3:13 pm - Friday December 16, 2478

Muslim clergy meeting RSS leader: The truth & mirage

Contradictory reports have started pouring in with regard to a meeting between Muslim Maulana and Rashtriya Swayamsevak (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar. The meeting took place at Kanpur on the sidelines of the massive RSS camp held there on February 15. Amongst other senior leaders RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bhagwat was present at the camp and guided the participants.

The delegation of Muslim clerics was led by Sunni Ulema Council general secretary, Haji Mohammad Salees and included maulanas from Sunni sect of Islam.

The leading newspapers and television channels reported this meeting in their negative style showing the RSS in bad light. They maintained that the RSS did not have satisfactory answers to the questions the Muslim clerics posed to them during the meeting. The meeting took place at the residence of Kidwai Nagar BJP corporator Rita Shastri.

According to Haji Mohammad Salees they had sought time to meet RSS Chief Dr Bhagwat who was camping at Kanpur in connection with the RSS camp. Instead they were told to meet senior RSS leader and patron of Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) Indresh Kumar who was also in Kanpur that time.

During the meeting the Muslim clerics posed certain questions to Indresh Kumar which they had actually wanted to ask the RSS Chief Dr Bhagwat. The questions were related to RSS’ opinion about Islam and the organization’s expectations from Muslims in India. The meeting gathered importance mostly against the background of recent controversies over ‘Ghar Vapasi’, ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and related terms.

Salees said that they told Indresh Kumar that ‘anti-Muslim comments’ by some RSS leaders and other Hindu organizations hurt the unity and integrity of India. “The Muslims are integral part of India and we all should strive to unite the country, Salees stated.

However, Haji Mohammad Salees alleged that Indresh Kumar did not answer to their questions.

The Economic Times carried the news with a heading “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat snubs Muslims clerics?” Surprisingly, the report did not carry any impression of Bhagwat ‘snubbing’ the Muslim clerics. It only said that some Muslim clerics sought time to meet the RSS chief who was in city to attend a 20000 strong volunteer camp. The RSS Chief ‘did not respond’ to their request, the report said.

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Zee News reported a different story. Its report said that the Muslim delegation claimed that Indresh Kumar did not answer their queries and asked them to convene a larger Muslim congregation where he would satisfy all their queries.

Similar reporting appeared in almost all the media channels and newspapers highlighting the “failure” of the RSS leadership to satisfy the queries of the Muslim clerics who had “volunteered” to seek dialogue in order to “improve” the communal harmony between the two communities of India.

The media also highlighted the six questions that the Muslim delegation posed to the RSS leadership. These questions were:

  1. 1.Whether the RSS accepts India as a Hindu country?
  2. 2.Whether the RSS has formulated any plans to make India Hindu Rashtra?
  3. 3.Whether this Hindu Rashtra will be governed as per the Hindu scriptures or the RSS has designed any system of governance?
  4. 4.What is the RSS view on religious conversions?
  5. 5.What type of love for motherland RSS expects from the Muslims?, and
  6. 6.How does the RSS view Islam?

Haji Mohammad Salees claimed that Indresh Kumar ‘failed’ to satisfy these six queries raised by them during the meeting. He even expressed doubts on temple entry to Dalits once the “Hindu Rashtra’ was governed by the scriptures.

Haji Salees also justified not singing ‘Vande Mataram’ and participating in ‘Bharatmata Pujan’ as both are against the tenets of Islam.

Another Muslim cleric Shahar Kazi Alam Raza Noori pooh-poohed this meeting saying that there was no use meeting Indresh Kumar. He wanted to seek answers directly from the RSS chief and not his emissary. He said that he had earlier met Indresh Kumar but was not satisfied with his arguments.

This ‘one-sided’ reporting carried the impression prima facie that the RSS was not interested in taking the Muslims along in its concept of Hindu Rashtra. It also raised bouts over the ‘seriousness’ of RSS’ efforts to bring different religious communities closer on the plank of nationalism.

