Source: Two Cirles
New Delhi: Himself Gandhian, Faisal Khan of Khudai Khidmatgar is sad that even Gandhians are not working to establish peace and communal harmony in Assam. Khan, who has just returned after five-day visit to violence-hit areas of the state, told TCN that communal harmony is the primary need of the hour in the state, roti is secondary. “Only peace and communal harmony can ensure return of four lakh people to their homes. We have no Gandhi in India today who will come to the camps and take the victims to their homes,” said Khan.
Khan led a five-member delegation of Khudai Khidmatgar who visited the state from 18th August to 23rd August. The team visited several camps in Dhubri, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar. The team met religious leaders, politicians, activists, lawyers, Muslims and Bodos all. He feels Sangh groups have communalized Bodos over the years – though initially they started their work to counter missionaries and Christian groups. In the process they Hinduised Tribals who constitute 55% of the Bodo community. About 15% of Bodo community is Christians.
“There is no Bangladeshi migration issue there among the local people. Hindu communal forces have for a long time Hinduised tribals who constitute 55% of Bodos. About 15% of Bodos are Christians. Sangh groups opened front against missionaries and Christians long ago,” said Khan adding that except Dhubri it is difficult for Muslims to move in other parts of Bodo-influence areas.
“Communal harmony is the main need of the hour – govt, society, politicians all should work on this. Roti is a temporary issue. Main issue is return of those lakhs of people who are living in camps to their homes, because you cannot rehabilitate four lakh people in other area,” says Khan and adds that if Sangh groups and footsoldiers are camping there to communalize Bodos, Muslims should also go their along with Hindus to establish peace and communal harmony. He stresses on communal harmony because despite being a known civil activist and Gandhian he had to face mild protest in Bodo camps and areas as he was wearing a Muslim look.
“When Sangh groups are camping there, formal delegations of Muslim leaders won’t work. There is need for people to camp there for social and communal harmony. Though I am a known civil activist beyond religious boundaries I had to face mild protest as I wear a Muslim look – skull cap and beard,” says Khan who most of the time is in kurta pyjama.
On 20th August the day of Eid the team offered Eid Prayer at Dhubri Eidgah Ground and met some religious clerics and Mohalla representatives. The message given by Maulana at Eidgah Ground was all about peace, Humanity. He prayed for Peace throughout the World.
Khan wonders why even Gandhians are silent on the human tragedy in Assam.
“I am surprised that Gandhians are also silent on uprooting of four lakh people. Medha Patkar is silent. Why is Anna not speaking?,” said Khan and informed that social activists and Gandhians in Guwahati too were silent.
“I held a meeting in Guwahati where 70 civil activists and Gandhians came. They raised the issue of Bangladeshi illegal migrants. I told them this is not the time for that issue. We first should work for peace and save human lives. After that Government should tackle illegal immigrants whether they are in Assam or Patna or Delhi, whether they are from Bangladesh or anywhere else,” said Khan.
“Assam unit of Khudai Khidmatgar is constantly working for communal harmony in the affected areas. There is need for people to instill confidence among Muslims in camps. They should be returned to their homes as early as possible. We have no Gandhi in India today who will come and take the victims along with him to their homes,” he said.
Members of the Khudai Khidmatgar delegation were Faisal Khan, Balwant Singh Yadav, Mehdi Hasan, Mohd. Afzal and Inamul Hasan.