The meeting between Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind (A) chief Maulana Arshad Madani and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on August 30th Friday triggered a storm in the Muslim community. Maulana Madni says that the meeting was held in a very cordial and harmonious atmosphere. But what is surprising that no official communication came from either Madani’s side or Bhagwat’s. If they discussed on creating harmony between the two communities, then why the secrecy?
People loyal to Madani claim that the discussion centred on mob lynching, insecurity among Muslims and discrimination faced by them. The Bhagwat side claims that his meeting with Madani on August 30 in Delhi was reportedly to discuss the issues of national unity and nationalism. The term Nationalism which is used by the RSS is very much different from patriotism. While patriotism fundamentally means affection for one’s country and willingness to defend it, nationalism is a more extreme, unforgiving form of allegiance to one’s country.
Anyway since we do not know what exactly transpired between the two leaders it is better not to speculate. We do hope that nothing personal was discussed. However, one thing is quite clear that the perception of the Muslim community is divided about this meeting. While no Muslim leader is prepared to say anything on record, out of respect as well as due to the clout enjoyed by the Jamiat chief; many people are extremely unhappy and off the record, they fumed and made no secret of their uneasiness.
One thing is sure that the meeting would erode the respect and authority of the Jamiat chief. Perhaps that will suit RSS. Since Maulana Madzni was quite vocal in opposing the BJP. Last year in a meeting held in Firozabad town of Agra, where thousands of Muslims had gathered to hear Maulana Madani, he had attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing the right-wing party of creating communal tensions in the country.
In my personal opinion, talks with RSS shall be only on contradicting their hatred towards Muslims and Islam by showing them the true principles of Islam. Maulana could ask Bhagwat to arrange a meeting with various religious scholars of both sides to discuss this issue. All other problems are the result of the hatred which have been spread by the ruling party to get votes.
Professor Mukhtar Ahmad is former professor of Electrical Engineering AMU Aligarh.
First publish on http://twocircles.net/