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Varanasi
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Abusive ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ chanting mob throws beer bottle, stones from illegal mosque at peaceful Hindu procession: Nellore, AP

They very sight of a non-Muslim religious procession is anathema for Islamists. More so when such a procession ‘dares’ to pass in front of a mosque, because how can the ‘idol of a fake God’ dare to claim equality with the believers of the ‘one true religion’ revealed to mankind 1400 years ago in Arabia? And when one is taught to throw stones at the ‘shaitan’ (devil), what else can we expect such radicalized minds to do?

A procession with the murti of Sri Anjaneya (another name of Sri Hanuman) was being taken out on Sunday in Nellore, AP. The procession was going from TTD Kalyana Mandapam to the Stonehouse Pet area and had around 15,000 participants. It was going on peacefully along a major road as per the police-approved road map, and happened to pass by a mosque located close to the Nellore district court.

What transpired next is testament to the ugly reality of what goes on in our country under the guise of secularism. Muslim extremists had gathered in large numbers in the mosque knowing that the Hindu procession would be passing by. They threw empty beer bottles towards the murti of Sri Anjaneya, pelted stones at the devotees and allegedly even abused Hindu deities. They could be seen making aggressive and ugly gestures towards the Hindus along with loud sloganeering of ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ (Allah is the Greatest).

Video footage shows Muslim men showing the middle finger to Hindu devotees, and some tried to charge on to the road with weapons in hand. However, police was present and held them back at the gates of the mosque.

Addressing the media on Monday, MLC Vakati Narayana Reddy said the land where the masjid stood belonged to the public works department and was encroached upon a few years back. He said that the High Court had given an eviction order four years back but the officials had failed to implement the directions yet.

Reddy claimed that the mob had kept stones and sticks ready to attack the Hindus while the procession was crossing the masjid. He appreciated the police for efficiently handling the situation. He added a contempt petition would be filed since the place had allegedly become a hub for antisocial elements. Elsewhere, BJP leader M Ramesh took serious objection to the incident and handed over a representation to the district collector on Monday asking to maintain communal harmony in the city.

So this is what is happening across the country. Mosques and mazars (tombs for figures revered by Muslims) are sprouting up all over the country, either on encroached public land or using funds from overseas (often routed through hawala). The secular State is not inclined to remove illegal mosques even from High Court premises without lengthy legal tussles involving top Lutyens’ lawyers in the Supreme Court, so we can guess what kind of priority it assigns to removing the encroached mosque in Nellore.

Many mosques are coming up on arterial roads and border areas. This is what Maulana Arshad Madani, head of Darul Uloom Deoband, told a British journalist in 2015:

The number of madrassas [in India] has multiplied four or five times in the last 70 years,” says Madani proudly, “and mosques by 10 times.”

So with this explosion in mosques and madrassas, how on earth is a Hindu or any non-Muslim procession for that matter, supposed to avoid crossing a mosque? After all, we are told that such acts are ‘provocative’ to Muslims, or that it disturbs their daily 5-time namaz routine. Why do processions taken out by followers of other religions in front of temples, churches, gurudwaras etc not cause similar ‘provocation’. The answer is obvious, although our secular State has perfected the art of burying its head in the sand to ‘maintain peace’ (temporary).

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