Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Krishna Gopal on Wednesday questioned the belief that Muslims in India “are afraid”, PTI reported. Gopal, a joint general secretary of the organisation, claimed it was difficult to understand the basis of this perception as other minorities such as Parsis, Buddhists and Jews, who are much smaller in number, do not feel insecure in India.

“How many Parsis are in India... hardly 50,000, Jain 45 lakh and about 80 lakh Buddhists are there...Jews are only 5,000,” Gopal said. “They are not afraid of anyone.” Gopal was speaking at a conference on Mughal prince Dara Shikoh.

He referred to an article written by Islamic scholar Raamish Siddiqui that said that Muslims in India should not be afraid as they comprise a population of more than 16 crore. “Muslims are more than 16 crore then why are they afraid...Why and from whom?” Gopal asked. He said that the matter needs to be discussed. The RSS leader also said that this perception could have been created due to a “divisive mindset” perpetrated by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Gopal asserted that India has never compromised on its principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) and “sarve bhavantu sukhinah” (everybody should be happy). He said Indians want even Pakistan to prosper.

Gopal called Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s son Dara Shikoh a “face of inclusiveness”. He also claimed the prince was a true Muslim who translated the Upanishads into the Persian language.

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also attended the conference. He called Aurangzeb a symbol of terrorism, and Dara Shikoh the “identity of nationalism”. “Violence and oppression committed by anarchist and cruel ruler like Aurangzeb was glorified by group of Islamic fanatics, Leftist and so-called secular historians,” Naqvi said. “This same thinking gave birth to terror organisations like Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba etc.”

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