Muslims salute the RSS

Muslims salute the RSS

Hissam Siddiqui

In a signed editorial in his weekly, Jadeed Markaz, published simultaneously in Urdu and Devnagri, its editor and owner Hisam Siddiqui pays handsome tribute to the RSS, the only organisation whose volunteers worked day and night to help the overwhelming Muslim relatives of those who died in the mid-air colision between the Saudi and Kazakh aircrafts in November.

Recently, nearly 350 persons perished in the mid-air collision between a Saudi and Kazakh airlines. As news of the wrecked aircraft’s and its ill-fated passengers crash landing in the Khedi Sanwal village in the Charkhi Dadri tehsil of Haryana spread, it shocked and saddened the entire country. A large majority of the deceased were from Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. As soon as they heard of the tragedy relatives of those who had died flocked to Khedi Sanwal to collect the bodies of their kith and kin. At on the spot, the only people they found to help them in this hour of grief were volunteers of the RSS.

Everyone was aware that 98 per cent of those who died in the tragedy were Muslims. Despite this, not to express unreserved praise for the sincerity with which the RSS volunteers helped the grief-stricken families would be social hypocrisy.

It is surprising that even weeks later not a single Muslim organisation has bothered to express even to verbally thank the RSS volunteers who struggled-day and night to help the families identify the badly charred bodies of their relatives. Relatives who went to Khedi Sanwal say that if there was anyone to help them on the spot it was the RSS activists.

According to these relatives, RSS activists not only provided tea, snacks, food and transport, they even raised money to pay for shrouds, coffins and transport of the dead bodies. According to an aggrieved person from Gonda (in U.P.), some of the bodies had got so badly decomposed that even relatives were finding it difficult even to touch the bodies of their own son, brother or father. But the very RSS volunteers – who are normally deployed into any number of anti-Muslim activities – did not flinch a bit while handling the bodies to help in their identification. After that, they helped in covering the bodies with shrouds, placing them in the coffins and arranging for their transport to their respective places. To prevent the decomposition of the bodies, ice slabs had also been arranged.

After this incident, the RSS volunteers are deserving of as much praise as Muslim bodies and organisations and political parties need to be condemned which are good for nothing but issuing empty statements on issues concerning Muslims. Imam Bukhari who openly makes money in the name of Muslims was content with leading a ghaibana namaaz (praying for God’s grace for the deceased in the absence of his dead body).

The general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and a former U.P. minister, Mohammed Azam Khan, whose politics hinges on Muslim votes, discharged himself of his obligation by calling a press conference in Lucknow and bad-mouthing the union minister for civil aviation, C.M. Ibrahim. The reason why he could not mobilise volunteers of the Lohia Vahini and Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha to rush to the aid of the victims’ families was because he was circling around his party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav for a Rajya Sabha seat.

The wholehearted way in which Muslims not only from U.P. but all over India support the Samajwadi Party should have meant that Khan rushed to the spot of the tragedy and helped in providing solace and relief to the grief-stricken. Had he done this, it would have brought Muslims even closer to Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The big time leaders of the Janata Dal and the Congress also did not think it necessary to budge from Delhi. The brigades of the Congress Seva Dal and the Yuva Janata Dal slumbered in the comfort of their homes without in the least feeling the need to go to the tragedy spot and help the bereaved Muslims. The Jamaat-e-slami and Asad Madni’s Jamiat-ul-Ulema also remained ensconced in their homes. By being the only people on the spot, the RSS volunteers proved themselves to be better than this entire lot.

The role of the central government too was shameful in this tragic episode. After hearing of the tragedy, the victims’ families rushed to the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Leave alone any other form of help or relief, the government even did nothing to at least help them reach the site of the tragedy.

Finally, there is the question of compensation to the families of the deceased by Saudi airlines. The airlines has said that it will only pay $20,000 as compensation. Ironically, the only leader who has spoken about this amount being inadequate is Atal Behari Vajpayee. The Muslim leaders, it appears, have taken a vow of silence. Perhaps, because they do not wish to annoy Saudi authorities by speaking against the official airlines of that country. After all, that’s where their donations come from.

Hisam Siddiqui, a known supporter of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and a strong opponent of Hindutva, was not the only one to shower well-deserved praise on RSS volunteers. A report in a Saudi daily, AI Riyadh, filed by the Delhi correspondent of the newspaper, Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, is full of praise for RSS volunteers in the rescue effort at Charkhi Dadri after the mid-air collision between a Saudi and Khazakh aircraft in November

Originally published in
Publication : Communication Combat
Date : January 1997

You May Also Like