Ulema Council first step towards creation of Political Islam: Amresh Misra

Ulema Council first step towards creation of Political Islam : Amresh Misra

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/election2009/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=39179&Itemid=1&sectionid=90&secid=87

INTERVIEWS

Ulema Council first step towards creation of Political Islam: Amresh

Mishra

Farzand Ahmed

April 28, 2009

Amresh Mishra, 43, the Ulema Council candidate for Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency, has been a hardcore activist of ultra-Left CPI (ML) since his student days in Allahabad University. During CPI (ML)’s underground days he was Convener of ‘Progressive Students’ Organisation’ that later come to be known as AISA. A well-know historian, Journalist and script-writer Mishra has many well-researched books to his credit. Apart from his work on Lucknow entitled ‘The Fire of Grace”, he created storm in political and academic circles after his voluminous work on 1857 mutiny entitled ‘War on Civilizations’ last year. His other works include ‘Mangal Pandey: True story of a Mutiny’ and a novel ‘The Minister’s Wife’. Mishra took time off his electioneering to meet with India Today’s Farzand Ahmedto discuss how and why being a Marxist-Leninist he strayed into the outfit of clerics. He revealed: Ulema Council is part of a move to create a string Political Islam movement.

 

Excerpts:

Q: Being a historian and author of a book on Lucknow how do you feel about the present day condition of the city known for its distinct tehzib (culture) and adab (etiquette)?

A: Khushboo ka shahar gandagi mein doob geya hai (filth has overpowered the city of fragrance). Inside real Lucknow poverty and helplessness are widespread. This is a gift to the city by our politicians.

Q: Your agenda?

A: To revive the glory of old Lucknow and revive its traditional craft because of which it’s recognised and respected worldwide.

As a historian I link the plight of Lucknow with the much-hyped new economic policy.

Q: Now coming to politics and your political training how come you are in the company of clerics or in the Ulema-driven party?

A: I found that Ulema Council, which was born out of anger against police and administration harassing and arresting innocent youth of Azamgarh in the name of being militants, was a first step towards creation of Political Islam.

Q: What is Political Islam?

A: Instead of going into history I would say that it’s different from Wahabism. It is in fact an attempt to use and link Islam’s ideology to present day politics and provide justice to all.

Q: But you were with Badruddin Ajmal chief of Asom United Democratic Front when he launched a Pan-India Muslim party?

A: Yes. I was there. In fact I came to Uttar Pradesh to set up units of AUDF but found that Ulema Council was the right forum to fight against injustice and police excesses against minorities in Azamgarh.

By design Azamgarh was being projected as breeding ground of militants. It was baseless and wrong.

Q: But many believe UC was born to help BJP in this election?

A: I have heard this too. But such thing happens when votes are polarised. In UP things are different and UC being part of BJP is rubbish.

Q: What’s the future of Ulema Council after this election?

A: UC will ultimately emerge as a grand alliance of all under-privileged classes.

World Islam (to which many object) will be replaced by Insaaf (Justice).

By the end of this election (May 16) UC will announce name of the new political party but the word ‘Ulema’ will be there. Purpose is to emerge as political force by next Assembly elections.

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