New Delhi: Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has pleaded that the controversy over namaz should end – as prayers are about bringing peace and harmony, and not controversy.
“Namaz is devotion, commitment towards peace and harmony. Raising a controversy around the prayers is not in good taste,” said Naqvi.
The minister further said, “Those who offer namaz know the rules that it cannot happen at encroached places. The Waqf Board can identify places or properties like Idgah where namaz can be offered. The local authorities should look into the issue and end this controversy.”
The minister was chairing the ‘National Waqf Conference’ at Scope Complex, where he spoke to the media on the issue.
The controversy over namaz disruptions in Gurgaon took a new turn on Sunday after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar backed the disruptors saying that namaz should not happen in open space but rather in mosques.
His minister Anil Vij joined in on Monday saying, “Offering prayers at a place with the intention of land grabbing is wrong and will not be allowed”.
On this, Union Minister Naqvi said, "We should not initiate any topic that threatens the unity of our society. It is our joint responsibility to promote peace and unity. A fight over namaz is not good.”
When asked about the controversy over the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Naqvi said that university students and administration should not dwell over an unnecessary issue and move on.
“I request the authorities of Aligarh Muslim University to end this unnecessary controversy over Jinnah. He is not an idol for Indians or Muslims in the country. Keeping in mind the reputation and pride of the university, they should move on,” he said.
The controversy erupted after Aligarh Member of Parliament Satish Gautam wrote to the Vice-Chancellor of the university seeking an explanation over Jinnah’s portrait hanging in the students’ union office.
The University has clarified that the portrait has been hanging in the Aligarh Muslim University’s Students’ Union hall since 1938. He was honoured with the lifetime membership of the students’ union.
Naqvi further announced that under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK), the Minority Affairs Ministry, for the first time after the Independence, will construct schools, colleges, ITIs, skill development centres, multi-purpose community centres called ‘Sadbhav Mandap’, ‘Hunar Hub’, hospitals, business centres etc. on Waqf properties across the country.
The Union Cabinet, last week, approved the PMJVK, which has a provision to utilize Waqf properties for various socio-economic-educational empowerment projects. Over 300 districts, 870 blocks, 330 towns and thousands of villages have been covered under the scheme. There are around 5.71 lakh registered Waqf properties across the country.
Since the Waqf properties in several states are not being utilised properly due to complicated rules, the government is also working on making the Waqf rules easy and effective to ensure better utilisation of properties.