After Ayodhya and Varanasi, preparations on for temple in Mathura, tweets UP deputy CM Maurya
Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday in a two-line tweet called for the construction of a temple in Mathura at a time when right-wing groups are demanding the removal of a Mughal-era mosque located adjacent to the Krishna temple in the city.
Mr. Maurya’s tweet also comes days ahead of the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition. The Mughal-era Babri mosque in Ayodhya was demolished by a mob of ‘karsevaks’ on December 6, 1992 when the State was ruled by the BJP.
Though Mr. Maurya did not spell it out, his tweet in Hindi had an uncanny semblance to the slogan “yeh toh sirf jhanki hain, Kashi Mathura baki hai [This is just a trailer, Varanasi and Mathura still to come]” raised by the right-wing groups and BJP leaders following the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
“Ayodhya, Kashi bhavya mandir jari hain, Mathura ki tayarri hai [A grand temple is underway in Ayodhya and Varanasi. Preparations are on for Mathura],” Mr. Maurya tweeted.
His pinned tweet, which triggered a political storm on social media, carried hashtags of “Jai Shri Ram,” “Jai Shiv Shambhu” and “Jai Radhe Krishna.”
While the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is under construction after the Supreme Court awarded the land where the Babri Masjid stood till December 1992 to the Hindu parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month is expected to inaugurate the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a major Hindu site dedicated to Lord Shiva, abuts the Gyanvapi Masjid. The Allahabad High Court in September put an interim stay on the proceedings in a lower court in the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple title dispute including the April order of the lower court which had directed the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a comprehensive physical survey of the Gyanvapi mosque compound adjacent to the temple. The lower court had in April directed the ASI to find out whether the Gyanvapi mosque was a “superimposition, alteration or addition or there is structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any other religious structure.”
Recently, at least two right-wing groups including Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha had threatened to carry out a padyatra (foot march) and install an idol of Lord Krishna inside the Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura on December 6.
Following this, the Mathura administration beefed up security and stated that it had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and said no such permission had been or would be granted. SSP Mathura Gaurav Grover said strict action would be taken against any person or outfit trying to incite religious feelings, gather crowds or spread lawlessness in person or on social media.
Last year, a civil court in Mathura dismissed a suit seeking the removal of the Shahi Idgah Masjid adjacent to the Katra Keshav Dev Temple in Mathura, observing that if each and every devotee of Lord Krishna was allowed to institute such suits, it would jeopardize the judicial and social system of the country. Earlier this year, another local court issued notices to the Shahi Idgah Masjid management committee and others, seeking their stand on a fresh plea for the removal of the mosque from near the ‘birthplace’ of Lord Krishna in the Katra Keshav Dev temple complex.
Responding to Mr. Maurya’s tweet, Shaukat Ali, UP president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) tweeted that the BJP could not control the price of petrol, diesel and cooking gas and check unemployment and corruption. “Now, the public is aware. The BJP cannot win on the agenda of development hence you are compelled to chant the melody of temple,” said Mr. Ali.