Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board member and senior journalist Sohail Kazmi is also the patron of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a subsidiary organisation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
He is among the founders of same in Jammu and Kashmir, and a strong RSS ideologue . He is the head of prestigious media and publishing house Taskeen in Jammu and Kashmir.
In an exclusive interview with Heaven Mail, Sohail Kazmi talks on diverse issues .
Your take on current condition of WAQF Board ?
The working of WAQF Board has vastly improved since new chairman and members have taken over. Our priority remains to end encroachments of WAQF property and ensure positive reforms, and in this regard much headway has been acheived. The working and functioning of WAQF has vastly improved.
WAQF Board took measures and steps to regulate and ensure discipline of Peer Sahibs at Shrines of Jammu and Kashmir. A bit on that?
Since long WAQF Board working had stagnated. But since past one year we have taken historic steps to ensure discipline at Shrines and ensure maximum comfort to Devotess. This step and many other steps have been taken to improve the working of WAQF Board in Kashmir. The WAQF deals with those sacred places that deal with all important issue of sacred religious sentiments so it was necessary to ensure positive reforms .
Why is there no SHIA WAQF Board in Jammu and Kashmir?
I am also a Shia Muslim. I would like to state that Government of India is working since past few years to establish a Shia WAQF Board in Jammu and Kashmir, and also Madrasa Board. After proper identification of properties same would be reality soon. The Government of India in coming times would sanction Shia WAQF Board for Jammu and Kashmir.
Do you feel there is need to reform Madrasa in Jammu and Kashmir?
We need Madrasa reforms direly in Jammu and Kashmir, and also in other parts of the country. Some People establish Madrasa with just few students to mint money. Also it is essential to regulate , monitor and ensure discipline in Madrasas. We have been seeing Pakistan trying to use some Madrasa for spreading radicalism and hate. We need to ensure that no religious institution in country spreads radicalism or violence and in this context regulating and ensuring reforms in Madrasas is must .
What is being done to improve facilities in Shrines?
The wide ranging steps are being taken to ensure quality facilities at Shrines of Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of Shrines in Jammu region are quite clean and have quality ablution facilties. We are also having improved facilities at Shrines of Kashmir.
What is being done to retrieve land of graveyards?
We are as WAQF dedicated to retrieving the land of WAQF in Jammu and Kashmir be they graveyards or commercial land. We are taking every step to ensure every inch of encroached land of WAQF is got back Wherever the matter is subjudice before honorable courts ,we are and would in letter and spirit follow their directions.
Did you enjoy Journalism or WAQF Board member experience more ?
Every work that is assigned to me I take it very seriously and do it with utter dedication and honesty. I have never faced any allegations as honesty is pivotal to my works . Every work is worship for me.
What is your message to devotess ?
My message to devotees is to treat all property of WAQF as own and take great care of them. Quran and Hadith also teach us to respect and adore holy places and ensure their well being . We care for the well being of devotees .
How much pivotal are our sufi legacy?
Sufism is identity of Kashmir.
We as WAQF are trying level best to revive and promote great Sufi legacies as they are soul of Jammu and Kashmir. They are our civilization and preach us respect and tolerance . We are trying to repair and revive all the major Sufi Shrines of Jammu and Kashmir. The honorable LG Manoj Sinha Lead Administration is giving all support to WAQF in every matter.
Would you join formally politics in future?
I would not enter politics in future as my interest is to serve people of my country with great dedication and politics is not my interest.