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Why Mathura becomes BJP's agenda again - for 2022

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Why Mathura becomes BJPs agenda again - for 2022
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Lucknow: Is the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) eyeing to use Mathura as a plank to serve its political designs in the forthcoming 2022 state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh ?

The question is doing rounds in UP's political circles ever since a wing of the Hindu Mahasabha announced its decision to march down to the Idgah Masjid located in the precincts of the Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple area, where it has been for four centuries. Hindu Mahasabha threatened to install an idol of Lord Krishna inside the mosque that was built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, allegedly after demolition of the temple, that marks the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

What compounded this act was a sudden tweet by UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya , that put an official stamp on the ruling party's obvious bid to keep religion at the centre stage of their politics in the country's most populous state. "Ayodhya Kashi bhavya nirmaan jaari hai , ab Mathura ki tayyari hai", [Development of grand Ayodhya and Kashmi temples is currently on, preparations are now on for Mathura]" was the crisp tweet issued by Maurya on Wednesday , followed by chants of "Jai Shree Ram, Jai Shiv-Shambhoo and Jai Shri Radhey-Krishna" as salutation to the three most revered Hindu Gods- Ram , Shiva and Krishna.

Political analysts see this as a move aimed at once again forging a Hindu-Muslim divide that helped BJP to sweep three elections in 2014, 2017 and 2019. The on-going farmers' agitation in West UP having restored amity between Hindus and Muslims in the region, it became a cause of worry for the ruling party. No wonder, the Hindu Mahasabha chose to rake up the Mathura issue.

Quite significantly, the date selected by the outfit was December 6 – that is a reminder of the demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid in 1992. No wonder, the proposed march looks like a replay of Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP's) Ayodhya movement that began in the same manner in the early eighties. However, the only difference is that unlike Ayodhya where the Babri Mosque stood in place of temple, there has been co-existence of temple and mosque in both Mathura and Kashi, that figured quite prominently in VHP's list of shrines which they wanted to be completely restored to Hindus.

Deputy chief minister Maurya's tweet did kick up a storm and that is precisely what was desired by the ruling party. Everything looked stage-managed and reflected the unwritten coordination between different wings of the sangh parivar. The Hindu Mahasabha raised the pitch on the Mathura issue; the UP government promptly responded by clamping Section 144 and banning assembly of more than four persons followed by a flag march by the armed police; and there comes a tweet from none other than the state's deputy chief minister, that propels the entire opposition to train their guns at him.

The fact is that Maurya went ahead with such an explosive tweet, even though RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had declared quite explicitly that Mathura and Kashi were not on their agenda. Bhagwat's view was expressed shortly after the Supreme Court gave its verdict in favour of the Ayodhya temple in November 2019.

Political analysts believe that this is the typical manner in which the sangh parivar paves way for Hindu polarization. The BJP leadership as well as UP chief minister may be doing much loud talk on "development" but deep down, they play up their old tried and tested card of religious divide.

The BJP leadership may be finding it difficult to forge a divide between the reunited Jats and Muslims in Western UP where the farmers agitation brought them under a common umbrella once again. Therefore, the sangh parivar seems to be concentrating on influencing other Hindu castes in the region. Their visible effort was towards winning them over by raising the pitch of "Hindu khatre mein hain"(Hindus are in danger) as also now by raising such issues.

As time goes, there is no doubt that the BJP will move heaven and earth to achieve their goal. Whether they can succeed once again , only time will tell.

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TAGS:Idgah masjid and Mathura temple UP dy CM Maurya UP election 2022 communal polarisation 
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