Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been widely criticised for raising issues like “love jihad” which were seen as an attack on the Muslim community.
After his name was announced as the new Chief Minister of UP, apprehensions were raised over how he would treat around 20 per cent Muslim population in the state.
However, the reality is that the Yogi shares cordial relations with members of the Muslim community at his Gorakhnath math.
Yogi Adityanath, in fact, relies on members of the Muslim community for taking care of cows as well as finances at his ‘math’, according to a report in Times of India.
The report says that a Muslim man named Yasin Ansari has supervised all construction work inside the Gorakhnath temple for the last 35 years, adding that a number of shops in the temple precincts are also run by Muslims.
Ansari claimed that he has never faced any discrimination in the Gorakhnath math.
"I have very cordial relation with Chhote Maharaj (Yogi Adityanath). 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,” Yasin Ansari told Times of India.
Refuting all charges of religious discrimination against Yogi Adityanath, Ansari said that his mother-in-law, Hamida Begum, was the supervisor of the kitchen and his father-in-law was a gardener in the ‘math’.
“I was the temple cashier from 1977-83. Since 1984, I've been the temple's construction supervisor. I have seen him help the poor irrespective of their religion or caste. Maharaj always participates in my family marriage functions,” he added.
Interestingly, there are around 400 cows in the Gorakhnath temple and their chief caretaker is Maan Mohammad.
"Earlier, my father took care of the cows. Now I'm doing the work. I wake up at 3 am, milk the cows and give them fodder. Chhote Maharaj takes care of all us," Mohammad told TOI.
Azizunnisa, a Muslim woman, went to the extent of calling Yogi Adityanath a real saint and said that he never showed any disrespect to anyone.
“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," Azizunnisa told TOI.