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Muslim Migrants Denied Space by Own Community to Bury Dead in Uttar Pradesh

Nearly 400 families are trying to build their lives afresh in Budhana but are largely seen as outsiders in their own community

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A migrant reads the Muslim holy book of Quran at a temporary shelter. Image source: (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
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  • Nearly 400 families have migrated to Budhana village after the Muzzafarnagar riots in 2013
  • These muslim families feel like outsiders here due to their own community
  • Wearing of skull caps and growing beards have become prominent in the recent years in an effort to maintain identity and solidarity

Nearly 400 Muslim families are trying to build lives in the small town of Budhana, Uttar Pradesh after the Muzzafarnagar riots in 2013. However, these families, some of whom are dhobis, are largely seen as outsiders in their own families. The worst form of rejection that they experience is denial of ground space for burial of the dead. Burying the dead is seen as a very religious custom in Islam.

According to the Economic Times report, Graveyards have been a political issue in western Uttar Pradesh for a lot of years. The Samajwadi Party’s endeavors to build and beautify graveyards as part of the 300 crore project in 2012 as a poll promise has been marred by Sanjeev Baliyan who is using his MP funds to build crematoriums for Hindus.

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Budhana village. Image source: viewphotos.org

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The gram pradhan in Budhana had allotted land for a common graveyard, but this move wasn’t of much help, since people continued finding it hard to find burial space. Finding space was especially hard if one was a dhobi or a low born Muslim woman. These families had to dig up in places on their own, and they would often find graves of other people while digging, said the Economic Times report.

Today, graveyards are allotted to various muslim communities – Saifis, Ansaris, Qureshis, Kumbe,Abbasis, Sheikhs and others, but none for the families that have migrated from places of violence. These communities have to pay around 1000 to 2000 rupees, or settle with burying their loved ones on top of other graves, which is considered not as effective a practice.

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In Bhainswal village, of Muzaffarnagar district, Muslims are disheartened by the fact that their graveyards are being taken over by the others. Cow dung, jaggery mounds and sometimes even garbage heaps are found in these graveyards, to the distress of the Muslims. Once home to around 500 families, barely 20 families reside in this village. Battles in the High Court are being fought to disallow the illegal encroachment of structures upon graveyard lands, said the Economic Times report.

Professor Sudhir Panwar, Member of Planning Commission, UP, had studied the migration in 2013 and its impact on the socio-economic dynamics of the population in the region. He told Economic Times that issue needs to be analyzed with utmost care since it affects not only politics, but also the social relations in the state. For example, wearing of skull caps and keeping beards, which has become a common sight now, was not a prominent practice earlier. It has only grown stronger in the recent years in an effort to retain identity.

-prepared by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    There should be no discrimination at least for the crematory. Everybody has to die no matter what! The government has to take some steps as these ceremonies are important in Islam

Next Story

When Khadi Transcends Boundaries

Indian Leading Designers Showcased collections using Khadi

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'Khadi - Transcending Boundaries' here.
'Khadi - Transcending Boundaries'. Pixabay

India’s leading designers Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, Payal Jain and Poonam Bhagat showcased collections using khadi at Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI)-presented ‘Khadi – Transcending Boundaries’ here.

The event, handspun around the country’s fabric of freedom Khadi in collaboration with Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC), was a part of the SME Convention 2018 hosted by Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on Monday night.

The designers showcased innovative modern twists to khadi ensembles in colours of white, black, indigo and mustard.

Representational image for a showcase event of KHADI.
Representational image. PIxabay

Giriraj Singh, Union Minister MSME, was the guest of honour and he thanked FDCI President Sunil Sethi, who was jubilant at the fashion show.

Khadi’s celebration was also witnessed by other prominent personalities like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi, MP Lok Sabha, ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, KVIC Chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena, MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda and some international delegates.

“We would like to thank KVIC and Khadi India for believing in us. We will strive to promote Khadi through multi-faceted and meaningful drives which will bring to the fore its true potential and catapult it in the global arena,” said Sethi.  BollywoodCountry