In the past several years attempts are being made to create disharmony among various communities. Minorities, Dalit and weaker sections were being targeted and this has created an atmosphere of fear
NEW DELHI — Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madani on Thursday said that India’s secular and democratic fabric was facing a serious threat and challenge from communal and fascist forces.
According to the outspoken religious scholar, the present situation in the country is grim and worse than what was at the time of the Partition of the country. This poses a threat not only to Muslims but to the entire society, he said.
In a press statement issued on Thursday, Madani said that India was known as the largest secular and democratic country in the world, adding that the international community hailed Mahatma Gandhi as an apostle of peace for his ideals of non-violence, harmony and brotherhood.
But, he said, in the past several years attempts were being made to create disharmony among various communities. The Maulana said minorities, Dalit and weaker sections were being targeted and this has created an atmosphere of fear. It was, he said, the duty of all peace-loving and secular-minded forces to unite against communal and fascist forces to protect ideals of socialism and secularism.
“Everyone knows that the saffron brigade is trying to establish a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in India. This is the vision of the RSS and its affiliated groups. On the one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is talking about Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, but on the other, some divisive and paranoid forces are hell-bent on creating a communal divide. When peace- loving forces express anguish on the present state of affairs and the divisive agenda of communal forces, they are being labelled and painted as anti-nationals by the ultra-right force.”
The 79-year-old scholar said that when the country was partitioned, the issue of the identity of Indian Muslims faced the brunt–their mosques were acquired, their graveyards were taken away.
“There was a big question about their very survival! But we worked hard for the national unity and sacrificed our lives to safeguard our beloved India.
“Today, we cannot even fight for our rights as all the doors of justice are being closed down upon us. Hate propaganda is in full force to tacitly impose the supremacy of a particular ideology. Minorities, particularly, Muslims, are being arm- twisted to submit themselves.
About the programme to end the current problems and threat, Maulana Madani said that there was no room for hopelessness. “The blood and toil of our ancestors are mixed in the soil of this land. Their sacrifices are our leading lights. It is the responsibility of the Muslims to not let the bond of brotherhood and love break. Muslims should inculcate the highest grade of morals in them.
“They should educate their children, make them achieve higher positions. Many Muslims today are on high posts. Employment would not be a concern if Muslims are educated. True that riots and conflicts have dragged the Muslims back into a life of penury but the fact to ponder upon is realisation of how important education is. We should educate our next generation even if we have to cut down on other basic necessities. This would be a tremendous line of action. Communal bigots have always wanted Muslims to be educationally backward.”
Madani believes that there is no dearth of leadership among Muslims but the need of the hour is to lighten up a flame of education in their hearts and to bring back their historical character. History, he says, stands witness to the generosity of Muslims with which they have displayed excellent brotherhood and served every section of society. This needs to be preserved. Our character is our very identity. We have to understand the purpose of education, education which doesn’t dilute our religious identity.
Referring to Tablighi Jamaat issue, Maulana Madani said it was sad and shameful that Tabilighis were blamed for the spread of the coronavirus in the country. A vicious campaign was launched against Tablighis and Muslims and they were described as super-spreaders of the virus.
“Ultimately, they all got absolved and were allowed to return to their homes and countries. The Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court and sought justice for them. The apex court lashed out at some TV channels and the government for their inept handling of this sensitive matter.
During recent Delhi riots, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind has carried a lot of relief and rehabilitation work as a result of which nearly 55 houses and mosques were built, repaired and handed over to the affected people. Cash was also given to the extremely poor so that they could revive their businesses. This work has been going on since then. Our Delhi branch is working tirelessly in this respect in order to make the needy and deprived sustainable and independent.
Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind not only raised its voice against unlawful arrests of innocent Muslim youths in terror-related cases but sought justice for them through legal means.
The Jamiat chief said the government role was pathetic and like a mute spectator. The role of the police in Delhi riots was highly objectionable. At least 53 people were killed and scores injured but it is a matter of surprise that only a few cases are being investigated by the law- enforcing agencies. The authorities are turning a blind eye to the provocative statements of BJP leader Kapil Mishra and other saffronites who had played a leading role in fomenting the trouble.
As for the charge-sheet against hundreds of people in the riots, Madani said there was a need to have a Supreme Court-monitored probe into these riots, which should also take into account provocative and inflammatory speeches of BJP leaders.
On the Babri Masjid judgement, the Jamiat chief said that despite the court agreeing to the fact that the temple was not demolished for the construction of the mosque, it gave its verdict in favour of the temple. A few days ago, all the culprits accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case were acquitted.
The Maulana said the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind since 1934 had strived hard to find an amicable solution to this issue and used all kinds of democratic, legal and peaceful means to resolve it peacefully and legally.