Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat and Akhil Bharatiya Imam Sangh chief Imam Umar Ilyasi both deserve hearty congratulations. The initiative taken by these two gentlemen is historic. Ilyasi offered a feast and Bhagwat accepted it. Mohan Bhagwat went to the Masjid and also went to the Madrasa. Mohanji spoke openly to the children of the madrasa.
A day before this, Mohan Bhagwat also interacted with five prominent Muslim intellectuals. This initiative taken by Mohanji to create national integration was started by former Sangh-pramukh Kupp C Sudarshan. Sudarshanji was Kannada speaking. He was brought up and educated in Madhya Pradesh. He used to run the Sangh’s branch in Indore. He was an integral friend of mine. He used to openly argue with my Muslim and Christian friends who came to my house in Indore about 60-65 years ago.
He had read all the books on Islam in my father’s library. He had a firm belief that the Hindus and Muslims of India are all children of Mother India. It is necessary that they live together and there should be constant communication and contact between them. When Sudarshanji became the Sir Sanghchalak, he built the Muslim Rashtriya Manch in 2002, which is being successfully run by Indresh Kumar. Sudarshanji himself went to Lucknow on my request and established a cordial dialogue with many Maulanas and socialist leaders.
Mohan Bhagwat has now taken the same stream forward. Mohanji clearly said in his dialogue that how far it is right to spread violence and hatred in the name of Jihad and to call Hindus Kafirs? Similarly, he reiterated his statement that the DNA of Hindus and Muslims is the same. They are all children of Mother India. Mohanji also gave suggestions for teaching modern subjects in their education for the bright future of the children of madrassa.
Imam Ilyasi, fascinated by the arrival and dialogue of Mohan Bhagwat, even called him the ‘Father of the Nation’. Mohan Bhagwat, rich in humility, instead of being puffed up, said that there is only one Father of the Nation. We are all children of the nation. Ilyasi often tells me that I am sure that I am a Muslim but I am also a Rajput, don’t forget that. Those who are fundamentalists among Hindus and Muslims, they must be getting very angry with both Bhagwat and Ilyasi, but they should think that in the atmosphere of bitterness and parochialism created by the fundamentalists in Narendra Modi’s rule, is this offering a ray of hope? Kind of not shining?
Whenever I talk to their leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they never hesitate to attack the Sangh, but will they not now realize that this new ideology has started in India, it is only for the Hindus and Muslims of India. Ek-make will not do it, but it will work to tie the neighboring countries of ancient India i.e. Aryavarta i.e. South Asia in one thread. This is the real ‘Jodo India’.