New Delhi: Voices of reason and sanity still find their echo amidst all the chaos, mayhem and bad blood caused by the recent communal riots in Gujarat. This is clear from the reaction of the peace-loving, secular Hindus all over the country.
The writing of yet another violent chapter in the nation’s history, has led tolerant Hindu and Muslim religious leaders to come together and lend their voice in unanimity to spread the message of brotherhood and peaceful co-existence. Hindu pontiff Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Swami Shri Aadhyog Shajananda Dev Teerth Maharaj of Goverdhanpeeth has come out to openly condemn the Gujarat killings. He has demanded the dismissal of the Gujarat government and the immediate arrest of its chief minister Narender Modi. Calling upon the citizens of India, he said that Union Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani should also be penalised by a complete social boycott.
The occasion was a joint conference of Hindu and Muslim religious scholars attended by Shankaracharya Swami Shri Aadhyog Shajanand Dev Teerth Maharaj and Muslim ulama and scholars. It was co-organised by the Anjuman Minhaj-e-Rasool and Universal Association for Spiritual Awareness at Ghalib Academy on Saturday, March 9.
Religious leaders from prominent Muslim organisations and the Shankaracharya joined their heads together to find out means and ways to overcome the turbulence which our nation is facing because of the inhuman actions of fascist Hindu organisations. Spreading the message of peace, love and humane values amongst the compatriots has become all the more urgent if the nation’s secular fabric has to be maintained, the participants unanimously concurred. This shared perception brought together Maulana Athar Hussain, president, Minhaj-e-Rasool and Pundit NK Sharma, president, Universal Association for Spiritual Awareness to co-sponsor the conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Sarwar Chishti, representative of the Ajmer sharif Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, asked if the violence in Gujarat, according to State chief minister Narender Modi, was a natural reaction, and that it was in fact Newton’s third law of motion which was at work, then were not the Bombay bomb blasts too a reaction against the riots in Bombay?
Maulana Abdul Qayoom, secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) stated, addressing the gathering, that the murder of Mahatma Gandhi at the hands of fanatic Nathuram Godse was the first challenge to India’s secular character. The dire need of the hour is that fascist thoughts and ideology should be completely stamped out, the JIH leader said.
Zafar Saifullah, former cabinet secretary also took part in the deliberations. In his address Mr Saifullah said that Gujarat violence is not only unfortunate but also regrettable. If the state governments continue lending support to the fascist forces in such an open and brazen manner, then the day will not be far off when the rule of law will certainly collapse. Communal riots taking place frequently, especially the ghastly killings in Gujarat, can never be legitimately considered as a way out of the vexed Babri Masjid problem. "It is the sovereign responsibility of a sovereign government to maintain the rule of law. The central government cannot abdicate its constitutional responsibilities in any manner whatsoever," Mr. Saifullah said.
Shia cleric from Delhi, Maulana Syed Ahmad Taqvi, imam of Shia Jama Masjid, called upon the Central government to take steps for dethroning Narender Modi government in Gujarat with immediate effect. "President of India KR Narayanan should himself take unilateral step of dismissing Narender Modi government for this ghastly crime which took place right under his nose and directives," Maulana Taqvi said.
Pundit NK Sharma, the co-organiser of the conference, observed that the religion of Sanatan Dharma (present-day mainstream Hinduism) is absolutely beyond the comprehension and understanding of fascist organisations like RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. In fact, they are not true adherents of Sanatan Dharma at all. At this critical moment of our country’s life it is our firm resolve that we will now be visiting every nook and corner of the country to carry forward the message of peace, love and humane values.
Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Swami Shri Aadhyog Shajanand Dev Teerth Maharaj, in his address, lamented that the true teachings of religion are not being propagated. "Dharam ke thekedaar" (contractors of religion) are making desperate attempts to redefine religion in their own way. The backlash of the Godhra incident which culminated in widespread riots in Gujarat and elsewhere is an attack on humanity perpetrated by rowdies, hoodlums and lumpen elements donning the garb of religion, he said. Describing the role of the union government as 'shameful and dangerous,' the seer alluded that the union government does not wish to fulfil its solemn pledge of protecting the people. Rather it is in fact hand-in-glove with the criminals and is patronising them. "Where was the RSS founder Dr Hegdewar and what was his role during the India freedom struggle?", he asked. Sanatan Dharma is being projected today as a ‘belligerent religion’ because of the ugly actions of the Hindu fascist organisations, he stated. He also alleged that fake ‘nationalists’ were behind riot incidents and the raking up of Ayodhya issue. Narender Modi government in Gujarat should have been dismissed by now and Narender Modi himself arrested, he said. The Prime Minister’s residence openly welcomes and invites those who are hell bent on misusing religion, disturbing communal harmony and spoiling the fair name of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Talking about the fight against terrorism, the Shankaracharya said that countries and governments are applying double standards in the name of fighting terrorism. Whatever is happening with the Palestinian people defies imagination, sanity and existing human norms. America and Israel should both be dubbed as ‘terrorist and rogue’ nations. Even in India, terrorism and discrimination is being fervently practiced against the Muslims more blatantly than ever before by the chauvinist and fascist Hindu organisations. Such fascist organisations should not only be banned forever but their leaders and activists should also be arrested, thrown behind bars, prosecuted and awarded with capital punishment, the Shankaracharya said.