Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh national executive member Indresh Kumar has been instrumental in forming the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, on behalf of the saffron organisation, to connect with Muslims. In an interview to Shyamlal Yadav, the 65-year-old Kumar, who has been linked to saffron terror cases by probe agencies, claims that around 10 per cent of Muslim voters voted for BJP in the elections and 10-12 per cent did not vote for any party as they have so far been only used as a vote bank. Excerpts:
You have been working among Muslims. Has BJP got Muslim votes in this elections?
In 65 years of politics, Muslims are now at the crossroads. They are angry with Congress, and they have started hating the regional parties for whom they had been voting. They have realised they got nothing from their votes or from the bashing of RSS and BJP. Around 10-12 per cent Muslims did not vote this time. My estimate is that in each constituency, 4-5 per cent to 19-20 per cent Muslims voted for BJP. On an average, 9-10 per cent Muslims have certainly voted for BJP.
How can you say that?
Very few of their religious leaders made appeals to vote for particular parties. Appeals from the Imam of Jama Masjid or head of Darul Uloom were opposed from within. Muslims voted as per their conscience.
What were the reasons for Muslims voting for BJP?
Muslims are seeing a new hope in BJP. Also, Narendra Modi’s words like “Qaatil saabit hota hoon to mujhe maafi nahi dena, faansi pe latka dena” also touched them. Musalmanon ko laga ki yeh mardaangi waali baat hai. No leader of any other party had guts to say such words.
For the first time, there is a BJP government with its own majority. There are several welfare schemes for Muslims. Do you think there is need to review them?
When you ask only about Muslims among the minorities, it is the most communal question. Why do you not talk about Christians, Sikhs, Jains and other minority communities. There is cheating in the name of Muslims. They have so far been cheated. When others were given lesser facilities, why did they progress while Muslims remained backward? They must ponder over it. There must not be any scheme in the name of ‘hate’ or ‘appeasement’. There are several schemes which are just on paper to buy votes.
Should the new government review all those schemes?
There must be a demand from Muslims themselves that politics of appeasement must end now. There are no welfare schemes in the name of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Rani Jhansi, Rahim, Bahadurshah Zafar and Shivaji among others. This biased approach towards our heroes must end. I am sure that Muslims themselves will consider these things. There are good signals from the Muslim community itself. Article 370 is among the reasons for violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Last year we took signatures of lakhs of Muslims of the Valley and handed them over to the President. Then you may remember there was no violence after the Supreme Court order on Ayodhya, despite apprehensions. I can say from my experiences of working among the Muslims that they want to solve the country’s problems peacefully.
Your name was being taken in several terror cases and you accused the outgoing government of conspiracy. Now that the BJP government is coming to power, what is your demand from them regarding the saffron terror cases?
I have been saying from the first day that this was a political conspiracy hatched by the Congress-led UPA government. The CBI, NIA, ATS were all were misused politically. After working for years, they all have failed. They indicted me but got nothing against me. The government is the culprit. I cannot say if all of them (accused arrested in saffron terror cases) should be let off. But they must get bail.
Innocent Muslims who were arrested must also get bail. Agencies must file chargesheets soon and if they are innocent they must be exonerated. Government is yet to be formed but I can say we don’t need any favour. Lekin jahan bhi logo par julm huye hain, atyachar huye hain, unconstitutional aur anaitik kaam huye hain, unhe mukti dilanee chahiye (But those who suffered injustice and atrocities should be freed). It may take four months or a year, but process (of review of these cases) must start now. The election results have come as second freedom, this freedom we have got from our own people. (Congress leaders) Digvijaya Singh and Manish Tewari must realise that they do not have any right to spoil anybody’s life. These leaders and these agencies must apologise publicly.
Which of the three issues — Ram Temple, Article 370 and Common Civil Code — should be taken on priority by the government?
Farooq Abdullah is in favour of Article 370 but the election results have proved that he and Omar have lost their ground. Hamara samvidhan samaan nagrik kanoon wala hi samvidhan hai. Galat interpretation se samasya khadi ho jati hai. Aisa vichar karenge to common civil code ki zaroorat nahi padegi. (Our Constitution is based on common law for all citizens. Problem arises because of wrong interpretation. If we think on this line, there won’t be need for common civil code). As far as the temple issue is concerned, the BJP has already said it will solve the dispute peacefully, within the ambit of the Constitution. I am sure that lakhs of Muslims will come forward to solve this problem.