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Ibaadatkhana movement launched to promote peace in South Asia

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Justice Markandey Katju believes that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh must reunite for their mutual good. He first announced his idea about reunification of the Indian sub-continent in 2012.

He wrote an article titled "Pakistan is a fake country, will reunite with India one day", in India Today on April 7, 2013 arguing: Pakistan is a fake country and one day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will reunite. It may take 15-20 years. Those who have divided us will not easily allow us to reunite. They will still want us to keep fighting. But we will reunite in the next 15-20 years under a strong secular modern-minded government."

Not surprisingly, in April 2017, in a Twitter exchange with senior journalist R Jagannathan, Justice Markandey Katju ended up calling Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian nation, a 'rascal' and a 'British agent.'

In April 2017, Justice Markandey Katju announced formation of an organization called IPBRA (Indo-Pak-Bangladesh Reunification Association).

Earlier on December 8, 2015, Justice Markandey Katju wrote: When I first mooted the idea of reunification, many people scoffed at me, and said I was day dreaming. But the same was said of Mazzini when he put forward the idea of Italian unification, something which was later achieved by Garibaldi and Cavour. German unification was achieved under Bismarck.

Some people object that much water has flown after 1947, and hence reunification of India now is not feasible. But German reunification was achieved in 1990 after a separation of 45 years. Vietnam was reunited in 1975 after 30 years. China has still not given up its claim over Taiwan.

Of course, reunification will not be achieved easily or immediately. It will take time, maybe 10-20 years. Those who divided us will not allow us to reunite easily.

On February 5, 2019, Justice Markandey Katju alongwith a little known person, Yuhunna Lakhnavi, founded the Indian Reunification Association (IRA). The object of this Association will be diametrically opposed to the ' Akhand Bharat ' concept of the RSS. Justice Markandey Katju says hhile the RSS wants a united Hindu India, this Association wants a united secular India, in which religious freedom is guaranteed, but religious bigotry and extremism is not tolerated and is crushed.

Unity Event Resolution

The Unity dinner participants passed a resolution saying "the Ibadatkhana movement is a response to the dark clouds of religious polarization and oppression of minorities in the Indian subcontinent that has amplified in recent years and threatens the very core secular fabric of the region and may engulf the entire region."

"Ibaadatkhana movement will strive to transform and uplift the region from the ranks of the underdeveloped countries and bring the region to the ranks of the developed and highly industrialized countries. Without doing so the people of the subcontinent will remain condemned to massive poverty, hunger, unemployment, lack of healthcare, good education, farmers distress, and other ills of poverty," the resolution said adding:

"Transformation and uplifting can only be achieved by creating strong unity among people and through sustained struggle of people. Stand united against forces that seek to destroy the unity amongst people by taking advantage of the diversity and creating hatred and animosity based on religion, caste, language, and race."

To achieve its goal of unity, the resolution said that yhe path of suleh-e-kul, the secular path shown by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar is the correct path to maintain unity among the people of diverse ethnicity, culture and religion.

The Ibadatkhana resolution demanded immediate restoration of democratic rights of all minorities, Muslims, especially Kashmiri Muslims, Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Dalits and Christians.

On the current siege of Kashmir, the resolution condemned "undemocratic revocation of Article 370 and suppression of 8 million Kashmiri's who are under unconstitutional detention and curfew since August 5tth 2019."

It demanded "immediate restoration in Kashmir of internet and pre-paid mobile services, immediate release of all political prisoners and innocent youth detained under preventive and sedition laws on false and fabricated charges, violating the fundamental right of liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, immediate restoration of freedom of speech and of the media guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a), lifting of curfew and doing all else necessary to enable Kashmiris to lead a normal civilized lives."

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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