Reaching out to the Muslim community for the first time ever,Baba Ramdev Saturday promised to include their grievances in his forthcoming rallies.
If your maulanas cannot raise your voice, he said,a baba will do it for you.
Speaking at a conference organised by the All India United Muslim Morcha at the India Islamic Cultural Centre here,the yoga guru who is identified with the saffron camp extended support to the demand to extend Scheduled Caste quota to backward class Muslims,and said he would seek greater representation for Muslims in government.
People say that since I am a yoga guru and wear saffron,I do not believe in your cause. I ask them to come to Patanjali Yogpeeth,where 3,000 Muslims work for me. There is no Hindu-Muslim differentiation there. In government representation too,the practice should be like this. Politicians have divided us and we must not let that happen, Ramdev said.
At the conference attended by close to 600 Muslims from places like Mewat and Lucknow,the yoga guru added: I was only told when I was invited for this conference that Article 341 that speaks of Scheduled Castes does not cover Muslim and Christian Dalits. This is an unjust practice and needs to be changed. All Dalits should get equal rights,and this is a struggle that has my wholehearted support.
Promising to take up the issue along with corruption and black money at his rallies planned for June 3 and in August,he said: It is a strange system in a country that practises secularism.
Raising the midnight crackdown on his rally at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi in June last year,Ramdev claimed the government had justified it to the Supreme Court saying there were anti-national forces who lived around the area. So what if there is a mosque there? This just shows how they think, the yoga guru said.
The organisers of the event said they had reached out to Ramdev as they wanted Muslims to be part of the mainstream. He is the first crusader against black money and corruption and united so many people under his banner. We are a part of the affected people as well and have always supported him. Now we are asking him to represent us as well. Article 341 is a form of corruption that has denied us our right to equality and development for 60 years, said All India Muslim Morcha founder Dr Ejaz Ali.