Hate Watch: UP Dy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya adding fuel to the communal embers?

Keshav Prasad Maurya seems to have made a bid to share the limelight with his political bosses and perhaps outdo them in some ways by making controversial statements

Hate Speech
Image Courtesy:indiatvnews.com

Uttar Pradesh will soon hold its Assembly elections for which a political electoral campaign is already underway, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and incumbent Chief Minister Adityanath. The duo feature on advertisements and hoardings that have been plastered across Uttar Pradesh and even Delhi, listing the ‘achievements’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government hoping to be re-elected for another five years. 

However UP’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya seems to have made a bid to share the limelight with his political bosses, and perhaps outdo them in some ways by making controversial statements. Adding to the communal embers that are currently aglow in the poll bound state, Mauray publicly announced on Wednesday that “preparations were underway for the construction of a grand temple in Mathura” along the lines of what was being done in Ayodhya and Varanasi. He said, “A grand temple is being constructed in Ayodhya and Kashi, preparations are on for Mathura next.” Mathura in western UP is revered as the birthplace of Hindu deity Krishna. It is also home to the Shahi Idgah, which is next to the Krishna janmabhoomi (the place where the deity is believed to have been born).

Maurya’s claim follows in the footsteps of the right-wing group, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha threatened to install a Krishna idol at the Shahi Idgah after elaborate rituals. Soon, prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 were imposed in Mathura by the district administration.

It is to be noted that on Tuesday, November 23, Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh, who heads the Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Andolan Samiti (KJMAS) gave the District Magistrate of Mathura an application that demands namaaz be stopped at the Shahi Idgah that is located adjacent to a Krishna Temple. The application says that the Shahi Idgah mosque is built right on top of the exact spot where Hindu deity Krishna was born. As per Hindu religious texts, Krishna was born in a prison cell where his parents Vasudev and Devaki were being held captive by his maternal uncle Kansa who was the King of Mathura. 

Reiterating their longstanding goal to restore Krishna Janmabhoomi, the Hindu Mahasabha had declared  that it will install an idol of Krishna at his birthplace in Mathura. However, the exact spot of the deity’s birth is, according to them, located inside a mosque next to the Katra Keshav Dev temple. The Hindu Mahasabha has chosen to do the installation on December 6, the anniversary of the Babri Mosque demolition that took place in 1992.

SabrangIndia has reported previously that in wake of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ayodhya dispute case and then emboldened perhaps first by the regime’s open support of the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya as evidenced by the Prime Ministers presence at the ‘bhoomi poojan’ on August 5, hardliners are once again resurrecting their demand for ‘liberating’ Kashi and Mathura. The temples to be “liberated” are the Kashi Vishwanath temple located adjacent to the Gyan Vapi Mosque in Varanasi and the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple located next to the Shahi Idgah in Mathura.

It is noteworthy that in the late 80s and the early 90s, both in the run up to and in the immediate aftermath of the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, entire neighbourhoods would reverberate with chants of “Ayodhya Babri toh jhaanki hai, Kashi-Mathura baaki hai!” (Ayodhya Babri was just the beginning, Kashi-Mathura are still left.) In September, 22 members of the Hindu Army, a right-wing group, were arrested for giving a call for ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ movement in Mathura.

A civil suit was first filed in the Mathura Court in September 2020, for removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf on land Khewat No.255 (Two Hundred Fifty-Five) at Katra Keshav Dev city Mathura belonging to deity Shree Krishna Virajman.

SabrangIndia had reported that this petition before the Mathura Court had submitted that the Plaintiffs have a right under Article 26 of the Constitution of India to regain, hold and manage the property belonging to, owned and possessed by deity Lord Shree Krishna Virajmaan, measuring 13.37 acres situated within the area of Temple Complex in Katra Keshav Dev, City and District Mathura. But on September 30, a Civil Judge of Mathura Court had dismissed the plea to remove Shahi Idgah Mosque from its present site. Subsequently on October 16 Mathura District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur admitted a plea against this trial court order dated September 30 that dismissed the suit for removal of Masjid Idgah. Justice Sadhna Rani Thakur had issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah, Srikrishna Janamsthan Trust and Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Seva Sangh. 


Krishna Janmabhoomi: Application before DM to stop namaaz at Shahi Idgah
Will install Krishna idol in Mathura mosque on December 6: Hindu Mahasabha
Krishna Janmabhoomi: Plea in Allahabad HC to remove Idgah Mosque
And so it begins: Civil suit filed to remove Idgah next to Krishna temple in Mathura
Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah
Hindu Army members arrested for launching ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ movement
Are Kashi-Mathura mosques in the crosshairs of hardliners again? 
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