33-year-old Danish Azad Ansari, who has been appointed as a minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government in UP, has been facing casteist abuse from ‘high caste’ Muslims. Danish belongs to a Sunni Muslim family that hails from UP’s Ballia district and has completed his post-graduation in Quality Management and Public Administration from Lucknow University.
Danish became a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the party’s student wing, in 2011 and joined the BJP in 2018. Besides occupying the post of general secretary in UP BJP’s minority wing, Danish was also part of the Urdu Language Committee in the Yogi government’s first term.
Danish becoming a minister in a BJP government seems to have caused heartburn to Muslims who harbour nothing but hatred for the so-called Hindu party and hence, they have been subjecting him to casteist slurs ever since he has taken the oath.
Reporting on the slurs faced by Danish, Swarajya Mag notes:
“Why are these Julahas so happy these days? Have they won a lottery”, a Facebook user by the name Irfan Zibran wrote, referring to Ansari. Another user, Faiz Ahmad Khan, wrote, “Julahas can’t contain their happiness at Danish Ansari.” Khan’s comment carried a sexual threat, which Swarajya is not reproducing.
Another user by the name of MD Maan wrote, “Sadar saheb does all the hard work but a Julaha has been made a minister.” Here, it’s not clear who is the person referred to as ‘Sadar saheb’, but it refers to a high-caste Muslim.
The comments above have been translated into English by Swarajya.
On Twitter, author-columnist Faiyaz Ahmad Fyzie, who in his own words is a “socio-Pasmanda activist”, has put out several screenshots and video clips of such casteist abuses hurled at Ansari.
Fyzie wrote (as translated to English), “Have you ever seen high-caste Hindus abusing a lower-caste Hindu for getting political representation the way the Ashraf community is abusing an indigenous Muslim for getting a political post?”
A screenshot shared by Fyzie shows a Twitter user, @Amir_Sherwani, posting a picture of a man clad in a saffron-coloured suit. The caption says: “Danish Azad Ansari, the only Muslim given ministerial birth [berth] in Yogi’s cabinet heading towards Pasmanda revolution via BJP.”
A user on Facebook has written: “Ansaris and Julahas are praising the BJP…It’s true that ‘neech’ people have a ‘neech’ mentality.”
The term ‘Pasmanda’ is a Persian word for ‘backward’ or ‘one who is left behind’. There are several Muslim organisations in India that use this term and say they are fighting for social justice among Muslims.
As per activists, ’high-caste’ comprise only about 10 per cent of Muslims in India.
‘Julaha’ is a reference to weavers and has been derived from the Persian word for weaving. The Muslim weaver community falls in the backward class in UP and many other states in the country. Julahas are among the largest caste groups in Muslims.
According to Ali Anwar, who wrote a book on Bihari Pasmanda Muslims titled Masawat ki Jung meaning struggle for equality, says that ‘julahas’ have been made the butt of jokes by other Muslim for centuries and folk tales mocking them as stupid and unteachable are popular among Muslims. Hence members of this community adopted the surname Ansari by creating a concocted connection with Medina’s Ansar tribe to escape mockery and humiliation.
Julahas are included in Ajlaf category which means ‘wretched’ or ‘mean’. “Muslims in the Indian sub-continent who trace or claim foreign ancestry consider themselves as being racially superior to those of Indian stock”, notes Swati Goel Sharma. She also cites Ambedkar’s 1945 work where he states “Mahomedans observe not only caste but also untouchability”.
(Featured Image Source: ToI)
मूर्ख जातिवाद की बात करते हैं और बुद्धिमान विकास की । सही कार्य करनेवाले मंत्रीजी को अधिक सोचना नहीं है भौंकनेवालों के बारे में,🙏🏼