Activists Call for Greater Unity to Withstand Communal Onslaught

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A glimpse of Karvan-e-Insaaf event

A change would happen as and when leaders of Muslims sprang from impoverished backgrounds instead of the present practice of leaders hailing from royal and rich families, said one of the activists.

Zafar Aafaq| Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI – There is need for more united efforts on the part of the minorities, the Dalits and other weaker sections of the society to “ably withstand the communal and fascist onslaughts from the ruling establishment against the marginalised sections” of the population. The call was made by a group of activist and academicians at an event held at the Ghalib Academy here on Sunday.

The event, titled ‘A dialogue on the present scenario’, was organised by Karwan-e-Insaf, an association of Muslim activists.

Senior lawyer, Shahid Azad, said Muslims in India must sooner than later wake up from their slumber and become politically conscious to fight the communal agenda of the Hindutva right-wing forces that currently held the reins of power. The Ulema must play its role in bringing about a change in the community which largely stood outside of politics now. “Politics is an integral part of religion,” he stressed.

While dissecting the difference between nationalism and patriotism, he slammed the Modi government for “playing politics” on the issue of nationalism. Giving the example of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who had urged the founder of Indian National Congress to name the party as ‘Congress for Indian Nationals’, Azad said: “Sir Syed had foreseen how communal forces will exploit the diversity of this country.”

Chairman of Karwan-e-Insaaf, SM Anwar Hussain was the chief guest at the event. He focused attention on the “historical, collaborationist role” of right-wing Hindutva forces during India’s freedom movement. “The RSS was hand in glove with British colonisers, and against freedom fighters. As a result, hundreds of activists were either jailed or executed for their pro-freedom campaigns,” Anwar said, and added: “No one here is as patriotic as Muslims who have contributed massively to the Independence movement and nation-building.”

Anwar Hussain said the present government is hurting the integrity of the country by creating divisions on communal lines. He urged activists and people in general to impress upon the secular parties the need to work for the rights of weaker sections and improve their lot.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Ratan Lal, a political activist who teaches history at Delhi University’s Hindu College said that, in today’s India, “Muslims are the only people who are secular” in the true sense of the term. “The reason for this is that they do not have a Muslim leader, and they do not have a Muslim party at the national level.” A change would happen as and when leaders of Muslims sprang from impoverished backgrounds instead of the present practice of leaders hailing from royal and rich families.

He cited the example of lawmakers being elected on reservation basis to Parliament and assemblies. “They are failing to take up the issue of the communities they claim to represent. Whenever we protest for Dalit rights, none of them comes forward with support. You know why. They are more loyal to their parties, their masters, than the communities they represent.”

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