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Upper-caste Muslims attack newly appointed UP Minister Danish Azad Ansari, mock his ‘low caste’ and hurl abuses

With a Pasmanda Muslim now in charge of the Minority affairs in UP, casteist sentiments have rattled over his appointment as a minister.

On March 25, Yogi Adityanath took oath as a Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the second time in Lucknow. Among the 19 ministers of state who were included in the cabinet, 32-year-old Danish Azad Ansari stood out after he was given the charge of the minority affairs ministry by Yogi Adityanath.

Danish Azad Ansari started off as an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad member during his graduation from Lucknow University. In 2018, he was nominated to the Urdu Language Committee in the Yogi government, with a status equal to the minister of state. Before the assembly elections in 2022, Ansari was appointed as the general secretary of the minorities cell of the BJP. While he has secured a place in the Yogi Adityanath-cabinet 2.0, he is facing online attacks from the Muslim Community over his so-called lower caste and political ideology.

Danish Azad Ansari has been made a subject of abusive attacks for making it big in the Hindutva-centric BJP while belonging to the Pasmanda Indigenous caste among Indian Muslims. Author and columnist Faiyaz Ahmad Fyzie has pointed out that Ansari is being attacked by so-called upper caste Ashraf Muslims after the BJP decided to ascertain political representation to a person belonging to the indigenous Pasmanda Muslim community. He tweeted, “Have you ever seen a Hindu backward Dalit being abused by the upper castes when he gets political participation the way Ashraf youth and elders are lashing out after an indigenous Pasmanda member gets his share?”

Fyzie added some screenshots in his tweet which showcase the vile abuses on Danish Ansari’s Facebook profile after he became the minister. Some comments targeted collectivist attacks on Pasmandas as ‘low-born’, while others shamed women from the community with abuses. Faiyaz Ahmed Fyzie added that the rot of casteism and racism lies deep within the Muslims and why social justice needs to be taken seriously in this case.

The single-handed targeting of Danish Ansari is not an isolated case while the discrimination against Pasmanda Muslims remains a cause of grave concern in the Muslim society in India. In an earlier interview, Faiyaz Ahmed Fyzie talked at length about the discrimination and isolation faced by the community at the hands of Muslim scholarship and the high-ranked aristocracy. Fyzie said that while 90% of Muslims in India are considered to be Pasmanda, when it comes to discussing the rights of Muslims, no one considers their voices.

Pasmada refers to the mass of Indian Muslims who once deflected to Islam due to historical reasons. The Pasmanda community is considered a lower jamaat among Indian Muslims by the higher-caste Ashrafs who claim their direct origins from the Arab region. The Pasmandas have also been sidelined in the Islamic realm for they often indulge in practices sympathetic to their earlier indigenous faiths. With a Pasmanda Muslim now in charge of the Minority affairs in UP, casteist sentiments have rattled over his appointment as a minister.

Talking about the appointment of Danish Ansari, noted BJP spokesperson Guru Prakash wrote, “For the first time in the Uttar Pradesh government, Muslims of Indian origin (Pasmanda) have been given representation in the form of Danish Azad, which shows the seriousness of the BJP towards social justice in Muslim society.” Guru Prakash, who often speaks on the issues of Dalits also noted that while indigenous Pasmanda Muslims constitute 90 per cent of the total Muslim population, representation of Muslims always ends up in the hands of the foreign ruling class of Ashraf Muslims.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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