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.
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.
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.