Indresh Kumar & the absurdity of RSS' attempt to Hinduise Islam
Attempts by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to propagate a 'Hindu-ised' view of Islam are acquiring ridiculous proportions.
Even as BJP governments at the Centre and in states go about tom-tomming their empty slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas”, allied organisations of the Sangh Parivar are either busy making demands from Muslims or thrashing them if they don't comply.
Indresh Kumar's commandments
Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar's commandments for Muslims are the latest in this campaign.
Speaking at an iftar party hosted by Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), the sham Muslim-front of the RSS, Kumar called upon Muslims in India to give up meat, keep a tulsi plant in their homes and plant trees during Ramzan to tackle pollution and protect the environment.
The iftar party was organised at New Delhi's Jamia Milia Islamia University on 5 June amidst loud protests by students. Kumar, MRM's patron, was the chief guest. Vice-chancellor Talat Ahmad was also scheduled to attend, but eventually skipped the controversial event.
Kumar reportedly delivered a long address that carried on even after prayers at a local mosque announced it was time for breaking the fast. His speech and interaction with assembled journalists later appeared to be a list of do's and dont's for Muslims to follow to, in his own words, make Islam “beautiful”.
He told the gathering that, “From Prophet Adam to the last Prophet, and even (the Prophet Muhammad’s wife) Aisha, never ate ‘gosht’ (meat)...and that meat is a ‘disease’.”
The “cure” for this disease, according to Kumar, is “milk” and he believes that the Prophet and his descendants had ordained that the drinks served at iftar must have milk in them. MRM has been making headlines recently for announcing that it will organise cow milk parties across 25 states during the month of Ramzan.
MRM is a phoney organisation, and most Muslims probably know that. The iftar party cannot be called successful by any standards as most of the attendees in the limited gathering were members of MRM. Even protestors were reportedly not a large crowd, indicating that Kumar and his outfit neither inspire admiration nor anger among Muslims.
However, it is their audacity that is shocking because given the power that their parent organisation, the RSS wields, their statements and action have the potential of snowballing. Besides, they are very much in sync with other aspects of the Sangh Parivar's anti-Muslim agenda, being unleashed officially through the BJP's governments and surreptitiously through fringe elements.
What else gives Kumar the gall to issue these dictates? Who is he to tell Muslims, or anybody else for that matter, what to eat and what not to? Has he ever been heard telling Hindus to give up meat?
Are all members of RSS and BJP vegetarians? Even if they claim to be that, has their vegetarianism guaranteed purity of thought? Haven't they been found guilty of plotting and executing terror attacks? What explains their love for weapons that they so proudly profess during Vijayadashami celebrations?
Kumar himself is a controversial figure - his name came up in connection with the bomb blasts in Ajmer in 2007 and in Malegaon in 2008. The prime accused in the Malegaon case, Colonel Shrikant Purohit, mentioned Kumar during his interrogation and his name also figured in the chargesheet filed by the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in the Ajmer case.
These are attempts to force Muslims to adopt the Hindu way of living and are just short of asking them to convert - ghar wapsi, in other words. RSS and BJP leaders have long held that Indians Muslims have a Hindu lineage which they must accept.
Some, like BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, have even advocated disenfranchisement of Muslims if they refuse to acknowledge their Hindu ancestry. MRM's and Indresh Kumar's exhortations for Indian Muslims are in keeping with this campaign.