Communal statements by Muslim Maulanas come to the rescue of Modi & Mohan Bhagwat


It’s clearly not a coincidence that at the recent 3 day convention organised by the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind at the Ramlila grounds in Delhi, has degenerated into another national round of competitive communalism & petty bickering. A convention where religious leaders from the Hindu, Sikh, Jain & Christian communities were invited by the Jamiat to further the cause of communal harmony, was reduced to a spectacle of trenchant disharmony.

Religious leaders from the other communities were clearly not expecting this platform to indulge in a religious debate and thus took offense to certain statements by Maulana Arshad Madni, which were clearly provocative in nature, for an Inter-Faith gathering.

The convention witnessed uncalled for statements by Maulana Arshad Madni who basically went on to say that Manu & Adam were the same, and Manu worshipped a formless Om, and that Om and Allah are one. Essentially he wanted to affirm the superiority of Islam over the other religions. The other religious leaders took offense over this statement by Madni, with the Hindu leaders claiming that Sanatan Dharam was the eternal religion and the Jain Muni challenging Madni to a public debate, and so on. This has once again clearly ignited the divisive and communal Hindu-Muslim debate, which has since taken over the Godi media.

The other danger here is that Arshad Madni seems to be giving a central role to Manu, and thus the Manusmriti, which, as we all know are totally unacceptable to the Phule-Ambedkarite movement. It is also unacceptable to all those committed to the modern Indian Republic and our progressive egalitarian Constitution.

The 3 major issues, amongst others, that pose a grave threat to the Modi regime are namely the Adani crony-capitalist scam, the raids on the BBC, and thus the attack on the freedom of the media, as well as the rising anger of the OBCs, Dalits, Adivasis and Women, over certain insulting verses in the Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas Dubey, as well as the Manusmriti. In fact the latter poses a far greater social and political threat, as it is leading to a new awakening and the realignment and unity of the OBCs, Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities & secular democratic forces, especially across the crucial Hindi belt in North India.

Mohan Bhagwat himself is facing a grave crisis, when in response to the growing anti-caste struggle, he stated that, “Caste was not created by Bhagwan, but was created by Pandits”. This statement boomeranged on Mohan Bhagwat, as it further confirmed that the Varna/Caste System of oppression was the creation of Pandits/Brahmins and the Hindu scriptures, which they dominated & hegemonised. The Brahmin community too took offense to this statement by Bhagwat.

The Bahujan intellectuals had clearly won the debate on the Varna/Caste issue and the BJP-RSS are in a state of turmoil. The growing demand for the OBC’s to be included as a separate category in the census is also gathering great momentum, with Yogi clearly on the backfoot in UP, and Modi at the centre. The new alliance between the Nitish-Tejasvi led Kurmi-Yadav castes has stymied the plans of the so-called upper castes in Bihar, with consequences far beyond.

The Modi-Yogi-Bhagwat trio thus needed to take the debate away from the growing anti-caste struggle and once again divert the national attention into the confines of the Hindu-Muslim paradigm. This is where the roles of Maulana Mehmood Madni and Maulana Arshad Madni are now highly suspect. Many believe and are openly insinuating that both these Maulanas are closely aligned with the BJP-RSS and it was for this very reason that they converted a convention, ostensibly held to promote communal harmony, into a platform to promote religious supremacism and spread communal disharmony and hatred.

For now, they may have momentarily succeeded to divert attention away from the growing anti-caste struggle, but it will take far more than a Madni or a Bhagwat to derail the Phule-Ambedkarite movement in their quest for respect, self-dignity and equality for the OBC’s, Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities and all those Indians committed to our constitutional democracy.

This author therefore categorically condemns the attempt by Maulana Mehmood & Arshad Madni for misuing their platform to spread communal disharmony and thereby helping the BJP-RSS to divert attention away from the real issues plaguing our country.

We also appeal to all Indians to condemn any instance of religious extremism, hatred and intolerance by any religion or community. Every Indian has the constitutional right to dignity and self-respect and thus we stand with every citizen across all castes and communities.

Let us all unite to defend the plural, inclusive and secular ethos of our country, let us unite to defend our constitution founded on the principles of fraternity, equality and justice for all.

Feroze Mithiborwala is a political commentator


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