When he decided to come to Uluberia in Howrah to attend the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) camp, he had in mind what an Union minister had to face last year for coming late to a Sangh event in Agra. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had made the minister sit at the last row.
So, Mazharul Haque (32) — a resident of Asansol in Burdwan district — took the late night train from Asansol to Howrah and was in Uluberia early morning to ensure that he was not late for Sunday’s “initiation” camp.
“An important reason why I joined the Sangh is their discipline and strict punctuality,’’ said Haque, a devout Muslim, who was among the 15 new swayamsevaks initiated to the RSS at the Uluberia camp. Haque and the other 14 new members had applied online to join the RSS around six months ago. After some initial formalities, they were called for a one-day initiation programme at the RSS’ Uluberia Sakha.
Son of a businessman originally from Bihar, Haque got attracted to RSS after the Modi government came to power at the Centre in May 2014. “I believed Prime Minister Narendra Modi would bring India to the path of development with the help of science and technology.
He is a politician with a vision. I wrote to the Prime Minister suggesting ways to make India scientifically developed,” he said.
Haque added: “Then I wanted to join BJP. As I was surfing Internet, I stumbled on the RSS website. I read books and was convinced that there could be no clash between the RSS ideology and any religion, including Islam. RSS speaks of nationalism, the greatness of our country. I understood anybody — Muslim, Christian, Jain, etc — can join the organisation. Hence, the decision to become a swayamsevak.”
An employee of a private firm at Asansol and the father of three children, Haque keeps Roja and offers Namaz regularly. For him, Hindutva is synonymous to Indianness. “Hindutva has got nothing to do with Hinduism. It is synonymous to Indianness. All Indians are Hindus in the sense that they are inhabitants of India. There should not be any controversy regarding this,’’ he said.
Haque, who said he enjoys the full support of his family and friends in his new endeavour, added that there is a lot of misconception about RSS among Muslims. “This happens because they do not come close. For example, we can talk of Deoband and RSS. Let the leaders of both the organisations sit and talk. We are all brothers, we love each other, we live for each other and die for each other. Let this thought prevail over all others and am sure we will move forward,’’ he claimed.
RSS spokesman Jishnu Basu said: “Among those who joined us are IT professionals. All, including Haque, are responding to our instructions in an excellent manner.”
Bidyut Mukherjee, Sauho Pranta Pracharak of RSS in South Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said that since September 2014, around 10,300 new swayamsevaks have been inducted into the organisation.