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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Secular traditions or appeasement policy: Mumbai police offers chaddar at Mahim Dargah & kickstarts the Urs festival

It is customary for the Mumbai police to salute Pir Hazarat Makhdoom Shah with the police band in full display. The question that one needs to ask is should a secular state continue such a tradition that is biased towards one religion alone?

Every year when the ten-day Urs festival is held at this Dargah located at Mumbai’s Mahim, the procession begins at the Mahim Police Station that is supposedly the residence of Makhdoom Ali Mahimi. In addition to two police officers from each of the 84 city police stations taking part in the event, it is a representative of the Mumbai police who is the first to offer a shawl (chaddar) at the tomb on the first day of the festival.

While the Mumbai police reserves such respect for minorities it has nothing but contempt unrequited advice for the Hindu majority. The police wanted Hindus to celebrate a silent Ganesh Chaturthi citing noise pollution concerns. However, the same police force is yet to implement the Supreme Court guidelines on the sound system in mosques calling for prayers.

Further, it must be mentioned here that the Mumbai police had issued notice to the mother of Hindu girl Karishma Bhosale who had complained against a Mankhurd mosque for use of loudspeakers in defiance of the law. Bhosale was even threatened by Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi who said that the Bhosales should leave their residence if the azaan call disturbed them.

What’s more? this was said at the local police station as per a WhatsApp message (said message also calls Karishma a ‘traitor’ and ‘riot-monger’) being shared by Azmi’s supporters. So the police instead of acting on the mosque, initiated action against the Hindu girl instead.

Time and again the Maharashtra police have been seen crawling before the so-called minority while they treat the majority Hindus with contempt. Muslim mobs had attacked the police force across the state during the Chinese Virus pandemic when the police attempted to implement the lockdown to curb instances of the virus spreading in April this year.

In Mumbai, which is ground zero of the pandemic in Bharat with a staggering 5589 cases, around 30 people had gathered near a mosque in the Shivajinagar area in violation of lockdown and curfew order. When police went to disperse the crowd around 7 pm on Sunday, the mob (which included 2 women) hurled stones at them with provocative slogans. They were attacked in Pune and Sambhaji Nagar (Aurangabad) as well.

Even in May this year, a group of around 15 people attacked a police sub-inspector and two constables with sharp weapons at Kokhri Agar, Garib Nawaz Nagar, Antop Hill in central Mumbai after the policemen asked why they were not wearing face masks for protection from the Chinese Virus.

Despite all these instances of the Maharashtra police in general and the Mumbai police, in particular, being at the receiving end of Islamic mob violence, the police force is out to entertain the Islamists with politician style minority appeasement.

Secularism means the state machinery divorcing itself from any form of religious activity, either overtly or covertly, and not that it would promote minorityism while showing contempt for the majority Hindus and Hindu festivals. It is high time we revisit this practice of a secular police force offering chaddars at the tombs of Islamists.

(Featured Image Source: Hello Mumbai News)


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