INTERVIEW | ‘Aim is to resolve issues of discord between Hindus, Muslims’

RSS leader Indresh Kumar says love jihad, calling people belonging to other religions kafir and cow slaughter were discussed in the meeting with Muslim organisations
Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar (Photo | PTI)
Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar (Photo | PTI)

On January 14, the RSS held a closed-door meeting with some Muslim organisations, including the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, in New Delhi. The RSS was represented by saha sarkaryavahak D R Gopal Krishna and national executive member Indresh Kumar.

Indresh has been the RSS’ pointsman in its outreach programme towards the Muslim community for more than two decades. 

He told TNIE that issues ranging from love jihad, calling people belonging to other religions kafir, demolition of places of worship and cow slaughter were raised at the meeting. He said the dialogue is progressing and it will be extended to the district and state levels. Excerpts: 

Why did the RSS decide to have a talk with Muslim organisations, including Jamaat-e-Islami, known for extremist views?
In India, there are so many Muslim organisations. They wanted to have a dialogue with us.  Muslim Rashtriya Manch, a non-political entity, had held talks with Muslim organisations to remove the misrepresentation among them towards others. After that, they invited RSS to have a talk with these organisations. They wanted to have a national-level dialogue with the RSS. 

Was the meeting held in August between Mohan Bhagwat and the Muslim intellectuals a first such meeting?
No, the first meeting was held when Sudarshan ji was the RSS chief. Now the dialogue is progressing in multiple forms. The meeting held between Mohan Bhagwat and the Muslim leaders like Y S Qureshi, Najeeb Jung and others in Delhi is called the ‘meeting of minds’. The Muslim Rashtriya Manch will organise dialogues at hundred places from Kashmir to Kerala and Gujarat to Manipur. Their aim is to resolve the issues of discord between the Muslim and Hindu communities. They had organised a meeting with the representatives of Central Asian countries and RSS at Jawaharlal Nehru University on January 30 and 31 this year. Fifty people from 11 countries participated in it. 

What are the issues that the RSS raised at the meeting?
We told them that they should not refer to the members of the other religion as ‘kaafir’. Everybody is a believer in India; so it is wrong to call them ‘kaafir’. The world is full of believers. Second, we asked how could you call someone who carries a bomb a human being. They are terrorists and they have to be condemned. We also demanded that they should respect all other religions. And they should pledge that they would not indulge in any kind of conversion through love jihad or any other means. Indian way is to respect all religions. Why is there so much hate against using the slogan Bharat matha ki jai? Why are Muslim organisations opposing it? The issue of cow slaughter also came up. 

Did you raise Kashi and Mathura issues at the meeting?
We said that the demolition of places of worship is not the right thing.   

What was the Muslim group’s response?
They also raised the same issues.  They agreed that there is not even a single line in the Quran which says that cow should be slaughtered.  Prophet Mohammad said that milk and ghee are a symbol of beauty and health for mankind. So the meat of the cow should be avoided. Muslims should respect the faith and sensitivity of other religions. For the Hindus, the cow is like a mother. Then why are they hurting the sentiments? It’s a crime.

Jamaat-e-Islami should reveal details of meeting with RSS, says K T Jaleel
T’Puram: A day after TNIE reported about a meeting between Jamaat-e-Islami and RSS last month, Left leader K T Jaleel came down heavily on the Muslim outfit. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the former minister urged Jamaat-e-Islami to reveal more details of the talks. People are keen to know who had repentance after the meeting, mocked Jaleel. Criticising Jamaat-e-Islami for keeping the dialogue a secret, Jaleel raised a slew of questions to its leaders. The Left legislator wanted to know whether RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat had given any assurance on freezing the Citizenship Amendment Act. 

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