oi-Shiv Kumar Singh
The historic Jama Masjid of Old Delhi has now issued a new order. Under this order, girls have been banned from entering Jama Masjid alone. A sign has been pasted at the entrance of Jama Masjid, in which it is written that it is forbidden for girls to enter Jama Masjid alone. This leaflet is pasted on all the three gates.
However, this decision is being sharply criticized by social activists and it is being called a fundamentalist mindset. People are saying that in a country where women have got equal rights in the constitution, how can someone behave like this with half the population? These orders are illegal and undemocratic.
The spokesperson of Jama Masjid has defended this decision saying that many such couples come to Jama Masjid, whose behavior is not according to religion. He said that some young women who make videos for social media come here and come to the place of offering Namaz, due to which the Namazis are inconvenienced.
History of Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1656 and this mosque is spread over 23 acres of land. There are three doors in this mosque. The Mughal emperors used to offer Friday prayers in this mosque. They used to enter the mosque through the eastern door.
In Jama Masjid, 25000 people can sit together and read Namaz. This mosque is counted among the largest mosques in the world. It is one of the major religious places of Delhi and is also a center of attraction for tourists from India and abroad. This mosque was inaugurated by Imam Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari of Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan).
After winning the 1857 War of Independence, the British had captured the Jama Masjid and stationed their soldiers there. According to historians, the British wanted to demolish the Jama Masjid for the beautification of the city. But he had to change his decision due to the opposition of the people.
dilapidated condition of jama masjid
It is said that in 1948, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, was asked for Rs 75,000 to repair a quarter of the mosque. But the Nizam allocated three lakh rupees and said that the rest of the mosque should not look old.
For the last two years, Imam Ahmed Bukhari of Jama Masjid has been writing letters to the Prime Minister and other ministers regarding the dilapidated condition of the mosque. The issue of the dilapidated condition of Jama Masjid has also been raised in both the Houses of the Parliament.
In the month of January this year, the Delhi Waqf Board had taken up the responsibility of repairing Jama Masjid and had also formed a committee, which would not only collect funds for the repairs, but would also establish contact with experts in this context. This committee also decided to approach other organizations including Aga Khan Foundation for the repair of Jama Masjid.
It is said that during the tenure of Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh, a draft for the repair of the Jama Masjid was prepared, under which an estimate of Rs 100 crore was estimated to be spent on the repair of this mosque, but the VP Singh government was overthrown. After leaving, this plan fell into disrepair.
In the month of May this year, due to the strong storm that hit Delhi, the urn on the big dome of Jama Masjid broke and fell down. After this damage to the Jama Masjid, the Shahi Imam of the mosque, Ahmed Bukhari, said that during the Congress regime, the Government of India had been getting the mosque repaired, but the government that is in power now is not interested in the maintenance of the mosque. He appealed to the public to come forward to provide funds for the preservation of this historical heritage.
site of protests
If there is any incident related to Muslims in the country, there are frequent protests outside the Jama Masjid against it. In June of the same year, there were violent demonstrations in Jama Masjid against the alleged insult of Prophet Mohammad by Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. In 2019, when the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Parliament of the country, there were fierce protests in Jama Masjid against that too.
Jama Masjid and politics
In November 2014, Ahmad Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, invited the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his younger son’s Dastarbandi ceremony, but did not invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ahmed Bukhari said on the occasion that it has been four months since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, but till now he is representing only a particular class. They are not representative of all the people of the country. He said that the wounds of Gujarat riots are still alive in the hearts of Indian Muslims. That’s why they will not invite Narendra Modi. However, Bukhari had invited some BJP leaders on the occasion.
An attempt was also made to make Jama Masjid the political center of the Muslims. It was started by Syed Abdullah Bukhari, father of the current Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari, in the 1970s. Abdullah Bukhari, who was then the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, began to establish his political connections to establish his suzerainty over the Jama Masjid.
He issued a fatwa in support of Indira Gandhi’s family planning program, especially sterilization. Abdullah Bukhari issued political fatwas for the Janata Party in 1977, for the Congress in 1980 and 1984, and for the Janata Dal in 1989.
Hindu Mahasabha claims to have idols of Hindu deities under Jama Masjid, demands excavation
His political legacy was also carried forward by his son Ahmed Bukhari. In 2004, Ahmed Bukhari appealed to the Muslims to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party. Then the Prime Minister was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Ahmed Bukhari appealed to the Muslims to vote for Congress, TMC and RJD. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he did not appeal in support of any party.
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Story first published: Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 22:29 [IST]