New Muslim Group IMPAR Mired in a Controversy Over Pro-BJP Face

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IMPAR chairman MJ Khan

One of the controversies is over proximity of its chairman MJ Khan to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Khan, who played a pivotal role to form the IMPAR, is said to be very close to the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Indian Muslims for Progress and Reforms (IMPAR), a think-tank group, has been formed by more than 200 prominent Muslims in April to address the issues confronting the community. The aim of the IMPAR is to project the image of Muslim community in a positive way and articulate the progressive voices emanating from within.

Its website describes the IMPAR as “the apex national forum for research and advocacy, strategic planning, monitoring and response on issues concerning Indian Muslims and to engage with key stakeholders to make a meaningful difference to the society and the nation”.

Many prominent Muslims faces like former ministers, bureaucrats, journalists, activists and leaders are part of this newly formed group. Former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, K Rahman Khan, former chief election commissioner (CEC) Dr SY Quraishi, former ministers –Tariq Anwar and Roshan Baig, chairman of India Islamic Cultural Center, Siraj Qureshi, educationists, PA Inamdar and SW Akhtar; media persons, Saeed Naqvi, QW Naqvi, Qamar Agha, Shahid Siddiqui; authors, Seema Mustafa, Saba Naqvi, and Sheeba Aslam are some of the names who associated with this group.

However, the IMPAR has been surrounded by the controversies soon after its launch for some unforeseen reasons. One of the controversies is over proximity of its chairman MJ Khan to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Khan, who played a pivotal role to form the IMPAR, is said to be very close to the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Khan had reportedly joined the BJP in 2013 after then Gujarat chief minister and now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched a campaign to reach out to Muslims. At that time, then BJP chief and now Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Khan has been a strong support for the BJP for the last 14 years.

“In his address, Shri Rajnath Singh said that Dr. Khan has been a strong support to BJP during the last 14 years and his formally joining would greatly help the party to strengthen its farmers agenda as well as in reaching out to the Muslim community, especially the Muslim youths across the country,” said the National Economic Forum of Muslims, a group headed by Khan, in a statement about him joining the BJP.

Mohammed Adeeb

A leading Muslim voice and former Rajya Sabha member Mohammed Adeeb also alleged that Khan is a pawn of the BJP/RSS who wants to divide Muslims.

“After the Congress victory in 2004, he started projecting himself as a “Congressi” but was a pawn of the RSS/BJP and his main agenda was to create feud between Muslims and not let them unite under one platform ever,” said Adeeb in a statement.

“This MJ Khan is known BJP stooge. I even saw him in Maulana Madani’s conference and got shocked that there was an attempt going on to initially get the NPR and NRC viewed leniently,” he added.

Talking to Clarion India, Adeeb said that he wanted to make aware people that Khan is secretly working for the BJP. Because, many people who joined the IMPAR have good intention to work for the Muslim community. Adeeb said after his statement , Khan wrote back to him alleging that he gave this statement for sake of Rajya Sabha seat. He replied back saying that you can be part of any party but you should not hide your association with the party.
He said that what he said in his statement about Khan is a fact. Some of the stories had also been done on that. He said that Khan also once came to his residence when he said that he will make every efforts to form the BJP government.
Adeeb is of the opinion that this IMPAR has been formed to deal with the International pressure from the Islamic world over the persecution of Muslims in India.
 “The first resolution they have passed in the IMPAR is that OIC has no right to interfere in Indian affairs. And any Muslim country has no right to interfere with internal affairs of India. There are many people among us who are doing many things for their personal interest. The government wants to give impression that the Muslim intelligentsia of India is with the government,” said Adeeb.
Another controversy which has surrounded the IMPAR is the inclusion of some of Muslim leaders without their permission. Zafarul Islam Khan, chairman of Delhi Minority Commission, issued a statement complaining about the inclusion of his name without his consent.
Zafarul Islam Khan
“I am informed by some people that my name is included in some list of IMPAR members which is circulating now. I am not a member of IMPAR and I have never given my consent to be included as a member of IMPAR. Please remove my name forthwith and announce same on this and other WhatsApp and FB accounts of IMPAR. Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan,” said Zafarul Islam Khan.

Clarion India contacted with Zafarul Islam to know as to why he demanded to exclude his name from the IMPAR. But he refused to give any reason. He just wanted to not to be part of the IMPAR. He also refused to comment on the formation of the IMPAR.

Likewise, another Muslim leader, Uzma Naheed, who is executive director at the Iqra Education Foundation, Mumbai, also said that her name was included in the IMPAR members without her consent and permission and asked the concern authority to remove her name from the list.

“This is to inform all concerned that my name was included in IMPAR without my consent and permission. I do not subscribe to views expressed in IMPAR and I have been asking the moderator to remove my name. Since this has created confusion and concern in my circle I wish to clarify that I never had been in this group and my name was included without my consent,” said Uzma.

Uzma Nahid
Mujtaba Farooq, general secretary of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, told Clarion India that his name was also being included as a representative of the IMPAR but he refused to be part of the group.
“There are two reasons for which I have excluded myself from it. Some of the people who are part of the IMPAR are pro-establishment and some of them are anti-Islamic. Therefore, I can’t set myself with such people. The state keeps entangled us into various problems. And we can’t appease the state,” said Farooq, who is also public relation director of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

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