An Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) affiliate’s advice to madrasas to hoist the national flag on campuses on Republic Day has drawn criticism from prominent Islamic seminary Darul-uloom-Deoband. This criticism forced the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a front of the RSS, aimed at reaching out to Muslims, to clarify that they never doubted the nationalism and patriotism of these institutions. The MRM, which functions under the patronage of senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, on January 10 had directed all madrasas in the country to hoist the tricolour on January 26.
The RSS body had asked its conveners in 25 states to hold discussions with madrasas in their areas.
The Islamic seminary has strongly opposed and objected to MRM’s call and asked the RSS whether it “believed” in the Constitution of India and the national flag. Ashraf Usmani, press secretary of the seminary said that almost all of them hoist it and celebrate Independence and Republic days. But he also said that the decision to unfurl the national flag was the individual choice of madrasas. Criticising the RSS, Usmani wanted to know the Sangh’s contribution in the independence of India. He mentioned that these madrasas had played an important role in national freedom struggle.
“It (RSS) only worships the saffron flag. First it should hoist tricolour at its headquarters and other offices and only then they should talk about madrasas,” he said.
The MRM has clarified its intention behind the campaign was not to test or doubt the patriotism of the religious educational institutions. National convenor of MRM, Mohammad Afzal said that they have been appealing the madrassas to hoist national flag on Republic and Independence Day for the last five years. Afzal said that it is their government at the centre, so they are planning to celebrate this day on a large scale. He stressed that this doesn’t mean that they want to target these madarasas through this campaign.
He suggested that all the citizens of country should hoist the tricolour on important national events.
MRM workers will hoist flag at madrasas in their areas on January 26. Afzal said that being Muslims they will talk about madrasas and Muslims love their motherland and salute the tricolour.