oppn parties Not Mandatory For Muslims To Pray In Mosques or Idgahs

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Not Mandatory For Muslims To Pray In Mosques or Idgahs

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is a strange facet of governance in India presently that instead of taking to task those who disturb public peace and harass a community, questions marks are raised about the practices being followed by the community that is targeted. When the Hindutva mobs attacked Muslims offering namaz in open places in Gurugram, they were trying to disturb public peace. They raised mischievous slogans like “Bangladeshi wapas jao” etc. that had the potential of instigating riots. Instead of rebuking them and asking the police to round them up, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar chose to say that namaz should be offered in mosques and idgahs instead of open public places, as if those offering prayers were the ones who were committing a crime.

There are two things that are relevant to the situation. First, the administration was aware that some Muslims offer prayers in the open. Did it ask them not to do so? Was any circular issued banning offering of prayers in open spaces? If not, then those offering the prayers were not in the wrong. Second, those who attacked them belonged to a Hindutva outfit. Did the government not receive any intelligence input that they were planning such an attack? If not then this is a serious intelligence failure. If yes, then why didn’t the administration prevent it? Was it waiting for them to strike so as to create pressure on the Muslims to force them not to offer prayers in the open?

The BJP government’s ruling in the states should recognize that Muslims constitute nearly 18% of India’s population and cannot be wished away to Pakistan or Bangladesh. They are as much India’s citizens as Hindus. If some of their practices are not as per public policy or cause disruption of life for other citizens, the government must sit with bodies representing the Muslims and work out a formula to ensure both: the religious freedom of the Muslims which includes the right to offer prayers and avoidance of disturbance to other citizens. If need be certain open public places can be earmarked for offering prayers. But allowing miscreants to attack those offering prayers is not governance, it is hooliganism.