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World Sufi Conference, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind:State Times

April 09, 2016 Ravinder Jalali Recently Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind organised a “National Solidarity Conference” at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New

April 09, 2016stlogosmall

Ravinder Jalali

Recently Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind organised a “National Solidarity Conference” at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind is a religious organisation of a section of Muslims and has a long history of its association with Congress; rather we can say that it is the Muslim wing of Congress. That is why it has an agenda of putting the Congress view point on the front and not to leave any opportunity to criticise the Government and more particularly BJP and to communalise the issue. It is because of the same reason that the conference was attended by leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Gh. Nabi Azad, who is now projecting himself more as Muslim leader rather than a national leader. He also read out the message of Congress president Sonia Gandhi which a thinly veiled attack on the Modi government. The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Azad drew a parallel between RSS and ISIS at the Conference.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind is the same party which organised conference in New Delhi in 2010 and passed a resolution on Kashmir and demanded that the government must accept democratic civilian rights of people of Kashmir within framework of the Constitution of India and armed forces must be withdrawn and Armed Forces Special Power Act and Public Safety Act be lifted. The entire resolution was anti-india and pro-separatists. I would like to tell them it is not only Muslims who are living in Kashmir but Hindus also, who are the aborigines of the valley. So when you talk of Kashmiri people, whom you are referring? Have Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind ever raised the voice of Kashmiri Hindus who have been hounded out of their homes by the same people for whom you are advocating justice. Resolution had said that the interests of Kashmiri people are not separate from the interests of Indian Muslims but fails to mention the interests of Kashmiri people. It is clear indication that the resolution talks of Kashmiri separatists who seeks separation from India.
Madani said “After independence, this is the first time that those who are opposed to the government are being regarded as anti-national,” He also talked about Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula’s suicide, I would like to remind him about the emergency of 1975 imposed by Congress Govt led by Indira Gandhi. Were the entire opposition at that time anti-national? Regarding the Rohit Vemula`s suicide, he should know that there had already been more suicides taking place in the university in the past. Why he was silent on those suicides?
In contrast to Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) organised the World Sufi Conference in New Delhi. It also hosted an international seminar and a grand public conference. Hundreds of spiritual masters, scholars, Sufi luminaries, Ulama and Mashaikh, Imams and Muftis from across the world have taken part in this event. World Sufi Conference’s major objectives were: -Strengthening Global Peace, -Rejecting Violence and Extremism, -Calling for Unity in Multiplicity, -Unconditional Love, -Tolerance and Acceptance,-Spreading Spiritual and Universal Messages of Islamic Faith.
The conference discussed the issues of extremism and find ways to work out effective counter-narratives. With a number of Sufi-minded Islamic scholars, writers, journalists, university academicians, social activists and grassroots workers, the event is targeted at finding more constructive ways to spread the Islamic message of peace and tolerance as a counterattack on the constantly rising global violent extremism.
All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) is an apex body of Sufi-oriented Muslims in India, which was established with a clear objective of propagating peace, pluralism, tolerance, religious moderation and reconciliation among different faiths and traditions. AIUMB aims at disseminating Sufi teachings and practices to foster a composite Indian culture as an anecdote to radical ideologies in the country.
Prime Minister Modi also attended the conference and spoke about the 15 points which are relevant in freeing the world from terrorism. I put under these points as under: He spoke about the heart of India and its tolerant nature.Our nation’s heart has place for every faith, from those with few followers to those with billion believers.
He told that Sufi’s are the hope in these dark times at a time when the dark shadow of violence is becoming longer, you are the noor or the light of hope. When young laughter is silenced by guns on the streets, you are the voice that heals. He praised the unity shown by Sufis. In a world that struggles to assemble for peace and justice, this is an assembly of those whose life itself is a message of peace, tolerance and love. He praised the diversity of Islamic civilisation. He quoted Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti “Of all the worships, the worship that pleases the Almighty God the most is the grant of relief to the humble and the oppressed.” He said when we recall the 99 names of Allah, none of them stand for violence. He reiterated his faith in Islam’s conviction against terror. He stressed that how important secularism is to India. All our people – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, the micro-minority of Parsis, believers, non-believers, are all an integral part of India. He talked about the impact of terror on World Economy. Every year, we spend 100 billion dollars in securing the world from terrorism. This is money that should be spent in improving the lives of the poor. He said that terror is not religion, but anti-religion. He said that the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion. Praising Diversity, he said that Diversity is a basic reality of Nature and source of richness of a society; and, it should not be a cause of discord. Stressing on being human more than being Hindu or being Muslim. He quoted Rumi! A Sufi poet “Contain all human faces in your own, without any judgment of them.” He talked about and acknowledged the nationalistic pride of Muslims.
But alas, the media did not give required coverage to these 15 points which it deserved! Both the conferences were in contrast in every thing, right from content of the programme to the end result of the conference. Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s conference was to widen the gap between the two communities while as the goal of the World Sufi Conference was to bring the different communities together and bridge the gap between them. The agenda of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind was communal in nature while as that of World Sufi Conference was secular. Both the conferences were just opposite to each other and while the former was communal and the latter was and secular in nature.
Ravinder Jalali
(The writer is a Social Activist and Convenor, Democratic Panun Kashmir and can be reached on Feedback @ dpkashmir@gmail.com)