Gujarat: Hindus put up new name hoarding on Imamshah Bawa Pir, Muslim side protested

Ahmedabad Pir News: Five centuries after the death of Pir Imamshah Bawa, his Hindu followers have been accused of changing the name of the Sufi saint to Sadhguru Hanstej Maharaj. The shrine of Pir Imamshah Bawa has been a symbol of Hindu-Muslim communal harmony in Pirana village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Descendants of Pir, coming from the local Sayyid community, strongly objected to this nomenclature.

In protest against this, he has announced to start an indefinite fast in the premises of the religious place from Friday (August 18). According to TOI, three Muslim trustees of Imamshah Bawa Roza Sansthan informed the district collector about their fast on Thursday, demanding immediate intervention of the authorities. These trustees have also demanded security for the 25 people who are on hunger strike. 

Muslim trustees objected

In a memorandum given to several officials including the governor, the trustees objected to the efforts to convert Hazrat Peer Imamshah Bawa’s dargah into a Hindu religious place. He said that on August 13, some anti-social elements pasted posters of Gods and Goddesses on and around the Samadhi. On August 15, a hoarding was put up outside the mausoleum. The hoarding reads ‘Om Shri Sadguru Hanstej Ji Maharaj Akhand Divyajyoti Mandir’ and depicts the site as a temple.  

"This is not the naming of Pir"

Harshad Patel, one of the trustees of the temple on the hoardings bearing the Hindu name of the saint, said that this is not the naming of the pir. Such claim of Muslim trustee is wrong. Hanstej Maharaj’s name has been included in the scriptures for more than 4,000 years. Imamshah Bawa has been mentioned in many books as Hanstej Maharaj. We have put up posters and hoardings using this name only two days back. 

Case happened earlier also

He also described the trust as a place of pilgrimage, Prerna Peeth. Imamshah Bawa died in the beginning of the 16th century. The Pirana Tirtha was a symbol of communal harmony, with most of the saint’s followers being Hindus, known as satsangis or satpanthis. However, the Muslim trustees and followers of the shrine say that in the last few decades, the Hindu identity of Imamshah Bawa has been claimed, which was also a case in the past.

Last year, a Muslim organization called Sunni Awami Forum had filed a PIL and objected to the construction of a new temple inside the shrine complex. It sought a ban on such development by invoking the Places of Worship Act, 1991. 

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