The battle for Krishna Janmabhoomi is set to begin as the Mathura Civil Court has issued notices to Shahi Idgah Masjid’s management committee and others, seeking their stand on the plea for removal of the mosque from the temple complex. A plea was filed by a Pujari of Bhagwan Krishna temple on behalf of the deity seeking removal of the illegally built mosque.
A report by Firstpost quoted District Government Counsel (Civil) Sanjai Gaur, “Additional District and Sessions Judge Dev Kant Shukla issued notices after admitting the plea, ruling that the suit is maintainable and hence admissible for detailed hearing.”
From the long legal battle which Hindus have had to fight for the reclamation of Ram Janmabhoomi at Ayodhya, it would have been at least expected that for the reclamation of Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi, the community would not be made to undergo another spate of an unending wait.
Yet, the respondents seem to be doing exactly that. Previously the ‘Muslim side’ filed a plea seeking rejection of the admission of the case for removal of mosque. The respondents are trying to delay the legal battle for the reclamation of the holy land at Mathura atop which the Shahi Masjid, built by tyrant Aurungzeb, stands. The admission of the plea is definitely the first victory of Hindus in the case.
The Mughals destroyed thousands of temple complexes of India and built mosques on top of them or around them. The Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in Varanasi that was converted into the Gyanvapi Mosque, the Keshavnath 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, among others, stand as prime examples of the same medieval plunder.
The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 is a Parliamentary law that states that all places of worship, irrespective of religion, shall continue to operate, without hindrance and obstruction, as the exact worship sites which stood on August 15, 1947. By virtue of the same, for example, if a Mosque is built over a temple, and the superimposed structure existed as on 15th August 1947 in its present form, then no action can be taken to change the place of worship’s current form.
This means that in presence of this law, the Kashi Viswanath Mandir cannot be reclaimed by Hindus in its entirety because the Gyanvapi Mosque stood over it as of 15th August 1947. Section 4 (1) of the Act expressly provides, “It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.” It is this precise clause which the current PIL filed before the SC wishes to nullify.
The Places of Worship Act was brought in 1991, by the then PV Narsimha Rao government, at a time when the Ram Mandir movement was at its peak. Its aim was simple – to be made to appear secular, however, to prevent Hindus from initiating a temple reclamation drive across India. While the Ayodhya dispute was exempted from the same, the other temples were declared out of bounds for Hindus to turn their eyes to.
The historic Ram Mandir verdict of last year, however, has raised the aspirations of Hindus, who are now keen to get their major temples back. Kashi and Mathura have particularly been in the eyes of Hindus, and it was but expected that post the resolution of the Ram Janmbhoomi dispute, the focus would shift to the other two towns of Uttar Pradesh housing sacred Hindu temples.