New Delhi: The meeting between Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and senior Muslim leader Maulana Arshad Madani and RSS’s chief Mohan Bhagwat is presently a widespread topic of conversation. Everyone in every circle has been commenting on this according to his own level of understanding. The Sangh might or might not have benefitted from this but, perhaps, for the first time a respectable figure like Maulana Arshad Madani is in controversy.
Not many days have passed since the meeting took place, but news has already started circulating of cracks in this [newly formed] friendship. According to a report filed by Sindhia Divedi in India Today, RSS is unhappy with the news of the meeting being released to the media. The Sangh wanted to maintain its usual policy of confidentiality and continue to discuss on the issue of communal harmony. But RSS is perturbed over the media publicity given by Jamiat to this confidential meeting.
On the night of 30th August, Mohan Bhagwat and Maulana Madani met in a cordial atmosphere to discuss and create communal harmony in the country but the closed door meeting in Sangh’s Delhi office in Keshav Gang could not last long.
Delhi Sangh Parcharak Parmukh Rajiv Tuli says that Sangh’s policy has always been that personal discussions should be kept personal.
This should be borne in mind that whatever little is known about this meeting has come out only through Jamiat sources while RSS has maintained complete silence and has not issued any official statement.
According to Tiuli this was not the first meeting. Many such meetings, [with several other leading Muslim figures] initiated by former RSS Chief S Sudarshan, have taken place in the past.
According to Sindhia Divedi when asked to comment on Maulana Madani releasing the news, Tuli said: ‘What they want to say and do it’s their business. As far as Sangh is concerned, we understand the meaning of confidentiality and personal meeting very well.’
Referring to Sangh’s tradition of maintaining confidentiality Tiuli refused to comment on the contents of the meeting, Divedi reported.
When there is an understanding between the two organisations with regard to promoting communal harmony, why the release of it is being allowed to create bitterness, India Today’s report asks.
Sangh sources say that the judgement on Ram Mandir is about to be delivered soon and Sangh has [played] a big role in it. Maintaining harmony, following the judgement, is a big challenge. Sangh believes that such actions [making confidential meetings public] create hurdles in achieving the real purpose of the meeting. If the news of Sangh and Muslim organisation working together is made public, it creates controversies. If the work is started without creating a hullabaloo it does not leave any space for questions and controversies.
On the other hand sources in Jamiat say that Maulana had raised the issue of terror [created by Sangh among Muslims], mob lynching, Article 370 and Triple Talaq.
What is however noteworthy is that in an interview to Quint Maulana Madani had himself denied that he had raised these issues. He said that he indeed talked about mob lynching but communal harmony was the principal topic of the discussion and main objective of the meeting. According to the report there is unease in both camps on the news of the meeting becoming public.
According to Sindia, Maulana Madani is outside Delhi and when he was contacted on phone to give his take on the meeting he refused to comment saying that he will not talk on the issue on phone.
The report also says that the Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid Dr Mufti Mohammad Mukarram claims that during the tenure of Delhi’s former Minister Sahib Singh Verma he too had participated in such meetings but media was always kept away. He said that there is no harm in the contents being made public but in the present atmosphere to achieve the purpose of these meetings is more important than commenting on them.
Translated by Urdu Media Monitor from Rozanama KhabreN, 12 September 2019