Owaisi castigates UP govt for religious discrimination against Muslims

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All India Muslim Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi has castigated the Uttar Pradesh’s BJP-led government for religious discrimination pointing out that while kanwariyas, Hindu pilgrims, are greeted with aerial flower showers, Muslims suffer demolition of homes.

Speaking to the media outside the Indian parliament, he said, “You are using taxpayers’ money to shower flowers from a helicopter. Very good. We are just saying, show some mercy on us too, treat us equally. If you are showering flowers on them, at least don’t raze our homes,” he said.

The Kānvar (or Kānwar/ Kāvaḍ) Yātrā (Devanagari) is an annual pilgrimage of Hindu devotees, known as Kānvariasor “Bhole”, to Hindu pilgrimage places of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch waters of Ganges River. Millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in their local Śiva shrines, or specific temples such as Pura Mahadeva and Augharnath temple in Meerut, and Kashi Vishwanath, Baidyanath, and Deoghar in Jharkhand.

Owaisi’s remarks come after viral visuals showed Meerut’s police chief and district magistrate shower flower petals on kanwariyas. Also, in Hapur, a police inspector was seen on camera applying pain-relief spray on the legs of a Kanwariya.

“Good that you are massaging their feet, but then you take a Muslim youth in Saharanpur and beat him. Do not discriminate. The Constitution does not allow it,” he said.

Hitting back at the BJP’s charge that his politics is “divisive”, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief said his politics is for equality.

Earlier, the Hyderabad MP shared news reports on kanwariyas on his Twitter handle and asked, “Traffic diversion for one religion and bulldozer action for another. Why?”

Countering Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “revri culture” swipe, targeting Opposition parties for promising freebies, Owaisi asked if the treatment of kanwariyas did not amount to “revri culture”.

“Is this not revri culture? If a Muslim reads namaz in the open for a few minutes, mayhem follows. Just for their religion, Muslims are facing bullets, custodial torture, NSA (National Security Act), UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act), lynching and bulldozers,” he said.

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