NEW DELHI — Referring to the promise and advice given by RSS leaders in their meeting with a group of Muslim elders here this week vis-à-vis the expected SC verdict on Babri Masjid, the Popular Front of India on Thursday said the RSS should prove its commitment for peace and harmony through its actions, not by words. It also reminded the RSS that it has no moral right to lecture on communal harmony.
PFI general secretary M Mohammed Ali Jinnah said the RSS cannot win the trust of religious minorities unless they withdrew their basic ideological positions and apologised to the nation for their wrongs of the past. The RSS has no moral right to remind Indian Muslims about communal harmony and respect for judiciary because the community does not have a history of going against national interests, he said.
“The RSS leaders have repeatedly asked Muslims to accept the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict in the Babri Masjid case and maintain peace and harmony. The Popular Front strongly felt that any effort for peace and communal harmony from any corner must be welcomed by all, but it suspects that the RSS wanted everybody to overlook the role it played in taking the Babri Masjid issue to the present tragic level.
“No one can make the country forget that on 6 December 1992, it was the people associated with the Sangh Parivar who razed the Babri Masjid to the ground in broad daylight. That organised crime not only against Muslims, but the whole country and its people, was committed in blatant violation of the court orders to maintain status quo in Ayodhya.”
Mohammed Ali Jinnah said, “While RSS leaders lectured before Muslim elders about respecting judiciary and rule of law, they needed to be reminded that all these years since the forceful and illegal installation of idols in Babri Masjid, before and after its demolition, the Muslim community has kept its trust in judiciary, and they still stand by the same faith and confidence. Had the RSS and its affiliates followed the stand of the Muslim community, a situation of mutual trust would have been created and hundreds of lives would not have been lost. The rhetoric that the top RSS leaders didn’t say anything against the Muslim community is not going to help build trust because facts and records speak volumes against it. For the community to take the gesture seriously, the RSS has to prove that their words will be matched with action.”
The PFI leader said the RSS will be able to build bridges with the Muslim community only by first abandoning its supremacist ideology and violent methods. “The Muslims in India by virtue of their religious faith and mission are duty-bound to reach out beyond their own community and strengthen cordial relations and alliances with the majority community. Hence the efforts taken by any section of Muslim leaders for peace and harmony with other communities must be welcomed and supported. It is indeed a highly important step in the present situations, and communication lines with all stakeholders must be kept open. However, for such efforts to be fruitful, it is important that those who preached hatred and violence do not self-appoint themselves, with legitimacy or authority, to play the role of advisers.”
He also slammed the Union minority ministry for convening the meeting. “If the central government and its Ministry of Minority Affairs are serious about winning the trust of the minority communities, the task before them is to address the existential and developmental issues of the minorities, rather than facilitating the public relations agenda of the RSS.”