In an odd move Indian Muslim leaders have criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending greetings to Muslims.
In a letter written on 21st December 2015 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for its religious tolerance and universal brotherhood. He wished success to ‘Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya Centenary’ celebrations which are taking place in Qadian this month. Thousands of Pakistani Ahmadis are also taking part in the celebrations.
In his letter PM Modi said:
“It is a matter of pleasure to know that Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya Centenary will be celebrated at its headquarters Qadian Dist. Gurdaspur, Punjab and a souvenir is being published to mark the occasion. I wish success to the centenary celebration”.
Indian Muslim leaders which include Member of the Indian Legislative Council (MLC) have criticized Modi for congratulating the Ahmadiyya Muslims. Hafiz Peer Shabbir Ahmed, MLC and President of Jamiat Ulama Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in a statement said:
“This has hurt the sentiments of Indian Muslims. If Modi thinks Ahmadiyya’s are Muslims then he has to correct himself. Ahmadiyya’s are not Muslims and it is the decision of Muslims world over”
Hafiz Shabbir (MLC) added:
“This is strange. In the last two years Prime Minister Modi has never issued any congratulatory message to Muslims on the occasion of Eid and other Muslim festivals. But, he has sent a letter wishing success to Ahmadiyya community”
India has a huge Ahmadiyya Muslim population which is spread across Kerala, Rajasthan, Odisha, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and in Qadian, Punjab.
Mainstream Muslims consider Ahmadiyya Muslims to be heretics and in neighboring Pakistan they were declared non-Muslim in 1974, However under Indian Law the Ahmadis are regarded as Muslims.
In April this year a delegation from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community also met with PM Modi in New Delhi.