RSS Chief's Muslim Outreach: Imam Calls Him 'Rashtra Pita', Owaisi Raps 'Elites'

Bhagwat held a closed-door meet at a central Delhi mosque, where the All India Imam Organisation office is located.

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Hindi Female

Taking forward his outreach to the Muslim community, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday, 22 September, visited a mosque and a madrasa in Delhi and held discussions with the chief of the All India Imam Organisation, Ahmed Ilyasi, who called him "rashtra pita."

The RSS 'sarsangchalak' held a closed-door meeting at a central Delhi mosque, where the office of the All India Imam Organisation is located, and followed it up with a visit to the Madarsa Tajweedul Quran in north Delhi.

Earlier this week, the RSS chief had also held a closed-door meeting with 'eminent' Muslim personalities, including former Delhi Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, and others, The Quint had reported.

Slamming the meeting, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, during a media interaction, called out the "elites" for being unaware of the "ground reality" of Muslims.

"This elite layer, which thinks it is very knowledgeable and has no touch with the ground reality, they are living comfortably and they go and meet the RSS chief...But when we fight politically for our fundamental rights, we are shown in a bad light."
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM chief

He Is a 'Rashtra Pita': Head of Imams

Sharing the details of the meeting, Suhaib Ilyasi, brother of Ahmed Ilyasi, said, "It was great that Bhagwatji came on our invitation on the death anniversary of our father. It also sends out a good message to the country."

"He is a 'rashtra pita'. We discussed several issues for strengthening the country," Ilyasi told PTI, adding that Bhagwat had visited the mosque as well as the madrasa on his invitation.

"With this visit of Bhagwat, a message should go out that we all want to work towards strengthening India. For all of us, the nation comes first. Our DNA is the same, it is just that our religion and methods of worshipping god are different," Ilyasi said, echoing the RSS chief's words.

Bhagwat was accompanied by senior Sangh functionaries, including joint general secretary Krishna Gopal and Muslim Rashtriya Manch patron Indresh Kumar.

RSS Chief's First Madrasa Visit

This is the first time Bhagwat has visited a madrasa, an RSS official accompanying him said.

All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi used the term 'rashtra pita' while describing him to children at the madrasa.

However, Bhagwat intervened to say that there was only one 'father of the nation' and that everyone was 'Bharat ki santan' (child of the nation), according to the RSS official.

The functionary said the RSS chief also spoke to the children about the need to know more about the nation and stressed that while their modes of worship could be different, all religions must be respected.

Ilyasi and Bhagwat held talks for about an hour at the mosque, which also houses the office of the All India Imam Organisation and the cleric's residence.


'Hindu-Muslim DNA Same': Bhagwat Mohan

Bhagwat had recently met Delhi's former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi, former chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lieutenant General Zameer Uddin Shah, former MP Shahid Siddiqui, and businessman Saeed Shervani.

During the meeting, Bhagwat had raised the issue of the usage of the word "kafir" for Hindus which, he said, does not send out a good message.

The Muslim intellectuals, on the other hand, objected to some right-wing activists calling the Muslims "jihadi" and "Pakistanis."

The Muslim intellectuals also told Bhagwat that the real intent behind the usage of 'kafir' was something different, but in some quarters now, it is being used as an "abuse."

The RSS chief acknowledged the apprehensions of the intellectuals and underlined that the "DNA of all Hindus and Muslims are same."

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat's 'Samvad' Process

The All India Imam Organisation is the representative voice of the community of Indian Imams and claims to be the largest Imam organisation in the world.

It was formed to undertake at all levels the socio-economic issues which directly influence the earnings of Imams, their status in society, and the expectations that the community and state have of them.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has been holding discussions with Muslim intellectuals for strengthening communal harmony.

In a statement after the visits, RSS Prachar Pramukh Sunil Ambekar said, "Sarsanghachalak meets people from all walks of life. It is a part of the continuous general 'Samvad' process."

The significant visits by the head of the BJP's ideological mentor came on a day multiple probe agencies conducted raids across the country and arrested more than 100 activists of the Popular Front of India for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.


(With Inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  Mohan Bhagwat   Muslim   Hindu 

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