Feature: Court ordered Gyanvapi survey emboldening Hindutva brigade

Team Clarion

New Delhi — The claims of Shivling having been found inside Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque following a survey the mosque on the directions of a local court has sparked concerns among Muslims with community leaders worrying that the ground is being prepared for a repeat of the Babri Masjid episode.

On Tuesday, while the Supreme Court revoked the ban clamped by the lower court on Muslims assembling inside the mosque for namaz, it did, however, uphold the lower court’s ruling to protect the spot where the alleged ‘shivling’ has been found.

The role of the courts is being questioned with many asking how could a judge order such a survey when the law is clear that a status quo should be maintained on religious places as per the situation that existed on August 15, 1947, the day India got independence from the British.

The main worry is that the courts’ entertaining of such petitions is bound to further embolden the Hindutva forces and encouraging them to launch attacks on places of worship of minorities.

“The court has changed the character of the mosque by ordering the sealing of its portion and making it out of bounds for all. The alacrity with which the court has acted in the case is quite contrary to the slow and cautious manner in which our courts move. We cannot and should not, of course, see any extrajudicial motive behind the lightning speed with which the matter has been dealt with.” Prof Apoovanand wrote in The Wire on Wednesday.

In fact, the controversy surrounding the Gyanvapi Mosque is not an isolated case. In the last few weeks, claims of temples at the places of mosques and Muslim monuments have seen a surge with Hindu groups petitioning before administrative officials and courts seeking to turn the places into Hindi spaces.

A suit has been filed in Mathura Court seeking a similar videographic survey on the pattern of Gyanvapi Mosque of the Shahi Idgah Masjid located adjacent to Krishnajanmabhoomi to determine “existence of Hindu artefacts and ancient religious inscriptions on the mosque premises”.

On Monday, when the survey committee came up with the Shivling claim at the Gyanvapi Mosque, reports emerged that down in the South, Hindu extremist groups asking for permission at the Jamia Masjid in Srirangapatna in Karnataka claiming that a Hanuman temple existed there before the mosque was built. Two groups, Narendra Modi Vichar Manch and Sri Ram Sene, among others have urged the government to stop Muslims from using the prayer hall at the site. They have also submitted before the Mandya District Commissioner to allow them to perform Pooja inside the mosque.

Submitting a memorandum on behalf of Hindu organisations in Mandya, Pramod Muthalik, a known hate preacher who heads Sri Ram Sene, was quoted by News18 as claiming, “They have built the mosque over Hanuman temple. But I say, even before performing pooja, the madrassa at the site must be thrown out and microphone etc. must be removed.” Courtesy Clarion India