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I am a Muslim and will remain so

Mukhtar Abbas NaqviMukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the suave BJP leader has always a tendency to attract media glare. It is not due to controversy or anything else. It is simply because of his being in a party that loves and creates bizarre controversies. His being the national secretary of the BJP has always been a news for scribes. A former MP from Rampur Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi exert confidence in his party and believes that recent controversy over the prime minister's recent remarks are opposition made. He also believes that the confusion is being created for turning Muslims attention towards other non-issues. Syed Ubaidur Rahman of The Milli Gazette talked to him on recent controversy and a number of other issues.

Do you have any thing to say on Prime minister's latest statements on Babri issue?
It is not his comment that is creating confusion. The wrong interpretation of his comment is more responsible for the current impasse. The opposition parties led by the Congress are trying to create confusion for their political games. I believe that it is a planned conspiracy hatched to deviate Muslims from basic issues. People particularly Muslims should understand this conspiracy. For last fifty years Muslims have not been allowed to concentrate on issues that hold importance for them. They should realize it. Now it is time that Muslims should fight for their equal rights in the government and other areas. They should avoid these non issues.

Should it be at the cost of their religion?
I never said so. Religion should certainly be saved. But even to save the religion we will have to get strength. As long as we remain playing in the hands of others we will remain hovering in the same cycle. I call it cycle of darkness and backwardness. This cycle starts from illiteracy and ends with illiteracy. Other things like economic deprivation come in between. Our community should understand it. Otherwise we will be left far behind in the race of power-educational, economic and political.

But what PM said was no confusion?
No. It has been created. There is no denying the fact. Parties with vested interest are doing it. He will clarify and end the confusion very soon.

Bangaru Laxman's comments sparked a hope in Muslims that the BJP has at last got some sense and it is changing. But PM's remarks have shattered that perception too. Anything to say?
Nothing has changed. What Bangaru has been saying is true and no change has taken place. But it has created panic among opposition parties. They started discussion on Babri. They are real culprit. They should be asked for that.

What about the demand of resignation of the three accused in Babri case?
The demand is absolutely unjustified. How much pain Muslims feel for the Babri, I see same pain among BJP leaders for that. They felt pained over the demolition of the mosque and it still exists. 

Pained over the demolition of the mosque or not being able to construct it so far?
BJP has not demolished the mosque. BJP has never been communal. It is a propaganda to tarnish its image.

Was prime minister's statement aimed towards the forthcoming assembly elections in UP?
I am opposed to the use of Babri card. I will be first to agitate against it from within the BJP?

Why you are staying in the BJP? Why don't you resign? Don't you feel as outsider in it?
BJP is like any other party. I am fighting community's causes from within the party. I feel satisfied over my contribution. Resignation is no solution. 

It seems that your party does not realize your full worth. You were a strong contender for general secretary's post in the Party. But you were not elevated?
It is enough to see our voices being heard in the party fora. There were more eligible people than me for that post. We are still young so there are still opportunities to go up in the ladder of leadership. 

There are rumors that you go to mandirs for puja and you are no more a Muslim?
It is absolutely false. Advaniji went to Ajmer and paid respect at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti's mausoleum. Will you call him a Muslim? A number of politicians go to dargahs and mosques, but you can't call them Muslims. Muslim leaders also go to mandirs and other shrines of other religions. You will never call them Hindus. I am a Muslim and will remain so. These rumors can not change my religion.

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