Monday, January 30, 2012

Teekhi Baat_Mahmood Madani/ January 28, 2012

Interview with Mahmood A. Madani, General Secretary, Jamiat Ulema e Hind for Teekhi Baat on IBN7

MM: Aadab, Prabhuji!
PC: These days it seems, as soon as elections come near, people of political parties think that Muslim brothers votes can be bought during elections by talking about 4 per cent, 8 per cent reservations. Do you think that the political parties think in the interest of your community?
MM: To think that political parties think that votes can be
PC: Political parties make such promises only when elections come near.
MM: What you say right, but say in Andhra we got (reservation) then it went to court, in Kerala it is already in existence, in Karnataka we have already got it, in Tamil Nadu we have got it, so in many places we have got it. In Maharastra also in some category..
PC: They have made quota within a quota there.
MM: Yes. But what to say is right to some extent. That to take such a decision (regarding reservation) the time of the elections is decided, then what you said, is the message that goes. Hence, to some extent you are right that people think this way (Muslim votes can be bought by promising reservations just before elections). But I think that in today’s date, Muslims are not going to decide on the basis of any declaration, announcement, gifts given.
PC: What do you think regarding the gift of reservations that is being given
MM: It is not a gift
PC: It is a gift, is what is being said.
MM: No, they (politicians) are telling it is a gift, but it is not so.
PC: Hence, people are not going to vote in the name of reservations.
MM: No, they are not.
PC: Out Muslim brothers understand that there are political strategies (to get votes)
MM: The issue is, that giving is different from making an announcement.
PC: You think that Muslim brothers will not be wooed by these political strategies.
MM: Not political strategy, but the message that has gone outside is this, after so much time has passed, at the last moment (just before elections) these issues are being remembered. And the way that they are going to give it (reservations) is wrong, and there are many other objections.
PC: Don’t you think that announcing reservations, it is been over 60 years (since independence) and there were no reservations in the name of religion. Now, are we are moving ahead, there is reservation, for every community but no reservation for poor people, in the name of the poor, be it Muslim, Hindu or Christian poor people. Because, there are 20 crore Muslim community in the country, the maximum number of poor are in your community.
MM: Yes.
PC: Then why don’t do ask for reservation for and in their name
MM: Please see, it is being asked in their name. But the situation regarding reservation, and where you talk of reservation, the political parties and the system is responsible for this. People are beginning to think that if they don’t get reservation, then they will not benefit. When reservation is a small instrument.
PC: Only 4.5 per cent jobs will be reserved, how many are there in total. (As in hardly anything)
MM: Yes, it is true.
PC: Hence, this is show put on by political parties to show that they are giving something, like a lollypop of 4 per cent, and hence you will be happy.
MM: The whole Muslim community and their leadership has denied this. Nobody has welcomed this (lollipop of reservations). They have not welcomed the way it is being given and the quantity. Not even the time that it is being given, specially the time at which it is being promised. People have not appreciated this. What you are saying is absolutely right.
PC: Hence at this moment you consider this act (of promising reservations before elections) as a drama. You consider it wrong to make such an announcement at this juncture (just before elections)
MM: You can term it whatever (Smiles and chuckles), in my words, this manner (of reservations) is very wrong. I consider it is wrong way to promise reservations. Nor will the demands be met by this measure as also the community will not benefit.
PC: Do you think it is right and support reservation based on religion.
MM: Please see, let me tell you one thing, reservation should be given on the basis of three things. Economical condition, educational and social. A majority of Muslims in the country, is most backward economically, socially and educationally. Then on the basis of that backwardness, they should get reservation. Not on the basis of religion. Now the debate that is going on regarding giving reservation in the name of religion, this is a weird debate. >From 1950 till now, you are giving reservation in the name of scheduled castes,
PC: In the name of scheduled tribes too
MM: In the name of scheduled tribes, but in 1950 you issued an ordinance and said that only a Hindu person will be scheduled caste. Hence, reservation was given in the name of religion. Hence, the double standard,
PC: Hence, that was the fault, scheduled caste can be anybody
MM: Can be anybody,
PC: It is by the work they do
MM: The work and the social status, see all those things. Now let them by anybody, they will be scheduled caste, but it was said only Hindus will be scheduled castes. Hence, this double standard should change. This is the first need.
