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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Amid falling footfall, Barelvi Muslims clash with Khadims in controversial Ajmer dargah: Rajasthan

A stampede-like situation broke out at the controversial dargah of the Persian Sufi godman Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer after a scuffle started between two groups. The commotion took place late on Saturday night, the sixth night of the annual Urs (festival to mark death anniversary of a Sufi fakir, usually held at his dargah)

Police officials said that Barelvi Muslims (followers of the Sunni school of Islam established in Bareilly, UP by an Afghan Pathan migrant named Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi in the late 19th century) and Khadims (hereditary caretakers or custodians of the dargah, claiming to be Chishti’s descendants) clashed with each other. The police somehow pacified the matter.

According to eyewitnesses, sloganeering started from a group of Barelvis sitting in the Shahjahani Masjid after 2 a.m. on Saturday night. On the other hand, when the Khadims of the dargah protested against the sloganeering, both the groups got entangled and a fight ensued.

Seeing the fighting, there was chaos among the pilgrims present there and a situation of stampede was created. The situation became such that the volunteers deployed to control the crowd also ran away by jumping the wall of the mosque. A video of this entire incident has also surfaced.

The twitter user Sayed Subhani Siraji shared a video of the clash with the accompanying text in Hindi “See the thuggery of these Khadims of the dargah – in reality, they are drug peddlers and addicts, chadar-thieves who take money from us and then assault us. Will police take action?”

It is said that there is a long-standing dispute between the Khadims and the Barelvis, the Sunni sect which is also called Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat. Barelvis consitute a large chunk of Muslims of the subcontinent, and despite their ‘moderate’ image peddled by mainstream media compared to the ‘fundamentalist’ Deobandis, they are fast becoming the face of Muslim extremism with their ‘Sar Tan se Juda’ slogans against anyone accused of blasphemy of Islam.

The Barelvis come to the dargah and praise their leader Taju Shariya, a title given to Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari, the great grandson of the movement’s founder Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi.

In 2018 too, there was an uproar in the dargah over such sloganeering. The complaint regarding this matter was also given to the administration on behalf of the Anjuman Committee. Before that an appeal was made by placing posters at various places that slogans should be raised only in the glory of Chishti.

As per reports, security volunteers deployed for the security of Khadims and dargah also fled from the spot during the assault. The outnumbered Khadims had to take asylum in a nearby mosque.

Dargah police station in-charge, Amar Singh said that he had reached the spot as soon as they got the information about the sloganeering. Both sides were placated, however, so far no party has filed the report.

Hindus stay away from controversial dargah after Kanhaiyal’s murder

The khadims of Ajmer dargah are notorious for their involvement in crimes, and for their Islamic supremacism and hatred for Hindus. These khadims, some of whom were also in leadership roles with local Congress units at the time, played a central role in the horrific 1992 Ajmer rape-blackmail ring, where hundreds of Hindu school and college going girls were sexually exploited, forcing some to commit suicide and leaving others traumatized for life.

Last year, the Khadims who manage Ajmer dargah were fully exposed for their anti-Hindu hate speech and genocidal threats to destroy the country. Using the fabricated Nupur Sharma controversy as cover, several senior khadims – Sarwar (also a member of banned terror org PFI), Gauhar, Salim, and Aadil Chishti – delivered provocative speeches, whipping Muslims into a frenzy to behead ‘blasphemers’.

One khadim Salman Chishti threatened to shoot Nupur dead with his own hands. Aadil Chishti, the son of Sarwar Chishti who is secretary of Anjuman Committee of the dargah, unleashed a hateful diatribe against Hindu Dharma, targeting deities like Sri Hanuman, Sri Ganesh and avatars of Bhagwan Vishnu.

In 2021, the same Sarwar Chishti had delivered a hate speech dripping with Islamic supremacism and taunted Hindu visitors to the dargah.

