Congratulations to the Maulana for receiving India’s second-highest civilian award, the Pama Vibhushan.
In the Hindustan Times article dated January 25, 2021, I have discovered that Maulana had formed a committee to support (Himayat) PM Vajpayee’s election in Lucknow and had written articles for the RSS’s mouthpiece paper as well. He also advocated for giving up the land where Babri Masjid stood.
A few prominent Indian-American Muslim activists have relentlessly persecuted me for doing precisely the same thing during PM Vajpayee’s call for Muslims to join the BJP party.
I will lose some more ‘respect’ from a few Muslims with this writing, which is understandable, but the right thing that I foresaw and the Maulana had seen needs to be said.
No doubt, Vajpayee was an RSS man under the skin. However, there was some awakening in him to see a cohesive India and invited Muslims to join the BJP party. I welcomed it and wrote to my fellow Muslims to consider the offer.
Had Muslims joined them when BJP was not a hardcore Modi brand, Modi would not have made it to this point. BJP would have been more of a democratic organization with enough Muslims in it to influence the policies. We made a mistake by not heeding his call.
Perception is everything, and I had advocated that Muslims hold a mega press conference in New Delhi and unconditionally offer the Ayodhya land to build the Ram temple in the interest of maintaining communal harmony. I wrote and did a three-hour radio talk show, which was written up in Dallas Observer as the lead story.
The right-wing Muslims saw that as Ghutnay Tekna (kneeling) instead of seeing it as a goodwill gesture. We forget Muslims’ role is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill, Prophet Muhammad’s practice (PBUH). We are the peacemakers. Restoring harmony is our sacred duty.
Fear drove Muslims that if we give up one mosque land, the RSS (not Hindus) guys will come for more.
That goodwill gesture would have retained the support of most of the Hindus for Muslims and would have spoken out against such claims. The gradual support erosion would not have happened.
And we would not have seen this day.
Center for Pluralism.