Seema Chishti | New Delhi | January 13, 2015
A number of Muslim organisations, which have so far preferred to remain quiet about the change of government at the Centre, are organising a daylong colloquium on ‘Country and Crossroads’ Sunday to discuss “recent developments in the country which are a source of concern to all peace-loving persons” and to discuss implications of the “unchecked activities of some people and organisations.”
The organisations hosting the colloquium include Jamiat Ulem- e-Hind, Jamat e Islami Hind, Jamiat Ahle Hadees e Hind, Muslim Personal Law Board, Milli Council and the Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies. The outfits last came together in 2007 to start a process that resulted in the anti-terror Fatwa adopted at Deoband by Dar ul Uloom in 2008.
Of the sessions held the colloquium on Sunday, one will be on attacks on Muslims’ constitutional safeguards. There will be a session on the slogan of ‘inclusive growth’— to point out discrepencies like ignoring the Muslim claim to reservations in Maharashtra even after a court nod, but going ahead with the Maratha reservation. There will also be a session on the security of the average Muslim citizen under the new government.
The convenor is Mahmood Madani, former Rajya Sabha MP, and co-convenor is former SP leader Kamal Farooqui.
An organiser said the outfits had not come together out of fear. “It is a clear-eyed resolve to tackle what is making us uneasy so as to build bridges with groups outside ours, whether they are a minority or not. We know there are many who feel like us,” he added.
Mahmood Madani said: “We met informally recently and are concerned at what we see unfolding despite talk of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. This meeting is a platform for several people who are bechain (restless) at the events in recent times”.
The organisers said that in the New Year, “naked threats” from BJP MPs and the PM’s silence on them has raised concerns “either the RSS is running the show or there is a plan that the RSS weakens foundations of the country and tries to attack fundamental rights of the Minorities, while the government pretends nothing is amiss and speaks misleadingly of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas,”
Farooqui pointed out that apart for some fringe elements amongst Muslims who have reacted or hit out, there has been silence and patience from the mainstream Muslim community. “There was a genuine feeling that the Personal Law Board also expressed, urging to not pre-judge the new government,” he said.
However, he added that the “statements going unchecked” was taking its toll on Muslim youth. “An attempt is being made to even use the unfortunate events in Paris to needle Muslims,” he said.