RSS’s ‘Muslim Outreach Program’ Goes International

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Diplomats, high commissioners, scholars and intellectuals from at least 12 Muslim countries participated in the international seminar at the JNU under the leadership of senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — After two rounds of secret talks with leaders of Indian Muslims, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is now holding events for the representatives of Muslim countries amid growing concerns over the persecution of minorities in India under the Narendra Modi government.

In January, RSS leaders, led by Indresh Kumar, held a controversial closed-door meeting with the representatives of Muslim organisations and other prominent Muslim faces of India. Now, under the joint aegis of the Himalaya Hind Rashtra Group, Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) and School of Language Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a two-day international seminar was held at JNU’s Convention Centre on the topic of historical, cultural and economic links between India and Central Asia.

Talking to Clarion India about the developments, Mohammad Reyaz, a faculty at Aliah University in West Bengal, said that these programs by the RSS are aimed at showing the world and the common people that Muslims are with Modi government.

“The BJP has been reaching out to Muslims earlier too as it acknowledges the fact that there is a sizable Muslim population in the country. They have been trying to make their own Sanskari Muslims on the line of Sarkari Musalmaan (Muslims toeing the government of the day) as it was happening during the Congress regime. The Sansakari Muslims are a step ahead of Sarkari Muslims,” said Riyaz.

Diplomats, high commissioners, scholars and intellectuals from at least 12 Muslim countries participated in the international seminar at the JNU under the leadership of Indresh Kumar.

Those who attended the seminar included Iraj Elahi (Iran), Firat Sonal (Turkey), Lukmon Baba Kolajdeh (Tajikistan), Nurlan Zalgaisbaev and Habibullo Mirzozoda (Kazakhstan), Asin Isaev (Kyrgyzstan), Dilsod Akhmatov and Aziz Bartoun (Uzbekistan), Shalar Geldinjarov (Turkmenistan), Ganbold (Mongolia), Dambajav, Armen Martirosyan (Armenia), Farid Mamundzai (Afghanistan) and Ashraf Shikhaliyev (Azerbaijan).  

Subhas Sarkar, Union Minister of State for Education; Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman of National Commission for Minorities; Sachidanand Joshi, Secretary Indira Gandhi Kala Kendra; Golok Behari, General Secretary of Rashtriya Suraksha Jagran Manch, and Convener of International Seminar, Prof. M Mahtab Alam Rizvi from Jamia Millia Islamia also participated in the seminar.

Riyaz pointed out that the Hindutva group has taken these Muslims on board on its own terms.

On the other hand, Riyaz noted that there is a reality that the BJP was in power. And Muslims will have to engage with the people in power. People have been engaging with the government at some level at different points in time.

“Muslims will have to take their issues to the government. The big issue is how to take Muslim issues to the government and who will do it. The important thing is whether the government was ready to listen to Muslims,” he said.

Riyaz pointed out that in principle, nobody disagrees that there should not be discussions with the government but the problem is that “one can talk only when they are ready to listen.” 

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