By Special Correspondent
New Delhi : Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani is facing severe criticism from Muslim community for “removing” senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan from Babri Masjid case on Tuesday after filing a review petition in the Supreme Court, citing “poor health” of the senior advocate.
Dhavan, who has been involved in Ayodhya case since 1993 and represented Muslims parties in the SC, sharply reacted over the reason floated for his removal calling it “nonsensical”. He said, “I have been informed that Mr Madani has indicated that I was removed from the case because I was unwell. This is total nonsense. He has a right to instruct his lawyer AOR Ejaz Maqbool to sack me which he did on instructions. But the reason being floated is malicious and untrue.”
In a press statement, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which gives legal assistance to the Muslim parties in the case, lauded the role of learned lawyer. Without taking Madani’s name, AMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani said Dhavan’s contribution in the case was “extraordinary and excellent.” The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind too distanced itself from directly commenting on the development but praised Dhavan for his role throughout the case.
While no Jamaat or individual ever “dare” to utter a word against Madani, social media is abuzz with condemnation of the “arbitrary decision”. As of now it is not clear as to what prompted the septuagenarian Maulana to “change his view” – on several occasions he praised the senior lawyer for arguing the case with earnest interest – but the members of the Muslim community did not want him to speak on their behalf due to the “malicious records” of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind on several occasions.
An inside source claimed that Madani had opposed the Muslim parties’ move to seek a review of the SC judgment in the meeting held in Lucknow last month but he changed his stance after the AIMPLB decided to file a review petition. He “outsmarted” the AIMPLB by issuing statement to the press giving a shock to many who attended the crucial meet, added the source.
Interestingly, Madani’s nephew Maulana Mahmood Madani, aptly called as junior Madani, also opposed the review petition’s move. He, however, publicly stated his position but “clandestinely plotted” to derail Maulana Arshad Madani’s plan to file a review petition. Junior Madani played a “mischief” by putting a lock on the seminar hall of the Jamiat office at ITO in New Delhi where press people were to be addressed by Mulana Arshad Madani to formally announce filing of review petition on Monday. Sources familiar to the development said that several calls were made to junior Madani for key, but the latter did not pick his mobile phone. As a result, Maulana Arshad Madani was forced to address press in the open courtyard of the mosque.
Pathetically, no Muslim community leader utters a single word against the “dubious role” played by the Madanis. “Both the Madanis have good rapport with Urdu press which spares a lot of space for them due to various reasons. They are rock stars of Urdu press, thanks to poor finances and lack of professional approach which serves as boon for them,” said Prof. Nasim Akhtar.
“Madanis have strong influence among the Muslims in north India on account of his association with Deoband seminary – which runs scores of madrasas – added with his birth in the family of Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani, one of the leading figures freedom struggle. This certainly gives an edge to him. Besides, the Jamait strongly opposed Jinnah’s two-nation theory. As a result, Muslims repose faith in the Jamiat and the Madanis,” said a community leader, on the condition of anonymity, when asked about the reason of silence.
“Such approach of Muslim community leaders is not new. In order to show unity, Jamaats and individual leaders in the community swallow everything despite strong ideological differences on issues. It is typical of ideological groups of all hues,” said Qmar Ashraf , a Delhi based journalist.
In a late night development on Tuesday, the Jamiat “rubbished” the report of Dhavan’s removal and showered words of praise for him. It’s said that the Maulana forced to backtrack following mounting pressures from different stakeholders. “It’s piteous. The flip flop is yet another example of ambiguous and recklessness on the part of the Jamiat,” said Maulana Naushad Zubair.