In Jharkhand, the “Jihad” of the BJP against the “Namaz Hall” in the Assembly was unwarranted
For four consecutive days last week, the Jharkhand Assembly echoed with chants of ‘Hare Rama, Hare Krishna ‘ and acute recitation of Hanuman Chalisa. The opposition members of the Jharkhand Assembly, who had chosen to devote almost the entire session – four days out of five – to this display of devotion, were dressed for the occasion in “holy” attire.
While the legislative luminaries of the benches of the BJP transformed the premises of the Assembly into aAkhara‘, the neighborhood was far from amused, not used to the cacophony. People also questioned the wisdom of the opposition in boycotting the session of the legislature to approve the supplementary estimates. The opposition boycott and the racket created by chants outside the House forced the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings for the four days.
Unruly scenes were observed when BJP deputies disrupted debates and mounted the Assembly journalists’ table until they were forcibly expelled by the marshals. The MPs then staged an equally unruly protest outside the House that led the police to resort to a “lathi charge”.
The opposition protest was against a notification by President Rabindra Mahato in awarding a room for Muslim employees, officials and MPs to offer prayers or “Namaz”, especially on Fridays. The enraged BJP MPs demanded that the notification be withdrawn and threatened that unless the notification was withdrawn, they would not allow the House to conduct any business. Or, they insisted, the Speaker must allocate a place to worship Hindu deities.
The notification of a line of September 02, 2021, issued by the Assistant Secretary, that in the new Assembly building (where the State Assembly recently moved) room No. TW-348 has been allocated to offer Namaz, has been variously described as unconstitutional and yet another example of “Muslim appeasement”.