Bhagwat for more ‘Bharatiyata’ from Muslims, says Asaduddin Owaisi

While RSS maintains it was an outreach effort to strengthen religious inclusivity, Owaisi says RSS chief spoke about cutting down madrasas & the need of Muslims showing more ‘Bharatiyata’ in the meet.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi (File Photo)
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi (File Photo)

A spate of recent meetings between Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat and Muslim personalities and clerics have sparked heated debates in many quarters. Among the prominent Muslim representatives who met Bhagwat were former Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, former Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor Lieutenant-General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd.), Rashtriya Lok Dal national vice-president Shahid Siddiqui and businessman Saeed Shervani. While the RSS maintains it was an outreach effort by the outfit to strengthen religious inclusivity, Asaduddin Owaisi, Chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen says the RSS chief spoke about cutting down madrasas and the need of Muslims showing more ‘Bharatiyata’ in the meeting.

Excerpts from an interview with Preetha Nair:

You were critical of RSS chief’s meeting with Muslim intellectuals and clerics…
These intellectuals claimed that they represent the Muslim community. But they don’t. They should have said that they met the RSS chief in their individual capacity.

The meeting took place in August and it came to light only last week. What stopped them from saying it in public? Also, they are not speaking the complete truth. The truth is that the RSS chief told them to reduce the number of madrasas and that Indian Muslims need to show their ‘Bharatiyata’.

RSS and BJP have been propounding ‘Bharati-yata’ for long.
Bhagwat said Indian Muslims need to show their ‘Bharatiyata’. I would like to know whether RSS abdicated the Hindutva ideology which was propounded by Savarkar? According to Savarkar, a Hindu was ‘one who considers India to be his motherland and his holy land. According to him, Muslims do not accept India as a holy land.

Both the sides were concerned about communal disharmony…
If both sides are so concerned, why can’t the RSS chief apprise the Prime Minister? The RSS could have suggested that it would ask PM Modi to hold a National Integration Council meeting.

BJP has also been making outreach efforts after the Hyderabad National Executive meeting…
Why are madrasas being demolished in Assam? Why is the madrasa survey being done in UP? By that logic, why can’t a survey be done of missionary schools, private schools, government schools or RSS-run schools?

Bhagwat also met Dr Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the chief cleric of All India Imam Organization
That cleric is a known RSS- BJP follower, and has been associated with them for a long time.

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