Muslims must not harbour permanent grudge: Sareshwala
LUCKNOW: He has been variously called an ‘opportunist’, a backroom boy and even a modern Mir Jafar (traitor) by a section of the Muslims for his proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
But the PM’s most high-profile Muslim aide Zafar Sareshwala says his meetings with Modi had the approval of All India Muslim Personal Law Board president Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi.
Appointed chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in January, this year, Sareshwala was in Lucknow on Thursday to meet the AIMPLB president at Nadwa College when Hindustan Times caught with him.
“I have come here scouting for land to set up a proper campus in Lucknow for MANUU, whose regional centre has been running for quite some time in Aliganj,” he told HT after coming out of his meeting with the Nadwa rector.
“Those who criticize me are fools and not Muslim intellectuals as you guys make them out. Maulana Rabey was the only cleric who used to feel happy whenever I met Modi. Since I was born here I always come and discuss issues with him,” he said.
Muslims would have to shun this mindset and attitude of harboring a permanent grudge and loathing for a political party, he said while urging Muslims to adopt what he calls his own Gujarat model.
“We had set two conditions to the Gujarat government. You don’t put spoke into our wheel and we want only logistic support from you (Gujarat government),” he reveals.
On setting up a proper campus for the Urdu University in state capital, Sareshwala said several ‘madarsas’ had approached him and offered land.
“We are looking for 20-25-acres within a radius of 20-kilometer from the main city. I have seen two or three sites but nothing is final as yet,” he said.
On being asked whether he would be approaching the state government also for the land like other universities, the MANNU chancellor said they had no such intention as of now.
“Let’s see, we may seek logistics support from them at a later stage like seeking of approval for the university but as of now we are relying on our Islamic finance model for the project,” he said.
Gujarat, he said, had only two Muslim schools till 2002.
“The last Muslim school was set up in 1947. No Muslim educational institution was established in last 60-years. Allahamdullilah, today, we have more than 40 Muslim schools in Gujarat,” he said.
Sareshwala said Islamic finance was a two trillion dollar industry today and they would be utilizing their resources for brand building.