Muslims Are ‘Living In Fear’ Amid Ram Temple Funding Drive

Muslims in India fear a new wave of sectarian tension amid the controversial fundraising campaign to build a temple in place of the centuries-old mosque, Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh’s eastern city of Ayodhya.

Nearly 28 years ago, the mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on 06 December 1992, by ?kar sevaks? who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site.

The Newsters found while searching that after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, on the evening of December 6, kar sevaks started attacking Muslim residents of Ayodhya, ransacking and demolishing their houses.

Eighteen Muslims were murdered, nearly all their houses and shops were torched and destroyed, including 23 local mosques.

Additionally, riots broke out in various parts of the country, including Mumbai, and around 2,000 people were killed.

Decades later, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Hindus in 2019, allowing them to build a temple on the site where the Babri mosque had stood.

According to the Arab News, last week, the World Hindu Organization, locally known as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a 45-day nationwide campaign to collect donations for the Ram Mandir, including the Muslim community, in its efforts.

?There is a palpable sense of anxiety among Muslims in the region,? social activist Abrar ul Haq, from the Basti area of Uttar Pradesh told on Tuesday.

?Experience tells us that Hindu activists rally in a Muslim locality in the name of a campaign and shout provocative slogans to incite people. This leads to tension and violence,? he said.

?Muslims want to forget the temple debate, but the divisive campaign by Hindu groups makes them anxious.?

Let us remind you that before the VHP?s official fundraising campaign, in late December last year, the Ram Mandir fundraising campaign increased tensions in Madhya Pradesh. Where, several fund-collection rallies for the Ram temple had been taken out across the state over the last six days.

While taking out the rally, a mosque at Dorana in Mandsaur and then at Chandankhedi in Indore was vandalized by a mob.

Arab News has described this in detail-

Saddam Patel, a resident of the mainly Muslim Chandan Kheri village in Indore, was injured in the violence along with his four brothers.

?We were inside our house, but the mob torched our other house. When we went there to save a sleeping child, they attacked us,? he told.

?They were armed with firearms and swords.?

Indore-based social activist Zaidi Pathan said that Muslim-dominated villages in the region are living in fear.

?Muslims have moved beyond the temple controversy, but the BJP cannot survive without religious polarization and tension. This is a deliberate strategy to keep communal tensions alive,? Pathan said.

However, the VHP blames Muslims for the violence.

?It is unfortunate that Muslims attacked the people who went inside the village to collect funds,? Surendra Kumar Jain, VHP general secretary told on Sunday.

?Why are Muslims opposing the construction of a temple being built after the apex court?s order?? he asked. ?It is the responsibility of the Muslim community to ensure that no such incident takes place anywhere in the country.?

Political analysts said that the BJP is using the temple issue for electoral purposes.

?There is a conscious attempt to politicize the issue and make sure that the Ram temple remains a relevant electoral issue,? Hilal Ahmed, of the New Delhi-based Center for the Study of Developing Societies, said.

Prof. Afroz Alam, of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University, believes that political mobilization regarding the temple would have happened regardless of the court?s ruling.

?I have always maintained that the temple campaign is more a political project than a spiritual one,? he said. ?Whatever may have been the court?s judgment, political mobilization was bound to happen.?

New Delhi-based political analyst and writer Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay said that the fundraising campaign ?demonstrates the BJP?s over-reliance on majoritarian campaigns to retain support.?

?At a time when pandemic-induced uncertainty is raging, the economy is virtually stagnant, and millions of Indians have little idea what future the future holds, what sense does it make to launch such a drive?? he asked.

?In 1989, the temple agitation got a new push and the BJP?s parliamentary tally went up from two to 85,? Mukhopadhyay said. ?The temple controversy has played a major role in the rise of the BJP.?

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