The concept of unity in diversity is being challenged: JIH Vice President, Prof Salim Engineer

February 19, 2024

Vasco: The Vice-President of Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Prof Salim Engineer emphasized that diversity is not a weakness but a strength for our nation. He highlighted that our freedom was achieved while embracing our diversities, which never posed a threat to our unity. Prof Salim pointed out that the Constitution treats everyone as equals and guarantees the freedom to practice religion. He firmly disagreed with the notion that religion itself is a problem, stating that the issue lies with those who misuse it. He urged people to distance themselves from such individuals and reminded them that all religions teach tolerance, love, affection, and respect. The JIH VP expressed concern over the declining levels of tolerance and the impact it has had on brotherhood. He acknowledged that our strength is now becoming our weakness.

Prof Salim Engineer emphasized that we have the right to voice our opinions against the government and its policies, as well as criticize them. He highlighted that justice is meant to be equally accessible to all, which forms the core values of the new India. However, he lamented that these values are currently under threat, and the concept of unity in diversity is being challenged. Despite this, the JIH Vice President urged people not to lose hope. He called for inter-religious dialogues and the promotion of peace. He stressed the importance of addressing the right issues and working towards them. He drew parallels to past challenges faced by India, such as the attempted dictatorship in 1975, which was thwarted by the collective efforts of the people. He believed that if people unite, nothing is impossible.

Asif Hussain, President, JIH-Goa, countered the portrayal of religion as the problem, asserting that all religions are patient and loving. He cautioned against the corrupting influence of absolute power, which leaves no room for distinguishing between right and wrong. In a democratic country like India, Hussain emphasized the need for the Election Commission to function with complete freedom and impartiality.

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