MUMBAI: AIMIM MP from Aurangabad, Imtiyaz Jaleel has found himself amidst controversy over not attending the Marathwada Liberation Day ceremony on Tuesday.
Jaleel replied social media posts, criticizing him for not attending the ceremony and thereby losing an opportunity to distance his party from Razakars, saying that he doesn't need any certificates of patriotism.
When contacted he explained that he couldn't attend the ceremony due to crucial party meeting at Mumbai where party candidates were being finalized for the assembly election.
September 17th is celebrated as "Marathwada Liberation Day" in Maharashtra in memory of the accession the princely state of Hyderabad and liberation from the tyranny of Nizam and his Razakars. It's an official program conducted by Maharashtra government and held at the divisional headquarters at Aurangabad where respects are paid to martyrs at the memorial and national tricolor is hoisted.
Jaleel didn't attend the program in the past four years while being a member of the state legislature. The issue was raised even last year, but it blew up in major controversy this year.
Senior journalist Nishikant Bhalerao, whose family ran Marathwada daily that had been the backbone of several agitations in the region including the Marathwada Liberation movement, in a Facebook post on Monday raised the issue of Jaleel's absence again and asked whether he would attend the ceremony this year and thereby prove that the new MIM is different from the old MIM which sported the legacy of Razakars.
Offended with the question Jaleel retorted back saying, "I don’t need a certificate of patriotism," and added, "I have been elected by near 4 lakh people and I am sure they were not razakars."
"It’s high time we should talk about our future and how best we could take this city forward. Nobody supports what went wrong in history. But does that mean from the mistakes of our past u should ask for loyalty certificates now, many years later from every Muslim of Marathwada," he said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena raised the issue demanding that Jaleel be prosecuted for treason.
"It appears that Jaleel still considers himself a slave of Nizam. If so, he should resign from LokbSabha and the government should prosecute him," said party MLC and spokesperson Dr Manisha Kayande.
"Doesn't Jaleel feel that it is his responsibility as an elected representative to bow to the martyrs who liberated the region from the clutches of Nizam," she asked.