By P. Sreekumaran
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Various Muslim organisations in Kerala have strongly criticized the dialogue the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) had with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) recently.
The crux of the Muslim organizations’ argument was that the JIH was attempting to cosy up to the RSS out of fear. They also suspected the JIH of having some vested interests to protect.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second most powerful partner in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), was prompt in condemning the dialogue in no uncertain terms. IUML leaders PK Kunhalikutty and MK Munir the situation obtaining in the country now did not warrant an urgent dialogue with the RSS.
It may be noted that the office-bearers of the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema have remained tight-lipped, so far. However, its Mushawara member Umer Faizy accused the JIH of being scared of the RSS. Faizy is one of the hardliners in Samastha who are opposed to any dialogue with Hindutva organisations. The Kerala Muslim Jamat, headed by Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliyar called the RSS-JIH talks a historic blunder. The Muslim Jamat is of the considered view that the RSS is an enemy of India and the country’s secular ethos. A dialogue with such an organization would be nothing but embracing an enemy. Theocracy is something that binds the two groups. This being the harsh reality, the JIH has become a tool for whitewashing the anti-India fascist forces.
The Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen state chief TP Abdullah Koya Madani also identified himself with the opinions voiced by the IUML and Kerala Muslim Jamat. Madani termed it as a unilateral dialogue, which created the suspicion that the JIH had some vested interests to protect. On its part, the Sunni Yuvajana Sangham leader Abdussamad Pookkoottur said there was no way the RSS-JIH dialogue could be justified. It was unacceptable.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is also strongly critical of the dialogue. The JIH dialogue with RSS was dangerous as the RSS wants to establish a Hindurashtra by making the minorities second class citizens. Pinarayi also asked the JIH to disclose the details of the talks. The JIH, he added, did not hold the patent for upholding minority right in the country. Its hopes of reforming the RSS was tantamount to expecting a leopard to change its spots, the CM said, adding that the JIH had revealed its true colours by trying to cosy up to the Hindu majoritarian organization. Pinarayi stressed the paramount need to protect the religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities. The JIH was also guilty, the CM alleged, of challenging the secular values of the country by trying to snug up to the RSS. Its actions amounted to lending legitimacy to the RSS agenda, Pinarayi said in a strongly-worded statement.
Left leader KT Jaleel, MLA, has also been severely critical of the JIH. The people of the State, Jaleel said, had a right to know the details of the talks. Has the RSS expressed regrets for the death of 50 people, including Mohammed Akhlaq, who were brutally killed in the wake of the beef controversy. Has the BJP apologized for the Gujarat massacre? Did UP Chief Minister Adityanath agree to drop the move to rename places? Has the Welfare Party, the political wing of the Jamat, rece4ived any assurance of being made a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)? Did they guarantee that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir would be reinstated? Did the RSS leaders give an assurance on withdrawing the Muthalaq legislation? These were some of the questions Jaleel posed to the JIH leaders.
The closed-door meeting was held in New Delhi On January 12. The RSS was represented by sahasarkaryavahak DR Gopal Krishna and national executive member Indresh Kumar. Incidentally, Indresh has been the pointsman of RSS in its outreach programme towards the Muslim community over the decades.
Meanwhile, RSS leader Indresh said the dialogue was result of the desire of many Muslim organisations to have consultations with the RSS. He said the Muslim Rashtriya Manch a non-political organization, had held meetings with the Muslim organisations to remove the misrepresentat6ion among them towards others. An invitation to have talks with the RSS followed. They were keen on a national-level dialogue with RSS leaders, according to Indresh. The first meeting was held when Sudarshan was the RSS chief. Since then, the dialogue is progressing in multiple forms, he added. For instance, the meeting held between RSS s chief Mohan Bhagwat and Muslim leaders like YS Qureshi Najeeb Jung and others is being described as a “meeting of the minds”. The Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Indresh said, would organize dialogues at hundreds of places from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to resolve the issues of discord between the Muslim and Hindu communities.
Now that the dialogue has evoked strong criticism, it remains to be seen how the future dialogue, if any, would play out. (IPA Service)