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Vastanvi sacked as Darul Uloom V-C
Made to pay for praising Narendra Modi
SMA Kazmi
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, July 24
Maulana Ghulam Rasool Vastanvi, “Mohattamim” (Vice-Chancellor) of Darul Uloom, Deoband, was today sacked by the seminary’s highest decision-making body, the Majlis-e-Shoora, over his alleged remarks praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani Banarasi, working Mohattamim of Darul Uloom, has been given full charge of the seminary.

The sacking came in the wake of Vastanvi’s refusal to submit his resignation, as sought by majority of the members of the Majlis-e-Shoora. The decision was arrived at by a majority vote. Out of total 13 members who participated in the two-day meeting, eight voted against Maulana Vastanvi while four members supported him. One member abstained from voting.

After his sacking, Maulana Vastanvi said the inquiry committee set up to look into the charges against him was yet to complete its probe, so there was no question of his putting in his resignation.

“I told the Majlis-e-Shoora that the inquiry committee report was “nakif” (incomplete) and did not indict me, I will not resign. But some of the members wanted me to go. So I told them to remove me,” he told mediapersons at Deoband. He left for New Delhi soon thereafter.

Maulana Vastanvi was elected as the “Mohattamim” of the seminary in January this year. Soon he found himself in trouble over his alleged remarks praising the Gujarat Chief Minister for various development works undertaken in that state. He had reportedly also asked the Muslims to forget the massacre of 2002 and look forward to their future. The remarks outraged the clergy and the common Muslims.

There were demands that he should quit the post. However, Vastanvi argued that he was misquoted. He apologised and even offered to submit resignation.

The controversy divided the community as Maulana Vastan started getting support of the community at large throughout the country. However, a meeting of the Majlis-e-Shoora of Darul Uloom, Deoband, held on February 23 at Deoband, turned down his offer of resignation and asked him to continue pending an inquiry against him. The Majlis-e-Shoora also decided to constitute a three-member committee to look into the incidents that took place after Vastanvi was elected on January 10, 2011, and the incidents that took place following his alleged statement praising Narendra Modi.

It was believed that two of the members of the inquiry committee, namely Maulana Ibrahim Malik and Maulana Ismail from Malegoan, favoured Vastanvi while Maulana Manzoor Kanpuri ruled against him. However, the members reportedly contended since Vastanvi had offered to resign whatever be the outcome of the inquiry committee, he should go. But Vastanvi refused to quit, thus prompting voting on the issue



Vastanvi’s sacking: The Madni family effect

Dehradun, July 24
The influence of the powerful Madni family was evident even in the sacking of Maulana Ghulam Rasool Vastanvi from the post of “Mohattamim” of world famous Islamic seminary of Darul Uloom, Deoband, today.

Darul Uloom students protest against the sacking of Maulana Vastanvi at Deoband on Sunday.
Darul Uloom students protest against the sacking of Maulana Vastanvi at Deoband on Sunday. — PTI

Vastanvi, who is a close relative of Maulana Arshad Madni, without naming any one, hinted that he was ousted by some vested interest. In an obvious reference to the Madni family, he told mediapersons, “I am not the one who indulges in politics for personal gains. I am working to spread education. Darul Uloom is not the property of any one family, but belongs to the community.” Asked whether he was contemplating quitting Darul Uloom, he said he would continue to be a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora and work for the welfare of the community, Darul Uloom and the students.

Interestingly, it was sheer politics to control the world famous Islamic seminary and through it to influence the Muslim politics by the Madni family that has led to the ouster of Maulana Vastanvi.

Maulana Vastanvi had defeated his close relative Maulana Arshad Madni for the top position. Arshad Madnis’ fifth son Habib Madni is married to the daughter of Maulana Ghulam Rasool Vastanvi.

Maulana Ghulam Rasool Vastanvi, originally from Vastnav village in Surat, Gujarat, has done tremendous work in linking modern education with the age-old madrassa education in Maharashtra. He was elected as the “Mohattamim” (vice-chancellor) of the seminary at the “Majlis-e-Shoora”(governing council) of Darul Uloom on January 11 at Deoband.

However, soon a problem started over the media interview given by Vastanvi in which he reportedly said that Gujarat had been making progress and Muslims should be forward looking. It was attributed to him that he praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

It was alleged that the protests against him were orchestrated at Deoband despite the fact that Vastanvi had made it clear that he was misquoted and that he had never given a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He even apologised for his reported remarks if that hurt the sentiments of the community.

There is much more than what meets the eye in the whole episode. Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi has been associated with the Darul Uloom, Deoband, for the past more than a decade and has also been a liberal contributor. The elevation of Maulana Vastanvi was an effort by some of the members of the “Majlis-e-Shoora” to get rid of the world famous seminary from the influence of the Madni family that has been embroiled in the politics of the powerful Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind and has been acting as the power brokers with various political parties over the past six decades after the Independence of the country.

Arshad Madni and his nephew Mehmood Madni are at loggerheads over Jamait-e-Ulema-e-Hind, a powerful body of clerics, after the death of Maulana Asad Madni, father of Mehmood Madni, and elder brother of Arshad Madni. Both Arshad Madni and Mehood Madni are running their parellel Jamait-e-ulema-e-Hind. Arshad Madni is a senior teacher of “Hadith” at the Darul Uloom and was a natural choice as “Mohattamim” vice-chancellor after the demise of former Vice-chancellor Maulana Marghuboor Rahman in December, 2010.

But majority of the members of the governing council, including Assam MP Badruddin Ajmal who is also an alumni of the Darul Uloom, decided to give a chance to Maulana Vastanvi to give a whiff of fresh air to the 145-year-old madrassa and also to check the stranglehold of the Madni family on the seminary.

While Maulana Vastanvi was selected by the Shoora with eight votes in his favour, Arshad Madni secured only two votes. According to insiders, this was seen by the family members of Arshad Madni as an attempt by Shoora members to sideline them. Meanwhile, Maulana Arshad Madni welcoming the decision of the Shoora, denied that he had any role in Vastanvi’s sacking. “I am not even a member of the Shoora. I am a teacher and an employee of the Darul Uloom,” he said. 



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