Asad Ali

Historical culture is the pure and real identity of any nation and state. No nation can flourish and progress until and unless it is based on ned cultural values.

Primarily, it is the responsibility of the state and its governing elite to preserve its rich historical-cultural values. For example, the Western nations are going all out to preserve their historical values and the work done by their heroes.

They are dying for their nation builders. On the other hand, unfortunately, there are some other states in the world, that are trying their utmost to destroy their rich cultural values to accomplish political and religious interests and target particular communities.

India is leading one such campaign. Indian ruling elite is filled with Hindu Monks like Modi, Shah, and Yogi, who are setting aside all religious and political norms to malign and target particular communities of Muslims.

They are doing this to accomplish their long-pending dream of Akhand Bharat. In this regard, the campaign is already underway to change the name of historical places and demolish them to construct Hindu temples.

It started at the Babari Mosque and now everything is related to Muslims and their rulers. Indian nationalist leaders are also falsely claiming that Qutab Minar was built at the site of a Hindu temple and not built by Qutab ud Din Aibak.

In addition to this, recently, the Indian government has taken a few steps to satisfy the ego of Nationalist Hindu leaders. These steps include renaming Faizabad with Prayagraj, a highway in Lucknow, and Hindu temples.

Likewise, it has also launched a comprehensive campaign to destroy mosques and build temples on that land. The latest controversy has triggered after the statement by Archeological Survey of Indian officials that Banaras’s Giyanvapi Mosque was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb by destroying the temple of a Hindu god.

The recent claim by Hindutva extremists that the Gyanvapi Mosque in Banaras was built on the site of a temple has given rise to controversy. The local court ordered a survey to ascertain the facts.

Local Muslims challenged it under the 1991 Shrine Act. However, a three-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court, during a lengthy hearing in the Gyanvapi Mosque controversy, raised the important point that the law does not explicitly restrict the religious role of a place of worship.

After this statement, the Indian court in Utter Pradesh ordered Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials to conduct a thorough survey of the mosque in order to find any sign of a Hindu temple at the site.

Although the court issued this order at the behest of the Indian government and ASI officials after examining the mosque area identified the Hindu religious symbol Shivling to strengthen their claim.

This has triggered a severe reaction from Indian Muslims, who vehemently denounced Indian claims. Likewise, this move has clearly exposed the Modi government’s extremist and fascist policy exposed.

Hindutva fascists are now openly destroying Muslim mosques and minority places of worship in India. The recent Indian government under an ultra-nationalist Hindu establishment has been working extensively to repeal the Worship Act of 1991 by Hindutva followers in India.

The Act is believed to be a major obstacle to the recapture of Hindu temples and other Hindu worship places. This law was passed in 1991 at the height of the Ram Janmabhoomi (Lord Ram – Hindu God) movement, according to which the status of any place of worship, regardless of religion, cannot be changed on August 4, 1947.

The law was introduced by the Narasimha Rao government in 1991 in an attempt to prevent future disputes over the ownership and role of any place of worship in the country, but it did not stop the demolition of the Babri Masjid then nor today.

The Hindutva government of India is serious about implementing it. The court verdict to search the mosque and stop Muslims from offering prayers inside the mosque is likely to instigate the religious sentiments of Muslims in the state of Utter Pradesh.

This verdict of the Banaras court risks further sectarian riots. A few months ago, devastating sectarian riots broke out in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh on a similar issue in India where minorities are being walled off.

The fact is that the Modi government since its inception in 2014, has been trying to deprive Muslims of their dignity and basic rights. It has gone to great lengths to achieve this goal.

The silence on these violations of religious and fundamental human rights by the international community and human rights organizations is beyond comprehension.

This is high time that international organizations and other religious watchdogs must come forward this time around and strongly press the Indian government to refrain from changing Muslim religious places and other historical places for mere political and religious purposes, built by Muslim rulers.

The fascist Modi government must adhere to the secular provisions of the Indian constitution to provide full religious freedom and protection to their place of worship.

It is pertinent to mention here that, the concept of Nehruvian India is being vanished from Indian society completely under the nationalist and warmongering establishment of Hindu monks in New Delhi.

 

*The writer is an Islamabad-based expert on Indian affairs.

*The views and opinions in this article are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the institute

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