RSS stumped, Jamaat hails Sudarshan
On August 20, slightly over a month before he died, former chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) KS Sudarshan had sent the state government, the police and the saffron organisation into a tizzy when he started marching towards Tajul Masjid in Bhopal to offer prayers on the occasion of Eid.
The repercussions of that act continues to haunt the RSS even today, with Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in the September 22 issue of its mouthpiece Dawat paid a handsome tribute to Sudarshan saying that Muslims felt sadness after his death when they came to know that Sudarshan wished to offer Namaz on the day of Eid but "was not allowed to do so by his staff and police officers on the pretext of a traffic jam."
The bi-weekly went to add that Urdu newspapers did comment on Sudarshan's act and that "there must have been something about Salat, Eid and Muslims in the back of his mind".
This 'tribute' by a hardline Islamic organization and movement has not gone down well with the Sangh leaders in the state and they questioned the propriety behind the Jamaat's left-handed compliment.
Prant sanghchalak Satish Pimplikar told HT: "I don't know from where the organisation came to know about Sudarshanji's wish to offer namaz. In fact, Sudarshanji as a Sarsanghchalak and even after retirement maintained cordial relations with people from various communities. If he wished to offer greetings to Muslims on Eid it did not mean he wished to offer namaz."
Pimplikar said as far as Jamaat's condolences were concerned, he appreciated their sentiments but he was unable to understand what the Islamic body "wanted to achieve by raking up the issue of namaz which could not be established by anyone". Other RSS leaders who HT contacted maintained a studied silence on this issue.
On August 20, Sudershan, accompanied by his assistant Brijkant and some security personnel, left the RSS office Samidha (also his residence post-retirement) to greet members of the Muslim community. However, the security officers got panicky when he said he would go to Tajul Masjid to offer namaz. Finally, state urban administration minister Babulal Gaur dissuaded him from doing so and convinced him to instead meet some Muslim leaders and exchange Eid greetings.