Syed Rizwan Ahmed needs no introduction. Firstly, he is an Islamic scholar who would call a spade a spade and is known for his candid and forthright views on nationalism. Secondly, he is Naseeruddin Shah’s cousin brother who dared to expose him on his intolerance narrative by calling him a ‘loose cannonball”.
Fuelled by the fake narratives about Bharat and attempts to vitiate the atmosphere on communal lines, Syed Rizwan Ahmed spoke to Organiser on various issues.
On the controversy over chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and sing ‘Vande Mataram’ by the Muslims, he said, “Muslim clergy and intellectual class feel that the moment they chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ or ‘Vande Mataram’, they will submit themselves to the ideology of Bharatiyata. Instead, they depict themselves submitting to Arab ideology or the idea of Ummah, which says that Islam is one community which has nothing to do with isolated nationalism”.
He also said that “as a Muslim scholar, I see a difference between ‘Bharat’ and that between India / Hindustan. For me, Bharat is not about geographical boundaries; it is about tradition and the Bharatiya ideology. From ‘Satyug’ till date, everything sums up as ‘Bharat’; the thought, civilisation, culture, tradition, language and ancestors.”