ABU ASIM AZMI –A leader of oppressed people and deprived communities
Post-Babri masjid riots in Mumbai dealt a big blow to the Muslim community of maharashtra. The subsequent bomb blasts of March 1993, only accentuated the sufferings of oppressed and harassed Muslims which became target of a section of police force to indulge in terror and injustice against the terrified community.
Abu Asim Azmi, who was till then, a very successful, high profile, wealthy and well connected Muslim businessman in the city, also fell victim to the nefarious designs of a section of police force to implicate innocent Muslims in false cases of terrorism.Although Abu Asim Azmi was fortunate enough to have resources and he fought his case till Supreme Court of India and prove his innocence and get acquittal. This case changed his course of life. He felt that if, police can dare to put a highly influential and wealthy businessman like him, in a false terror case, what may happen to those innocents from economically deprived sections of the community, who fall victim to such unfortunate circumstances and they don’t have resources to hire even a lawyer, to defend them in the lower courts.
Abu Asim Azmi was him self a victim of communalism and injustice, he felt need and desire to fight against the communal and prejudiced forces in Maharashtra, whether in politics, government, bureaucracy or police. And thus, arose a new, bold, fearless, effective Muslim leader in Maharashtra, who not only organized Muslims, but also Par-prantis those from UP, Bihar and other states who have been exploited, threatened and attacked by opportunists as well as parochial forces, Dalits, Budhists, other minorities as well as backward communities under the able leadership of Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav and at the secular platform of Samajwadi Party.
Abu Asim Azmi is an alumnus of prestigious Aligarh Muslim University. And as such, he is the custodian of rich Aligarian culture with a heart, most caring and sensitive to the causes of the community as well as the nation. His father Haji Niyaz Ahmed Azmi, who belonged to Azamgarh, U.P also came to Mumbai and was a successful businessman as well as philanthropist.
Abu Asim Azmi was born on August 8, 1955 in an affluent, educated, big family in Manjir Patti, Azamgarh. He got his basic education in Madarsa e Islamia, Baugh Meer Pethu, Azamgarh, U.P. He completed his primary and school education in Azamgarh and Jaunpur. Then, he was sent to Aligarh Muslim University to pursue higher education as per the famiy tradition. Abu Asim Azmi completed his graduation in commerce faculty after which he came Mumbai, in 1973, to pursue his career in trade and commerce.
He did experiment his merits and fortunes, in various trades, in this city of huge opportunities and became successful in tour and travels, hotel as well as real estate business. As a businessman also, he continued serving the deserving classes of the society through various social organizations. During the most tragic and unfortunate communal riots of Mumbai in 1992-93, he, along with late Maulana Ziauddin Bukhari organized relief and rescue operation for the riot victims in Mumbai, on a very massive and gigantic scale. After these riots and bomb blasts, he himself became the target of communalism. Thus, the circumstances led him to join politics.
Abu Asim Azmi joined Samajwadi Party in 1995 and he was elected as President, Mumbai Pradesh.
Samajwadi Party entered into the electoral battle in Maharashtra in big way. Under the able leadership of Shri Abu Asim Azmi, Samajwadi fought assembly elections in 1995 and won 2 seats from Mumbai, in Nehru Nagar and Umer Khadi seats. In the subsequent BMC elections, Samajwadi party got huge success as 22 Municipal councilors were elected on it’s ticket. This success also resulted in Samajwadi Party’s debut in Maharashtra legislative assembly as one MLC was elected as Samajwadi Party candidate. In yet another assembly election, Samajwadi Party won 4 assembly seats.
Shri Abu Asim Azmi was charismatic to lead the Samajwadi Party successfully in various parts of Maharashtra, apart from Mumbai. Bhiwandi, Mumbra to name a few other places where Samajwadi Party made in roads towards share in power, despite the opponents trying to destabilize the success of Samajwadi Party, by luring it’s cadres and engineering desertions, the Charisma of Shri Abu Asim Azmi’s bold and fearless leadership kept the flag of Samajwadi party fly high and successfully all over the Maharashtra.
Bestowed with the titles like Sher e Maharashtra and Quid e millat, Shri Abu Asim Azmi entered into Parliament. He was elected as the member of Rajya Sabha in 2002 and served there till 2008. During six years of his tenure in the Parlaiment, he served as the member in various parliamentary committees of different ministries like defence, finance etc. He raised various issues in the parliament of national and international importance. He has been a vociferous and articulate voice of Muslims, Dalits, Minorities and various deprived communities of India. The record of Rajya Sabha it self speaks the able, serious and commited leadership qualities of Shri Abu Asim Azmi to the cause and community.
In 2009, he fought Maharashtra assembly election and got elected from 2 constituencies, simultaneously. In this election, Samajwadi Party also bagged 2 more MLA seats thus proving the critics wrong.
The appearance of Shri Abu Asim Azmi in Maharashtra assembly, gave voice to terrorized communities of Maharashtra, be they Muslims or Par-pranties, Upite, Biharis, who have been the punching bags of political Senas of Maharashtra. From the day one, Abu Asim Azmi, along with his two colleagues, is carrying on his duty to protect the constitutional rights and interests of Muslims, migrants, Dalits, Minorities and other backward communities, in such bold and fearless fashion, which did not have any precedent in the history of Maharashtra legislative assembly. He also fought for the basic amenities and facilities for his constituency, no other MLA from this area, did so in the past history. He is representing the area, which is most deprived and neglected, having largest Slum in the city with majority of population consisting of Muslims, Budhists, Dalits and backward classes, yet, this area was the most neglected by state government as well as BMC. As an action oriented, fearless, bold and vociferous MLA of his constituency, the records in Assembly, BMC and carious government department stand witness to the quality of Shri Abu Asim Azmi, a public representative as well.
His leadership may well be expressed in the couplet of Urdu poet Dr Allama Iqbal, and can be described as:
AAIN E JAWAN MARDAAN , HAQ GOI VA BEBAKI
ALLAH KE SHERON KO AATI NAHIN ROOBAHI