National Integration Council (NIC)
member Asghar Ali Engineer addressing a public meeting at Iscus
Libray Hall in Malegaon on December 10, 2012
From questioning the funeral with state honour of Shiv Sena leader
Bal Thackeray and infiltration of RSS men into Indian bureaucracy
and security forces to status of minorities in India and textbooks
containing anti-Muslim references, the two stalwarts of the
secular movement were all criticism against the communal forces
when they addressed a public meeting held at Iscus Library Hall in
Malegaon on Monday.
Asghar Ali Engineer and Ram Puniyani
– one current and the other former member of the National
Integration Council (NIC), at the same time called for a ban on
communal politics that they said was dividing the nation on
“The cases of rights violations
against the Muslims are increasing day by day. Innocents are in
jails. They are being victimised in such a persistent and
systematic manner that they are not able to concentrate on their
empowerment”, Ram Puniyani said while addressing the meeting which
coincided with the International Human Rights Day celebrated every year on December 10.
“I can’t be satisfied and live in peace in a country where such a
huge population is subjected to violence and discriminated
against”, he said.
“The communal forces are working in a most organised and
systematic way. They have their own men in IPS, IAS and other
civil services sector”, he alleged.
Stating that the communal forces were
at work in various fields and on different programs, Asghar Ali
Engineer said that they were contaminating innocent minds with
including anti-Muslim references in textbooks.
"Hate propaganda is their main
weapon. Booklets containing materials that incite violence and
promote hatred among communities are distributed in small towns
and tehsils. There are textbooks in Gujarat that have anti-Muslim
references", he said specially mentioning that the BA 2nd year
textbooks portray Hitler as hero and refer Islam as religion of
“The communal forces have nothing to
do with their religion. It is part of their politics to garner
votes and rule - derived from the pre-independence colonial rule.
They tend to divide the country on religious lines for their own
political agenda”, said Engineer.
“It is the time to impose a ban on
such kind of politics and replace it with the politics of growth,
development and inclusiveness”, he added urging to have
think-tanks in every area and a joint strategy to propagate
harmony and fight the forces involved in politics of hatred and
Highlighting the importance of unity
among the people from different communities and religions, he,
quoting the national leaders and freedom fighters, said that we
had the leaders who rejected even the independence at the cost of
Hindu and Muslim unity.
“No religion preaches hatred and
promotes violence. If a person is religious, let him follow any
religion, he can never indulge in politics of hatred and violence.
Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad both were tolerant, liberal in their
thinking and accommodative in their approach. It is because both
were very religious”, he said.