'Muslims should be communal for their own good', Shazia Ilmi says NEW DELHI: A new controversial video which could spell trouble for the Aam Aadmi Party is doing the rounds on social media. In the video, which surfaced on Tuesday, AAP leader Shazia Ilmi said that Muslims' votes split as they were "too secular" and they "should become communal" and vote keeping in mind "our own interest". "Don't be much secular. Muslims are too secular and they should become communal. They are not communal and do not vote for themselves. Arvind Kejriwal is ours. Muslims have remained secular for long...have voted for the Congress and helped them win. Don't be so secular and look at your house (community) this time. "Other parties have their votebank intact and Muslim votes split. This is a controversial statement, but we should look at our own interest," Ilmi, AAP candidate from Ghaziabad, said in the video, in which she is having a conversation with members of the Muslim community. The Arvind Kejriwal-headed Aam Aadmi party(AAP) ticked Ilmi off and distanced itself from the controversial remarks, saying it does not endorse her views. However, Ilmi stood by her comments, which, she said is "play of words". The AAP said it does not believe in this kind of politics nor does it endorse it. "All our representatives should be careful in their choice of words so that there is no scope for misinterpretation," the AAP said in a message posted on its twitter handle. "I've seen Shazia's clip. She should have not said it. AAP does not believe in communal politics. Our politics is to unite all Indians," party leader Manish Sisodia tweeted. With her remarks triggering a controversy, Ilmi said she had not made any remark that incited hatred. "I stand by it. I said, we should think of our community first. When others are not secular then why should we be secular. It is play of words," she told TV channels. "I said it half sarcastically. Somebody was saying Muslims are very communal. I am saying Muslims are not communal, infact they are very secular. They need to be communal. This does not mean to incite hatred. They must think of themselves and must not be political slaves. "What have the political parties done for Muslims in terms of political empowerment and representation in either government or private jobs, education... in terms of economic and political opportunities," she told TV channels. "I was essentially saying when you cast a vote you want to better your lot. Think of yourself...you cannot be scared of Modi and RSS all the time," she added. I've seen Shazia's clip. She should have not said it. AAP does not believe in communal politics. Our politics is to unite all Indians. â€” Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) April 22, 2014 Netizens too, took to Twitter to condemn the video. Here are some reactions: Shazia Ilmi has to employ the most cutting-edge U-Turn technology to come of this jam. â€” IndiaSpeaks (@IndiaSpeaksPR) April 22, 2014 Sad that @shaziailmi disappoints yet again. There's no room for double speak in someone who claims to be a revolutionary, @AamAadmiParty. â€” à¤°anvià¤°_ à¤¡hoà¤°eà¤¯_ (@RanvirShorey) April 22, 2014 Shazia Ilmi was talking about community and she was not being communal, just as Togadia was talking about laws and not being a lout. â€” Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) April 22, 2014 (With inputs from PTI) 'Muslims should be communal for their own good', Shazia Ilmi says - The Times of India ************************************************************************* I like Shazia Ilmi, not only because she brings cheer to the eye, but also for her articulate views spoken in a very musical way. I also like Aashifa Khan, the BJP spokeswoman from Gujarat for the same reason. That is why I am sad that Ilmi could appear to be communal just for winning some votes in an election. She could have avoided all this. It also indicates the alienation to the Muslim community from the mainstream of Indian politics, where communal unity takes precedence over the ills of India that affect not only the Muslims, but all communities across the board. India does have an odd interpretation of 'secularism'. I wonder how this divide came about and how it will end.