PC: Why don’t you say that do and amendment and remove the Hindu word from there.
MM: Exactly. Exactly, later Sikhs, Buddhsits were included. We say that an announcement should be made that no religion, then the soul of the constitution will be preserved.
PC: In Scheduled caste reservation the Hindu word should be removed you say, then everybody will be included.
MM: Then everybody will be included.
PC: It will be on the basis of work not on the basis of caste.
MM: On the basis of work, certainly.
PC: Then why don’t you openly say this.
MM: We are saying, time and again, but there is nobody to listen. Today, you have taken it up in a good manner, and hence it then the message will go.
PC: Then reservation on the basis of religion will be over.
MM: Will be over. We say that certainly there should be no reservation on the basis of religion. But then make it all right everywhere. And give reservations to nobody in the name of Muslim community. We don’t ask reservation in the name of Muslims, we say educationally, socially and economically, all those communities in the country who are backward, on these three parameters, even if they are upper caste, anybody who has become backward, given them reservation.
PC: These days people are saying that only one person in each family should get the benefit of reservation, if one person in the family gets a job on the basis of reservation, then the other one should not. Should this formula also be adopted? VP Singh had said in parliament that I am ready to abolish reservation if every family agrees that only a member of each family will come within the quota, the second wont.
MM: This is a good idea and should be thought upon. And the people for whose benefit reservation has been implemented, there should be a talk with those leaders and organisations, regarding many more improvements which can be done, there is need, time has come to do improvement.
PC: Initially you said that Muslim brothers are socially, economically and educationally backward, doesn’t the responsibility for this go on the leaders of your community.
MM: Yes, it does, certainly, it does.
PC: If the majority of the Muslims have not yet joined the mainstream.
MM: Please see, I say we are number one responsible for this, certainly I agree, but along with that, I want to say that in developing countries, and especially in country like India, without the support of the political establishment, no community can be uplifted. Then we are taking the responsibility of our condition on ourselves, along with the same, we also hold the political establishment responsible.
PC: If the conditions of Muslim are bad in the country today, leaders like you and others are responsible, you agree on that.
MM: Yes, we agree.
PC: But you did not get political support, hence people could not be uplifted ,you are saying.
MM: Its means that the political parties of the country, the ruling governments, have not worked with seriousness on this issue in the past 60 years.
PC: But this community has given Maulana Abdul Kalam, APJ Abdul Kalam, and such big leaders like Kidwai sahab, there were big leaders, who served the nation, and are known as good leaders, we are proud of their leadership, but even after that, there is vaccum in Muslim leadership in the country. In the past 20 years, no Muslim leader has come on the national stage. In different states there are leaders, some from the Muslim League, somebody in Hyderabad, UP. Hence, there is no effort at your end to have a national leadership, people who are nationalist and protect their religion too.
MM: Please see, there are two issues in this. It is true that there is no national leadership of Muslims, but not of Hindus also. It is difficult that the same leadership will control religion and politics. India is a diverse country, diverse society, multi lingual, multi faith.
PC: Buy you old leaders which have been were respect by Hindus equally as Muslims did.
MM: Yes, the truth is that our own people, Muslims have given their political leadership to non Muslims. They made them leader. They made Indiraji leader, they went with Rajivji, then with Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Mulayam Singh and many more.. And in a way this is a good thing. Hence, in the country, Muslims don’t search for such a leadership that they will search for a different political flag. But the Ganga-Jamuna culture of the country has taught the people to live with everybody together. But political parties have done injustice, they did not make political leaders of Muslims, but made Muslim leaders of their own parties, you undertand
PC: I understood.
MM: They did not allow a leadership of Muslims to evolve, But made Muslim leaders of their own parties.
PC: You said that there are Muslim leaders in Congress, BJP they are not there, there are Muslim leaders in Samajwadi Party. But nothing is talked about one who respects Muslims, the question is who can earn the respect of Muslims? One who speaks like them, or reservation or something else. Or the one who talks of their development, improving their economic condition. Now leaders are talking of introducing reservation, not implementing RTI on educational institutions, they are talking of keeping the community away from the mainstream.
