Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

RSS-sponsored Muslim conclave amid protests

Author: Our Special Correspondent
Publication: The Hindu
Date: February 13, 2005

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-sponsored "Nationalist Muslim Conclave" began today with a call to the minority community to `adopt patriotism' as a way of life and `join the national mainstream' by rejecting terrorism and separatist tendencies. The conclave was held at the Muslim Musafirkhana here under tight security amid protests by Muslim organisations.

Police arrested a large number of protesters on Friday night for staging a dharna at the gate of the Musafirkhana demanding a change of venue.

Even though prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code were in force, Muslim activists today staged a demonstration at Moti Dungari Road when the conclave was in progress.

Muslim organisations have termed the meeting a part of the Sangh Parivar's continuing `hate campaign' and an effort to divide the community by projecting the impression that "only those Muslims who associate with RSS are nationalist."

The two-day convention has been organised by the `My Hindustan' cell of the RSS in association with the Madrassa Board of the Rajasthan Government.

This is the fourth conclave to be held by the cell since its establishment a couple of years ago. Previous conventions were organised in Delhi and Indore.

Earlier, the RSS Sah Sampark Pramukh, Indresh Kumar, addressed the inaugural session and called upon Muslims to raise their voice against terrorism "sponsored by Pakistan" in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The burning issues in the community relate to illiteracy, unemployment and disease which should be addressed to ensure its development on a par with other communities in the country," he said.

Delegates from various parts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are attending the conclave.

The protests against the convention were spearheaded by the Rajasthan Muslim Forum, an umbrella body of Muslim organisations.

"Project distinct identity"

PTI, UNI add:

In his speech, the RSS chief, K.S. Sudarshan, who is in the city to review the Sangh's activities,called upon the assembled Muslims "to project a tolerant variant of Islam as against the jehadi variant."

"Educated Muslims want to keep themselves away from the jehadi variant of Islam which is rearing its head in other parts of the world," he said. "Indian Muslims can project a very bright picture of Islam before the world." On India-Pakistan relations, Mr. Sudarshan said the people of both countries wanted to live in peace, maintaining brotherly relationship.

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