'Who Gave You Right to Represent Minorities?': Kerala CM Slams Jamaat-e-Islami Over RSS Meeting

'There is no need for more proof than this to show that the sectarians are united in suppressing secularism and democratic values.'

New Delhi: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan became the latest to criticise the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for its decision to hold talks with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in New Delhi.

In a Facebook post uploaded yesterday, Vijayan said that the JIH’s claim that there is a need for dialogue with RSS reflects its own hypocrisy.

JIH’s general secretary T. Arif Ali recently revealed that the talks with RSS had “focused on mob lynching and suppression of the marginalised sections in many parts of the country,” according to The Hindu.

Vijayan asked for more clarity on what was discussed.

“Jamaat-e-Islami’s argument that there is a need for dialogue and discussion beyond disagreements with the group reveals their hypocrisy. The Jamaat-e-Islami leadership should clarify what was discussed with the RSS and what was the content of the meeting,” he wrote.

Vijayan wrote that the logic forwarded by the JIH official was strange, as was the JIH’s idea that it represented minorities:

“The logic of Jamaat-e-Islami that the RSS is an organization that can be reformed and transformed through dialogue is equivalent to thinking that a leopard’s spots can be erased with a bath. The argument that the discussion was held to present the common problems of the Indian minorities before the RSS which controls the country’s administration is even more strange.

“Who gave Jamaat-e-Islam the right to represent minorities? Whatever the content of the discussion, it is not to help the minorities of the country. Protection of minorities means protection of religious freedom. Are these the organizers who do not know who is disrupting it? How can secularism and minority protection be possible if we negotiate with such people?”

According to the Hindu report, leaders of the Kerala Muslim Jamat, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen and Sunni Yuvajana Sangham had all criticised the JIH’s for this overture, in individual and organisational capacities.

Largely in consonance with what they said, Vijayan said that the talk appeared to support the RSS’s Hindutva agenda.

“The secular community in India today is fighting hard against the extreme Hindutva politics of the Sangh Parivar. At this stage, such actions support the RSS agenda. There is no need for more proof than this to show that the sectarians are united in suppressing secularism and democratic values. This is a challenge to the secular community,” he said.

Vijayan has earlier too been critical of both JIH and the RSS.

RSS, meanwhile, has been meeting Muslim community and organisation leaders with greater frequency of late. News reports have noted that on the agenda are hate speech, anti-Muslim violence and intolerance. However, many have questioned the efficacy of such meetings, noting the recently diminished role of the RSS in Hindutva and the fact that it still adheres to a communal line of thinking.