NEW DELHI— The Union Government has announced a list of 119 personalities who will be given the Padma awards on the eve of Republic day and this include two renowned Islamic scholars Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and late Maulana Kalbe Sadiq.
Khan will get Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, while Sadiq has been conferred with Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award.
Khan is known for his pacifist perspective on issues and propagates his views through his write ups.
Sadiq who passed away in November last year is regarded as a reformer, an educationist, and a philanthropist. He was 81. One of the most important figures from India’s Shia Muslim community, which form around 10% of the 200 million Muslims, Sadiq was a pioneer of Shia-Sunni unity.
Sadiq would often organise interfaith dialogues and would also participate in events organised by his counterparts in other communities. He would often take a conciliatory approach to disputes to promote harmony.
Both Khan and Sadiq had separately suggested that Muslim should relinquish their claim on Babri Masjid and allow construction of Ayodhya temple. But unlike Khan, Sadiq was a He was a vocal critic of the divisive policy of the current nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Khan, 96 year old Islamic scholar born in Azamgarh Uttar Pradesh has written a commentary on the Quran called Tazkeer ul Quran. He also publishes a monthly called Al Risala which has a widespread readership.
Khan has received a number of national and international awards including Demiurgus Peace International Award, the Padma Bhushan, in January 2000, the National Citizens’ Award, Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award (2009).
Khan’s son Zafarul Islam Khan, a journalist, served as the chairman of Delhi Minorties Commission until recently. Last year Delhi Police filed a case of sedition against junior Khan over a Facebook post thanking Kuwait for taking a stand over violence faced by Muslims in India.