The age-old Ram Mandir dispute is probably one of the longest running legal disputes in India. But this issue flares up when elections are around the corner by leaders who often use public emotions to play religion-based politics to divide Hindus and Muslims polarising them for votes. Passing through Ayodhya in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, InUth found a Muslim man who has been supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from a very long time, despite the communal tensions.
Mohammad Usman sells incense sticks and jaggery on a roadside shop in Faizabad near Ayodhya. Claiming to be a “true supporter” of the BJP, he has been urging people of his community for over several years to trust the party. This time around too, he is asking Muslims to vote for BJP so that it gets a majority in the state.
Speaking to InUth about his support for BJP, Usman says that he is ‘Jan Sanghi’ first before being a BJP supporter. “I am a Jan Sanghi. After the Janata Party was found, I was highly influenced by the party and started supporting them. Then the BJP was formed and I supported it as well,” he said.
“I think BJP is the only party which wants to develop India, rest of the political parties are involved in corrupt practices,” added Usman.
For supporting the BJP, Usman had to face a lot of opposition from the Muslim community and some politicians as well. He alleges that his shop was destroyed several times by people from other parties, just because of his support for the BJP, despite being a Muslim.
Speaking about the party’s ideology, Usman said: “Their ideology is to develop the nation and preserve its culture. It also wants to keep a check on those who are looting the nation.
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He also feels that there is no agenda of Ram Mandir and that only a few communal leaders of the BJP rake up this issue to divide the Hindus and the Muslims. “A section of communal leaders have spoiled the image of the BJP. If they stop making inappropriate comments then Muslims will start trusting the BJP,” he said.
For peace between the Hindus and Muslims, Usman suggests that people of both the communities shouldn’t fight with each other and should go by the court verdict.