No media organization dared to ask the Muslim delegation as whom they represented in Islam because there are 73 sects and sub-sects in Islam. Whether representatives from all these 73 sects and sub-sects were included in their delegation?

This seems to be clear case of some disgruntled Muslim clerics and anti-Hindu media as they did not like that these two major communities come together on the plank of nationalism and contribute to making India a world leader

Indresh Kumar had told the visiting delegation very clearly that he would not answer their question in a closed door meeting. Instead, he asked them to convene a larger congregation of Muslims of all hues in Islam and then seek explanation from him to their queries. He would be glad to respond to their questions.

What made Maulana Haji Salees not to accept this challenge? What was he worried of? Was he afraid of getting exposed in the community? The answer to all these questions lies in this dichotomy of Muslim clerics.

Indresh Kumar has been the guiding light of the new beginning of Hindu-Muslim unity since last two and half decades. He had interacted with lakhs of Muslims with his clear thoughts and authority over Islam. No Muslim worth the salt has ever contradicted him on the issues he had raised in his dialogues and discourses and interactions with cross sections of the Muslim community.

On the contrary the Maulana is a representative of a particular sect in Islam. He might be having a following of say, 500, 1000, or 10,000. But Indresh Kumar has a following of millions and millions of Hindus and Muslims both.

He should have accepted the challenge of Indresh Kumar for a open debate. Why is he running now?

The problem with the Muslim society in India is that they were never told the facts in very simple and plain language. The RSS has been of the view that 99.99 per cent Muslims and Christians in India are original Hindus converted to these Semitic religions some hundreds of years ago due to certain social, political and / or economic compulsions. But they share the same ancestors, same culture and same motherland with the Hindus. Same blood flows in their veins as that of Hindus. It has been the politics that kept them divided under the guise of minorityism. But the rulers did not care for their development. Nor did their own religious leaders ever cared for the same.

The RSS leaders like former Sarsanghchalaks the late Balasaheb Devras and Sudarshan had initiated the sincere efforts to bridge the gap between the two communities. Now Indresh Kumar has assumed this responsibility and succeeded in spreading a very positive message of nationalism among the Muslims of India in the past 25 years. The results of this positive approach were visible in the recently held elections in India.

As regards the propaganda about RSS’ concept of Hindu Rashtra there appears to be a systematic vilification campaign unleashed by the media and self-styled secular leaders. The RSS has been saying from day one that India belonged to Hindus and that it was, is and it will be a Hindu Rashtra so long as one Hindu lived here. This was the stated position of RSS founder Dr K B Hedgewar in 1925. There is no change in this position.

But the RSS has also been saying that change in religion does not imply change in culture, ancestors and loyalty towards motherland which has been the most common phenomenon associated with religious conversions in India through the ages. The RSS wanted to blast this myth. Prime Minster Narendra Modi had vouched on the freedom of religious pursuits of individuals but that choice and freedom should not be construed as change in nationality or shift in loyalty to the motherland.

Similarly, the RSS has clarified that its concept of Hindu Rashtra does not imply a notion of a theocratic state like Islamic states based on Sharia law. What is happening in these theocratic states should be an eye opener for the Muslim clerics who raised this question. India is secular because it has a majority of Hindus. The day this majority is reduced, the guarantee for secularism, socialism and democracy will be forfeited. The Maulana and his tribe should do well to keep this reality in mind before doubting the Hindu Rashtra concept of RSS.

From this point of view the opposition of Muslims to ‘Vande Mataram’ and worshipping Bharatmata need to be viewed. Islam talks of ‘Vatan Parasti’ i.e. loyalty to motherland or ‘madar-e-vatan’. Vande Mataram is nothing but a song in praise of Mother India. Why should a true follower of Islam have any objection to singing praises to ‘Madar-e-Vatan’? Does the Maulana have answer to this?

This is the reality. One cannot smother this reality by simply raising doubts on these sincere and honest efforts. These attempts will prove like a mirage only.

Source : News Bharathi

 

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