Special Reports

Communalism has permeated into all walks of life: Shastri

By By MG Correspondent

Malerkotla (Punjab): Addressing a seminar collectively organised here by three local NGOs, namely Al-Furqan Foundation, Association of Youth Affairs and The Truth at Amina Park, the head priest of the Suryakunj Dorahi Kuan temple of Ayodhya Yugal Kishor Shastri, said that communalism has gained deep access into public institutions such as media, judiciary and beaurocracy of the country. As a result, most of the government policies have been badly effected. Appealing to the people to react on humanitarian grounds to every social issue, he stressed that any particular community or group should not be held responsible for a crime committed by an individual. He suggested to the higher government authorities to teach for at least six months the message of humanitarian brotherhood taught by great sufis and sants to every IAS and IPS officer prior to his formal appointment. Claiming to be the true follower of the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and Sant Kabir, he demanded that communalism must be declared an equally serious crime at par with sedition and must be dealt with strictly. Speaking on the same theme, noted scholar and editor of The Milli Gazette, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan said that there was no history of communal tension in any part of the country prior to 1957, but the united struggle by the countrymen during the first war of independence led the British rulers to adopt the divide-and-rule policy by which separate histories were invented and Muslims were pitted against the Hindus. Touching the post-independence history of the countrymen, he said that the well-organised communal forces converted their techniques of engineering communal riots into a highly profitable industry giving huge political dividends. Stressing that communalism was an equally serious challenge for the country as that of corruption, he argued that it has slowed down the march of development and was the main force behind the rise of terrorism.

Noted Sikh scholar Prof. Inder Singh Ghagga also spoke on the issue. In his presidential address, Seminar Mufti Fuzailur Rahman Hilal Usmani, an eminent Islamic scholar, appealed to the people to remain united against the evil communal forces and turn every communal event into a movement for the benefit of the humanity. The seminar was made possible by the untiring efforts of Aijaz Farooq (convener) Anas Altaf (Al-Furqan Foundation), Naeem Ilyas (Association of Youth Affairs) and Muzammil Ali Khan (The Truth). The seminar attracted a large gathering from all walks and communities. The first Islamic website in Punjabi (www.rabbibani.com) was launched on this occasion.          

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2014 on page no. 13

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