Prominent Intellectuals and Social Leaders Chalk  out Strategies to Counter Divisive Forces

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Prominent Intellectuals and Social Leaders Chalk out Strategies to Counter Divisive Forces

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New Delhi: A gathering of intellectuals and social leaders from across the country discussed the challenge of communalism, social division, and strategies to counter it. They unanimously stressed the necessity for collaborative ground-level efforts to counteract this divisive trend.

The meeting convened by Maulana Mahmood Asa’d Madani-led Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind at its headquarters on August 19.

The assembly recognized that while the majority of the nation supports harmony and unity, positive voices have either been mute or have had difficulty reaching the public. As a result, people who support a divisive agenda appear to be more powerful than they actually are. Contrary to this perception, however, is reality. The collective call for the general public to actively participate evolved as a result, rejecting silence in favour of a concerted effort to preserve India’s unity and innate variety.

In his introductory remarks, Maulana Mahmood Madani, the president of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hindu, brought up important issues, including the worrying rise in religious prejudice towards a certain group of people. He highlighted Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s historical dedication to national unity and emphasized the necessity of continued communication and cooperation to knit the various threads of the country’s unique fabric together.

Renowned social thinker Vijay Pratap underscored the importance of dialogue (Sanwad). He lauded the meaningful contributions of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, highlighting that their sacrifices have left a lasting impact. Notably, even within a sectarian context of partition, India’s constitution was crafted on the bedrock of secularism. The nation served as a fertile ground for the growth of Islamic ideas and intellectual thoughts, nurturing remarkable Islamic thinkers whose absence from the discourse would render any discussion of global Islam incomplete. Moreover, Muslims, like their fellow citizens, play a substantial role in the nation’s progress. Thus, there’s no need for despondency in the face of current challenges. Such situations are universal and a testament to a nation’s resilience and sagacity. India, with its remarkable ability to adapt, stands as a living testament to this principle.

Noted economist Professor Arun Kumar emphasized that the propagation of right-wing ideologies thrives against the backdrop of economic inequality in the nation. He stated that the government’s assertion that over 130 million people have transcended the poverty threshold is entirely without merit.

Prominent Supreme Court senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde noted the current precarious time, emphasizing the importance of upholding and defending the Constitution against those who seek to undermine it. He stressed that the Constitution must be practiced in its true spirit and conveyed to those working against its principles.

Dr. Saurabh Bajpai, a historian at Delhi University, addressed the gathering in the second session, lauding Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s historical stance against partition. He highlighted that the majority of Indian Muslims opposed the partition, aligning themselves with the broader Indian identity rather than divisive ideologies. He emphasized that meaningful dialogue requires ideological clarity from all sides.

Renowned author Ms. Rajni Bakshi advocated for non-violence as a response to the prevailing situation. She emphasized that non-violence doesn’t mean acquiescence to injustice but calls for finding goodness in everyone and cultivating self-awareness.

Mr. Ramashankar Singh, Founder Chancellor of ITM University Gwalior, urged the formation of a unified federation across social classes to combat the present challenges. He called for the dissemination of messages from saints, Sufis, and freedom fighters to the new generations, countering the organized efforts of divisive elements.

Christian leader John Dayal highlighted the growing sectarianism and oppression of minorities, emphasizing that the constitutional rights of minorities must be protected, rendering dialogue futile if these rights are eroded.

Sardar Daya Singh, a member of the Sikh International Forum, pledged support for the Muslim community while standing against oppression.

This gathering of perspectives exemplified a unified call against communalism, emphasizing the importance of dialogue, historical resilience, and collective efforts to safeguard India’s pluralistic ethos.

Noteworthy attendees included Dr. Indu Prakash Singh, Vijay Mahajan, Prof. Ritu Priya JNU, Prof. MMJ Warsi Aligarh Muslim University, Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi Founder PVCHR, Kailash Meena RTI Activist, Bhai Tej Singh, Tabssum Fatima, Mritunjai Singh Researcher, Pushpa Raj Deshpande, Father Nicholas, Jayant Jagiyasuji, Anupam Ji, Avi Kathpalia, Harish Mishra Banaraswale, Dr. Heera Lal MLA, Father Nicholas Barala, Mohanlal Panda, Advocate Satish Timta, Father Vijay Kumar Naik, and Abhishek Shrivastav.