Muslim leaders who gathered at a meeting organized by the Indian Minorities Foundation (IMF) and Sufi Islamic Board (SIB) in Mumbai on November 27 stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'inclusive policies' have promoted religious freedom and are helping India's Muslims achieve hitherto unseen progress.
Meeting's theme - 'Jazba-E-Hubul-Watani'
The leaders gathered at the Birla Matoshri Auditorium on Monday for discussions under the theme ‘Jazba-E-Hubul-Watani’. The meeting was attended by leaders from different groups like Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Dawoodi Bohra, and Pasmanda.
In one of their strongest endorsements of the government's developmental policies, the leaders said that the government's efforts to provide equal opportunities in different sectors were contributing to the socio-economic advancement of India's Muslims. They mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a developed India by 2047 had their support and commitment. The gathering of leaders passed what they called the "Mumbai Resolution" in affirmation of their support for Modi's vision. They also stated that those who promoted terrorism against the country do not have their support.
Apart from the IMF, led by convenor Satnam Singh Sandhu, the leaders included Mansoor Khan, national president Sufi Islam Board; Zafar Sareshwalla, founder of Parsoli Group of Companies and educationist; Maulana Zaheer Abbas Rizvi, president, Shia Ulama Board of Maharashtra and vice president All India Shia Personal Board; Asif Bhamla of Bhamla Foundation, Sohail Khandwani of the Haji Ali Trust and Makhdoom Shah Baba Trust (Mahim); Iqbal Memon, president of All India Memon Jamat and Dr. Zahir Qazi, president Anjuman-I-Islam. Maharashtra’s minister of minority development and Aukaf, Abdul Sattar was the chief guest at the event.
Guests praise PM Modi
Sattar said that Muslims have benefited in an unprecedented way from the government's welfare schemes in the last nine years. “Equal opportunities have been provided to the members of the Muslim community as envisioned in our constitution, and their welfare has been prioritized. Their equal representation has been ensured in policymaking and lawmaking in the country, be it in the parliament and any other institution in the country,” he said.
The minister said that the government has been recognizing the contribution of Muslims in various fields, one example of which is the increasing number of Muslims receiving the Padma awards in the last nine years. Sareshwalla said that Modi's government has fairly allocated funds under various welfare schemes. He also said that Modi has changed the international perception of the country and has given it a global voice that is stronger.
Indian Muslims have helped in independence movement & are now helping country become global power
Kazi said that Muslims of India have not only contributed to the independence movement but are now helping the country become a global power in education, science and technology, and business. "There are organizations like Anjuman-I-Islam which have a 150-year-old legacy of providing empowerment through education to the vulnerable section of society. India has a strong and decisive leadership in the form of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is not only taking the nation forward on the path of progress and development but also ensuring that the benefits of development reach all sections of society," said Kazi.
Khandwani said that Sufism plays an important role in promoting secularism and nationalism. "Every Indian has the responsibility not only towards his or her religion, family, and society but also towards the country," he said, adding that the PM Awas Yojana has ensured equal distribution of housing for minorities. He said that entrepreneurship has seen a rise among Muslims with schemes like PM Mudra Yojna giving loans to Muslim entrepreneurs.
"Nation building is our responsibility"
Sandhu said that the contribution of every minority community to India’s growth is increasing. "However, it is more important that every minority community resolutely makes their contribution during the next 25 years as India is dreaming to become a developed nation,” said Sandhu. “In the next 25 years, our responsibility towards nation-building should be more serious, and we should be determined to achieve this goal and play our role in the nation’s journey to become a developed country."
Sandhu, who is also the chancellor of Chandigarh University, announced that the center for research on minority communities that will be established at the university will be the first-of-its-kind in the country. “For setting up this research center, our first collaborator on this project will be Anjuman-I-Islam,” he added.
Rizvy said, "A Muslim without the love for his country is not a Muslim. A Muslim can accept every struggle, every challenge, but what is not acceptable is the separation from the motherland, from the country. We belong to India, and will live on this land and die here. We are all One and will remain united as One. Indian Muslims will continue to protect the country and contribute to its progress.”
"India is land where Prophet Mohammed smelled fragrance of faith"
Khan said that India is the land from where Prophet Mohammed smelled the fragrance of faith. "And it is the same country which our master Imam Hussain Alaihis Salaam desired to visit. We are fortunate to have been born in this country. Betrayal to the nation is betrayal to the teachings of Prophet about love for the country," he said. "After the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, I sent an open letter to the President of Pakistan giving a stern warning to it and condemning its terrorist activities in the name of religion. Even today's