‘Ahmadiyya writer Basharat Ahmed’s talk cancelled in Pune after protests‘ This was the headline of a national newspaper The Hindustan Times.
Basharat Ahmad, a writer who belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in India.
An event at the state level was announced to be held in Pune(a city in India) wherein Muslim poets and writers were invited. Basharat Ahmad is the founding member of the literary group ‘Muslim Marathi Sahitya Parishad’.
Vilas Sonwane, a sociopolitical worker always wanderings across Maharashtra state, had many Muslim Marathi friends working in sociopolitical and literary fields, readily accepted to help the cause. There were some Muslim Marathi writers, poets, politicosocial thinker, journalists, such as Prof Fakruddin Benoor, Dr Aziz Nadaf, Latif Nallamandu etc. at Solapur.
They were also thinking on the same lines. Sonwane, a friend of them also contacted them and discussed the proposed that a conference of Muslim Marathi writers and poets should be arranged at Solapur. A general appeal was made through newspapers to all Muslim Marathi literary persons to enrol for the literary conference to be held at Solapur. Nearly 300 people enrolled.
In 1991, a three-day conference at Solapur resolved in that Muslim Marathi Sahitya Parishad is to be registered and literary conferences should be arranged regularly in different parts of the state of Maharashtra.
Members were selected from participants to a working committee. Basharat was one among them as a founding member of the Parishad.
The idea of Muslim Marathi Sahitya Parishad is not just to promote the literary society but to counter the ideology of Hindutva; Hindu nationalism. The Muslims are outsiders with a different religion and values; a false notion spread by Hindutva motivated forces among masses. Not only their religion is different but their cultural values, language and thoughts are different too.
The main objective of our Parishad is to establish confidence among masses that almost all of the Muslims in India accepted Islam as their religion and they all decent from the same local aboriginals.
They speak the same language which the locals speak, their professions are same and their culture is same and they are not a monolithic society. Unfortunately, they also have caste based conjugal system among them like Hindus. Above all, they are not a vote bank of a particular political party. In short, they are no different from others. Basharat added.
The working committee of Muslim Marathi Sahitya Parishad consists members from all walks of life, sects, and religious groups among Muslims. Everybody knows that Basharat belongs to Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and nobody raised any objection to his presence in the Parishad. Parishad has arranged successful conferences at Nagpur, Ratnagiri, Pune, Mumbai(Jamaat-e-Islami Hind was one of the sponsorers of the conference) and Nasik.
Mr Basharat Ahmad held many offices in the Parishad and many at times as spokesperson of the Parishad too.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community members are considered to be the literate people in India and have almost 100% literacy rate among youth.
Jamaat-e-Islami or other active radical Islamic groups in India consider Ahmadiyya views to be a heretic to them. This is the reason they put their whole effort to restrain Ahmadis getting the limelight. These radical groups should be thoroughly observed by the government agencies. Their education and training institutes called madrassas should come under the surveillance of the security agencies.
Keep in mind the Jamaat-e-Islami is considered to be an Islamic militant organisation in many parts of the world but not in India.
The other side, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community raises a slogan of free speech, love and equality and believes in ‘Love for all hatred for none’.