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RSS, Jamiat talks 'successful'
Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi |
January 14, 2004 21:47 IST
Leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind met on Wednesday to discuss wide-ranging issues that have created 'differences' between Hindus and Muslims, including the Ayodhya temple-mosque tangle.
After a two-hour meeting at the Jamiat headquarters in Delhi, the leaders released a joint statement calling the discussion "successful."
Maulana Niyaz Farouqui and Abdul Hameed Nomani represented the Jamiat, while Indersen Kumar represented the RSS. Pandit N K Sharma, who heads voluntary group, Universal Association of Spiritual Awareness, was also present at the meeting.
Sharma was instrumental in arranging the talks.
The joint statement said: "In our discussion, we found that our country, ancestors and culture are common. The basis of patriotism or nationalism is the place of birth, not religion."
Kumar and Nomani spoke to the media briefly after the second such meeting between the two religious groups. The first meeting between senior Jamiat and RSS leaders was held secretly on December 20.
Addressing journalists, Kumar and Nomani said the meeting was fixed on the occasion of the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti on Wednesday to give a good signal to the people of the country.
Kumar said: "We are happy with the talks. It was in a cordial atmosphere. We got to know each other well. The talks will continue further."
Nomani said: "The meeting was aimed at removing suspicions from each other's minds. There are misconceptions about terms like jihad or kafir mentioned in the holy Koran. We tried to explain him the real meaning of these words and the context."
He said this was just the beginning and many more such discussions were required to create a healthy relationship between the two. "Ordinary Hindus have no problem. The suspicion is in the RSS. Therefore we are talking to them."
Both leaders said the Ayodhya problem also came up for discussion during the meeting but it was not the core issue.
Nomani said the RSS accepting that religion is not the basis of nationalism is a "great thing."
Pandit Sharma, who arranged the talks, said: "Ayodhya is part of the problem between the two communities. We are looking at a possible solution. But before that, there are many more confusions that need to be removed. We wanted to give a message of peace and tranquility to the people."