Imam Bukhari’s remarks about Shabana Azmi


We strongly condemn the remarks of Imam Bukhari about Shabana Azmi, social activist, M.P. and film personality, made during the television programme ‘We the People’ on Sunday, October 21, 2001, viewed by millions of people.

Imam Bukhari described Shabana Azmi as a nautch girl and a prostitute (‘nachne gane wali tavaif’; the word ‘tavaif’ was edited before the telecast). The remarks only reflect the vulgarity of the Imam’s mind.


This is not surprising, given his well-known medieval mindset and retrogressive views. The Imam seems to have been rattled by the fact that Shabana Azmi and others were effectively and successfully able to counter the perception that he represented the views of the Muslim community as a whole.

We demand an apology from the Imam and appeal to democratic sections in all communities to unequivocally condemn the statement of Imam Bukhari.