Chants of of “Ayodhya toh bas jhaanki hai, Kashi Mathura abhi baaki hai” had gained immense popularity during the Ayodhya Ram Janambhoomi movement.
The idea was that while a grand Lord Ram Temple is a sensitive issue close to the heart of every Hindu devotee, a number of other prominent temples such as as the Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi that was converted into the Gyanvapi Mosque, the Krishna temple in Mathura that was converted into Idgah Mosque, the Adinath temple in Malda that was converted into Adina Mosque, the Kali temple in Srinagar that was converted into Khanqah-e-Moula, were also destroyed during the Islamic invasion.
There has been a brewing sentiment to restore these temples into their ancient glory and after the resolution of the Ayodhya Ram Janambhoomi dispute, we seem to be moving in that direction.
According to latest reports, a fast-track court has reserved its verdict in a case related to the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi. An application seeking archaeological excavation of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque dispute was moved before the Court in the month of December. The applicant contended that there still exists a ‘shivlingam’ of Lord Vishweshwarnath (Lord Shiva) on the disputed site.
The disputed site happens to be one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’- sites that hold immense significance for Hindu devotees in general and Lord Shiva devotees in particular.
The applicant, therefore, prayed for a direction to carry out an archaeological excavation on the disputed site so that “truth” could be set out before the entire nation.
The Gyanvapi Mosque was built in 1669 by Mughal barbarian king, Aurangzeb after demolishing the ancient Hindu temple that existed on the site as per the belief of Hindu seers.
Today, there is a Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Gyanvapi Mosque adjoins the Temple, but according to Hindu belief, the original jyotirlinga is what has now been built into the Gyanvapi Mosque. The Hindi devotees, therefore, want an excavation that will affirm their belief and claim to the disputed site.
The opposing Muslim side had however opposed the plea for an Archaeological Survey. They argued that a stay on excavation should continue to be in force, and not vacated. But this plea made by the Sunni Waqf Board and Anjuman Intezamia Masajid was rejected by the trial court recently on Wednesday.
The court has fixed February 17 as the next date of hearing when it will decide upon the application for carrying out an archaeological excavation on the disputed site.
With the rejection of the defendant’s plea and a short date for next hearing, crores of Hindu and Lord Shiva devotees are now hopeful that the matter will pick up the pace from here and be disposed of expeditiously.
Archaeological excavation on the site can lead to a lot of corroborative material that will bring out the real truth in the contentious matter. The spotlight, therefore, shifts to Ayodhya to Kashi.