All India Imam Organisation head Umer Ahmed Ilyasi called RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat ‘rashtra pita’

Debjit Mukherjee: All India Imam Organisation head Umer Ahmed Ilyasi called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat ‘rashtra pita’ (father of the nation). RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who has been reaching out to Muslim leaders, had called on the prominent cleric in Delhi on Thursday.

“Mohan Bhagwat ji visited on my invitation today. He’s ‘rashtra-pita’ and ‘rashtra-rishi’, a good message will go out from his visit. Our ways of worshipping god are different, but the biggest religion is humanity. We believe the country comes first,” Umer Ahmed Ilyasi was quoted as saying.

Mohan Bhagwat visited a mosque and a madrasa in Delhi on Thursday and held discussions with the chief of the All India Imam Organisation.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ‘sarsangchalak’ went to a mosque in central Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg and followed it up with a visit to the Madarsa Tajweedul Quran in Azadpur in north Delhi.

This is the RSS chief’s second meeting with Muslim intellectuals in over a month. Earlier, Mohan Bhagwat had met five Muslim intellectuals to “strengthen communal harmony”.

RSS spokesperson Sunil Ambekar said that the meeting was part of the continuous discussion process. He said, “RSS Sarsanghachalak meets people from all walks of life. It is part of the continuous general Samvad process.”

The closed-door meeting between Mohan Bhagwat and the Imam at Kasturba Gandhi Marg mosque lasted for more than an hour.