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Bold, challenging? Book wants Muslims to implement 'correctional' measures with RSS

Counterview Desk 
Controversial chancellor of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, variously dubbed a “Modi man” and an “RSS plant”, in an email alert to Counterview, has released a tete-a-tete has has had with a little-known Urdu scholar, Dr Khwaja Iftikhar Ahmed, whose book “The Meeting of Minds: A Bridging Initiative” has just been released by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Ghaziabad, Delhi NCR.
Bakht believes it is “historic” for a Muslim scholar to write positively about RSS, claiming, the book would prove to be “bath-breaking” for Hindu-Muslim relations, as it seeks to promote “amicable relations between the two politically most vibrant communities, Hindus and Muslims”, especially because it has been written by “a Muslim thinker and community worker.”
Wanting Counterview to carry the tete-a-tete in “national interest”, the book, according to him, is an “unflinching votary for building bridges between the RSS and Muslims”, says Bakht, adding, while the author of the book “has authored many books for his mission”, this one is “too bold and challenging a subject aiming at the correctional measures…”

Text:

Q. What has prompted you to write this book?
A. The growing social, societal and political wedge between the Sangh-RSS-BJP combine and the Muslim community and the increasing misunderstanding, goes into the background of this long pending initiative.
Q. What views do you hold vis a vis RSS?
A. I recognize RSS as the largest socio-cultural organization, which enjoys a massive following among the majority segment of Indian population. Its role as the ideologue of the ruling governance of the day accords it a commanding influence in the polity and of the country. Being the world’s largest organization with a nationalist and patriotic commitment of its own, it has been poised and focused, desiring to improve relations with Muslims treating them as sons of the soil without any appeasement or vote bank. A section of the Muslim community recognizes this.
Q. How would you define this increasing misunderstanding?
A. The increasing gulf of misunderstanding between the followers of the said combine and the Muslim community does not augur well for either of the two, the nation or even the humanity. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding has been based on the absence of a fruitful dialogue. The deadlock must give way to mutual understanding to arouse a reciprocal dialogue.
Q. What are the contents of the book?
A. The book covers the political, social and emotional evolution of India in the last hundred years covering from 1920 to 2020, it discusses the rise of the multiple conflicting national entities in the early nineties like the Khilafat movement, then Hindu Mahasabha, RSS, Indian National Congress, All India Muslim League and the leftist movement. On the ideological front the emergence of parallel theories of nationalism, having their base in Gandhian philosophy and the ideology of Hindutva, are among many subjects in the book.
Q. What are your views regarding the pseudo-secularists?

A. They have let India and the believers in constitutional secularism down when it comes to the defence of the fundamentals of the Indian state and its rich composite ethos. The tragic Partition of united India, post-Independence compromises on Gandhian secular and inclusive ideology by the Congress leadership, right from Nehru era onwards, the subsequent decline of secular polity and governance, unfair play with the minorities in general and the Muslims in particular and finally, the lack of farsightedness in the approach of the ‘secularists’ and so of the ‘Muslim leadership’. Above all, the so-called champions of secularism are now running away from the Muslim community that they had been befooling as vote bank to demonstrate their allegiance to the ideology of ‘soft Hindutva’, something that exposes them lock, stock and barrel.
Q. Where does the focus of the book lie?
A. Building the bridges of understanding between the two primary entities of India, remains the core essence of this initiative and to achieve that as a noble objective in terms of action. My purport is to discuss all the sensitive issues causing ghetto mindset, conflict and confrontation between and settling for offering a middle meeting ground to mutually resolve their genuine concerns. India has to move forward!
Q. Are you targeting the pseudo secular politics and politicians for the current rise of this combine?
A. I have absolutely been candid in identifying the follies and blunders committed by the Congress, its succeeding leadership and the community leadership. Nevertheless, what all good measures have been taken, also find due recognition in the book. Last but not the least the most fascinating part of the book is the release of the book by RSS chief, sarsangchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat, and the blessings of the elders of the two communities for this initiative.

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