Emran Hashimi Backtracks Allegation of Religious Bias

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Why do Muslim celebrities invoke religious bias? To gain sympathy or hog the limelight?

Emran Hashimi, was not the first Muslim celebrity to raise the bogey of religious discrimination against him. Mohd Azharduddin, also created a ruckus when he alleged religious bias against him, when the chips were down.

Emran Hashimi was in the news recently for the wrong reasons. He alleged that he was denied a flat by a housing society in Mumbai because he was Muslim. But on Monday, he was quick to back track his statement saying that there was no discrimination against him. This he claimed as “miscommunication” when the hearing on his petition of religious bias at the Minorities Commission came up for hearing. His Lawyer clarified that the actor was misled by the agent Jagjit Arora that the society members refused to sell him the flat because he was a Muslim. But that was later proved not to be true.

The Lawyer representing Emran Hashimi said the Secretary of the Ebban Housing Society had no objection to acquiring a flat from any of its members.

Incidentally, Suvarna who was willing to sell the flat to the actor said he was willing to sell the flat to the actor, because he was like a ‘son’ to him.

This was an unfair and insensitive remark by Hashimi. He should have realized that this single inadvertent remark would cause unrest and disturb the placid waters of communal harmony in Mumbai. He must guard himself against such utterances in future.

Earlier, it was Mohammed Azharuddin, the Indian Cricket Captain, who raised the bogey of religious bias at the height of the ‘match fixing’ allegations. He told a news channel that he was framed in the match fixing allegations, because he happened to be a ‘Muslim”.

Azharuddin was cornered at that time when so much evidence was against him. He thought by invoking religious bias, he could draw the support of Muslims in general and Ulemas in particular. But this did not happen, and it was for the good of the country. The Muslim community was saved by good judgment. This time also, the hypersensitive Muslim community did not react to the allegation of bias from Emran Hashimi, just as in the case of Mohammed Azharuddin. It appears that the Muslim community has matured, particularly in the aftermath of 26/11 and they are more patriotic and secular minded than they were before.

Perhaps, no immediate reaction from the Muslim community sent a strong signal to these celebrities and others that they cannot get unqualified support on such matters. This is a good sign, and would augur well for secular India. Hats off to them. Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.