In a welcome development, Muslims in Allahabad has decided to demolish parts of Mosques which have been built on government land to make way for infrastructure improvement in the city ahead of the Kumbh Mela in 2019. One of the biggest hurdles faced by urban development authorities is that of temples and mosques built on encroached land coming in the way of development projects works like construction of roads, widening of roads, parking space, metros, bus stops, highways etc. From posh areas to slum areas, leading cities of India are plagued by the problem of encroachments. These encroachments are one of the main reasons behind the congestion and traffic problems on the city roads of India. Religious structures like temples and mosques are specifically pointed out because people’s religious sentiments are attached to these places and whenever there are talks to demolish any religious structure built on encroached land for development, the secular lobby becomes frenzied, particularly if the religious structure belongs to a particular religion. Encroachment on public land by way of building places of worship has become a big problem. Regarding this use, the Allahabad High Court observed, “There is no fundamental or legal right to encroach upon a public road (including highway), street etc. and raise construction of any kind thereon. These unauthorised and illegal activities cause hindrance and interruption in free flow and movement of traffic including foot walkers. Every citizen has a fundamental right of movement and this cannot be allowed to be infringed by a few violators in public and apathy of State authorities. In our view, those who create such obstructions as also those who perpetuate it by taking care/ managing such structures and also those who fail to take any action in law, all deserve to be taken to task and make responsible and accountable for their respective deeds.”
Until now, people of Allahabad themselves were not paying any heed to Allahabad High Court’s observation. But it looks like now they have started paying heed to it. In a very pleasant development, in order to support Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s plan of widening of roads ahead of Kumbh Mela 2019, Allahabad Muslims demolished part of mosques that were hindering the road-widening projects. News agency ANI quoted one of the Muslim resident saying, “We have done this by our own will. These sections were built on government land and have been demolished. The government is widening roads ahead of Kumbh mela and we support it.” This is a very big step towards ensuring communal harmony in the country and it is very good for the country also because in a nation where its 20% of the population always shows intolerance towards the faith of 80% of the population can never prosper. Peace and communal harmony are pivotal for the development of any nation in the world.
The government in Allahabad is currently doing massive sealing and demolition drive as the city is getting ready for the Kumbh Mela. The 2019 Kumbh Mela will commence with the first Shahi Snan of Makar Sankranti on January 15 and end on Mahashivratri (March 4). The Kumbh Mela will be attended by crores of people from all over India and the world.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath has been promoting the Kumbh Mela at International destinations also. He also lambasted previous government for doing nothing to promote Kumbh Mela. He said, “In the past, not enough efforts were made by the previous governments to glorify the Kumbh Mela. But now after the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kumbh is known to the world and is being recognised internationally.”
The fact that Muslims of Allahabad have shown wholehearted support to beautification of the city ahead of the Kumbh Mela is a testimony of how media’s portrayal of UP as communal hotbed under CM Yogi’s government is absolute lie.
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