BJP’s stunning victory in Indian state of UP: Will Deoband Be Named ‘Deovrind’?

MAMOSA Report — The newly elected BJP MLA from Deoband Brijesh Singh announced he will push a proposal for changing the name of Deoband to ‘Deovrind’ after the formation of BJP-led government in the State of UP (Uppar Pradesh). He argued that Deoband should be known for its historical association with Mahabharata and not the world renowned Islamic seminary of Darul Uloom Deoband, Caravan Daily reported.

Reacting to the announcement, Mohammad Alam, a Deoband resident told the online newsmagazine that the new MLA should understand the difference between fact and fiction. Mahabharata is mythology and a fairytale while Deoband is not an Islamic name but a Hindu name and this name was not changed even during the Muslim rule in the country, he added.

A Muslim woman waits to cast her vote at a polling booth in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Shahnawaz Badar Qasmi, a local journalist said: “These BJP walas have no other work except playing with the sentiments of gullible Hindus. If Deoband is rechristened as Deovrind what laurels will it bring to Hindu community?”

The upsurge of communal outpourings was expected after the victory of BJP in India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh that created insecurity among Muslims in the state particularly in rural areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself brought divisiveness into focus during his speeches in the last phases of elections accusing the SP government in the state of favoring only Muslims.

The fresh spate of attacks on Muslims are a natural corollary of virulent communal campaign carried out by the party and its affiliates at different levels, some visible, a great deal not up front such as a quiet message spread in some villages that a vote for the BJP would ensure that the minorities are made to leave, and their property redistributed amongst the others. Such whisper campaign was also run in the neighboring Bihar state during the last year’s assembly elections.

Right activist and convener of ANHAD, Shabnam Hashmi, said she was not surprised by such nefarious activities. She told CD that after the 2012 assembly elections in Gujarat, boards were put up at many villages greeting the people with the message “You are welcome to Hindu Rashtra”. The message was clear that ‘Muslims have no place in the country’.

Despite efforts of an RTI activist, who took up the matter with Election Commission and concerned authorities, many boards are still there, she said adding that in Allahabad also a board has been put up with a slogan demanding RSS to end reservation.

The situation is hopeless and of despair, as secular parties are not taking on communal and fascist forces head on, Hashmi said.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reports: The outcome of five state elections could scarcely have been better for the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his center-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP scored a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, and will form a government in four out of the five states. The victories set the BJP up well to secure a second term in office at parliamentary elections due in 2019 and expand its presence in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of parliament).

(The original article was published in CaravanDaily)

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