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‘Earlier Hindus thronged the premises, distributed food, and money’: Dewan of Delhi’s Nizamuddin dargah says Hindu visitors have decreased by 60% in the past year

From 2 in the afternoon to almost 11 at night, the Hindus use to throng the Dargah, hold Bhandara, and distribute food and money amongst the needy, but that's not the case anymore, said the Dewan.

According to Ali Musa Nizami, the Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah’s Dewan, the number of Hindu visitors to the Dargah has dramatically decreased over the last year. He said that the number has gone down by almost 60 percent during that period. The 84-year-old Dewan, who has been associated with the dargah for several years, asserted that fewer Hindus are now visiting the dargah as a result of the ‘propagation of hatred’, which he believed will only increase with time.

Nizami stated that many Hindus used to visit the dargah every day in the past. From 2 in the afternoon to almost 11 at night, the Hindus use to throng the dargah, hold bhandara, and distribute food and money amongst the needy, but that is not the case anymore.

Hindus have disappeared from the streets leading to Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah

On July 17 (Sunday), OpIndia visited the dargah to assess how much of Nizami’s assertion is credible. There was a lot of activity when our team reached the main road and walked through the path leading to the dargah. However, no Hindus were in sight. Neither on the route to the dargah nor inside the dargah. Similarly, when our team left the dargah after spending nearly two hours there, the situation was exactly the same.

Numerous people told us that this place is bustling until two in the morning. No one, however, was willing to admit on camera that, like Ajmer’s dargah, here too the number of visitors has decreased, impacting the local residents’ livelihood. Initially, the Dewan had also kept insisting that the dargah draws visitors from all religious communities, be it Hindus, Muslims, or Sikhs. However, later, as he started opening up, he acknowledged that the number of Hindu visitors coming to the dargah had, indeed, reduced drastically.

There was a time when Hindus visited the Dargah in large numbers but things are different now

The decline in Hindu pilgrims to the dargah, according to Nizami, was not sudden. This has been a steady trend for approximately a year. He claimed that this is because it is widely believed among Hindus that the dargah is actually a grave. The Hindus are being told that instead of doing a prostration here, they should instead pay visits to Hindu temples.

He further said that Hindus are kindhearted people but this sort of propaganda is making them hateful towards Muslims.

When asked about the recent controversy regarding the former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, the brutal murder of the Hindu tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur, and the impact of the provocative statements by people associated with Ajmer dargah, he said that all this keeps happening. “Conflict over religion is a constant among people. The dargah, however, conveys a message of peace and love,” said the Dewan.

“Due to long-standing animosity among them, the number of Hindus coming to these areas has decreased”, he said.

The Nizamuddin Markaz of the Tablighi Jamaat, which became a Coronavirus hotspot in early 2020 is also located en route to the dargah. The Dewan said that only Muslims visit the Markaz while the Dargah is open to people from all religions. He added that the number of visitors to the Dargah has reduced because false propaganda is being spread against it.

When questioned whether the shops of the Hindus which operated on the street leading up to the dargah, still exist, Nizami refused to answer. He, however, smirked and said, “My servant is a Hindu. There are many Hindus serving here.”

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