By Sohail Arshad, NewAgeIslam.com
Maulana Ghulam Ahmad Vastanvi has scratched the wounds of the Muslims by giving the statement to the Times of India that the Muslims should forget Gujarat riots and move on the path of development. He then rubbed salt to these wounds by saying further that the Muslims in Gujarat were marching ahead shoulder to shoulder along with other communities in Gujarat.
The statements of Maulana Vastanvi deserve the harshest condemnation as what happened in Gujarat was not riots but a pogrom that was pre-planned and organised under the patronage of the Modi government in which Muslims were slaughtered, women were raped and their houses and business establishments were destroyed. The famous media house Tehelka had carried out a sting operation during which the perpetrators of the crimes confessed on camera their involvement in the riots.
Maulana Vastanvi belongs to Gujarat and so knows about the incidents more than we do. Yet he chose to give Modi clean chit. It reflects the fact that he is a religious scholar by name only. His conscience is dead. Wealth and luxuries of life have put his conscience and sense of honour to sleep. His conscience does not prick him even at the plight of the women and children of his own town. Only a week ago, Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi had written in one of his columns that the Gujarat police was harassing the Muslims of the Muslim majority areas of Ahmedabad in the name of search operations on the eve of the Republic Day celebrations. They were searching each and every Muslim home, even mistreating women. Ten years have passed since the riots ravaged the Muslim community but they are still living in relief camps under inhuman conditions.
The funds that the central government issues to the state government for the welfare of the Muslims and as part of scholarship schemes for Muslim students are returned by the Gujarat government. How developed the Muslim community in Gujarat is can be ascertained from the fact that the BJP had issued an ad during the election campaigns for the Bihar Assembly polls last year showing some Muslim girls learning computers in a school. The picture was purportedly supposed to show that Muslim girls in Gujarat were ‘progressing’. But the lie was exposed and the pictures proved to be of girls of a school in Azamgarh. The party did not find a single such school in Gujarat to show to the world.
The way the Muslims were killed, their villages after village were destroyed and their properties burnt to ashes, it seems that the Muslims in Gujarat have been pushed 100 years back in development. Notwithstanding, Maualana’s assertion that Muslims were marching shoulder to shoulder along with other communities towards development is nothing but a cruel joke. His statement has caused great embarrassment to the Muslims in the face of their Hindu well wishers and fighters for justice who have put their own lives to risk to drag the killers and criminals of Gujarat to the dock. Teesta Setalvad, Mukul Sinha, Mahaesh Bhatt, Yoginder Singh Sikand, Ashish Khaitan, Tarun Tejpal and a host of others have been trying hard on their own levels to bring the perpetrators to book. We apologise to these Hindu brethren, the true warriors for justice on behalf of one of our conscienceless and coward Maulana and appeal to them not to be demoralised by his opportunistic statements and continue with their jihad because only they and not cowards like the Maulana are the ray of hope and a source of strength for the oppressed and the minorities.
Maulana Vastanvi is a religious scholar but the number of somersaults he has taken in the last twenty days would have put even his supporters to shame. When the Majlis-e-Shoura demanded an explanation from him on the allegation against him that he presented an idol to a minister of Maharashtra, first he said that he did not make the presentation, he was just standing aside. But when the newspapers published the pictures showing him actually handing the framed picture, he said that he only presented a memento which might have a small picture in the corner of the memento which he did not notice. When the newspapers published the picture again clearly showing that it was not a memento but a framed picture of Radha and Krishna, he said that it was only a picture and not an idol. It shows that he can tell lies whenever and wherever needed. Then when the protests by the students became widespread in the Darul Uloom, he offered to resign and went back to Gujarat. After his resignation, the protests died down and life came to normal in Darul Uloom and Muhibbane Darul Uloom Deoband also calmed down and waited for the 23rd February meeting of the Majlis-e-Shoura. The Maulana then thought that as the protests have died down, there was no need to resign. So he took another somersault saying he never resigned. This only shows that he is an aalim who can tell lies and go back on his words to suit his interests.
A newspaper published from Delhi has gone to the extent of accusing him of buying off six members of the Majlis-e-Shoura to win the election. According to the newspaper, out of 14 members present that day, eight voted in his favour while six went against him. This means that originally only two members voted in his favour. This is a very serious allegation which should be strongly refuted by the Majlis-e-Shoura. But it is surprising as well as painful that neither Maulana Vastanvi nor the members of the Shoura have said anything repudiating the charge. The same members are going to meet on the 23rd of February to decide his fate. Some people think that it is not appropriate to point fingers at the Majlis-e-Shoura as they are sacrosanct. But they should be reminded that even Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) was held accountable and had given explanation in public. Therefore, the Majlis-e-Shoura’s silence on the allegations only strengthens suspicions. How can those who themselves are in the dock be the judge?
During the protests, the students of the Darul Uloom had said that some pro-Vastanvi teachers had asked them why they were protesting when they were being given nice food. It means that one should not protest against injustice, against rigging of elections, against buying and selling off of ulema, against slaughter of Muslims, against rape of women, against the wrongdoings of Modi and against the people praising Modi if one is provided nice food, air travel tickets and all the luxuries of life. Perhaps students in the madrasas run by Vastanvi are taught all this and after Maulana Vastanvi becomes the Vice-Chancellor of Darul Uloom, the same teachings will perhaps be imparted to the students of Darul Uloom too. And may be Modi will be invited as a guest to help dilute the Muslim anger against him.
The Majlis-e-Shoura should keep in mind that a wrong decision taken by them on the 23rd February will cause irreparable damage not only to the Darul Uloom but to the whole Muslim Ummah. God save us from the mischief of a lier and supporter of the tyrants and killers. Ameen.
Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New AgeIslam.com.
(The writer is a freelance journalist and poet and writer of Urdu based in Kolkata)