A mob of frenzied radical Muslims on Sunday (March 28) barged into the ancient temple of Machhindranath perched atop the Malang Gad fort in Maharashtra and started chanting ‘Allah hu Akbar’ slogans. The videos of the incident, which have since gone viral on social media platforms, clearly show the gang of 50-60 Muslims forcing their way through the evening aarti and trying to create a ruckus which eventually resulted in a scuffle between the two parties. The police, however, remained a silent and mute observer while the incident unfurled in front of them before stepping in at the eleventh hour showcasing priorities of the Uddhav Thackeray government.
About 50 to 60 Muslim fanatics barged into the ancient temple of Machhindranath perched atop the Malang Gad fort and chanted “Allahu Akbar” slogans to disrupt the ongoing aarti performed by Hindu devotees.
— Tushar Kant Naik ॐ♫₹ (@tushar_kn) March 30, 2021
The incident has invited strong reactions from Hindus across the country. According to media reports, every year, during Magh Purnima, the Machindranath’s devotees undertake a Magh Purnima Shrimalang Yatra to the Malang Gad fort. However, due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, the authorities refused to allow the procession. Reports stated that Shiv Sena somehow intervened and got permission for 50 Hindu devotees including government officials and other dignitaries to partake in the ‘Yatra’.
Hearing that the Hindu devotees were granted permission — the Muslim community and its radical members hatched the plan to disrupt the Puja aarti and eventually succeeded in doing so.
The reason for the scuffle is the age-old controversy regarding the origins of the temple and to whom does it belong. The Goraknath sect believes that the Machhindranath temple is the resting place of Baba Machhindranath whereas the Muslims claim that the temple is the shrine of Sufi Fakir Haji Abdul Rahman Shah Malang aka Malang Baba who came from Yemen in the 13th century.
Both communities have claimed their authority on two separate pieces of land in the compound and the dispute has been ongoing for decades. In the 80s it was Shivsena that first raised the issue and the case eventually went to the courts.
While Shivsena did make the Yatra possible this year, owing to its government in the state — one cannot help but wonder, the rise of extremists elements in the state where Hindu voices are being constantly stifled and drowned in the cacophony of appeasement politics. Shiv Sena, a party that used to uphold the Hindutva Philosophy, is now playing into the hands of its so-called allies.
Maharashtra has been a stronghold of the Hindus since the time of the Maratha kings but in recent times, it appears that the minorities have gained much greater unbridled rights as the Hindus are being subjected to inferior treatment. The mainstream media has completely eliminated the entire incident from its national reportage just because Muslims marched into a Hindu temple and started chanting their religious slogans. Imagine if the roles were reversed? The furore that would have ensued then would have painted India as an unsafe country for the Muslims.
However, it is the failure of Shiv Sena to rein in the radical elements that have caused the state of Maharashtra to reach this level. No one in their wildest imagination could have predicted that Shivsena — an unapologetic Hindutva party under the rule of Balasaheb Thackeray would turn into a timid and weak party looking to earn the stripes of a secular party and indulging in appeasement politics to woo the minority community of the country.
Uddhav Thackeray has come a long way in ditching the saffron credentials of his party. The ‘Shiv Sainiks’, as the workers of the party used to be called, have now become mere foot soldiers employed to pander to their leader’s ideas of a secular party.
As reported by TFI, Shiv Sena’s youth wing in January reportedly published an Urdu calendar for the Gregorian year of 2021. The calendar had mentions of Islamic festivals, sun and moonrise and also presented Shiv Sena patriarch in a new ‘secular’ avatar – ‘Janab’ Balasaheb Thackeray. Current party supremo Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray too, also got their names prefixed with ‘Janab’ on the new calendar.
While the Janab is prefixed in front of their names, this Uddhav Thackeray government is the same administration that has made no headways in the Palghar lynching case so far. As reported by TFI, two Juna Akhara Sadhus- Chikane Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri (70) and Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) and their driver Nilesh Telgane (35) were lynched to death by a bloodthirsty, 200-strong mob in April last year.
The case never got a speck of interest from the Uddhav Thackeray government as the “Sadhus” were treated like a disposable waste. Thus, it answers the question of how Muslims so confidently entered into the compounds of the Temple, chanted the slogans and returned unscathed. The backing of the Thackeray government to extremists might turn Maharashtra into the next West Bengal and we have already seen how Hindus are being treated there. The day is not far when ‘Jai Shree Ram’ or ‘Jai Maratha’ will become an anti-India slogan in the state as well.