NEW DELHI: The Haj House in Lucknow, used by Muslims as a transit place on their way to pilgrimage in Mecca, was on Friday given a new coat of paint with a new shade, i.e. saffron.
The exterior wall of the Haj House, that was earlier green and white in colour, has now been painted to saffron.
Uttar Pradesh: Exterior walls of Haj House in Lucknow painted saffron. pic.twitter.com/xio9celKeL
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The move has, however, triggered opposition from various political parties and Darul Uloom.
The change of colour at the Lucknow office hasn't gone down well with the Muslim community leaders.
"Painting the Haj house saffron is really objectionable," Muslim cleric Shahar Qazi Maulana Abul Irfan Miyan Firangimahli told NDTV.
"Saffron colour is being used for political purposes. Do they want Haj pilgrims to wear saffron next?" he said.
The Haj committee helps Muslims embark on an annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The spiritual journey is done in unstitched white clothing, reflecting a pure heart and a pious disposition.
Shia Personal Law Board member Maulana Yasoob Abbas wondered if the colour would be changed again at the rate every time the government changes in the state.
"It should remain in its natural colour. When a new government comes tomorrow, it will be painted in green. If another government comes, it will be painted in blue," he said.
Mohsin Raza, the state's minority affairs minister, however, sees nothing wrong in the emphasis on saffron.
"There is no need for controversy in such things. Saffron is an energetic and bright looking colour and the building looks beautiful. Opposition has no big issues against us so they raise inconsequential things," Raza said.
Yogi Adityanath, who is always seen in saffron and is referred to as Maharajji by his followers, is known for his predilection for the colour and appears to surround himself with it wherever he travels. In meetings or press conferences, a saffron-coloured towel usually drapes the chair of the saffron-robed Chief Minister while for everyone else, it is white.
ecently, the office of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister - the Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan was also painted in the saffron colour.
Since assuming his office in March last year as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, 43-year-old Yogi Adityanath has pursued his drive of saffron agenda.
Since then, the state government has already painted nearly 100 primary schools and a number of police stations in saffron. 50 saffron-coloured buses of the UP State Road Transport Corporation, named 'Sankalp Seva' have also been launched to provide service in rural areas. The government has also made it clear that electric poles used to give power connection to unauthorised colonies also would be painted saffron.
The development comes days after CM Adityanath reduced the number of holidays alloted to state-recognised madrassas in the calendar for the year 2018, drawing flak from Islamic institutions.
According to the calendar issued by UP Madrassa Board registrar Rahul Gupta, the holidays during several non-Muslim festivities like Diwali, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti have been increased.