Asaduddin Owaisi (born 13 May 1969) is an Indian politician, who is the President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. He is a four-time Member of Parliament (MP), representing the Hyderabad constituency in Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament. For years, he has been regularly listed one among the 500 Most Influential Muslims of the world.
Owaisi in 2008
|President of AIMIM|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi|
Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly
|Preceded by||Virasat Rasool Khan|
|Succeeded by||Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri|
|Born||13 May 1969|
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
(now in Telangana, India)
|Political party||All India Majlis-e Ittihad al-Muslimin.|
|Relations||Akbaruddin Owaisi (brother)|
|Father||Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi|
|Residence||36–149, Hyderguda, Hyderabad-500 029 |
34, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110 001.
|Alma mater||Osmania University (BA)|
Lincoln's Inn (Barrister-at-Law)
|Nickname(s)||Naqeeb-e-Millat, Qaid, and commonly known as Asad Bhai|
Owaisi has been in controversies and news due to his politics primarily centered around minorities like Muslims and Dalits. His father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi and brother Akbaruddin Owaisi are also politicians.
Early life and background
Owaisi was born to Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi and Najmunnisa Begum on 13 May 1969. He comes from a political family of Hyderabad. His grandfather Abdul Wahed Owaisi relaunched the political party Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen as All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen 18 September 1957. He also succeeded Qasim Razvi as the party president after he was released from prison. His father Sultan Salahuddin was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1962. Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was elected to the Indian Parliament from the Hyderabad constituency for the first time in 1984 and continued winning the elections till 2004, when he stepped down in favour of Asaduddin. He died in 2008.
Asaduddin Owaisi completed his graduation in Bachelor of Arts from Nizam College (Osmania University) in Hyderabad. He represented the South Zone inter-university U-25s cricket team as fast bowler in the Vizzy Trophy in 1994 and later got selected in South Zone university team. He is a barrister by profession and studied at Lincoln's Inn of London. His brother Akbaruddin Owaisi is a Member of Telangana Legislative Assembly and heads the party in it. His youngest brother Burhanuddin Owaisi is the editor of Etemaad.
Owaisi married Farheen Owaisi on 11 December 1996. The couple has six children which includes one son, Sultanuddin Owaisi (born 2010) and five daughters- Khudsia Owaisi, Yasmeen Owaisi, Ameena Owaisi, Maheen Owaisi and Atika Owaisi. His mother is Nazima Begum. He lives in Shastripuram, Mailardevpally, Hyderabad. His eldest daughter Khudsia Owaisi was engaged to Barkat Alam Khan, grandson of Nawab Shah Alam Khan (paternal) and Moinuddin Khan Sandozai (maternal) on 24 March 2018. His second daughter, Yasmeen Owaisi was married to Abid Ali Khan, son of physician Mazhar Ali Khan, cousin of Zahid Ali Khan, editor of The Siasat Daily, in September 2020. He is hailed by his supporters as Naqeeb-e-Millat (Leader of the Community). He is fluent in Urdu / Hindi and English. He wears a long sherwani, an Islamic cap and sports a clipped beard.
Owaisi belongs to the Hyderabad-based All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party, of which his father and grandfather have been presidents. The party, while opposed to jihadist terrorism, still practises a politics of "competitive chauvinism," according to journalist Kingshuk Nag.
Owaisi made his political debut in 1994 in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election. Contesting from the Charminar constituency which his party has been winning since 1967, he defeated his nearest rival a breakaway party Majlis Bachao Tehreek's candidate by a margin of 40 thousand votes. He succeeded Virasat Rasool Khan as the elected representative from the constituency. In the 1999 election, he defeated his nearest rival Telugu Desam Party candidate Syed Shah Noorul Haq Quadri by 93 thousand votes. Owaisi was polled 126 thousand votes in the election. In 2004 election, he was succeeded by Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri as the member of the Assembly from the constituency.
