RSS chief met Muslim leader to ‘promote harmony’

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JuH) have agreed to work jointly to promote harmony and accord in the country. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat met the chief of JuH, Maulana Syed Arshad Madani in New Delhi, lst week. The two agreed to formalise a plan to create amity between their respective communities.

 

Sources said that RSS leader Ram Lal, who was recently made in-charge of the Samapark Vibhag, the outreach arm of the organisation, and who earlier served as the general secretary ( organisation) in the BJP, has been given the mandate to plan how the two organisations will share a platform.

 

During the meeting that lasted over an hour, Bhagwat is learnt to have assured Madani that Muslims in India have nothing to fear and that the Sangh’s ideology does not perceive them as different from Hindus.

Madani has reportedly underlined three issues that Muslims are worried about: mob lynching, names being left out of the national register of citizens (NRC) in Assam; and are generally afraid.

 

“Madani told Bhagwat that he did not agree to the ideology of Veer Savarkar and MS Golwalkar (the second sarsangachalak of the RSS) and the current atmosphere of fear and animosity is a cause of concern. Bhagwat for his part said one must look ahead and Hindutva means both Hindus and Muslims being together,” sources added.

 

A second functionary familiar with the meeting said the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi and the restructuring of Jammu and Kashmir was not discussed at the meeting.

 

“The meeting was planned over a year and a half ago, but could not be scheduled for among other reasons on account of the general elections. Sunil Deshpande (RSS functionary) came across the work that JuH does in the sectors of education and social welfare and reached out to us,” said an aide of Madani.

 

The meeting between Bhagwat and Madani comes ahead of the Sangh’s upcoming Samanvay Baithak (coordination meeting) in Rajasthan’s Pushkar next week, which will be attended by 150 functionaries and the top brass of the RSS and the BJP.

 

Reacting to the meeting between Bhagwat and Madani, a senior RSS functionary said this is not the first time that Muslim leaders have engaged with the Sangh.

 

“When K Sudarshan was the Sarsangachalak, he had meetings with several leaders from Muslim and Christian communities. In 2009, he met Shia cleric Hamidul Hasan when a controversy erupted over chanting Vande Mataram; a few years later he also met Kalbe Sadiq the then vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB),” the functionary said.

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