Mr Ghulam Peshimam is the Managing Director of Al Samit International, the Manpower Recruitment Consultants, and a social activist; he has very deep experience in social work. Danish Reyaz interviewed him on current political scenario in India; here is an excerpt of the interview:
Danish Reyaz: For last few years people have been experiencing great pain and affliction but they are unable to give vent to it, why have the circumstances come to such a pass?
Ghulam Peshimam: As per my perspective, the speed with which polarization has increased during last 5-6 years, has not been experienced even during last 50 years. There was no trace of RSS for last 50 years but the planning with which they have worked and achieved prominence and success is also attributable to We the Muslims. We all along have been considering ourselves totally different from other people. Its not that the excesses are done only against us and not against other communities but the excesses against ourselves are protested and publicised through gatherings, demonstrations and slogans but the injustices against other communities are not considered as serious. As long as we do not consider excesses and injustices against other communities as against ourselves, we can not come closer to other communities. Muslim parties and organizations work with parochial interest. For example we have Mr. Asaddudin Owaisi, he is a good orator and expresses his views without fear and without mincing his words in media, but in my opinion he has never thought that what will be the impact of such exasperations. One should be concerned about advantages and disadvantages of ones statement. There may be truth in your words but if your true statements are going to create disadvantages for you then you must refrain from such indulgence. Either you are one with BJP or making things easier for them. I had a muslim friend who got success when he worked with secular aporoach. But when he became muslim centric he started to struggle.
Danish Reyaz: Its not that the excesses polarization has increased only in last 4 / 5 years, there was indeed some polarization way back in past so that a polarized party has further polarized the society. So why do you deny the contribution of past governments in making the society polarized.
Ghulam Peshimam: Its all about Congress, congress is not less responsible although they tried to strike a balance between communalism and secularism. All these years RSS and Bajrang Dal have been very active in preparing a smooth ground for them but they never raised their voice. They have been silently working for their mission and now they think that they can come out in the open.
Danish Reyaz: So what is the political solution of this problem of polarization?
Ghulam Peshimam: See, in last assembly election BJP got only 35% of votes but got majority of seats. In Karnataka also BJP vote share was only 35% but they got more seats. The fact is that even today 60-65% of electorates are secular but they are scattered, as long as consolidation of these secular votes does not happen, it is difficult to prevent polarization. All political parties whether national or regional work for their personal interest and are not bothered about the national interest. If there is one national interest before these parties then consolidation can happen.
Danish Reyaz: Apart from political perspective how can we eliminate polarization from social point of view?
Ghulam Peshimam: That’s the point I made that we will have to take initiatives, the injustices meted out to other communities should also be protested by muslim organizations. The crime against Asifa was so much protested but at the same time a girl was raped and his father was killed in Unnao but tell me which muslim party or association protested against this.
Danish Reyaz: Various social programmes are conducted by muslims and a big crowd is also arranged, does it give rise to polarization, how do you view this?
Ghulam Peshimam: There is no consilidation of muslims, in Asifa case, many different muslim organizations conducted protests but they were not all together in protest. They were all divided in small groups. As long as we do not all come together in any matter we can not achieve anything.
Danish Reyaz: But at this point of time there have been efforts from some NGOs and government also to vitiate the social harmony and to completely divide the strata of society. So under such a situation where in the government as well as a big social group is also against you, how can you bring them all on one platform?
Ghulam Peshimam: We took the initiatives, if we think that nothing can be done then nothing can be achieved. We should take the initiatives and then we should assess the results. Without sacrifice and without struggle, success can not be achieved.
Danish Reyaz: In your opinion what are the pointwise steps to be taken up by those who are sacrificing and working to improve the situation.
Ghulam Peshimam: Who is sacrificing, I am searching for the people who are sacrificing. Had somebody sacrificed, there would have been some results. Today if I give an emotional talk then many people will appreciate me but if I talk about sacrifice then nobody will be there to listen to me. Schedule cast people never used to consider themselves as hindu but they are being misled by their political leaders who pretend to work for their well being but are concerned only to use them to keep themselves in power. Things will not achieved by slogans but by constant action. We have to go closer to them and win their confidence. We have to live together, today we fight but tomorrow we will have to live together. We have many young people who really want to do some social work but they have no means of income. So how many rich people among us are such who try to find out such people. The sincere socialist young people should be supported so that they could focus on their work. Such consolidation should take place. But people are so much scared to protect their personal interest that they are not ready to come out in the open.
Danish Reyaz: But there is dire need to be vocal now.
Ghulam Peshimam: Indeed, its much needed. I have always tried after the roits to be very open. This place is bastion of Shiv Sena but how splendidly I am living here. Azan, Namaz, juma namaz, traveeh all are arranged here. Currently where I am staying up to 5 kms there are no muslims. You believe Danish I keep the doors open.
Danish Reyaz: You maintain a very strong social relation here and need of time for the ummat is to keep strong social relations as a whole.
Ghulam Peshimam: yes it is very much needed and you believe me I practice on the fundamentals of Islam. The word fundamentalist has been very much villified. The basic fundamental of Islam is to be practiced upon. Treat all people equally irrespective of religious belief. We have to search for humanity as humanity has been nurtured by Islam.