Union Minister Satya Pal Singh Baghel stirred up controversy by saying that “tolerant Muslims can be counted on fingers”, and it too “was a tactic to lead a public life wearing a mask” as it leads to vice-president, governor, or vice-chancellor posts.
“But the real face of such “so-called intellectuals” from the community gets revealed after they complete their term in office or retire,” he alleged.
The remarks were made on Monday by the Union minister of state for law and justice while he was speaking at the Dev Rishi Narad Patrakar Samman Samaroh, an event where journalists were honoured by the media arm of the RSS, Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra.
“Tolerant Muslims can be counted on fingers. I think their number is not even in the thousands. And, that too is a tactic to live in public life wearing the mask as the route leads to the house of vice president, governor or vice chancellor,” Baghel said.
“But when they retire, they give real statements. When they leave the chair, they give a statement which shows their reality,” he added.
After Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar stated during his speech at the event that India must fight Islamic fundamentalism but that “tolerant Muslims should be taken along,” the Union minister made his comments.
Mahurkar asserted that Chhatrapati Shivaji had viewed him in a “positive light” in reference to the Mughal emperor Akbar’s initiatives to promote Hindu-Muslim unity during his rule.
“Akbar tried his best to achieve Hindu-Muslim unity,” he said. Dismissing the remarks, Baghel, however, termed Akbar’s efforts mere “tactics” and alleged that the Mughal emperor’s marriage with Jodha Bai was part of his “political strategy”. “It did not come from his heart. Otherwise, the massacre of Chittorgarh would not have happened,” he said, adding, “Look at the Mughal period the deeds of Aurangzeb. Sometimes, I wonder how did we survive.”
Baghel claimed that the defeat of Rajput King Prithviraj Chouhan by Muhammad Ghori in 1192 AD, marked the start of India’s bad days. Baghel also brought up the subject of religious conversion, claiming that more people have converted to another religion through “gande-tabeez” (amulets) than under the influence of swords.
“Be it Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz Saheb, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, or Saleem Chisti Still today, people from our community go there in large numbers seeking children, jobs, tickets (to contest election), ministerial berth, elevation from a minister of state to a cabinet minister,” he added.
According to the minister, members of the minority community question how they could become “subjects” after serving as “rulers” for such a long time. The provision of high-quality education is the key to the problem’s solution. One day, it might offer a solution to the issue.
“If they study in a madrassa, they will learn Urdu, Arabic and Persian. All literature is good but with such study, they will become Pesh-Imam. And if they study physics and chemistry, they will become Abdul Kalam,” Baghel added.
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