Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Rejoinder to Mr. Arif Mohammed Khan, a former Indian Union Minister

The article “Sending A Wrong Message” (The Times of India, September 30) by Mr. Arif Mohammed Khan, a former union minister, is a bundle of distortions and it can only be described as an appeasement to the Sangh parivar for political and other reasons. This is the election time! He has levelled wrong and unbelievable charges against the pious Deobandi Ulema perhaps because they opposed his stand during the Shah Bano case controversy strongly with the result that he had to lose his ministerial berth. The Deobandi Ulema are not involved in any religious conversional disputes. They are not against the holy Qur’an to distort its teachings as he has mentioned. The fact is that they respect the humanity and give importance to the human values as enshrined in the holy Qur’an and ahaadees.
It is well known that Deobandi Ulema belong to that great patriotic and loyal citizens who took part in the freedom struggle of our country and suffered a lot. They were opposed to the two-nation theory. They are not only teaching the Islamic theology and other subjects, but also practically going to the rescue of the poor and helpless wards by taking them under their care, imparting good education and making them worthy citizens of this country. The kind of service they render is unmatched. Neither the government nor any modern educational institution renders such free education with care and shelter to the poor and helpless students. Nobody can deny the fact that the Deobandi graduates are strong in Urdu, Hindi and Arabic languages. They are respectable personalities. People salute them, embrace them, and seek their “dua”. It is these religious schools which have given dignity and status to the helpless people.
It is very unfortunate that Mr. Arif has blamed them instead of respecting and honouring them for their humanitarian and dedicated services. There are thousands of good hearts belonging to all communities who can understand the great services rendered by them. In short in my humble opinion criticising them is like criticising great personalities like Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.
V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

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