Javed Akhtar seeks cleric’s arrest

Javed Akhtar seeks cleric’s arrest

Javed Akthar

Noted Urdu poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar on Wednesday sought immediate arrest of Karnataka cleric Tanveer Hashmi for his controversial remark that cows would be slaughtered during Bakrid, saying the comment was “irresponsible and outrageous.”

“Secularism doesn’t mean ignoring or tolerating minority communalism. This irresponsible and outrageous cleric Tanveer Hashmi should immediately be arrested for trying to create communal tension in Bengaluru,” Akhtar tweeted.

The cleric kicked up a controversy with his remarks made in the presence of Health and Family Welfare minister Shivanand Patil during his sermons on the occasion of Ramzan prayer in Vijayapura a few days ago. 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.

The minister chose to remain quiet after Hashmi made the controversial remarks.

“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,” Hashmi said in his speech in Urdu.

Condemning the remark, BJP state spokersperson
S Prakash said that it is a “pragmatic counter remark” made by Akhtar and the JD(S)-Congress government should wake up and book a case against the cleric immediately.

Prakash questioned the “double standards” of the government, asking why it should have different yardsticks for BJP MLA and former Union minister Basavaraj Patil Yatnal and Hashmi. “Both JD(S) and Congress call themselves secularists. Why are they silent? When the government can book a case against Yatnal, why not the cleric?

The remarks came days after a video of Yatnal asking BJP corporators of Vijayapura to work only for Hindus and not for Muslims, went viral.