Mission 2024? RSS Muslim wing opens units through Telangana

HYDERABAD: At a time when the BJP is trying to consolidate its presence in, RSS of Muslim arm - the - has opened district units throughout the state for the first time. Manch had opened his office in Hyderabad about four years ago with only two members. Today, its officials claim that they have around 3,000 members in Hyderabad. Now they target 10,000 members throughout the state by the end of this year. The Manch will also open offices in Andhra Pradesh next month.

Unfolding its plan, has lined up a series of programmes to connect with Muslim s in the two Telugu states. Senior RSS leader and MRM patron Indresh Kumar even addressed a meeting in the city on Sunday. He is expected to visit Telangana again later this month while Andhra Pradesh is on his itinerary for next month.

In 2010, Kumar had been interrogated by the CBI in the Mecca Masjid explosion in 2007. The RSS leader had consistently maintained that he was being falsely implicated in the case as part of a political controversy.

Though RSS has been holding interactive sessions with Muslim s through MRM in north India, it is the first time that it has focused its attention on minorities in the two Telugu states. The MRM headquarters for Telangana and AP is located in Afzalgunj in Hyderabad and its area of operation is mainly in Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency, which has been represented by Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM for over three decades.

At Sunday’s meeting held in , considered an MIM citadel, a couple of Muslim religious scholars, including Moulana Shaik Moinuddin Shah Qadri rubbed shoulders with Kumar. Though the meeting raised many an eyebrow and invited criticism from local Muslim leaders, MRM state convener M A Sattar told TOI that the response to the meeting addressed by ‘bhai saheb’ (Indresh Kumar) was “tremendous and unexpected”. RSS leader from Nagpur Virag Pachpore was also present.

“The fear about RSS should end. Muslim s should listen to the RSS to know its stand on minorities,” said MRM state co-convener Syed Fayazuddin. “We will enrol more Muslim s,” Sattar said adding, “This is an achievement as the meeting was held in the Old City.”

During the meeting, Kumar quoted verses from the Holy Quran to drive home his argument that no religion teaches terrorism and linking terrorism with Muslim s was wrong. He also quoted Prophet Muhammad saying that the love for motherland is part of Islamic faith. Kumar told the Muslim gathering that the BJP government is committed to the welfare of Muslim s.

Moulana Moinuddin Shah Qadri, unmindful of the flak he got from some community elders for attending the MRM meeting, said that his interaction with Indresh Kumar helped him clear the misunderstanding he had about the RSS and the BJP.

Fayazuddin said the immediate task of the MRM is to increase membership in the Telugu states to at least 10,000 in the next few months. Now that the district committees were formed in Telangana and proposed in PA, it is only a matter of time before the MRM emerges as a formidable force in AP and Telangana in general and in Hyderabad in particular, he said.

BJPark cell spokesperson Firasat Ali Baqri said the RSS had convened the meeting for the Id Milap. The BJP had organized Iftar during Ramzan and now the RSS arranged Id Milap. This is to foster brotherhood in the country, he said.

Speaking on the RSS’ move, TRS leader and Telangana Waqf Board chairman Mohammad Saleem said that the BJP cannot fool Muslim s by speaking positively about them. “Minorities in India know the real face of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar. They will not back the BJP however hard it may try to woo them,” he said.