Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat ji met Imam Umar Ahmed Ilyasi, the head of the All India Imam Sangh, on 22nd September, visited a madrasa on his request, and the market of rumours and speculation became heated. According to their own thinking and convenience, from the political experts to the enlightened, the ordinary people also started discussing it. It is noteworthy that just a month before this, on August 22, the Sangh chief also met a delegation of Muslim intellectuals of the country, including former Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi, former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, MP and journalist Shahid Siddiqui, Former vice-chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim university Jamiruddin Shah and businessman Saeed Sherwani were involved. On September 2019 too, he met Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, the head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in Delhi.
For those who know and understand the Sangh closely, these visits of the Sarsanghchalak are more than just curiosity and speculation, a continuous and normal process of maintaining contact and dialogue with different sections of the society. Even before this, senior leaders of the Sangh have been establishing a dialogue with the Muslim community. Rather, it was on the initiative of former Sarsanghchalak of RSS Shri Kuppa.C.Sudarshan that Muslim Rashtriya Manch was formed in 2002 and under the guidance of Sangh’s senior prachaarak Indresh Kumar, many programs were started with a view to connect Muslims with the mainstream of the nation. It is natural that like other affiliated organizations of the Sangh, gradually the acceptance of this platform has also increased in the target society and many desired and positive views have been seen at the level of impact and results, which will surely be found further.
Intensive contact and constant dialogue has been the main feature of the Sangh
The Sangh continues to run regular programs of connecting among the society, rising above discrimination like caste, class, creed, gender, region and religion. Sometimes it does like a campaign. Its workers of all levels participate in it, from Supreme head of RSS to Swayamsevak. No area, no corner of social life remains untouched by its volunteers, workers, and office bearers. It is often unbelievable that a single organization can create different types of work among different sections in so many different fields and can become the largest organization of that particular area by getting wide acceptance. Rather, many of these organizations work in conflicting areas as well, but there is no conflict of interest and ambitions in comparison to other socio-cultural organizations.
Intensive contact and constant dialogue has been the main feature of the Sangh, which continues at daily, monthly, and annual intervals. Perhaps on the strength of this unique feature, national thought and authentic conduct, it has got such wide acceptance and worldwide expansion. It has always been the declaration of the Sangh that it is not only an organization in the society, but also an organization of the whole society. Organization of the entire society can’t be successful without taking the Muslim community along. Therefore, the meetings of the Sangh chief, Muslim intellectuals, Imams or Maulanas should be considered a part of the natural customs and culture of the Sangh rather than doubt and curiosity. Moreover, it should be welcomed by both the communities as a concrete and positive initiative. In today’s social environment full of hatred and bitterness, such dialogues will undoubtedly prove to be a milestone in the direction of establishing communal harmony and improving inter-community relations.
Sangh has always had this belief and concept that the culture of India is one which some call Sanatan culture, some Hindu and some Indian. Some elitist people in modern colours also refer to it as a mixed, Ganga-Jamuni or composite culture. The names may be different, but the expressions or basic characteristics due to which these names have been given have the same source and origin. Its roots go and connect with Sanatan itself. The Sangh does not even have any objection to these different names. It has a clear belief that India may be a multi-religious country, but not multicultural. Even though there are different types of worship practices, everyone has their own beliefs, customs and traditions, but people see beauty in all kinds of diversity. They take it as ‘all in one’ and ‘one in all’ but after all culture is single. It is utterly original and completely different from the rest of the land, which has been running since eternity, whose flow is all-inclusive, which seeks and finds unity in each and every particle of the universe. Sangh believes that changing religion does not change a culture. Changing the name does not change the ancestors. Changing the ritual of worship does not change the original and cultural identity. The problem is more for those who do politics of separate identity, who keep and consider separate identity above national identity. In order to understand the self, the Sangh has been keeping the example of Indonesia before the Muslim society. The name of the aircraft service there is on Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The idol of Ganesh ji is installed outside the airport there. There, the idol of Goddess Saraswati, the presiding deity of knowledge, is offered. There, Ramlila is staged in a grand manner. The motto of the navy there is “Jalesveva Jayamahe” in Devvaani Sanskrit. If the Muslims of Indonesia can maintain their original and cultural identity even after changing their religion, then why can’t the Muslims of India!
But the strings of the heart are not connected by force. The language of the world through the heart is saying-listening, agreeing-following- convincing, giving-taking. The Sangh and its Swayamsevak-Sarsanghchalak of RSS have known and understand this language very well. Not only by speech, but also by behaviour. Perhaps that is why the volunteers of the Sangh do not see Hindus or Muslims helping the victims in the event of any crisis or calamity etc. The good thing is that even the liberal section of Muslim society is trying to understand him. The first condition of a conversation is that it should be with an open mind and a healthy spirit. The Sangh-pramukh rightly told the Muslim intellectuals that “there is a doubt and mistrust in the mind of the Hindu society regarding the Islamic concept of cow slaughter, jihad and kafir-kufra, which needs to be removed.” Only liberal and progressive intellectuals of Muslim society can do that. Rather, it is a necessity as well as a responsibility. And on the other hand, Muslim intellectuals are also right in saying that “the reactionary practice of doubting one’s patriotism just because of being a Muslim must stop.”
The truth is that this country belongs to them as much as anyone else of the other Indian community. India and Indianness are their heritage. That is why he is known, recognized and called an Indian Muslim all over the world. All parties, politicians and common people of both communities should understand these things by rising above politics, it is in the interest of everyone. The protection of national interests and concerns along with mutual interests should be the topmost priority of both communities. There is no place for pettiness and narrow-mindedness in the great goal and dream that the Sangh wants to realize of, that is “to elevate the nation to the highest glory”. In order to make the spirit and mantra of ‘Nation First, Nation Paramount’, people’s slogan and life mantra, everyone’s cooperation (सबका साथ), everyone’s development (सबका विकास), everyone’s faith (सबका विश्वास) and everyone’s effort (सबका प्रयास) is necessary. It is happy that the Sangh is constantly trying and doing ‘Sadhna’ in that direction.