LUCKNOW: A proposal by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to install a statue of Lord Laxman is facing ire by the Muslim community in the state capital. As per the proposal submitted to the Lucknow Nagar Nigam, a demand has been placed to put up a statue of Lord Laxman in front of the historic Teele Wali Masjid in Lucknow.
The proposal was submitted by two BJP legislators - Ramkrishna Yadav and Rajnish Gupta - on June 27. The BJP leaders said that a statue should be installed to honour the feelings of the people and the significance that Lord Laxman holds in the history of the city. The proposal is due to be presented in the state assembly soon.
The proposal has, however, drawn flak from the Muslim community with clerics saying that such an installation would create a hindrance to the people who offer prayers at the mosque. "In Islam, we cannot offer namaz (prayers) in front of a statue. This is a big problem for us," said Maulana Fazl-e-Mannan of Teele Wali Masjid.
He added that even though he has made a request to officials in this regard, he would bring the matter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's notice.
However, Ram Krishan Yadav, who made the proposal, said that there was no need for any controversy over the issue as their intention was "clean". Yadav also clarified that the statue was a way of establishing Lord Laxman's great role in Lucknow.
"Lucknow was based and enhanced by Laxman Ji, we want Lucknow to be renamed as Laxmanpuri. We will also bring a proposal regarding it," he added. According to reports, the area falls under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), so the Lucknow Nagar Nigam would need an approval to install the grand statue.
The historic mosque had grabbed headlines in the past too when BJP veteran Lal Ji Tandon's book Ankaha Lucknow claimed that the centuries-old place of worship was actually 'Laxman ka Teela'.