New Delhi: Religion is being used in politics as an easy route to power and political parties in India are not secular, a leader of a prominent Muslim organisation said.
"Instead of taking up real issues, political parties create an environment... Politics is being used in different ways by different people in politics," said Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind.
He said no political party was secular but it was the country that forces them to adopt a secular stance, and those leaders who wanted to do politics on communal grounds have been sidelined by the masses.
"When a political leader wants to try his luck at the national level, he has to take a secular stance," Madani said in a discussion on "Vote Apna Mazhab Paraya" at "Agenda-Aaj Tak 2013".
Former Union minister, Arif Mohammed Khan while stressing on the need for change in the mentality which led to partition of India and Pakistan, said "we should stop thinking about a community as minority or majority on permanent basis."
"Our constitution, while granting rights to the citizen, doesn`t identify as majority or minority, we have to change this thinking," he said, adding Constitution is colour blind on the issue and treats them equally.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that government has to take some steps for the betterment of those who are lagging behind. "What we are talking about is about the ideal situation, but is it the real situation today," he said.
Syed Shanawaz Hussain, BJP leader and party spokesperson, questioned the findings of the Justice Sachhar Commission about the status of the Muslims in the country and said what was the reason for the backwardness of the Muslims in the country.
He said that BJP is preparing a vision document to bring out the exact cause of the backwardness of Muslims.
VHP leader Praveen Togadia said the "organisation had objection on benefits being doled out to the Muslim community only, when there are poor people in other communities too."
He said, "If benefits, like scholarships and others were doled out to all the poor, we would have no objection." he said.