Mathura recently witnessed a well choreographed secular stunt in which a Hindu temple’s sanctity was violated.
On 29 October, two Muslim men, Faisal Khan and Mohammed Chand, accompanied by 2 Hindus, Alok Ratna and Nilesh Gupta, all 4 reportedly belonging to an organization called Khudai Khidmatgar, arrived at the famous Nand Baba temple in Nandgaon, Mathura. Nandgaon is where Sri Krishna grew up after moving from Gokul.
As reported by News 18 Hindi, temple sewayat (server) Kanha Goswami said that he met the 4 men when they first arrived, and that Faisal was wearing the Muslim skull cap. When the temple priest expressed surprise, Faisal said “Is Krishna yours alone? Krishan belongs to all of us.” He then proceeded to tell the priest and other devotees many verses from the Ramayana. He told them that the group had come from Delhi by cycle to complete Braj Chaurasi yatra.
After finishing this discussion, the 4 youth did darshan of the deities and the priest gave them prasad. They then went ahead to view the rest of the temple premises. It later emerged that the 2 Muslim men offered namaz within the temple premises, despite Hindu devotees present at the spot objecting to this.
The other 2 in the group shot videos and took photos of their 2 friends offering namaz in the temple, and later made these viral on social media, angering many Hindus. Hindu religious leaders denounced the action stating that reading namaz in a mandir is totally wrong. However, one Madhuban Dutt Chaturvedi of Quami Ekta Manch (Communal Unity Platform) called it an ‘example of brotherhood’.
The temple administration has now lodged an FIR against Faisal Khan and his 3 companions. Kanha Goswami told police that he never gave permission for them to do namaz in the temple, and it was done fraudulently. A case has been lodged against the accused under IPC 153-A, 295, 505.
Another aspect to this issue is that the Facebook account through which the photo became viral belongs to the advocate of the four PFI workers who were arrested in Mathura while on their way to Hathras to stoke passions over the murder of a Dalit girl.
Khudai Khidmatgar, meaning “servants of God”, was a Pashtun nonviolent movement started in North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) to resist British colonial rule. It was led by Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known locally as Bacha Khan, Badshah Khan, or ‘Frontier Gandhi.’
The Khudai Khidmatgars opposed the partition of Bharat, and were disappointed when Congress agreed to partition. They then demanded an independent state of Pashtunistan composing all Pashtun territories of British India, instead of being made to join Pakistan. But after partition, the movement faced brutal repression from the Pakistani government and went defunct.
In Jan 2011, Khudai Khidmatgar was revived by Aligarh Muslim University alumnus Faisal Khan in New Delhi, envisaged in his words, “to create a platform where Muslims, mainly youth, get a chance to work for society following Sarhadi Gandhi’s ideals…Though it is a Muslim majority organisation, we have reserved 10 of the 40 seats in our National Executive for Hindu members. The underlying message is communal harmony.”
Incidentally, this was the period when the anti-corruption movement against UPA-2 was building steam, and people’s trust in ‘civil society’ was probably at its peak.
Namaz in temple, but no murti puja in mosque & church?
Now, let’s assume Faisal Khan and his associates’ intentions are genuine. It is good to see his appreciation for Ramayana and Sri Krishna.
But why was it necessary to read namaz in a mandir to prove this message of secularism and communal amity? Even when Hindus asked them to stop, they ignored it and kept on reading namaz. Where does one get such blatant disregard from? Does he not understand what his actions might signify to a people who have seen countless temples razed and mosques constructed over them by invaders seeking to prove the victory of Islam? Why did the 2 Hindus accompanying their Muslim associates not step in?
Clearly, seculars of all hues believe they know Hindu Dharma better than Hindus, and that they can twist it whichever way to suit their agenda. Remember, we recently had an AP minister nonchalantly dismiss the desecration of temple murtis in his state by stating they were just ‘idols’ and could be replaced. A lady IAS officer barged into a temple in Himachal to do havan in her style over-riding the temple priest. The Telangana Chief Justice even stated recently, “Lord Venkateshwara does not require any temple…every devotee carries Him in his heart”!
Faisal Khan, whatever his intentions, demonstrates that very same arrogance. Would he dare to take his two Hindu friends to Jama Masjid in Delhi, install a murti of Sri Krishna and have them do aarti? Or do the same in a Church?
Let us reiterate – Hindu temples are sacred places, they are NOT playgrounds for the latest secular fad, or to advance activist/political careers. Each Hindu temple belongs to the sampradaya that worships there, and no one – not a politician, activist, bureaucrat, judge, politician, celebrity – has a right to interfere in its practises. Any alleged discrimination or flaw in those practises will be dealt with internally by the sampradaya or a body consisting of other like-minded practising Hindus. The state has shown it is clearly unequipped and ill-trained to deal with matters concerning Hindu Dharma, and must stop poking its nose just like it stays respectfully away from affairs of other religions.
Seculars are free to congregate in their own sacred spots – malls, multiplexes, Rajiv Gandhi xyz hall/stadium, Marxist/secularist party offices, mosques, churches etc. – and worship their messiahs – Gandhi, Nehru, Marx, Stalin, Mao, Dawkins etc. But their experiments with Hindu Dharma and temples will not be tolerated anymore.
Hindus who were standing by as Faisal Khan and Mohammed Chand were offering namaz must also ask themselves – why did they not push those men out of the temple, along with their 2 Hindu accomplices? Don’t they know that when a Muslim offers namaz, he says “Allahu Akbar” meaning “Allah is the greatest.”…what does that make Sri Krishna? Namaz is a way for Muslims to submit to Allah’s will, and one of Allah’s injunctions is to end ‘idol worship’ – what does that mean for the murti of Sri Krishna in the Nand Baba temple?
What next – are we going to allow Islamic and Christian missionaries to set shop inside our temples to distribute their literature, all to prove ‘all religions are equal’ and ‘how secular we are’? If we don’t defend our sacred places, who will?
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