For any leader, language of the masses is crucial in spreading his or her ideas to the followers' minds. Perhaps, realising this fact, Asaduddin Owaisi, the Hyderabad MP and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM), now wants to learn pure Telugu, the official language of Andhra Pradesh.
Owaisi, who is a two-time MP of Hyderabad since 2004, filed his nomination on 4 April, to contest the Lok Sabha election for the third time.
After the announcement of the Telangana state, Andhra Pradesh is witnessing polarisation of parties like never before. Utilising the situation, Owaisi has plans to expand Majlis beyond Hyderabad and its Muslim population.
In the last few years, Majlis party has made inroads in Maharashtra and Karnataka and won 13 seats in Maharashtra's Nanded-Waghala municipal council election in October 2012. And now, Owaisi thinks it's the right time to expand the party all over Andhra Pradesh (AP), which has a considerable Muslim population, especially in Rayalaseema.
Owaisi, who has a degree of Barister-at-law (Lincolns Inn) from England, regrets not learning Telugu all these years. Owaisi, who is campaigning for the forthcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in AP, says it's a big drawback for a politician, if he does not know the language of common people. He is planning to field candidates from his party in Seemandhra areas and wants to deliver poll-related speeches in Telugu.
"If I could have articulated in fluent Telugu the way I speak Urdu what impact it would make on the public", The Hindu quoted Owaisi as saying.
He says he understands Telugu but cannot speak it fluently. Then how is planning to learn Telugu? - the language praised as the "Italian of the East". The Majlis chief wants to learn the language through a Telugu scholar or pundit and not by self-learning material. He will get into the task of learning Telugu once the hectic election season is over in the state.
Media reports say that the Majlis party has fielded many Hindus in the State Assembly and various local body elections. To contest the ensuing Assembly election in AP, the party has received more than 200 applications, including those from non-Muslim candidates.
To expand the party in Seemandhra and Telangana, Majlis has been trying to have alliances with other parties in the state, according to the reports.
(Edited by Vishnuprasad S Pillai)