Lucknow's unfortunate Muharram controversy
An internal circular about covid curbs issued by UP's police chief has caused offence with its scandalous references to alleged acts of past misconduct during this religious observance. It needs public clarification and we must pay special attention to social harmony as state elections approach
Every year, Muharram is observed across the world and huge processions are taken out largely by Shia Muslims in memory of the martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad along with his 72 companions in Karbala in the year 680 CE. In view of the covid situation, restrictions have been placed on processions this year, but what stirred a controversy in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, was a circular issued by the state's Director-General of Police Mukul Goel. The language of the circular was found to be derogatory by community leaders. Most Shia leaders registered their strong objection to wording of the document, although they maintained that they had no issue with covid curbs on this year's observance.