The most vocal Samajwadi Party leader and cabinet Minister from Akhilesh Yadav government Azam Khan has attracted the attention of media and most of the people to him with his statements sometimes irritating, sometimes sarcastic and sometimes serious and with help of these statements he has been able to force everyone to hear him as crying child do with his consistent noise.
There could be few reasons why he makes noise?
- Azam Khan is in politics for a long time and he like other leaders from Hindi heartland has become captive to his image and the perception his image has created among the masses . Since 90’s when Communal politics took centre stage in the most populated state and competitive communalism was on high and two polls of “ Your people” and “ Mine People” was defining the course of action in politics and Azam Khan was the key representative for his side and for several decades he enjoyed the stature to be leader of one community, but in last few years he has witnessed the limitations of a leader of certain community or cast and having confronted with this bitter truth he want to play the centrist role to expand his role in Indian politics where he can talk with logic on certain issues even taking his community along with him. In Indian context it could be called healthy development because one community which always looks to clerics and clergies at their leaders on almost every issues can develop the habit to rely on political leadership who can negotiate and participate on their behalf with more national exposure.
- Azam Khan has also established an university named Mohd Ali Jauhar University in his home constituency Rampur and more often he tells to journalists that his inspiration has been Sir Sayad Ahmad Khan who introduced English education among Muslim community and established Aligarh Muslim University to push Muslim community towards the path of modernity . He tries to emulate Sir Sayad to lift his community out from the stigma of not being so active to take benefits of modern education system and could be blamed for lagging behind in Human development index. On this count Azam Khan not only want to build larger than life image for himself among his followers but also have shifted his strategy to talk more patriotic and Indian in issues which sometimes confine Muslims in two circles as per example the issue of cross border terrorism . In last few years Azam Khan has taken very tough and hard stand against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism and he is getting good response among his community also for his stand and with his new Avatar he has been able to get more acceptability among Hindus also who earlier were more allergic to him and unable to find any difference between him and Muslims leaders like Mulana Bukhari, Or Owaisie.
- More Surprisingly Azam Khan has taken a stand on the emotional issues which are very much close to most of the Hindus as Cow protection, cleaning the Ganges and preserving and praising the herbs like Tulsi and Neem . Azam Khan wants to represent very Indianised from of Islam to connect it with politics which always find very acceptable response among majority of Hindus anytime.
The changed behavior of Azam Khan not only portrays the changing equations among communities in country but also indicates how political realignment could take place in 2017 in Uttar Pradesh also as it happened in Bihar and it could go either way.