In 2004, Owaisi's father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi who had been representing the Hyderabad constituency in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian parliament) refused to contest further citing poor health. The constituency has 70% Muslim population. He was polled 38% votes compared to his nearest rival Subhas Chanderji's 28%.
In 2008, the Left Front (which consisted of Communist Parties) withdrew their support to the central government of India which was led by the United Progressive Alliance. This was done in response to Indo-US nuclear deal signed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W. Bush which allowed India to keep nuclear bombs but in return had to allow international inspection. The Communist parties felt that by this deal, India would become a pawn of the United States. Due to the Left Front withdrawing support, a vote of confidence was held in Indian Parliament. When Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that Muslims of India opposed the deal, Owaisi said that it was an attempt to give a communal angle to the deal. Owaisi announced his support for the United Progressive Alliance in the vote of confidence. He claimed that his top priority was to prevent the opposition right wing Bharatiya Janata Party to ascend to power and to prevent Lal Krishna Advani from becoming the country's Prime Minister. He further stated:
We will express our reservations on the foreign policy impact but at no cost would we like to see the BJP coming in to power, at no cost we would like to see Mr Advani, who is an accused in Babri Masjid demolition case becoming the prime minister of this great nation, thereby destroying the future of Muslims and weakening the secularism.
In the 2009 Indian general election, Zahid Ali Khan, the editor-in-chief of an Urdu daily The Siasat Daily was pitted against Owaisi. He was supported by rival Telegu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist). Hindustan Times wrote that the AIMIM party faced "tough challenge" in the Hyderabad constituency. However, Owaisi emerged victorius and defeated Ali Khan by a margin by 110 thousand votes. He increased the winning margin by 10 thousand votes as compared to 2004 election.
Owaisi was awarded the 2014 Sansad Ratna award (Gem of parliamentarians) October 2013 for his performance in the 15th session of Indian parliament. During this period, he asked 1080 questions in the Parliament compared to the national average of 292. His attendance at 70% was 6% short of the national average.
The Milli Gazette wrote that he "has gained wide respect nationally among Indian Muslims for his bold speeches in Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian parliament)". He took up issues in the Parliament which pertained to the interests of the minority community. Also when he raised the issue of waqf properties in the parliament, the then Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh confessed that it was a fault of his ministry in not recognising waqf as a serious matter.
In April 2014, Owaisi filed his nomination for the Hyderabad constituency in the 2014 general election. He declared movable assets worth 2.7 million rupees (around $42,000) and immovable assets worth 30 million rupees (around $463,000). He was elected from the constituency once again by defeating his nearest rival Bharatiya Janata Party's Bhagvanth Rao by a margin of 197 thousand votes.
Owaisi announced that his party AIMIM would contest the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election from mainly from the Muslim dominated area of Seemanchal region of the state. News18 India wrote that the party candidates would divide votes and the voters suspected him of being an agent of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. He said that he was realistic about their chances of winning. He claimed that the Seemanchal region was underdeveloped and he blamed Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Indian National Congress party and Bharatiya Janata Party for it. He said that his aim was to pressurise the government to create a regional developmental council for the region. Although the party contested from six constituencies of Seemanchal region, it failed to win any seat.
Owaisi, who filed his nomination for Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency for 4th time declared assets worth over Rs 13 crore but he owns no vehicle.
Several commentators liken Owaisi to Jinnah, though Owaisi has opposed Jinnah's Two-nation theory every time. According to Patrick French, Owaisi appeals to "non-sectarian Muslim identity," though not to the Muslim faith, in a way similar to Jinnah's bid to be the sole spokesman of the Muslim community. His brand of Islamism with nationalism thrives in Hyderabad Old City and Mumbai
Owaisi dismisses the comparison with Jinnah citing the fact that his fight is within the framework of the Indian constitution. He says that the secular parties of India have not been able to transfer their votes to Muslim candidates. Of the 23 Muslim MPs elected in 2014, 18 or 19 were from constituencies with 30% Muslim voters. While the parties claim not to discriminate against Muslims, they in practice leave the Muslims in a "ghettoized position." Hence, Muslims must develop their own political force, similar to OBCs, Dalits and Yadavs.
