Kanpur: A delegation of Muslim clerics led by the Sunni Ulema Council’s General Secretary met RSS functionary Indresh and posed six questions to the Sangh including whether it has prepared a format to turn India into a Hindu ‘rashtra’, which he claimed left the saffron outfit irritated.
The Muslim delegation claimed that Indresh refused to answer their questions and instead said that a conference of Muslim organisations should be called where he would give the answers.
“We had a meeting with senior RSS functionary Indreshji last night during which we asked six questions, but he did not have any answer,” Sunni Ulema Council General Secretary Haji Mohammed Salees told PTI today.
He alleged that Indreshji, who is pracharak and looks after minority affairs in the organisation, got “irritated” with the questions.
“Our first question was whether RSS considers India a Hindu country. The second one was whether RSS has prepared a format to turn India into a Hindu ‘rashtra’. The third one was whether this Hindu ‘rashtra’ will be according to Hindu religious texts or RSS has chalked out a new philosophy,” he said.
Salees said, “The fourth question was what they want on religious conversion. The fifth one was what type of ‘rashtra prem’ (patriotism) RSS wants from Muslims. The sixth one was how RSS views Islam,” he said.
He said that these were the six questions which Indreshji “failed” to answer.
“They (RSS) did not have any format. They are shouting about ‘Hindu rashtra’ only on the basis of propaganda,” he alleged.
Salees feared that if Hindu Rashtra was built on Hindu texts, Dalits could once again not be allowed to enter temples.
“We asked whether a new philosophy has been chalked out by RSS. If a new philosophy has been chalked out that means Hindu religion is not religious culture. In that case, anyone can convert,” he said.
Salees said when the Constitution provides freedom of religion, why is the RSS afraid of bringing a bill.
“We are not afraid. If any Muslim does not like Islam and wants to leave, he can go. We don’t have any law to keep anyone Muslim by compulsion,” he said.
Salees said as far as love for the country was concerned their ancestors rejected Jinnah and Pakistan.
“In 1947, when the concept of two countries was decided, our ancestors rejected Jinnah and Pakistan and accepted Gandhiji as our leader, India as our country and expressed faith in the Constitution,” he said.
“What do they want from the Muslims? They should sing Vande Matram and bow before the picture of Bharat Mata, which they have visualized? We won’t accept it. It is against Islam,” he said.
“The ultimate result of the 90-minute meeting was they (RSS) asked us to call a ‘sammelan’ of Muslims and they will reply (to our posers),” Salees said.
“I said that when you cannot answer these questions in a room, then how will you do so in a conference. We then asked as to why should we call a conference,” he said.
Salees said there was restlessness among Muslims over these issues and “I came to take reply to these questions being raised in our community.”
“I believe whatever be our religion, we should be honest towards the Constitution. Religion is our personal thing. It is not an issue of the nation. We don’t even support the statements of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi.
“Those flaring communal passion are not loyal to the country. The country will run on the principles of Gandhiji, it will not run on the statements of Owaisi or Sangh,” he added.
Meanwhile, a city cleric, who skipped a meeting between Indresh and a delegation of Muslim leaders last night, said there “was no point” in meeting a representative and that he would only meet RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to highlight issues pertaining to their community.
“Salees had called me for the meeting but I have already met Indresh before and there was no point in meeting him again. I will respond to the request of a meeting only if Bhagwat will call us,” city cleric Alam Raja Noori told PTI.
“If we had met Bhagwat, we would have put forth our issues with their agenda of a Hindu nation. Talking with Indresh about our concerns will not affect organisation’s perspective,” he said.
The cleric further said he was out of town when the meeting took place but even if he were here he wouldn’t have met Indresh.
Meanwhile, Salees said Noori’s name was not included in the list of members who were to meet the RSS functionary and was only added later.
Elaborating on the meeting, Salees said, on being questioned by Indresh on their alleged silence over remarks by AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi, the delegation told him that Owaisi does not represent the views of the community.
Equating him with the likes of BJP MPs Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Nirajan Jyoti, Salees said, “Owaisi is “just a Member of Parliament”.