Office-bearers of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind led by Maulana Mahmood Madani on Sunday decided that there was need to tone down the anti-Narendra Modi rhetoric. Adding that a change of dispensation was “the norm in a democracy”, the meeting also passed a resolution urging the new government to take up governance without any discrimination.
Addressing a meeting of clerics from all over India, Jamiat general secretary and former Rajya Sabha MP Madani reportedly said that keeping in view the changed political scene in the country, Muslims needed to consider all aspects of a situation before making combative public statements against the elected PM.
Madani added that this did not mean that the wounds of the 2002 Gujarat riots had healed or that all was forgotten and forgiven, but that it was time to adopt a pragmatic approach to deal with the situation. Taking on an elected government may not be the best way forward for development of the community, he said.
A socio-religious organisation of Muslim clerics with roots in Uttar Pradesh but presence across the country, the Jamiat has always been stridently opposed to Modi. During the just concluded elections in Varanasi, Jamiat had supported Congress candidate Ajay Rai against Modi, actively working on the ground to consolidate Muslim voters against him.
However, Madani had been the rare cleric to come out in support of Modi’s refusal to wear a skull cap saying that such gestures were the kind of appeasement politics that had made a fool of Muslims over the years.
Approximately 700 representatives — including administrative officials and members of Jamiat working committees in various states — attended Sunday’s meeting at the Jamiat headquarters in Delhi.
Said a source present at the meeting: “It has been the practice for many years now to speak in very extreme language about Narendra Modi. However now that he is set to take over as the democratically elected prime minister with an impressive mandate, there is a need to let go of the past and start having constructive dialogue with the government on the community’s welfare. That door is closed if we do not accept the reality.
That is why a resolution has been passed that there should not be any unnecessary badmouthing of Modi.”
The meeting also resolved that the demands for Muslim reservation and passing of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, would remain. All efforts would be made by the Jamiat to pursue both issues with the new government at all levels, it was decided.