A number of chief ministers of the Bharatiya Janta Party-ruled states made contentious – even communal – statements at an event organised by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) magazine Panchjanya on Sunday, 22 May.
Speaking at the event in Delhi commemorating 75 years of the RSS mouthpiece, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath proclaimed that after the BJP government assumed power in the state, namaz was no longer offered on roads.
"Ram Navami was celebrated in a grand manner in Uttar Pradesh. There was no violence anywhere in the state. Hanuman Jayanti was also celebrated peacefully. And this is not all: for the first time in Uttar Pradesh, namaz on Eid and on Alvida Juma (last Friday of Ramadan) has not been held on the road."Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
"There were 700 riots in UP between 2012-2017. There were riots in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Moradabad and other places. There used to be curfews for months. There have been no riots in Uttar Pradesh for the past five years. The citizens of UP feel themselves safe now; especially women, mothers, daughters feel they are safe," he said during his address, noting that there was no violence in UP after elections.
Stating that the government has closed down illegal slaughterhouses and has built 5,600 'gaushalas' for stray cows, the CM added, "We also removed 1 lakh loudspeakers from religious places, or have reduced their volume. These mics are now being donated to schools and hospitals. Our government has reconstructed more than 700 religious places in 5 years, and this programme is continuing."
'Madrassas' Should Disappear, Admitting Kids There a Human Rights Violation: Assam CM
"The word 'madrasa' should only disappear. Till the time this word remains around, children cannot be doctors and engineers. Admitting children in madrassas is a violation of human rights," Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at the event.
Sarma stated that since the BJP came to power in Assam, the state had decided not to spend its money on religious education. He went on to make a series of similar controversial statements:
"Teach the Quran, there is no problem. But teach science, maths, biology, geology, more. Madrassas should disappear, there should be normal education. Teach the holy book at home, teach it for 2-3 hours even, but in school, let there be normal education, which will allow your son to become a doctor, engineer, professor, scientist."
"All Muslim brothers were Hindu. No Muslim came like this on this earth. Everybody on the earth of India was Hindu only. So, if a Muslim boy is meritorious, I will give part of the credit to his Hindu past," the chief minister of Assam stated.
Will Implement Uniform Civil Code Soon: Uttarakhand CM Dhami
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, meanwhile, said that the state sought to implement the Uniform Civil Code soon, and advised other states to follow suit.
"We have decided to make a committee on Uniform Civil Code. It will have legal experts and stakeholders. We will implement the draft the committee submits," he was quoted as saying at the conclave.
"This has been a priority for our government. We've taken steps in this direction and it will soon be implemented," indicated Dhami, who had lost his seat during the Uttarakhand Assembly elections held earlier this year, and had later won during a bypoll.
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who also spoke at Panchjanya's assembly, said that caste discrimination has decreased in the past few years in Haryana. "In the last eight years, caste leaders have been left behind. The caste issue is now going backwards," he told the moderator.