The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen or AIMIM is also known as the All India Council of the Union of Muslims. Its head offices are at Hyderabad and it has retained a Lok Sabha seat in this city for the last 29 years. During the legislative assembly elections held in Andhra Pradesh during 2009 the party bagged 7 seats. In the Hyderabad Municipality Election that was held at the same year the party was successful in winning 43 seats from a possible 150.
Origin of the party
The origin of the party can be traced back to the days when Hyderabad used to be a princely state. Nawab Mahmood Nawaz Qiledar set up and then shaped the party acting on the suggestions from Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, who was the Nizam of the state. The party was founded as one which supported the Nizam during 1927. Ulema-e-Mashaeqeen was there when the party was being established.
At the time of its founding the party was known as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and it held its first ever meeting on November 12, 1927 at Nawab Mehmood Nawaz Khan’s place. In its initial years the party focused on making Muslims a dominant part of the Indian milieu rather than becoming one with it.
During 1938 Bahadur Yar Jung was chosen to preside over the MIM and the party also had a religious and cultural manifesto. However, it soon assumed political proportions and became a part of the Muslim League. The Razakars or volunteers, who were a paramilitary organization of Muslims and looked to hamper the interests of Hindus in the Deccan region during the days before Independence, have been found to have had direct links with this party.
In all, a maximum of 150 thousand soldiers belonging to the Razakar group were deployed in order to fight the Indian Union and procure independence for the state of Hyderabad so that it could one day become a part of Pakistan and not India. When Hyderabad was included in India the party was outlawed between 1948 and 1957. Razakar leader and MIM President, Qasim Rizvi, was put behind bars at this time. He was only allowed to go free on the condition that he went away to Pakistan, where he was provided asylum.
Before he left Rizvi entrusted a lawyer named Abdul Wahid Oaisi with the responsibility of running the party. After Abdul Wahed the party’s reigns were taken over by Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, his son, in 1975. Sultan Salahuddin was known as Salar E Millat or the commander of the community.
Journey in Indian politics
During 1960 the party was victorious at the Mellapally ward of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. It also won in the Patharghatti assembly seat while contesting as an independent party in 1962 and in 1967 achieved victory from the Charminar constituency. During 1972 it was successful in bagging the seat from Yakutpura and in 1978 from Charminar. During 1984 the party was victorious in the state Lok Sabha elections winning from the Hyderabad constituency.
As a result of this victory Hyderabad was represented till 2004 by Sultan Salahuddin. From 2004 onwards he has been replaced by Asaduddin Owaisi, his elder son. On January 2, 2012 Mohammad Majid Hussain from the party was chosen to be the Mayor of the Greater Hyderabad region.
Asaduddin, on November 12, 2012 announced that the party was taking back its support to the incumbent UPA government because of the communal policies being taken by the same.
Foray into other states
Recently the AIMIM has been venturing into other states as well. It has won 20 seats in the municipal council elections that were held in the Nanded-Waghala city region during October 2012. It has also won 35 seats in local body elections held in Karnataka during March 2013.
Criticism against the party
In spite of its long and fairly successful history the AIMIM has been quite often been in the news for the wrong reasons. During 2007 members of the party, both elected and serving, had issued threats against controversial Bangladeshi writer Tasleema Nasreen and stated that the fatwas against herself and Salman Rushdie should be observed.
When Tasleema had visited Hyderabad in order to release Telugu translation of her works several members of AIMIM had attacked her and 3 among them had been detained and charged.
The leaders of the party have often been accused of making speeches that could be interpreted as being controversial, inciting religious tension and of violence. Akbaruddin Owaisi, the floor leader, has been charged with sedition, spreading communal tensions, criminal conspiracy and fighting a war against the country. He is also facing trial for the same. Both Akbaruddin and Asaduddin have also been accused of physically assaulting the district collector of Medak during 2006.