I’ve been booked for sedition because I took on Hindutva, says Delhi Minorities Commission chief Zafarul Islam
While telling facts about his tweet for which he has been booked Zafarul Islam clearly said all this has been done because the Delhi Minorities Commission has been taking note of Hindutva politics
The Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Dr Zafarul Islam Khan was booked for sedition after he tweeted a post while thanking the Kuwaiti government for taking note of persecution of Muslims in India on April 30. On May 6, Delhi police had gone to his house but left after a while.
The Cyber Cell of Delhi Police conducted raids on Zafarul Islam Khan on May 7 over complaint registered against him over his remarks on social media.
In an exclusive interview with The Quint, Zafarul Islam Khan said, “I must tell you that a lot of people did not like my work because we were taking note of Hindutva politics, of what happened in the north east district of Delhi, of trishool yatras, of attack on madrasas or mosques. They did not like that. I may also add here, that the real purpose of all this propaganda against me was to deny me a second term and I must tell you also that they have succeeded in this.”
When he was asked on his stand on the tweet for which he was booked for sedition, Khan said, “See the Tweet was about the Kuwaiti government’s decision to take note of the persecution of Muslims in India. They sent a letter to their foreign minister, to take note of this decision and to talk to the world community about the issue. I thought I should thank them for taking note of what is going on here and then I said that what is the reason for them taking note... that Indian Muslims enjoy a lot of goodwill in the Arab world. The last paragraph of my statement was that if Indian Muslims choose to complain to the Arab world or Muslim world there will be an avalanche for Hindutva, that is the word I used, for Hindutva bigots. Not for Indians, not for Hindus.”
On his last line of the post, Khan said, “You see, you can say that it was an indiscretion. I accept that. I should not have said that and I realised two days later. In another tweet I said it was insensitive and ill-timed. I did not take back my tweet and nor did I delete it. But the media started off again by saying Zafarul Islam Khan has apologised for his tweet. I did not apologise for my tweet, but for the timing. The country is undergoing an emergency, a lockdown, and I should not have said this because all the efforts are towards containing this new kind of plague that is threatening us. So I should not have said that”.
When he was asked about his view as a person apart from his designation, he replied, “You can not separate a person from his history. It is not possible. But I have been very conscious. Every time we took any big decision we always went back to the Act. On my first day, when we held a meeting with the two members, I said that we enter here and we leave our religion at the gate.”
“I am not a Muslim here, you are not a Christian here and you are not a Sikh here. That is what I said in the very first meeting,” he added.
On his removal from his designation, Khan said, “It is up to them. I am not going to lobby or ask anybody. If they want to remove me, no problem. I will sit at my home. I have a lot of work to do which is actually suffering due to these three years. My own work has suffered a lot. I am also an author. Something like forty books are in various stages, I would have completed. If they want to remove me they are welcome, but I am not going to resign”.