In a shocking development, a senior BJP functionary and a former minister in the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday made a desperate bid to enter the historic Jama Masjid to hoist the national flag inside its premises.
IP Singh had arrived at the historic mosque with his mob and chanted Bharat Mata Ki Jai, a slogan that has now gained quite prominence among the supporters of the BJP. The Hindutva mob demanded that they be allowed to enter the sacred place of worship for Muslims so that they could hoist the national flag. They even chanted slogans against the shahi imam, Syed Ahmad Bukhari.
An eyewitness told Janta Ka Reporter, “The mob arrived at the mosque from Gate 1 soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his independence day speech at the Red Fort, which is situated less than a kilometre away from the historic mosque. They reached the main gate of the mosque and began chanting Narendra Modi zindabad, Atal Bihari Vajpayee zindabad and bharat mata ki jai.”
According to eye witnesses, a group of Muslim worshipers too chanted Imam Bukhari zindabad. Later, taking to Twitter, Singh flaunted his provocative act. He wrote in Hindi, “Despite disruption, we succeeded hoisting the tricolour in the premises of Jama Masjid. The question is; where did the shahi imam disappear? At the moment, we don’t need anyone’s permission to hoist the tricolour. Today I hoisted the flag in Jama Masjid despite attempts to stop me.”
टोका टोकी के बावजूद जामा मस्जिद प्रांगण पर तिरंगा लहरा दिया गया है..शाही इमाम अचानक कहाँ गायब हो गए ये प्रश्न है..फ़िलहाल हमें देश में तिरंगा लहराने के लिए किसी की अनुमति की ज़रूरत नहीं..आज मैंने जामा मस्जिद पर ध्वजारोहण किया, रोके जाने के बावजूद। #MyFlagMyFaith pic.twitter.com/S1p4cLJGBk
— IP Singh (@ipsinghbjp) August 15, 2018
Bukhari reacted in anger and termed the act as an attempt to provoke Muslims to cause communal riots. He said, “I am relieved that despite their attempts to provoke and cause mischief in society, Muslims present there acted with prudence and did not let these mischievous elements succeed in their objective. I am sure that such attempts will gain intensity between now and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”
Alka Lamba, a local MLA, too tweeted expressing her disgust over the attempt by ‘Sanghis’ and ‘saffron goons’ to provoke Muslims. She wrote, “I am saddened to note that today a few sanghis and saffron goons entered Jama Masjid and began to provoke Muslims present there. They were alleging that Muslims did not take part in today’s independence day celebrations. These photos of mine prove that imam sahab himself prayed for the country. The tricolour was flying everywhere. Be careful.”
बेहद दुःख की बात है कि आज कुछ संघी-तिलक-भगवाधारी गुंडे जामा-मस्जिद में घुस कर मुस्लिमों को उकसाने लगे,आरोप की वह आज आज़ादी के जश्न में शामिल नही हुए,
मेरी आज की कुछ तस्वीरें साबित करती हैं कि इमाम साहब ने खुद देश के लिये दुआओं में हिस्सा लिया,हर और तिरंगा लहरा रहा था।
सम्भल कर। pic.twitter.com/3l6KFZUUdg
— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) August 15, 2018
Many experts too have expressed their apprehensions stating that the BJP will resort to causing riot-like situations in the run-up to the next year’s Lok Sabha elections to polarise the voters. They’ve argued that the BJP was incredibly nervous about going to the voters since they haven’t been able to fulfill their election promises made during the 2014 polls.
What has heightened their anxiety are the recent results of the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana. Immediately after the BJP suffered a humiliating loss in Kairana, which was won by BJP’s Hukum Singh in 2014, Sambit Patra, a known saffron party spokesperson had likened the result to the defeat of Hindus. This was the most explicit sign yet of the BJP’s intention to dump the development agenda in favour of embarking on militant Hindutva ideology ahead of the next parliamentary polls.
Analysts believe that BJP will face electoral annihilation if the party were to seek a second term for Modi in 2019 using the same development agenda that it pushed nearly five years ago.