By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net
Communist parties have ruled Indian state of West Bengal for 33 years. In the last few years the ruling Left Front has welcome capitalist and have gone out of the way to bring them to their under-developed state. Whether this strange mix of communists and capitalists will do any good to the state remains to be seen but this nexus is already affecting the lives of people living in this state.
The structure looks like a typical small masjid of north India with three domes and minarets on its sides. Structurally this building still looks like a masjid but its function has changed over the years. Sitting next to a prominent road, while decades ago it would have served as a place to offer namaz for the travelers now this building serves the customers. In the past, muezzins may have called azaan to invite devotees to prayers (Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah) and thus success (Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah), now shops and banners compete with each other for customers for quick bucks.
This is one of at least ten mosques in Kolkata that remains under illegal occupation. Most remarkable about this masjid is that it in West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s constituency. Situated on 32A Ramkrishna Upanibesh Road in Kolkata, it is completely under illegal occupation and no prayers are offered there anymore.
“Sri Hari Glass Works” seems to stake a claim on this owner-less masjid. Glass works shop occupies half of the building and the other half is a courier and travel service. Turning a house of worship to a place of business is not only breaking Indian laws but also a violation of sacred traditions. But the worst crime is the election advertisements painted on the walls by the ruling party CPI(M) asking for votes. May be there could not be a better picture than this of Left Front’s misgovernance of the state where it has supported unlawful elements, encouraged illegal activities and completely disregarded its Muslim population. This masjid thus becomes a symbol of what happens to religion when pushed by both communist and capitalist ideologies.
Recently, Shahanshah Jahangir, president of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) of West Bengal, along with others visited the spot and inspected the mosque premises.
He expressed his grief saying “Muslim places of worship have never been safe under the CPM rule in the state.” He also expressed his determination to take legal steps to recover the said mosque and if required he will lead peaceful democratic protest for the purpose.
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[Photo by IUML]