‘We (Muslims) ruled over you (Hindus) for centuries. We were the rulers, you were the subjects. Don’t try us, or we will rule over you again,” he said to a cheering crowd, and then proceeded to taunt Hindus who visit the dargah, “You will fight with us? With us? You come and bow your head in front of this grave of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti”.

After Udaipur tailor Kanhaiyalal’s brutal murder by two Islamist terrorists, it emerged that Khadim Gauhar Chishti had travelled to Udaipur to meet killer Riyaz Attari, days after delivering a speech calling for the murder of Nupur Sharma. The khadim reportedly advised the killers to upload a video of their gory deed to spread even more terror. After murdering Kanhaiyalal, the two murderers were on their way to Ajmer when they were caught by police. Gauhar Chishti was later arrested from Hyderabad where he was hiding in disguise. All accused in this case also had links to Pakistan-based radical Barelvi outfit Daawat-e-Islami.

Islamists view Muslim dargahs, mosques and other religious institutions as their barracks i.e. sharia zones outside the purview of the secular state. Hence it is no surprise to find that many criminals seek to take refuge in their vicinity. Recently, mining mafia boss ex-BSP MLC Mohd Haji Iqbal’s fourth son was arrested from Ajmer Dargah, where he had been hiding.

So it is no surprise that due to the terrorist links and hateful rhetoric of these khadims, combined with new-found awareness about Moinuddin Chishti himself, the number of Hindu visitors to the dargah has plummeted, even though PM Modi dutifully continues the ‘secular’ annual tradition of sending a chadar to the dargah.

Yet, an IANS report by one Mohammed Anas informs us that ‘some devoted souls are still descending for the pilgrimage’ and gives the example of Ram Vilas, a self-acclaimed mystic, from Tiwaripur village in Chandauli district, UP, who arrived in Ajmer with his wife and some of his followers.

Originally a farmer, Ram Vilas has taken to the life of a travelling mendicant.

“As soon as my family reaps the crop, I pack my jhola (sack) and leave for pilgrimage to any holy place, be it Badrinath, Mathura, Ajmer, etc. My family never prevents me from embarking on such pious voyages…we are seekers of spirituality. We quench our thirst from every divine well,” he says.

“Indian people are basically people of faith. They love people who help them find serenity in their chaotic lives,” he adds.

It is this simple, trusting nature of Hindus like Shri Ram Vilas that has hurt Hindu society over the years. Bred on an outlook that teaches one to respect different paths to the divine, we have forgotten that not all paths are the same just because popular culture tells us they are.

Would Muslims ever visit a mandir or Hindu pilgrimage spot with the same reverence? Would they pray to a murti of Maa Durga, take part in aarti, wear tilak and eat prasad? And let’s say a few of them did manage to imbibe the Dharmic idea of mutual respect for different spiritual paths, how would the rest of Muslim society treat them? This is how – Muslim woman expelled from Islam by clerics for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, family receives death threats: Aligarh, UP

If Shri Ram Vilas had just asked the IANS reporter Md. Anas if the latter would accompany him on his next pligrimage to Badrinath and pray to the Shivling, he would have understood how Islam bars its followers from worshipping any God other than Allah, and how it regards ‘idol worship’ (pejorative term for Hindu practice of murti puja) as the worst sin.

There is a term for what Hindus like Ram Vilas suffer from – sadgun vikriti – which can be loosely translated as perversion of virtues.

Who better to guide us on matters of Dharma than Sri Krishna who urged Arjuna to fight Adharma, even if it meant taking on his own family and friends? If someone does not respect our right to follow our Dharma, to live fearlessly and with dignity, then what purpose is served by respecting them back.

The best Hindus can expect from Abrahamics (Islam and Christianity) is tolerance, and then too we have to be wary of their overriding desire to convert everyone to their respective version of ‘One True Religion’. And if they tolerate us, we should tolerate them back. But mutual respect can only exist across different Dharmic sampradayas and panths.

(With IANS inputs)

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