Why Shia community in Lucknow is not happy with BJP?

Lucknow's Muslim population has also been a staunch supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for many years.

Ankit Awasthi
Published on: 22 Feb 2022 8:52 AM GMT
Why Shia community in Lucknow is not happy with BJP?
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In addition to being known for its unique cultural heritage and Nawabi traditions, Lucknow's Muslim population has also been a staunch supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for many years. However, the ban on the Muslim holy month of Muharram, the prohibition on illegal slaughterhouses, police excesses against CAA protesters, and now the issue of hijab have all stoked a great deal of resentment among the Shia Lucknow is regarded to be the cultural and economic heart of the Shia minority, with a population of over four lakh Shias.

The problem of Ajadari processions was settled in a very balanced way by Lalji Tandon, the then minister of Uttar Pradesh, after which Shia are known to have backed the BJP for decades after his decision. Because of Shia support, the BJP was able to comfortably win the Lucknow North West and Central seats, despite the fact that the Muslim population in these areas is fairly large. The BJP, according to one prominent Shia cleric who spoke on the condition of anonymity, "is not the BJP that we have supported for years." Leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lalji Tandon, and Rajnath Singh were always willing to consult with us. The manner in which the police dealt with Muslim women during the CAA demonstrations was unjust. Following that, the community was targeted throughout the holy months of Ramadan and Muharram." We were barred from using the Covid protocols, yet Hindu festivals were permitted when the protocols were used. According to the Shias, the Muharram is of the highest significance, and they are enraged by the limitations that have been put on them for the last two years consecutively. According to Hashim Jaffrey, a successful businessman. People were not even permitted to sell tazia, and the police were in a state of complete panic as a result. If there were two persons heading to the tazia ritual, they were both attacked as well. Rajnath Singh, the Member of Parliament for Lucknow and the Defence Minister, was also approached about the matter, but nothing came of it. This time around, Shias and Suni will band together to support the Samajwadi Party.

If it was Covid, Sonia Khan, a young college student, inquired in a perplexed tone as to why markets were permitted to stay open throughout the festivals of Holi, Janmashtami, and Diwali if it was Covid. Maulana Saif Abbas, a prominent Shia preacher and the head of the Shia Markazi Chand Samiti, was one of the individuals against whom a complaint was filed in connection with the CAA demonstrations.

Following the escalation of the Anti-CAA protests in Lucknow into violence, his photographs were shown on hoardings, which were seen negatively by the Muslim population. According to Maulana, if the BJP desired our support, they should have spoken with us about these concerns. The outpouring of rage from the community is entirely deserved. Furthermore, the policy directives that were released during the month of Muharram last year have greatly harmed the feelings of the Shia population. In response to the rules, Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi, one of the most important Shia clerics, voiced his dissatisfaction with them, stating that they included inappropriate terms and phrases and that they depicted the community in a negative light. Shia women have also been concerned by the latest hijab dispute. Afsha, a student at a prestigious institution in the state capital of Lucknow, claims that males make fun of her because she wears a headscarf. "The police officers maintain their silence and grin at the guys," she explains. It is undeniable that they are promoting these kinds of factors.

Ankit Awasthi

Ankit Awasthi

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