In the aftermath of 2008 Mumbai attacks, Owaisi demanded action against Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed for killing innocent people. He said that the enemies of the country were enemies of Muslims.
In July 2016, Owaisi was praised for his speech Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is a problem among Muslims and called them dogs of hell. Owaisi said in his speech, which was delivered after 2016 Saudi Arabia bombings to monitor what is being said from some mosques, what and who is injecting radical venom.
In April 2017, on the issue of ban on cow slaughter, Owaisi criticised BJP for being hypocritical in treating cow as holy in Uttar Pradesh and North Indian states, but un-holy in the Northeast, Goa and Kerala."
Owaisi said that Muslim men divorcing their wife through instant triple talaq without reasons, must be socially boycotted, but said that the practice still exists. In December 2018, Owaisi told Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to learn inclusive politics of India, when Pakistan can't even have a non-Muslim President.
After BJP's massive victory in 2019 Indian general election, Owaisi said the EVMs are not rigged, instead Hindu minds have been rigged. In June 2019, Owaisi said that Rahul Gandhi won from Wayanad (Lok Sabha constituency) due to 40% Muslim population.
- Owaisi has been in controversies and news due to his politics primarily centered around minorities like Muslims and Dalits.
- Owaisi, along with his younger brother Akbaruddin was booked for charges related to manhandling the Medak district collector in 2005. On 20 January 2013, he was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days, and later shifted to Sangareddy jail. The case related to an MIM protest against the demolition of a mosque for a road-widening project in Medak district, on 16 April 2005 where police booked him under various charges including criminal intimidation, rioting and promoting enmity between religious groups.
- In 2009, a case was registered against Owaisi on the order of Election Commission of India for chasing and beating up Syed Saleemuddin, a polling agent of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the Moghalpura area. In March 2013, he was detained for organising rally without permission and carrying gun without licence in Bidar, Karnataka. In June 2014, Owaisi is said to have delivered hate speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the Muslim community's support to his party. In January 2015, Owaisi said that every child in the world is born as a Muslim, and his parents and society convert him to other religions. He also said Islam is the real home of all religions.
- On 7 February 2016, Owaisi surrendered before Hyderabad police and was later granted bail for an assault by a mob that he allegedly lead, carried out against Telangana Indian National Congress legislators. His close aide Syed Abdahu Kashaf and AIMIM Party social Media head assaulted the congress MLC and leader of opposition Shabbir Ali.
- In March 2016, while addressing a public rally in Maharashtra, Owaisi said that he will never say the slogan Bharat Mata Ki Jai (Hail mother India) in response to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment that the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India referring to 2016 JNU sedition controversy. Owaisi said, "Whom is he(Bhagwat) trying to frighten? He can't force his ideology on others. Nowhere in the Constitution it says that one should say: 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' ". Later he clarified that he has no issues with slogan 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', but he has objection with RSS who forces to chant the slogan as test of patriotism
|1994-1999||Elected to 10th Andhra Pradesh Assembly|
|1999-2003||Elected to 11th Andhra Pradesh Assembly (2nd term)|
|2004-2009||Elected to 14th Lok Sabha|
|2009-2014||Elected to 15th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
|2014-2019||Elected to 16th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
|2019||Elected to 17th Lok Sabha (4th term)
Owaisi is the Chairman of Hyderabad-based Owaisi Hospital and Research Centre whose origin dates back to late Alhaj Moulana Abdul Wahed Owaisi. The hospital functions in the field of Medical Education, Research and Medical care. Research programs at the hospitals are being carried out in collaboration with National and International research Agencies.
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- Swami 2010, p. 60. sfn error: no target: CITEREFSwami2010 (help)
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Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi
| Member of Parliament from Hyderabad
2004 – present
Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi
| President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen