Hyderabad: We know how to eject you from power: Khairtabad khateeb tells Nagender

Months before Telangana goes for elections, a khateeb of a masjid in the Khairtabad assembly constituency (AC) in Hyderabad district, sharply rebuked Bharat Rashtra Samithi legislator Danam Nagender, even describing him as firaoun, an allusion to the ancient Egyptian autocrat and despot Pharoah, from the platform of the Juma khutba.

While the incident took place at the Masjid-e-Jeelania, off Raj Bhavan Road last Friday, it later came to light only after video clips of the sermon were widely shared on social media. The khateeb is seen warning Nagender that his constituents would eject him from his seat if their rightful demands are ignored.

The video clips show the khateeb, Mufti Sadatullah Hussaini, harshly criticising Nagender for not doing enough to hand over a land parcel, spread over two acre, near the masjid, which the Muslim community of the area assert is a graveyard. The Mufti also expressed grave concern that certain individuals were eyeing the land parcel. The issue has been simmering, and gained momentum, since earlier this year.

Mincing no words, Mufti Hussaini is seen as saying, “Mr Nageder, who is the MLA of this place, thinks he is the firoun (Pharoah) of this area. I want to tell him on behalf of all the worshippers at this masjid and from on behalf of responsible people of Khairtabad: if you do not give in to our rightful demand of giving us the graveyard to us, I reiterate Maulana Aquil who  had said, ‘we know who to plant in a seat, and we know who to eject from the seat’.”

Mufti Hussaini urged the youth of Khairtabad not to be afraid of tyranny, look the establishment in the eye, and put forward their rightful demands. He urged them to pray and protest.

When khateebs use the word firoun, an Islamic connotation, it is mean to bring to the mind the story of Prophet Musa (Moses) and his conflict with the tyrannical Pharoah.

Criticism of political leaders is usually seen during Ramzan’s Youm-ul-Quran speeches that are delivered from the expansive courtyard of the historic Makkah Masjid. However, seldom is such clear criticism delivered from the pulpits of smaller masjids.

After jumping ship from the Congress to the then Telangana Rashtra Samithi, now BRS, Nagender wrested the Khairtabad AC from Bharatiya Janata Party’s Chintala Ramchandra Reddy in the 2019 assembly polls.

As of January 2022, the Khairtabad AC recorded a total electorate of over 2.85 lakh voters, of which about 1.50 lakh are male, and 1.36 lakh are female. The Muslim vote is pegged at approximately 1.20 lakh.

Soon after the video clips went viral, another video surfaced in which Nagender was seen speaking to Telangana State Wakf Board officials. The clip showed Nagender being in favour of having a joint-survey with the TSWB and revenue officials.