Modi is hated for his suit, Modi is hated for his watches and pens, Modi is hated for his #SelfieWithDaughter campaign, Modi is hated for his international trips, and now, Modi is getting communal hatred for keeping a beard too.
In a promotional campaign for Mamata Banerjee, the Shahi Imam of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan Mosque, Maulana Noorur Rahman Barkati declared an award of Rupees 25 lakhs for shaving the head and beard of PM Narendra Modi. The Imam was speaking at a joint conference by the All India Majlis-e-Sura and All India Minority Forum.
As per the Imam, Modi’s beard is insulting religious sentiments of people.
The Imam justified his fatwa by saying, “People who keep beard are mostly religious like maulanas, sadhus, sufis, sikh gurus. But Modi keeping beard is ‘bhondami’ (bluffing). I have no hesitation in saying that he (Modi) is bluffing the country. He (Modi) has lost all his credentials as the Prime Minister.”
The Imam also declared Modi as “communal” and praised West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee as the figure of “communal harmony”.
This “communal harmony” of Bengal is very ironical. Only few days back, the figure of “communal harmony” Mamata Banerjee dismissed reports about communal trouble at Dhulagarh, after which many reports came out confirming the riots. This was a welcome change from earlier occasions when the media closed its eyes that when Bengal burned, which arguably gave the courage to likes of Shahi Imam to claim there was communal harmony in the state under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee.
When the Imam declared the award for shaving head and beard of Modi, people present in the room clapped, echoing the idea of communal harmony in the state.
While the ruling TMC has not reacted to the statement, BJP has demanded the arrest of the Imam.
It will be interesting to know what step the state government takes in this case. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj was booked and declared communal for his population control remarks, it will be noteworthy to see how media and administration treat Shashi Imam for giving a religious and communal angle to beard.