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Khurshid for Deoband taking objective view of Vastanvi remarks

Salman Khurshid expressed hope that the Darul Uloom Deoband management would take an "objective view" of remarks by its head Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi on Gujarat and the 2002 violence which has triggered a controversy.



Chennai: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid on Monday expressed hope that the Darul Uloom Deoband management would take an "objective view" of
remarks by its head Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi on Gujarat
and the 2002 violence which has triggered a controversy.

"It is a private institution, a historic and a very
important institution and I am sure they will take an
objective view what is good for them, what is good for society
and what is good for the country," he said here.

Speaking to reporters after a book-reading session of
his play, `Sons of Babur,` at the Raj Bhavan, Khurshid said
while Vastanvi hailed from Gujarat, the sentiments of those at
Deoband, located in Uttar Pradesh, could be "much stronger."

"Frankly, he comes from another state. It is possible
that the sentiments people have in Deoband are much stronger
and perhaps different. It is quite possible that was not clear
to him and he made the statement he made. But how it is to be
treated will be a decision democratically taken by the
management of the institution," he said.

Vastanvi, who hails from Surat in Gujarat and was
elected Vice-Chancellor of Deoband on January 10, has been
facing protests from students at the Islamic seminary for his
remarks that Muslims should forget the 2002 communal riots and
move on and that the community did not face discrimination in
Gujarat, ruled by BJP`s Narendra Modi.

He had denied reports of his resignation in the wake
of the controversy and said the governing council of Deoband
which will meet on February 23 will decide on his fate.

Khurshid, who also holds the portfolio of Water
Resources, said he favoured more cooperation between states
and Centre and dialogue to resolve inter-state water disputes.

"It is largely a state affair but obviously we have to
guide and we have to help dialogue between the states and
different stakeholders," he said.

Responding to a question on linking rivers in Southern
India, he said, "I don`t have an opinion on this," but added
that the Supreme Court had in the past directed the Centre
about inter-linking of rivers in the country.

"This is is an opinion which involves both the
political opinion and that of the experts. We have to study
all these things carefully...these are all very important
sensitive matters in which the stakeholders and their views
have to be taken onboard before we can take a view one way or
the other. For that we need greater dialogue and I will be
encouraging those dialogue," he added.

When asked about the Satyam scandal, Khurshid, a
former Coprorate Affairs Minister, said Satyam-Mahindra had
started showing profit and said that the crisis period was
over.

To another question, he said the company did not need
government funding and "government should not be interfering
in private business." The government`s duty was to protect
private business from fraud and "we did it," he said.

PTI

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