Muslims pray for Uddhav, worried at the return of BJP & Hindutva

Muslims praying for the Shiv Sena Pramukh is something that would have been unthinkable not too long ago. But Uddhav Thackeray has earned their goodwill by defusing tricky situations sensibly

Muslims pray for Uddhav, worried at the return of BJP & Hindutva

Santoshee Gulabkali Mishra

Few old timers would have expected to see Muslims praying for the Shiv Sena and its Pramukh. The Sena, which claimed to be the champions of Hindutva long before the BJP woke up to it, was behind the Bombay riots which targeted Muslims.

It is all the more surprising therefore to find Muslims and non-profit organizations in Mumbai coming out openly in support of the Sena and Uddhav Thackeray while blaming BJP for the political crisis in the state.

The minority community has been holding prayers for Uddhav Thackeray and his party founded by Balasaheb Thackeray. In Mumbai minority groups have started 'Quran Khwani’ - reciting the Quran to invoke the grace of Almighty Allah for Uddhav Thackeray. In Muslim-dominated areas like Nagpada, Madanpura, Dongri, Behrampada, Jogeshwari, Malvani and Mumbra, clusters of youth can be found discussing how centrala agencies are being exploited by the BJP to curb democracy.

Quran Khwani organised by a Shiv Sena's Shakha Pramukh in Mumbai
Quran Khwani organised by a Shiv Sena's Shakha Pramukh in Mumbai
Asim Khan

The MVA Government allowed them a breather, they acknowledge, and a less toxic city to live in without fear. But if indeed the Sena legislators resent its soft Hindutva and want to re-align with the brand of hardcore Hindutva of the BJP, they feel they have reasons to be worried.

Recalling that the Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray has indeed mellowed and softened its stance towards Hindutva and Muslims, they point out Uddhav Thackeray’s public criticism of the BJP Government for its failure to maintain communal harmony.

"Uddhav Thackeray openly supported the fight against the three farm laws and also during the movement in Shahin Bagh protests against CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). It won over the Muslims who elected Shiv Sena candidate Yamini Jadhav (who is now in the rebel camp). Her constituency Byculla has a large Muslim constituency and she won the election with a huge margin and became MLA, points out Izaz Shah Murshed at Byculla.

“There was a time when Sena opened its office in the Muslim dominated Madanpura and it was vandalised by miscreants. Now the same area has big offices of the party in Bhendi Bazaar, Dongri and Madanpura which are Muslim dominated pockets in South Mumbai.

Madanpura in Byculla is the same constituency from where the then Muslim League leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah contested elections. It is not just a mood swing of Muslim youth and community members, Thackeray has really earned their trust,” added Izaz.

M A Khalid, General Secretary of All India Milli Council said, "We are shocked to learn Yamini Jadhav is part of this rebel Shinde team. It looks like she was put under pressure by the Enforcement Directorate. She and the other rebels expected Thackeray to intervene and stall the investigation. However, he refused to do so. This was the right approach by the Chief Minister, people add.

Muslims in Maharashtra are also appreciative of Thackeray’s handling of the ‘Azaan’ row manufactured by Raj Thackeray. The CM’s deft handling of the tricky communal issue has earned him considerable goodwill among the minorities.

Mehmood Dariyabadi, General Secretary of All India Ulema Council said, "I don't understand why leaders from BJP don't understand that the misuse of power of central agencies does not go unnoticed by the common man. I surely suspect that BJP is the brain behind Shinde and his band of rebels. Their shenanigans will bring about a law-and-order situation in the state."

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    Published: 26 Jun 2022, 4:13 PM