Gorakhpur: Contrary to what you think, the Muslims not only support Yogi Adityanath, they respect and love him too. One gets the glimpse of this in his math here. 'Sabka Saath' is more than evident here.
The man who supervises construction work and keeps account of the Gorakhnath Temple is a Muslim. And, Yasin Ansari has been doing it for the past 35 years.
"I have very cordial relation with Chhote Maharaj (as Yogi is referred to in math). Whenever he's here, he calls me and takes all information about work. I move freely in his living quarters, from the kitchen to his bedroom, and also take my meals with him," Ansari was quoted by the Times of India as saying.
This is just tip of the level of communal harmony, as a number of shops in the temple complex are run by Muslims.
"I have seen him help the poor irrespective of their religion or caste. Maharaj always participates in my family marriage functions." "For the last 35 years, I've been running a shop at the temple. I've never felt any disrespect or discrimination on the part of Yogiji. He's a real saint," another Muslim, Azizunnisa, told the newspaper.
"There are any more Muslim families inside the temple who earn and live fearlessly," said Mohammad Mutaqim, who has been running a bangle shop in the temple for the last 20 years. Yasin said that his father's elder brother had come to the temple during the priesthood of Mahant Digvijaynath, and the temple kitchen was his responsibility. "My mother-inlaw, Hamida Begum, was supervisor of the kitchen and my father-in-law was a gardener. I was the temple cashier from 1977-83. Since 1984, I've been the temple's construction supervisor," Ansari told the daily.
Goraknath Temple has a history of promoting Muslims. Temple's first engineer was Nisar Ahmad."I was the engineer at the temple. Sadhna Bhawan, Yatri Niwas, Hindu Sevashram, shops of the temple, new building of Gorakhnath hospital, Sanskriti Vidyalaya, Radha Krishna Mandir, Shankar Mandir, Vishnu Mandir, Hanuman Mandir and many other temples associated with Gorakhnath temple were constructed on my designs. Now, I have retired," Ahmad told the Times of India
This, you will agree, is icing on the cake. A Muslim caretaker looks after the 400 cows that Yogi has kept in the temple. "Earlier, my father took care of the cows. Now I'm doing the work. I wake up at 3am, milk the cows and give them fodder. Chhote Maharaj takes care of all us," Maan Mohammed, chief caretaker of cows, told The Times of India.