Temple architecture

Recent disputes that have made India talk

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be in Ayodhya today to participate in a foundation stone laying ceremony of the ‘Garbha Griha’ or Ram Mandir sanctum sanctorum by placing the carved foundation stone there. Seers and saints from all over the country have been invited for the occasion which marks a milestone in the Building process of the Temple of Ram.

The construction of Ayodhya Temple began in August 2020 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone. This was after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court Constitution headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi (now retired) on November 9, 2019 delivered their unanimous verdict that the land of Ayodhya where Babri Masjid once stood belonged to Ram Lalla.

The landmark Ram Mandir event comes amid disputes over religious structures in several parts of the country with the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, just 200km from Ayodhya, taking center stage after a ‘shivling’ discovery during the controversial investigation claimed by one side and counterclaimed by the other.

READ ALSO : Ram Temple in Ayodhya: Work on super structure will begin shortly after Plinth is ready in August, official says

As Gyanvapi continues to boil religious sentiments, another discovery of a ‘temple-like’ structure beneath the Juma Masjid in the Malali village of Mangaluru in Karnataka has become a brewing issue with the mobile court on the Hindu side seeking to inspect the mosque.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had proposed to a civil court in Mangaluru to require the appointment of a court commissioner to walk the Juma Masjidwhile the Assayed Abdullahil Madani mosque management appealed in court to quash the request.

Apart from Gyanvapi and Malali, there have recently been disputes over several other religious structures which continue to hurt religious sentiments and spark massive debates. Take a look at some of these controversial structures and the dispute surrounding them:

Row of Gyanvapi Mosque

The Gyanvapi Mosque problem started in 1991 when a bunch of petitions were filed in the Varanasi District Court by local priests asking for permission to pray in the Gyanvapi compound. The petitioners claimed that the Gyanvapi Masjid was built on the orders of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb by demolishing part of the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in the 17th century.

Cut to 2019, the petitioners demanded that an archaeological survey of the entire Gyanvapi Mosque complex be conducted. Two years later, in September 2021, the High Court in Allahabad suspended ASI’s archaeological investigation at Gyanvapi Masjid.

READ ALSO : Gyanvapi Mosque investigation: As Hindu side claims ‘victory’, a timeline of how events unfolded over 31 years

In the final row, a court in Varanasi ordered a video investigation of the disputed site based on a petition filed by five Delhi-based women in August 2021, seeking an order allowing them to worship at the site. The petition was filed by Rakhi Singh, a Delhi resident, and four others, through their lawyer Hari Shankar Jain.

The row erupted when the Hindu side claimed to have discovered a shivling inside the mosque.

“Temple-like” structure in Malali Mosque

The discovery of a “temple-like architectural structure” inside the Malali Juma Masjid on the outskirts of Mangaluru in Karnataka had prompted authorities to impose section 144 in a 500 meter zone last week.

The Hindu temple-like architectural design was discovered under the old mosque in Malali village, on the outskirts of Mangaluru town, on April 21, during the renovation works of the mosque. The case, however, escalated when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on May 25 performed a ritual in Malali to find out if the mosque was once a temple.

READ ALSO : Sec 144 in the village near Mangaluru as the discovery of a “temple-like structure” inside the mosque kicks things off; VHP performs a ritual near the contested area

The VHP then moved a civil court to Mangaluru and requested the appointment of a court commissioner to inspect the mosque, while the Assayed Abdullahil Madani mosque management filed an appeal in court to quash the request. The court heard both sides on Tuesday and objections will be heard on Wednesday.

Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura

A court in Mathura earlier this month allowed a lawsuit demanding the removal of Shahi Idgah Mosque near ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ or the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Authorizing the lawsuit against the Shahi Idgah Mosque which seeks its removal from Krishna Janmabhoomi’s land, the verdict paved the way for court hearings against the mosque.

The judgment relates to the first action in the case, which was filed by Lucknow resident and lawyer Ranjana Agnihotri as the “next friend” of child deity Shri Krishna Virajman of Katra Keshav Dev temple and six others.

The plaintiffs in the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Mosque litigation case seek ownership of 13.37 acres of land from Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi and also the removal of the Shahi Idgah Mosque built there.

