To tap into the Muslim population of the state ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections, Zafar Sareshwala, considered a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has decided to hold various workshops with an aim to “empower” the members of the Muslim community.
Sareshwala, the Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University who recently accompanied Modi during his two-day visit to UAE, has announced to hold 22 workshops across the state, a trial seminar of which was held in Bareilly on July 26.
“Over 1,000 people from the community, including 250 women, attended the seminar. We were surprised. The community wants to move ahead,” he said, while claiming that he had been flooded with requests from the community members to organise such seminars in their cities ever since.
Sareshwala, who has named the workshops ‘Talim Ki Taqat’, spoke of the need to organise such events.
“Muslims cannot just sit in their homes believing that since it is the BJP government, nothing will be done for their community. Modi will not bare his chest to show what all schemes he has launched for the Muslims. We have to take the initiative and trust the central government,” Sareshwala said in an appeal that was circulated among the community members.
Eminent personalities such as chairman of public sector banks, former bureaucrats, educationists and even central ministers would be attending these seminars, Sareshwala said, and added that the workshops’ name — Talim Ki Taqat — was given by legendary scriptwriter Salim Khan who is part of the programme.
Without naming anyone, Sareshwala also lashed out at the current Muslim leadership, saying it was “totally disconnected with the community, especially the youths”. “They don’t know (about) the development work (being undertaken). We are approaching the Muslims with a vision to empower them,” he said. He also said that invitation would also be sent to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to attend the workshops.