Indian Express
New Delhi, 21 April 1995
8. BJP to bring out Koran in Sanskrit
by Sujata Anandan

BOMBAY - The Koran in Sanskrit? The idea is not as bizarre as it may sound.

This is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s spoonful of honey for the Muslim minorities in the country as opposed to their earlier acerbic rhetoric that the party has been finding hard to live down since the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

According to sources in the BJP, a Sanskrit translation of the Koran will be attempted by the party’s Muslim members, led by its Minorities Cell Chief Arif Baig, soon after the three day convention of its core group ends.

High on the agenda of the convention is a follow up of the resolutions with regard to the minorities at the Goa convention of the party early this month.

In that convention following party president L.K. Advani’s call to “remove misconceptions (about the BJP) in the minds of the minorities,” the party resolved to revive the earlier Congress slogan of Hindu-Muslim bhai-bhai.

The Sanskrit translation of the Koran is to be the party’s first bridge to the Muslim masses.

Muslims may however, not be impressed. The reactions among them have ranged from scepticism to caution with the rider, “the leopard can never change its spots. But let us wait and watch.”

The BJP’s attempt to garner the minority vote for the Lok Sabha polls comes from the realisation that the favourable results in Maharashtra and Gujarat for the right parties were an essential fallout of the disillusionment of the minorities with the Congress.

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