READ ALSO : Krishna Janmabhoomi: Sri Krishna’s ‘next friend’ request to withdraw Shahi Idgah gets green light from court

In one of multiple pleas filed in court, the claimants had asked the court to demolish the Idgah built on the trust’s land declaring it illegal and handing over the entire land to the de facto owner, Lord Shri Krishna Virajman. Shahi Idgah Mosque, according to petitions, was built near the Krishna Janmabhoomi on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1669-70.

The plaintiffs also requested the excavation of the disputed site under the supervision of the court, saying that an investigation report on the excavation should be submitted.

‘Rename’ Qutab Minar

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) last week submitted its response on the Qutab Minar case to a Delhi court where it opposed the request to revive the temple on site.

ASI said that Qutab Minar has been a protected monument since 1914 and its structure cannot be changed any longer. “The revival of the cult cannot be permitted in a monument where such practice was not widespread at the time it was granted ‘protected’ status,” ASI said.

READ ALSO : ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ recited outside Qutub Minar, 30 detained for staging protest to rename monument

The controversy erupted after former ASI regional director Dharamveer Sharma claimed that the structure was built by Raja Vikramaditya, not Qutb al-Din Aibak, to study the direction of the sun.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Culture had also asked the ASI to submit its excavation report. The Union Ministry of Culture directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct excavations and the iconography of the idols of the Qutub Minar complex.

The decision came after Culture Ministry Secretary Govind Mohan visited the World Heritage monument on Saturday. Sources told News18 that ministry officials ordered ASI to dig “to get the facts.”

Earlier this month, activists from the Mahakal Manav Sewa and other right-wing groups were seen demonstrating, waving signs and shouting slogans, amid a massive police deployment at the Qutb Minar, which is recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

They demanded that the iconic monument be renamed “Vishnu Stambh”.

‘Dharam Sansad’ will discuss Lord Hanuman’s birthplace

In the middle of the Gyanvapi row, a controversy surfaced over Lord Hanuman’s birthplace and in order to “solve the matter”, Swami Aniket Shastri Deshpande Maharaj of Mahant Shri Mandalacharya Peethadheeshwar had called a Dharma Sansad on May 31 in Nashik .

However, the religious meeting convened in Nashik, Maharashtra on Tuesday to end a controversy over the Birthplace of Lord Hanuman was pushed back after witnessing acrimonious scenes as two groups of participating sadhus argued angrily over seating arrangements and other issues, prompting the police to intervene to restore peace and order.

READ ALSO : Long history of bid to locate Hanuman’s birthplace sparked heated debate between states and scholars

Notably, a saint from Karnataka claimed that Lord Hanuman was not born in Anjaneri in Nashik but in Kishkindha, Karnataka. Referring to Valmiki Ramayana, Mahant Govind Das of Kishkindha claimed that Lord Hanuman was born in Kishkindha.

He said that in the Ramayana Maharishi Valmiki did not write anywhere that Lord Hanuman was born in Anjaneri. The birthplace still remains in the same place and it is not written anywhere that Lord Hanuman was born in Anjaneri, Nashik.

Massive controversy over AIMIM leader’s visit to Aurangzeb’s tomb

Akbaruddin Owaisi, leader of AIMIM visit the tomb of Aurangzeb in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and the ensuing political tussle prompted the ASI earlier this month to order the tomb closed for five days after the region’s mosque committee attempted to lock down the place in the midst of controversy.

The AIMIM chief’s visit had prompted Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) spokesman Gajanan Kale to question the need for the monument’s existence in the state, saying it should be destroyed.

AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s visit to the grave earlier this month was criticized by the ruling Shiv Sena as well as the BJP and the MNS led by Raj Thackeray.

READ ALSO : Akbaruddin Owaisi’s visit to Aurangzeb’s tomb kicks off, BJP says ‘Shivaji’s land won’t take this’, defends AIMIM

The BJP demanded that Owaisi be charged with sedition, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had questioned whether such an act was aimed at creating further controversy in Maharashtra.

As the dispute escalated, security at the ASI-protected monument site at Khuldabad in Aurangabad district was beefed up by Aurangabad Rural Police and ASI to prevent incidents. annoying.

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