Agnivesh assures Jamiat of retracting his statement

Ahmedabad: “By presenting a totally different picture of Gujarat. false praise was elicited from me. When I am apprised of the true picture of Gujarat after visiting Gujarat, I will retract my statement. For this very reason I have arrived in Ahmedabad and have apprised myself of the real conditions prevailing here. I assure you now that after getting all his programmes cancelled I shall bring Anna Hazare to Gujarat within 15 days and will make him hear the facts from the people themselves. Admitting my lapse I shall make Modi, retract his claims before the media,” Swami Agnivesh, the renowned social activist gave such assurances in the general session of Jamiat Ulma Gujarat organised at Sardar Baag of Ahmedabad.

He further said that Indian Muslims are not tenants in the country but are partners and should fight, not merely for religious and community concerns but also for eradicating poverty, providing education and health to the deprived groups. The same way in which  they had fought shoulder to shoulder in the freedom struggle. He accused Modi of Hitler’s tactics for the purpose of propaganda. He has given a contract for such purpose to an extremely renowned publicity group of America and is thus squandering Gujarat’s money. It sends 7 million emails every day for such false propaganda. The curtain on the facts have risen and I shall tell Anna Hazare about these facts and bring him to Gujarat within a fortnight.

The general session was attended by among others eminent dignitaries such as Justice Rajinder Sachar, Maulana Mahmood Madni, Mahesh Bhatt, Dr. J.K. Jain, Advocates Majid Memon, Mukul Sinha, Indukumar Jaani, etc. Justice Sachar expressed anguish over the fact that Muslim students in Gujarat were deprived of scholarships. Expressing his surprise (and shock) not a single speaker had said a word about the girl child’s welfare, he wondered how would you (Muslims) prosper without welfare of the girls. He said that “Iqra” in the Qur’an was not merely for the sake of males. He further reminded that the caliph of Islam used to visit a lady for seeking knowledge about hadith. He expressed satisfaction over the fact that in the recent census nine states in the country show higher percentage of literacy among the Muslims. He also complimented on the fact that the male female ratio among Muslims stands at 1000:927.

The conference was addressed by several prominent speakers. Mahesh Bhatt, Bollywood director recited an Urdu couplet:

Zindagi mein kuchh hadse aise ho jate hain faraz
Aadmi bach to jaata hai magar zinda nehin rahata

He reminded us the soul of Gujarat i.e. after the 2002 carnage. Though claims of development are often parroted but one must understand that happiness is not guaranteed by mere development. He asked Anna Hazare which Gujarat he was referring to where development was visible? He said that both were partners in the two battles. He asked Anna to join their battle and promised that they would reciprocate in joining Anna’s. Majid Memon, advocate of Mumbai High Court admitted that though the fear in contrast to 2002 had decreased but had not totally vanished. He reminded that there has been a long trial of injustice heaped over the Muslims.

Rajya Sabha MP and chief of Jamiat-e Ulma Hind Maulana Mahmood Madni urged the community to bury all the issues and adopt a single point programme for the next twenty years - education for empowerment. Among other speakers were Dr. J.K. Jain, Indu Kumar Jaani prominent social activist of Gujarat, Dr. Mukul Sinha etc.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2011 on page no. 4

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