The Saffron Muslim

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Tolaha, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/the-saffron-muslim/article1-1174455.aspx

    A week before the 65th Independence Day, Imran Chaudhry, a PhD student at the national capital's Jamia Millia Islamia university did something which would pit him against everyone in his neighbourhood in the walled city of old Delhi. Chaudhry got posters pasted on the walls of the labyrinthine lanes of the primarily minority-dominated area, informing locals that senior Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar would be addressing a gathering in the area on August 15.

    Retaliatory posters asking people to boycott the event appeared within hours. Chaudhry remembers the snide remarks of his acquaintances. "One of them commented that those who had been baying for the blood of the Muslim community were now coming here to address them," he says. To understand Chaudhry's motives, a senior neigbourhood cleric met him privately and chided him saying, "It's understandable if you prefer the BJP over other political parties; but the RSS?"

    As the national co-convener of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) - a social organisation floated by the RSS with more than 10,000 members across the country -

    Chaudhry says he is now used to such jibes from members of his community. "Through the MRM, the RSS has extended an olive branch to the Muslim community. It's the duty of the Muslims to reciprocate and I am doing just that," says the 40-year-old. In December 2010, when Indresh Kumar's name was associated with the Mecca Masjid blast, Chaudhry was at the forefront of a demonstration at the capital's Jantar Mantar, defending the Sangh leader, who, he says, is like a father figure to him. "I couldn't back out when he needed us the most," he says.


    Soon after joining the MRM, Irfan Chaudhry, All India co-convener of the organisation, faced lot of criticism from various quarters. Now his family and friends realise that he is a good job of bringing the two communities together, he says. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
    The idea of the MRM, the Sangh's only body to reach out to Muslims, was conceptualised in December 2002 - 88 years after the RRS was born - when the late K Sudarshan, former RSS chief, addressed a gathering at the Chanakyapuri residence of Nafisa Hussain, then member of the National Commission for Women.

    He had expressed concern that young Muslims were being targeted on terror charges across the globe and to an audience of approximately a dozen Muslims, a few of them BJP sympathizers, he said he knew the spirit of Islam did not propagate the ideology of Jihad as it was interpreted by terrorists.

    "After the programme, we brainstormed on how to remove misconceptions about each others' religions and decided to form a social organisation called 'Mai (Mother) Hindustan' as all Indians are the children of Mother India," recalls 49-year-old Dr Tahir Hussain, professor of geography at Mekelle University, Ethiopia, and one of the founder members of the MRM. The organisation's name was later changed to Rashtriya Muslim Manch and finally to Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM).
    The MRM now has a presence in 22 states.

    Friends with benefits
    MRM members do not follow the drill in sangh shakhas or wear the khaki half pants that are mandatory for all RSS members.
    None of the MRM members would admit that propagating the RSS ideology of a Hindu Rashtra is on their agenda. "The idea is to bring the two communities together," says Hussain.


    Dr Hussain, a professor with the Mekelle University, Ethiopia, believes in the idea of a secular India. "During riots, it is not about Hindus and Muslims. Whoever is killed is an Indian and whoever kills, is a devil," he says. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
    However, the RSS cannot be extricated from the MRM. From time to time, the organisation has spearheaded campaigns such as the one calling for a ban on cow slaughter to carry out the message of its parent body. Last October, Hussain, who is from Mewat district in Haryana, organised a panchayat of 12 villages there, to ban cow slaughter. "If it is about eating meat, we have other options such as chicken or mutton. If not eating beef can help us come closer to our Hindu brothers, what is wrong in it?" he asks.

    Like most MRM members who overtly displayed their affiliation to the RSS, Hussain believes he faces some ostracism. A book entitled 'Environment, Ecology And Natural Resources' which he co-authored with wife Marry Tahir Hussain, as a research associate at Jamia Millia Islamia University, acknowledges the couple's gratitude to 'guruji' Indresh Kumar in the introduction. "I think this is the reason why I never got a permanent job at the university," Hussain says. "My point is that if you have any issues with something which I have done, discuss it with me. Why punish me like this?"

    MRM members insist the minority community's suspicions of the RSS are misplaced. During his visit to the RRS camp in Bhopal in the holy month of Ramzan, Hussain was impressed that, every day, one of the pracharaks woke him up before dawn to eat (Sehri) before starting the day's fast. "They also held an iftaar gathering. They are very down-to-earth people. People ask me why RSS? I say why not RSS?" he says.

    Imran Chaudhry says everything he had read and heard about the Sangh Parivar's extreme ideology was proved wrong when he met its current head Mohan Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. "He hugged me. He never put any pressure on me to dress like a pracharak or to convert to Hinduism. And the perception is that these people will do shuddhi of the Muslim community," he says.

