New Delhi: Days after a Muslim youth from Haryana was murdered by passengers on a train a short distance from the national capital, the Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA), a pro-Modi Muslim group in Aligarh, has appealed to the prime minister to “do something to stop the open lynching of Muslims who are Indian citizens”.
What makes the call especially significant is that FMSA head Jasim Mohammad was one of the first Muslim activists in the country to welcome Modi after he won a decisive mandate on behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party in May 2014 and to have, in his own words, “expressed faith in Modi’s vision of sabka saath, sabka vikas”.
Jasim who has been receiving flak from other Muslims the past three years for supporting Modi has, in his letter, finally sought to alert the prime minister to the “rising tide of anarchy against Muslims in the country”.
“Since a long time, some incidents are taking place in [the] country, particularly in north India wherein the Muslims are being lynched on one pretext or the other, which is sending a wrong message among society not only among Muslims but also in other communities,” said Jasim in his letter, a copy of which is with The Wire.
“Such incidents like [the one in which] Junaid, a Hafiz-e-Qur’an, has been lynched on a Mathura-bound train between Okhla and Asoti villages (Haryana) have increased concern for the security of Indian citizens who happen to be Muslims. Though the incident concerns the state government, people look towards the Central government and say why [it] is not taking any action,” the letter further said.
“There is dire need to control and contain such incidents otherwise I am afraid that we are entering a dangerous phase which will indicate that the government has lost control. I am associating with thousands of people socially and carrying on your agenda, so please pay attention and do something to stop the open lynching of Muslims who are Indian citizens,” said Jasim, who has written six books in Urdu praising Modi’s idea of governance and has met the prime minister several times in the past two years.
The titles of Jasim Mohammad’s books make his leanings amply clear: Narendra Bhai Modi “Farsh se Arsh Tak”,
Statesman Narendra Modi, Mann se Jan tak – Narendra Modi, Aalami Qaid – Narendra Bhai Modi, Narendra Modi Calling, Mann Ki Baat’ I & II and The Message Narendra Modi.
Mohammad told Modi in his letter that though he was proud of being called a “Modi bhakt”, he did not have any answer to questions posed to him by fellow Muslims about the perceived silence of the Modi government and its inaction in preventing the lynching of Muslims in the country.
“I feel proud and honoured to be called a ‘Modi bhakt’. I am associated with you and publicly favour you without any hitch. But now thousands of people are asking me questions about this rise of lynching trend, but I am at loss to reply them,” wrote Jasim who last year announced the establishment of ‘Narendra Modi scholarships’ for poor and bright Muslim students.
He said that the call among Muslims to observe Eid while wearing a black ribbon as a protest against the trend of lynching would hurt the country in the eyes of people the world over. “You will be aware that now Muslims are appealing on social media and in public to celebrate this Eid wearing black badges as [a] protest. I believe that this will not only send a wrong message within country but it will certainly make impact internationally,” he said.
Jasim Mohammad said in his letter to Modi that the failure to take action against the rising trend of anarchy against Muslims, would eventually be bad for Modi’s image of running a strong government.
Finally, apprehensive that his letter should not be taken as criticism of Modi’s governance, he ends his letter saying, “Believe me, I am with you but I am sending you this letter in good faith to save your dignity and prestige apart [from] saving national unity.”