Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat met with Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the chief cleric of the All India Imam Organization, at a mosque in the heart of Delhi on Thursday. This is the RSS chief's second meeting with Muslim intellectuals in over a month. Earlier, Mohan Bhagwat had met five Muslim intellectuals for "strengthening communal harmony".
RSS spokesperson Sunil Ambekar said that the meeting was part of the continuous discussion process.
"RSS Sarsanghachalak meets people from all walks of life. It is part of the continuous general Samvad process," the RSS spokesperson said.
The closed-door meeting between Mohan Bhagwat and the Imam at Kasturba Gandhi Marg mosque lasted for more than an hour. Senior Sangh functionaries were also present at the meeting. Bhagwat was accompanied by senior Sangh functionaries Krishna Gopal, Ram Lal, and Indresh Kumar.
Earlier, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat held a closed-door meeting with prominent Muslim intellectuals, former Delhi LG Najeeb Jung, and former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi.
A meeting was sought by these prominent Muslim intellectuals with Mohan Bhagwat after the Nupur Sharma hate speech controversy erupted. Hate speech, the Gyanvapi Masjid issue, and hate crimes resulting from hate speech were discussed, a member who attended the meeting told India Today.
In the meeting, which Quraishi called cordial, the RSS chief had recalled that his statement "Why look for a Shivling in every mosque?" must be taken forward to bridge the divide between Hindus and Muslims today. The RSS chief said that both communities must work together to bridge this divide.