Times are changing, Muslim hostility to Modi softening: Jamiat leader Maulana Madani

published on February 19, 2013

As makeover, Modi sheds his global pariah tag and stands on the cusp of acceptability, there’s also a churning taking place in the hard line Deoband seminary whose sway over Muslims straddles the entire subcontinent. In the first sign of a softening of stand in India’s most conservative and radical school of Islam towards the Gujarat Chief Minister, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary Maulana Mehmood Madani admitted there’s a change in the Muslim psyche towards Modi and a section of Muslims had voted for him.

“In Gujarat, Jamiat workers on the ground have told me that in several Assembly segments, Muslims voted for Modi. There is a perceptible change of heart and circumstances are different now. I agree the times are changing. Muslims in Gujarat are economically better off than in several states which have so-called secular governments in power,” he told Rahul Kanwal in an exclusive interview on Seedhi Baat.

This statement from the Jamiat – the political offshoot of Darul Uloom, Deoband, that holds the pulse of millions of Muslims and is the final word in Islamic jurisprudence – is a covert endorsement for Modi in the run-up to his Delhi crowning. Modi may no longer be an untouchable for a community which accused him of masterminding one of the biggest anti-Muslim pogroms.” More innocent Muslims are wallowing in prisons of Maharashtra than in Gujarat. The human rights record of several states with secular governments in power is deplorable and the economic situation of Muslims in West Bengal is shocking. These states don’t have a Modi at the helm. This is a ground reality we can’t ignore,” said Madani.

The Madani family which controls Deoband and played a critical role in the dramatic coup to oust the seminary’s rector Maulana Vastanvi for his pro-Modi remark, may be actually softening their hawkish stand. To a query on whether Muslims will accept Modi as Prime Minister, Madani did not vent his spleen as Deobandi hawks are wont to do. “It’s too early to comment. Even the BJP has not decided on its PM’s face. Let the time come, we will react.”

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