“There is a need to guard against fear-mongering that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is against minorities or that Islam is in danger in India. I believe that the DNA of the people of India is the same and that both Hindus and Muslims are one entity,” said Dr Mohan Rao Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak, RSS, on Sunday at the Kitaab book launch event where he unveiled Dr Khwaja Iftikhar Ahmed’s book – “The Meeting of Minds: A Bridging Initiative”. The book launch at Ghaziabad was organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in association with Muslim Rashtriya Manch and presented by Shree Cement Ltd.
“When people speak about the need for Hindu-Muslim unity, we say we are already one, we are not separate,” Bhagwat said.
Leading professors, scholars, students and eminent personalities from across the globe attended the event that was streamed live. “This is a historic moment as intellectuals meet at one point. The book, which took me eleven months to write, is an honest straight forward account of economics, politics, emotional and many other aspects that determine our national interest; and the fate of tomorrow’s India. We need dialogue and not deadlock, there should be trust and brotherhood among Hindus and Muslims and together we shall make India the `Vishwa Guru’,” said author Dr Khwaja Iftikhar Ahmed who is revered scholar, philosopher and academic.
“Honesty, integrity and credibility are the hallmarks of any relationship and would guide all the future actions and initiatives. He lamented that secular politics of today has brought us to a dead end. If there is no organisation, there is no ideology; if there is no ideology, there are no ideologue; if there are no ideologue, there is no direction; if there is no action and instead of response people react,” said, Dr Khwaja, whose book is now available in English, Hindi and Urdu.
Dr Khwaja lavished praised on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “We are lucky to have one of the most decisive prime minister ever. He calls a spade a spade and takes firm decisions.”
Dr Mohan Bhagwat said that political parties cannot act as tools to either help unite people or deepen the divide but can influence it. Allaying fears that a majoritarian sentiment is gaining ground in India, he said when atrocities take place against the minorities, voices in protest come from the majority itself. “If anyone says that Muslims should not stay in India then he is not a Hindu,” Bhagwat said.
Alluding to violence against minorities by alleged cow vigilantes, Bhagwat said that though cows are revered in India, violence in the name of cow protection cannot be condoned. “Law should take its course. They should investigate without partiality and punish the guilty. Anyone who is involved in lynching is not a Hindu,” he said.
Kitaab is an initiative of Prabha Khaitan Foundation which provides a forum for book launches by connecting intellectuals, book lovers and litterateurs with authors. Eminent authors like Shashi Tharoor, Vikram Sampath, Salman Khurshid, Kunal Basu, Vir Sanghvi, Vikas Jha, Luke Kutinho, Jeffrey Archer, Devdutt Patnaik, Anupam Kher, Ram Madhav, Guru Prakash Paswan, Sanjaya Baru and others have earlier had book launching sessions at Kitaab.