Day before Modi’s Maghar visit, row over Yogi Adityanath’s refusal to wear skull cap at saint Kabir mausoleum

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New Delhi | Updated: June 28, 2018 9:52:34 AM

Maghar, Sant Kabir Nagar: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath landed in the midst of a controversy upon his refusal to wear a skull-cap offered to him at the mausoleum of poet-saint Kabir.

maghar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Yogi Adityanath, Adityanath skull cap, Sant Kabir Nagar, Yogi Adityanath skull cap, sant kabir Day before Modi?s Maghar visit, row over Yogi Adityanath?s refusal to wear skull cap at saint Kabir mausoleum

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday landed in the midst of a controversy upon his refusal to wear a skull-cap offered to him at the mausoleum of poet-saint Kabir in Sant Kabir Nagar. The Chief Minister visited the mausoleum located in Maghar to take stock of preparation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Thursday visit where he will offer floral tributes on the occasion of the 500th death anniversary of the saint. The Prime Minister will also offer Chadar at the Sant Kabir Mazaar.

CM Adityanath arrived at the mausoleum on Wednesday and it was there that the caretaker of the mausoleum Khadim Hussain offered him a skull cap. As he moved to place the cap on the Chief Minister’s head, Adityanath politiely declined. “Stop stop… it is done,” the CM told Khadim. To this, Khadim said, “Sir, hold this (the cap) in your hand.” The CM then agreed to his request and posed for a photo with the skull cap in his hand with Khadim standing next to him.

Khadim said that when he offered the skull cap to the CM he refused it very politely. “He was smiling while saying no to me,” he said.

CM Adityanath’s refusal, however, did not go down too well with the opposition, with several leaders alleging that he was dividing the society on religious lines. Samajwadi Party spokesperson Sunil Sajan said that it was a cap of Kabir but CM must have misunderstood it. “…heights of hypocrisy it is, such people should not go the Kabir dhaam.”

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that the cap doesn’t belong to any particular religion and it is just to show a gesture of respect. “A CM has to take everyone together. If someone is offering you a cap, pag, it is just a gesture to show respect. People occupying top offices have to take everyone together.”

“If he (Khadim) offered him a cap, by wearing a cap for just 1 minute, it will not change your religion neither hurt you religious sentiment.”

Meanwhile, the lone Muslim minister in the UP Cabinet Mohsin Raza jumped to Adityanath’s defence and questioned the intention behind offering caps to leaders. He suggested that religious gurus should restrain from indulging in such acts.

“By offering him a cap and when he refuses to wear it, what message you are trying to send? I am Muslim but I never wear a cap. Does this mean I am not a Muslim? Has he (Yogi Adityanath) committed a crime by doing so? Who told you to make him wear a cap? Why don’t you go to a temple, stand with people there, congratulate them? Change your thought.”

The incident yesterday came as a reminder to the 2011 incident when Narendra Modi, in his capacity as the Gujarat CM, refused to wear a skull cap offered to him by a cleric during a fast for social harmony in Ahmedabad.

Maghar is a town in Sant Kabir Nagar district. The place is known because Sant Kabir breathed his last in the 15th Century here to dispel the myth that anyone dying here goes directly to hell. He is one of the few saints from the past held in high esteem by both Muslims and Hindus. Just in time before 2019 elections campaign gain momentum, PM Modi will visit Maghar on Thursday to connect with Kabir, and his great message of unity.

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