"This is our country. Our elders have made tremendous sacrifices for its freedom. Therefore, responsibility for its development and prosperity is also placed on us."
NEW DELHI – The BJP-led Central government’s insistence on bringing in a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is nothing but an attempt to abolish freedom of religion in the country, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) president Maulana Syed Arshad Madani has said.
“There is a conspiracy to take away the religious freedom of the citizens by introducing the Uniform Civil Code. Efforts to promote Hindu revivalism have started under the guise of the new national education policy. The Jamiat strongly opposes it, and a resolution on it has also been passed in the JUH general body meeting,” Maulana Madani said.
Addressing the concluding session of the three-day national conference of his party at Mumbai’s historic Azad Maidan at the weekend, Madani blamed Congress for adopting a soft and flexible attitude towards sectarian and communal forces. These forces, he said, were involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the leniency shown to them resulted in the strengthening of divisive forces which have taken the country on the path of destruction, media reports said on Tuesday.
Mahatma Gandhi, he said, was keen to stop the anti-Muslim riots that engulfed the country soon after the Partition. He had initiated several steps towards this end, but the sectarian forces including some senior leaders in the Congress did not like this and turned against him. This eventually resulted in his assassination, Maulana Madani said.
He said the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was actually the assassination of secularism in the country. And the Congress leadership did not do what it should have done at that time. The Congress, he said, did not pay any heed to several Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind representations to curb the sectarian groups. This inaction, he said, gave a boost to sectarian ideology.
He said that before independence, JUH leaders took a written promise from Congress leaders that the country’s constitution would be secular, which meant that the government would have no religion, and all minorities would enjoy complete religious freedom. But the roots of communalism went deeper inside. “And no effective action was taken by Congress against communal and divisive forces despite the fact that it was in power at the Centre and all the states. Congress could have passed a strict law on it if it wanted, but it adopted a flexible policy, and as a result, communalists became powerful and this communalism had now swallowed even Congress,” Maulana Madani said.
Referring to the latest election results in Karnataka, he praised the Congress leadership for taking a tough stand against communalist forces. He also appreciated Karnataka voters for rejecting the forces propagating hate.
“If Congress had taken a strong stand against communalism 75 years ago, it would not have been ousted from power and the country would not have reached the brink of destruction,” Maulana Madani said.
He said an atmosphere of fear has gripped the entire country and now it has now been turned into a police state. “But sectarianism has yet not been able to destroy the national integrity, religious unity and mutual love. The people of Karnataka have given proof of this. But some people are still under the illusion that the politics of hatred can only preserve their power,” he said.
Hatred cannot be defeated by hatred, but by love, he said. “This is our country. Our elders have made tremendous sacrifices for its freedom. Therefore, responsibility for its development and prosperity is also placed on us”, Madani said.