Mumbai,Dhaval Kulkarni: The RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) is planning to push the cause of education among Muslims by launching a trust to undertake educational and social activities. The trust will start educational institutions and ensure that Muslim students benefit from scholarships.
The ‘Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Memorial Trust,’ will be named after freedom fighter and revolutionary Ashfaque Ullah Khan, who was sentenced to death with his close friend Pandit Ramprasad Bismil by the British in the 1925 Kakori conspiracy case. Like Bismil, who is known for his patriotic poem “Sarfaroshi ki Tammanna Ab Hamare Dil Mein Hai,” Khan too was an Urdu poet, and prominent member of the Hindustan Republican Association.
The MRM is the only niche organisation in the Sangh Parivar for Muslims.
“We will ensure that minority community students get scholarships, launch computer training and e-learning centres and start schools… and even management and architecture colleges,” the trust’s president Latif Magdum told dna.
The trust will be formally inaugurated in Pune on December 21 by senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar, who is the MRM’s chief patron, and the trust’s chief advisor. Ashfaq Ullah Khan, who shares his name with that of revolutionary poet-grandfather is also scheduled to attend along with former vice-chancellors SN Navalgundkar and SN Pathan.
“Only MRM members can be members of the general body,” said Magdum, who has been associated with Pune’s Azam Campus as the secretary for around 30 decades. Magdum, a senior MRM functionary, was among those, who were invited for the swearing in of Narendra Modi as the prime minister last year.
The trust will have Chhattisgarh Wakf Board chairman Muhammed Salim Ashrafi as the vice-president, Dr Tahir Hussain as the secretary, Abbas Ali Bohra as the treasurer, Dr Zakir Hussain and Jharkhand minority commission chairman Shahid Akhtar as joint secretaries.
“As part of our social activities we will seek to bring the community into the national mainstream and organise programmes like Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations and commemorate 1857’s great war of Independence… and help those who are needy,” said Magdum, adding that the trust would start educational institutions with minority status. The trust also plans to construct a memorial of the revolutionary after whom it is named, in Delhi and state capitals, he added.
In a bid to deepen its outreach among Muslims the MRM was established in 2002 at the behest of then RSS chief KS Sudarshan. It was initially called “Rashtravadi Muslim Andolan-Ek Nayi Raah” and re-christened the MRM in 2005.
Muslims form around 10.6% of Maharashtra’s 11.23 crore population. However, only 2.2% of the community has completed education till graduation and the proportion is at a lower 1.4% for women. According to the Rajinder Sachar committee report, the share of Muslims in government services is just 4.4%. The community also suffers from regressive social practices like oral, triple talaq and low literacy and work participation of women.
In September 2014, the body had held its first programme in Mumbai where Kumar, who was questioned by the CBI in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts at Hyderabad, addressed participants while making a strong pitch against cow slaughter and on the common ancestry between Hindus and Muslims.