    Not surprisingly, the minority community largely continues to believe the RSS is intrinsically an anti-Muslim body and that personal experiences such as Hussain's and Chaudhry's don't matter. "RSS promotes the ideology of a Hindu nation where individual religious choices do not matter. They want everyone to think like a Hindu nationalist. If a Muslim is propagating such an ideology, I would say he is a traitor," says Dr Jamal Ahmed, a physician in the walled city area.

    Being apolitical?
    The MRM's national executive body, comprising of 24 members, is in regular touch with the RSS' Delhi office and holds monthly meetings at a rented flat in Paharganj to chalk out its agenda. It is then conveyed to a working committee of 250 members which ensures its implementation through the cadre.

    As in its social ideology, there is a strange dichotomy in the MRM's political beliefs. The larger feeling among members, something they stress on, is that this organisation has no political purpose. In an hour-long conversation, Mohammad Afzal, national convener, repeated five times that the role and responsibilities of its members were different from that of the BJP cadre and that while the MRM is a social organisation, the task of the BJP's minority cell involves mobilising minorities for the party.

    In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, however, the lines look set to be blurred.

    Afzal reveals the message his organisation would convey in the upcoming campaigns: "We have tried every so-called secular party. Why not try the BJP? We should stop treating the BJP as an untouchable party."

    Towards this end, the MRM is conceptualising a two-month programme to be implemented on a war footing. Plans include conducting public meetings in more than 100 districts, holding three rallies covering around 20 states, and creating a network of sympathetic clerics at dargahs and seminaries.


    Nazim Nizami, the sufi priest of Dargah Nizamuddin, says people from divergent religions and sects are welcome at the dargaah and the fact that the MRM is affiliated to the RSS – a body seen intrinsically to Muslims – cannot be a reason for him to say no to them. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

    "The Congress government ensured that Muslims do not progress; it did not bother about creating a leadership among the community; but it's always the BJP which is viewed as the enemy," says Afzal. On the Godhra riots, he gives the usual response that, in independent India, more riots have happened in Congress-ruled states than in the ones ruled by the BJP and cites the example of the killing of Sikhs in the 1984 riots in Delhi.
    "Congress butchered the Sikhs, but the community did not leave the party. The result is for all of us to see. They remained part of the mainstream and we have a Sikh as the Prime Minister of the country today. Why should we leave the BJP because we have had Godhra?" he wonders.

    Interestingly, not all members of the organisation are convinced about disseminating the political message. "If this is going to happen, I will register my opposition," says Mushir Khan, convener, Delhi chapter, MRM, when asked about his organisation's preparations for the 2014 polls.

    Nizam Nizami, the chief priest at Dargah Nizamuddin in the capital is averse to discussing anything political. "The dargah is a place of peace," he says when you meet him in his office at the shrine. A hundred pictures of Nizami with political and non-political personalities forms a collage on the wall behind him. Though not an active member of the MRM, he is aware of its activities and believes it is a good initiative to bring the two communities together.

    "Here, we get visitors from all sects and communities. Sufism talks about peace and harmony. I don't see anything wrong if an effort like this has been made," he says, referring to the MRM.

    What about the RSS?
    "All these wrong things that you hear about it, have been propagated by people with a small mentality," he says, as he leaves for evening prayers.

    Does the MRM indicate an attitudinal shift among Indian Muslims? "Around 10,000 Muslims joining an organization affiliated to the RSS does not mean much. Even the Shiv Sena in Mumbai has Muslim shaakha pramukhs. If the Congress can use token Muslims, then the RSS can do it too," says sociologist Dipankar Gupta.

    Seema Mustafa, political analyst and author of the book 'Azadi's Daughter- journey of a liberal Muslim', agrees. "We need to take it with a pinch of salt. Even if the MRM has these many members and they approach the minority community with a political message, the BJP is not the party for which the minorities in India will ever vote. It is diametrically opposite to the idea of a secular party," she says.

    Whether the objective is to change the psyche of an average Indian Muslim towards the RSS or to sway the Muslim vote in favour of the BJP or both, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch clearly has a long way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
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  3. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Not sure if I have posted this article in the right section. Maybe it should have gone to "Politics & Society"!
     
  4. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
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  5. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    oops... Sorry! I thought I had posted the link! Thank you!
     