MM: See, whatever talks are happening, like the talks of reservation, this is not the talk of keeping the community away from mainstream, but it is an issue of joining the people with the mainstream. That when they will have employment, have an opportunity to serve the country, then their sense of belongingness with increase even more, it is our country.
PC: Kalaam sahab became the president of this country, he did not become in the name of reservation, he did not need any reservation.
MM: Please see, he became president.
PC: He became president. Our Vice President is Muslim, on merit.
MM: He is become on merit of something else, that you know well. Kalam sahab certainly has merit and Anasari sahab is an able man, an educated man, and have respect in the community, both have respect in the community, people love them. I also know that Kalam sahab has the love of people, of this country, and listen, this is the hope for the Muslims of this country, that if you study, do hard work, then you will surely get chance.
PC: Will get
MM: Will get, certainly. Reservation is but a small instrument. In today’s date, government jobs in the country, are how many percent?
PC: There are hardly any government jobs being created these days.
MM: 3 per cent, they are not going to be more than 3 per cent, this will reduce. Now, whatever job opportunities are there, more than 97 per cent are out of state.
PC: But please tell me one thing, people like Salman Rushdide, his book was banned in 1988, there is no question of lifting the ban. But now his face would not even be shown on TV, thinking this is wrong.
MM: His face is being seen now, people are seeing it.
PC: If it is the question of his coming on TV, if any right of expression, like the whole country rose in support of Hussain sahab.
MM: No, nobody stood, and even we didn’t. Even we objected that person since the first day,
PC: Am speaking of right of expression, it is his right of expression (MF Hussain)
MM: See, there is a limitation of everything. If any person will cross his limit, and people will get hurt. Please see, this country is a religious country, there are religious people here, hence this country is beautiful, otherwise if any other country has so much diversity and it still manages to retain itself, is impossible. One cannot see so much diversity, and we can see so much diversity where there are Indians.
PC: But it is fine not to let Salman Rushdie speak, you think it is right way? Let it be Hussain?
MM: There can be an objection on the way, but the way which Salman Rushdie has taken, how can we support that. You tell me , how can we support it, what me, even you will not support, he has insulted the Gita. Neither you will support nor us.
PC: But if he comes and give a speech, if he is not speaking on any controversial topic, then what is the need to ban him from speaking.
MM: To stop him from speaking or not is another issue.
PC: Will you agree that this issue was raised because there are elections in UP.
MM: It may be possible that due to that reason this issue was raised but he was coming to Rajasthan.
PC: Before that many times he had come to India, then no issue was raised.
MM: Yes, this point is true.
PC: Hence, don’t you feel, whoever did it, did it to take political benefit.
MM: it may be so, it may be so.
PC: No, what is you view
MM: (Laughs)
PC: To give weight to an issue which had been buried, is to benefit some political party in the elections
MM: This may be true, yes, may be
PC: What do you think about UP. Like Muslim brothers have formed Peace party, some other dal’s have been formed. You are in RLD now.
MM: Hmm
PC: Will you be with them in future, with whom will you fight elections.
MM: (Laughs) Wherever you want, I will be there (laughs). No, no, it is out party, we are with it.
PC: Now are you campaigning in elections.
MM: If I am told, then I will campaign, certainly.
PC: What do you feel about elections in UP.
MM: Please see, I have no idea of what the result of the UP elections may be. I am hearing form people that it will be a mixed bag, there will be no clear (mandate).
PC: You said that if called, you will do election campaigning. Ajit Singh has not invited you till now, for campaigning.
MM: Where has the campaigning started till now.
PC: People are going, Rahul Gandhi is going there.
MM: He is going there from many years.
PC: So now you are not ready for campaigning.
MM: No, no, if party puts us on duty, i will surely do it.
PC: Till now you have received no invitation.
MM: What is invitation, I am a small worker, whenever there is an order, will go and work.
PC: When you will go ,you will ask votes for the Congress.
MM: Please see what will happen, please see what happens.
PC: But RLD is with the Congress now.
MM: They have an alliance.
PC: Hence, when you will go you will say that make our Congress stronger.
MM (Laughs…)
PC: You are not in a mood to answer.
MM: I have told, what you say you say..?(Laughs)
PC: You don’t want to say anything (on this topic)
MM: (Smiles)….Thank you Prabhuji !

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