‘Modi didn’t have a clear-cut role in (2002) riots, he was new in office’
- Mann Ki Baat: Every life lost in Kashmir is a loss to our nation, says PM Narendra Modi
- Our collective mistakes, mishandling, have pushed Kashmir youth to violence: Omar Abdullah
- Kashmir violence: 'Alternative' to pellets already in use, says CRPF affidavit
- ISRO successfully test launches scramjet engine from Sriharikota
- Sri Lanka: Still Counting the Wounds
Gujarat BJP's prominent Muslim face is 38-year-old Sufi Sant Mahebubali Baba Saheb or Mahebubali Chishty from the Atodara Dargah Sharif in Surat. President of state BJP's minority morcha since 2010, he is the only Muslim name in the party's list of star campaigners for Assembly polls. He spoke to Leena Misra and Tanvir Siddiqui days before the BJP came out with its first list on Thursday.
When did you join the BJP?
I joined the BJP in 1997-98 but I wasn't active at that time because I had spiritual liabilities to fulfil along with tours to London, Africa, America and so on. Plus, going by the trend in the BJP at that time, Muslims and the BJP looked odd together and it was a little difficult convincing my followers (about the party). But slowly I saw that the BJP is basically a nationalist party. Our prophet has said that you should be loyal to your nation.
What do you think about the Congress?
Right from independence, Muslims had been very loyal to the Congress and sacrificed a lot for the party. But the Congress did nothing for Muslims in return, neither for their education, economic reforms, development or security.
In the Congress reign, there were 11,000 riots since independence, going by government records.
In 2006, the Justice Sachar committee report clearly said that after independence, Muslim's economic condition had worsened. Only 2 per cent were in government jobs and 45 per cent lived in slums. Muslims' position in society was worse than scheduled castes.
Justice Sachar also showed that 40 per cent of prisoners in Indian jails were Muslims; this was shocking.
It also said that Muslims were among majority prisoners even in the Congress ruled states. It was most shocking that they raised the criminal numbers among us. Had they worked for our reforms or education then so many of us would not have been in jails.
- Dalits are angry about the hollowness of the current hyper-nationalism
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s slogan of 'insaniyat, Kashmiriat' has no meaning today
- Kejriwal’s attention is fixed on winning the Centre rather than making mohallas run better
- Inside Track: Turf tussle
- In Kashmir, so-called solutions are riddled with contradictions and divisions
- Why personal, social and political self-identification of Dalits must count more than legal nomenclature.