In Hyderabad, a signature marketing campaign units off acquainted temple-mosque narrative


Hyderabad’s sixteenth Century monument Charminar and the adjoining Bhagyalakshmi temple are on the centre of a brand new controversy after a Congress chief, Rashed Khan, began a signature marketing campaign in search of the reopening of the mosque inside Charminar for namaz.

Whereas all political events, together with the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) of which Khan is Secretary, have reacted angrily to the suggestion, the BJP, the principle Opposition social gathering within the state, has gone one step additional, with its state unit chief saying Khan’s signature marketing campaign is an try to take away the Bhagyalakshmi temple.

On Could 31, Khan put up a board on the close by Mecca Masjid, asking individuals to signal in the event that they needed the mosque inside Charminar to be reopened for namaz. The signature marketing campaign ended on Could 31 and Khan mentioned he would submit the signatures to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chief Minister Ok Chandrashekar Rao, and the Union Ministry of Tourism and Tradition.

The mosque is on the highest flooring of the monument that was constructed in 1591, and ASI officers mentioned that once they took over the safety and upkeep of the Charminar in 1951, no prayers had been held there. In later years, the mosque was closed to the general public to guard the monument and keep away from inconvenience to vacationers.

“It’s our proper to wish wherever there’s a mosque. Why was it closed? If prayers will be held at Bhagyalakshmi temple, why can not we pray on the mosque beside it? Let the prayers proceed within the temple, there isn’t any objection to that. However this mosque should be reopened, ’’ Khan mentioned.

Reacting to Khan’s marketing campaign, BJP Telangana chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar mentioned, “Are we asking for Charminar to be moved from close to the temple? This demand to reopen the mosque is to create issues for the temple and drive it to be faraway from there. Prayers are held on daily basis on the temple for a few years, how come they’ve abruptly remembered they wish to carry out namaz at Charminar?’’

The Bhagyalakshmi temple, devoted to Goddess Lakshmi, abuts the southeast minar of Charminar. Product of bamboo poles and tarpaulins, it has a tin roof, and the southeast minar varieties its again wall. There isn’t a definitive model on how and when it got here up, but it surely has been there since no less than the Sixties. The BJP, nonetheless, claims that the temple predates Charminar.

In recent times, BJP leaders have been visiting the temple earlier than enterprise any work, whether or not it’s the submitting of nomination papers or setting off on a padayatra. Even Union Dwelling Minister Amit Shah visited the temple final month. Shah had visited the temple throughout the 2020 civic polls too. Among the many guests to the temple that ballot season was Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who, whereas campaigning in Hyderabad, made a pitch for renaming town as Bhagyanagar after Goddess Bhagyalakshmi. “Some individuals had been asking me if Hyderabad will be renamed as Bhagyanagar. I mentioned, why not?” he had mentioned.

With the temple already a focus for the BJP’s politics within the state, the Congress believes Khan’s marketing campaign has solely served to reignite tensions.

Dismissing Khan and his competition, Congress chief V Hanumanth Rao mentioned, “Elections are approaching and many individuals attempt to create points. I used to be looking for out from our minority cell who this Rashed Khan is. All that is simply to create communal disturbance and create a sensation. The BJP is already utilizing it to create extra tensions.’’

“We don’t help his statements and calls for on the Charminar mosque subject. These will not be the Congress’s views,” he added.

TPCC chairperson Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka mentioned, “The BJP is attempting to make use of these points to create communal tensions identical to they did in Gujarat which led to bloodshed. Some random particular person says one thing and the BJP twists it right into a communal subject.’’


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