasion of Ramzan prayer at Vijayapura in north Karnataka a few days ago.
“Secularism doesn’t mean ignoring or tolerating minority communalism. This irresponsible and outrageous cleric Tanveer Hashim should immediately be arrested for trying to create communal tension in Bengaluru,” Akhtar tweeted.
The remarks sparked a row as cow slaughter is banned in Karnataka. Tanveer Hashim is the head of Hashim Pir Dargah at Vijayapura, a popular Muslim shrine. The video of his purported remarks has gone viral. However, minister Shivanand Patil, in whose presence the remarks were made, chose to remain silent.
“Let me bring to your notice, in two months time there will be Bakrid. In the name of cow, this satan (devil) will do a mischief. I am telling you (the minister) this beforehand so as to ensure that with the cow another sacrifice does not happen,” Hashim said in his speech in Urdu.
However, the cleric Wednesday said that his statement was misinterpreted. “What I said on Eid was misinterpreted. I follow Sufism in which one is not even allowed to cut a tree branch, how can I say a person should be cut. Hindus & Muslims stay peacefully in Bijapur, some anti-social elements have been trying to incite violence,” news agency ANI reported.
Meanwhile, BJP Spokersperson S Prakash has condemned Hashim’s remark and demanded action against him. He said that the coalition JD(S)-Congress government should wake up and book a case against the cleric immediately.
Prakash alleged that the state government has a very partisan attitude towards communal speeches made by minority clerics or people. The minister also questioned the “double standards” of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government.
“Both JD(S) and Congress call themselves secularists. Why are they silent? When the government can book a case against Basavaraj Patil Yatnal, why not the cleric? Why this double standards? It is certainly questionable,” he said.
RSS ideologue Ratan Sharda said he does not expect any action from the Congress when in the past they haven’t been able to stop Mani Shankar Aiyar from making controversial remarks.
“When they could not stop Mani Shankar Aiyar from making useless comments, so how can we expect them to take acion against the minister (Patil) and the cleric? They will never do it,” he said. The cleric’s remarks came days after a purported video of Yatnal asking corporators to work only for Hindus, who voted for him, and not for Muslims, went viral on social media.
(With PTI inputs)