New Delhi: Two weeks after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat met Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (A) head Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, JUH leader Mahmood Madani welcomed the move, saying RSS is “showing kindness” towards the Muslim community. In an interview with News18, Mahmood Madani, JUH general secretary, said frequent interaction is required to bridge the gap between the two communities. Excerpts:
There were reports of Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind (JUH) leaders meeting RSS leaders. Do you feel there is a need for the RSS and Muslim leadership to meet?
We need to understand that issues don’t remain the same all the time. When there comes a change in the circumstances, people’s attitude also changes. I feel that RSS has tried to show kindness/liberalism (udaarta) of late. This is a golden opportunity and must be welcomed for interactions. The process of dialogue must not stop. Even if two countries are at war, they don’t abandon the dialogue. The channel for communication should remain open.
You are saying that RSS has shown some change. Can you elaborate?
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat himself said that Hindutva is incomplete without Muslims. They have come this far to say this, rest of the changes can also be brought in if there is frequent interaction (uthna baithna).
We need this because the focus is to minimise differences. This can’t happen without a dialogue. There are times when the dialogue happens with a target in mind, but dialogue can happen only for the sake of dialogue.
Have you met the RSS leaders lately?
I have not met them. It was Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind (A) chief Maulana Arshad Madani – from our breakaway wing -- who had met them. In 2007, there was a division within JUH due to an internal rift, and they started their own organisation with the same name. If need be, I don’t won’t mind a dialogue. But have not planned anything yet.
On September 11, Academics for Nation, a right-wing organisation, held a symposium on Mughal prince Dara Shikoh wherein RSS leaders lauded him over “tyrant” Aurangzeb. Dara is a good Muslim for the Sangh. What do you have to say about it?
In this case, I don’t want to resort to history because then I will have to bring out stories of MS Golwalkar and VD Savarkar as well. I can also ask who is a good Hindu – Nehru-Patel or Golwalkar-Savarkar. Going down the history will lead to conflict and I don’t want that.
Instead, we can look at the present. By seeing the current examples of ‘good Hindu or Muslim’, we can decide. In the recent past we have had APJ Abdul Kalam. If he is (a good Muslim), then present him as the role model for all communities.
Why should we go back to the era of Dara Shikoh? Whether good or bad, Aurangzeb was just a ruler. I can look at him as a ruler – was he good or was Chatrapati Shivaji good? I might give Aurangzeb 8/10 as a ruler and Shivaji 10/10 as a ruler. I am not seeing them as Hindu or Muslim, I am seeing Shivaji as a valiant who refused to compromise.
We have had some reports on the current state of Muslims in the country. Do you have to say anything about the change or improvement?
If we have a peaceful environment in the country, Muslims, with hard work, can stand on their own.