  6. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    A moronic article about a bunch of dimwitted people. :pound: There are idiots like this in every country-from the blacks that support the Republican party in America to the Jews that funded the Nazi party. They hope to gain some brownie points so that when these parties do come into power, they might be spared from their onslaught. Dumb ----s. :rofl:
     
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  7. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    So you reckon Muslims shouldn't join BJP (or RSS)? Why?
     
  8. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Any Muslim with an iota of knowledge and awareness of the RSS's past and ideology would run away from it as fast as he could. If he doesn't, and wants to join the Sangh, then one cannot feel sorry for them...it's a case of "Aa bail, mujhe maar!". :crazy: :sucide:
     
  9. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    I've heard that a large majority of these people are actually Shia muslims, is that true?
     
  10. sydsnyper

    sydsnyper Senior Member Senior Member

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    While khangress, sp and other parties foment riots it is okay for both Hindus & Muslims to join these parties.

    While RSS talks about Akhand Bharat, no muslims, sikhs or christians are supposed to join them...... don't make sense... ??

     
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  11. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    Saffron Muslim is a Non Muslim.
     
  12. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    On what basis you are claiming that ?
     
  13. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    By the same logic, any Hindu who votes to CONgis, SP and the likes are dumb ----s:truestory:

    And of course unlike muslims Hindus dont have self respect:thumb:
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I go along with Dr Hussain, a professor with the Mekelle University, Ethiopia, who believes in the idea of a secular India.

    I think he is spot on when he says - "During riots, it is not about Hindus and Muslims. Whoever is killed is an Indian and whoever kills, is a devil,"

    I will be frank, I have not read the RSS ideology, nor am I interested in doing so.

    My idea of the RSS is based on what the media and the politicians have said over the years.

    I will be honest to say that one is not too sure if all that had been printed by the media or said by the politicians are 100% right, since all have their own agenda.

    Notwithstanding, I will still not read about the RSS or any other's ideology since I do not have the time to delve deep (so that I have a fair analysis) or the inclination.

    I will go by my concept of secularism, and that is, religion has its own place (in the heart) and no place in governance and Statehood or for flaunting publicly as a badge of purity, truth and the sole way to God!

    I found the interview of Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American writer who published a controversial book on Jesus Christ last year, was interesting.

    http://www.telegraphindia.com:8080/1140126/jsp/7days/17866380.jsp

    He elaborates on the distinction between faith and religion — the former inexpressible, indefinable, and the latter, that which provides a language to comprehend and express it. "The trouble arises when you confuse the two," he says. "When you think religion is the destination rather than the path, the end rather than the means."

    One quote that certainly interested me was

    while religion could be interchangeable, faith was absolute.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  15. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Majboori ka naam Mahtma Gandhi !!
     
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  16. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    I love Hindi idioms. The obsession with cattle really shines through.
     
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I was watching the TimesNow's The National Election Debate -- Communalism Debate - 1


    In this second episode of the National Election Debate on the issue of Communalism, one of the most crucial topics for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami speaks with well-known politicians -- Randeep Singh Surjewala, Spokesman, Congress; Asaduddin Owaisi, MIM MP, Loks Sabha; Ram Madhav, Spokesman, RSS; and Smriti Irani, BJP MP, Rajya Sabha.

    Mr Owaissi is well know Muslim, who I take it is not a moron and I take it that he is well versed in the Koran, Hadith and other Islamic scriptures and interpretations.

    He said if there is Dalit Hindu and Dalit Sikhs as per the Constitution, why should there not be Dalit Muslim?

    In every issue and attempt of the Govt to bring commonality in application, the Muslims vehemently oppose, and rightly so in my opinion, that they cannot deviate from the Koran or the Hadith as that is the word of Allah and has been passed to them by their Prophet. Doing anything beyond the words of the Koran and the Hadith would be blasphemous. (eg singing Vande Mataram, Common Civil Code, Shah Bano case etc)

    So, when the Koran or the Hadith has claimed that all men are equal (and so there can be be no caste), then how come, the Koran is conveniently set aside to obtain some temporal gains that are, in actuality, not prescribed by the Koran and hence blasphemous?

    Therefore, your statements are not in keeping with the reality.

    This organisation, even if reprehensible to the Muslim majority, since they have been brainwashed in the 'fear' factor is actually closer to the injunction of the Koran.

    "O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" (Quran 49:13).


    "The trouble arises when you confuse the two,
    When you think religion is the destination rather than the path, the end rather than the means."
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
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  18. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Very interesting article

    Majority of Indians accepts this that in any communal riot its not hindu or muslim who are killed but its the death of Indians and at the time of any communal riot people from all the communities irrespective of their religion goes through the same fear and uncertainly.

    Can some one tell why its called ideology for what RSS stands for ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014

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