A message that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent on annual “Urs” of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in April this year is being used by leaders in BJP to reach out to Muslims. Leaders from the Weavers’ Cell of the party read out Modi’s written message to convince the minority community that neither Modi nor the BJP were anti-Muslim and regard all the communities with equality.
Modi had issued the message on April 21 and, a day later, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had presented a ‘Chaadar’ on behalf of the PM to the Dargah of the Sufi saint at Ajmer Sharif on the occasion of 803rd annual Urs. Naqvi had also read out Modi’s message.
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“India has been a land of sages, saints and prophets for thousands of years. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti carried forward this tradition and gave message to all the people belonging to different religions to live with love and peace,” the message reads.
In the message, Modi had further said that Khwaja’s message of peace and harmony was relevant even today.
UP state convener of Weavers’ Cell Azad Ansari reads out the same message in every gathering of Muslims. The cell ensures that at least one gathering of Muslims is organised every day and the message is read there. The Weavers’ Cell has also circulated copies of the message letter among the BJP workers across the state with a directive to read it in public gathering and convince Muslims that Modi and BJP were not biased against them.
A special focus of the campaign has been made on western UP districts and PM’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi where Muslims have a sizeable number and majority of them are engaged in weaving and other handicraft works.
“We are creating awareness in the Muslim community that leaders of other political parties were only misguiding them against Narendra Modi and BJP for political gains. We are telling people that Modi ji had issued message on Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and offered Chadar to his Dargah at Ajmer Sharif, too,” Ansari said.
Weavers’ Cell is circulating scanned copies of the message on social media, too, with an added text— “BJP wa mananiya Narendra Modi ji ka Musalmanon me khauf paida karne walon, ab to sharm karo (Those who spread terror among Muslims against BJP and Narendra Modi should feel ashamed)”.
Along with the message, the BJP leaders are also highlighting the fact Modi did not celebrate his birthday after floods in Jammu and Kashmir last year and spent the Diwali (October 23) with the affected people in Srinagar. “Majority of these flood affected people were Muslims. We are also telling people that Modi government has given maximum relief fund for Jammu and Kashmir floods. Not only this, a Muslim leader is presently the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir with support of BJP,” Ansari said.