Muslim man peacefully offering Namaz at UP railway station “offends” Hindutva leader

Constitutional right to profess and practice religion violated by “leader” as he uploads a  counter video voicing his objections and calls offering namaz an act of defiance of the orders of the CM!


A video has been uploaded by Hindutva leader Sachin Sirohi were a Muslim man can be seen offering namaz in the open. This video was shot on the platform of Hapur railway station in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Sachin Sirohi then put out another video, where he was voicing his objections to the said act of offering namaz in the open.

The video can be viewed here:

According to Sirohi, the act of offering namaz openly was an act of defiance. In the video, he can be heard saying “we were travelling by the train when we saw a Vidharmi (a man of another religion; a follower of a religion other than one’s own) reading namaz at the station itself. This station is not a religious place, it is a public space. This has happened before too. I do not understand what kind of message these people want to deliver. It is very unfortunate that in a public place, where people belonging to every religion at present, such acts such not be done. So many times, the CM of the state has spoken up about this, but no one is ready to follow the orders of the CM.”

The video can be viewed here:


This is not the first time that Muslim men offering namaz in open grounds or public places have been taken personally by Hindutva outfits, a byproduct of a concerted effort by communal forces to exacerbate communal polarisation in the country. In the month of April itself, Haryana’s Sonipat witnessed a brutal unprovoked attack on Muslims offering namaz in a mosque by some Hindu youth bearing lathis. The incident was captured on video by some of the residents of Sandal Kalan village. The incident took place on April 9.While some Muslims were offering namaz at the mosque, as they do every year during Ramzan, some youth entered the mosque and beat up the namazis with sticks.  Previously, in the year 2022, a video showing a man allegedly offering namaz at a shopping complex in Meerut surfaced on social media, prompting police to launch an investigation.

The incident which took place at Hapur railway station, of recording a Muslim man and then voicing objections, is not unusual. Since there has been a spate of cases of Muslims being arrested for praying in public, there is a good chance that the police will begin their investigation into who the individual in the video is and arrest him. It is critical to emphasise that praying in public is not a criminal offense, uncles, unless there is a specific intent to cause discord among groups, which is not evident in these cases. Furthermore, several acts of public worship take place every day, and state authorities do not intervene. As a result, targeting only specific religious acts is discriminatory.

Article 25(1) of the Constitution also guarantees the freedom to “profess, practice, and propagate religion.” This right can only be regulated on the basis of public order, morality, health, and other provisions in the Constitution’s fundamental rights chapter.  None of these grounds could be used against the Muslim man who was praying peacefully here. It is critical to understand that being criminalized for offering namaz on public land is about more than just the act itself; it is about those in power attempting to ‘invisibilise and erase’ a religious minority community by allowing ‘vigilante groups’ to run amok on designated prayer spots.

Since ancient times, India has celebrated religious tolerance and co-existence. There will be no unlearning of the fact that Indian independence is rooted in diversity and plurality. Thus, the first question that should arise in our minds is why a certain religious act bothers us in a secular country. This means that the foundation pillar of our secularism, as enshrined in our constitution, is being tampered with. It is not the time to be silent.

In India, religious celebrations have always been public, even loud. Thus, it is deeply concerning that one community is being singled out, being heckled and attacked despite the fact that they are not causing any particular inconvenience to anyone. It must be emphasised that minorities are not the only ones who are being silenced today. Journalists, activists, and academics face UAPA and other draconian charges for reporting on or criticizing government policies.

We are not yet a Hindu state, at least not on paper. It is important to remember that our Constitution promotes secular essence, something which is intertwined with the democratic nature of our country. So, if the festivities of Durga Puja, the celebration of Kali Puja, the dance of Ganesh Puja, and countless Hindu festivals can be celebrated on streets with conch shells, drums, and bhajans until the wee hours of the morning, and it is assumed that no one does or can take offence, then the same rights and understanding exist for individuals from other religions too. This is what India stands for, and what India is all about.



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