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  • Sunday, September, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 06:32:59
  • Dr  Vedapratap Vaidik

    I am elated that any right-thinking souls across the spectrum are increasingly endorsing the thoughts I have been regularly expressing through my articles and columns on Gyanvapi Masjid and thousands of other places of worship in the country.  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has recently in no uncertain terms said that temple-mosque disputes cannot and should not be resolved through vandalism or violent protests.   Better follow the law passed by the Parliament in 1991that allows the shrines to remain as they were on 15th August 1947. The only exception is the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.

    This does not mean that we should overlook the onslaughts of foreign invaders. Those insolent and ruthless rulers misused religion as a weapon to establish their regime and forcefully converted the poor, illiterate, untouchable and also many ruling upper castes to Islam.

    We need to realize that those converted to Islam are also our own brothers and sisters and are not foreigners. They are not our adversaries. It is a fact the foreign invaders looted and destroyed many of our temples to satisfy their hunger for power. We need to know that these invaders did not spare the mosques of their rivals even.

    Like the Hindus, our Muslim fraternity should also realize and accept these historical facts.  Conversions to Islam mostly happened through coercion and intimidation. But there were exceptions as miniscule minority of lower caste population were compelled to embrace Islam, thanks to the oppression they suffered from the upper caste elites.

     Mohan Bhagwat rightly says irrespective of caste creed or religions all Indians are our own people.  The many crores of Muslim brethren living in this country have not come from any foreign nation. They are Indians and will remain so.  They do have the same rights as all others have.  Why should we hold them responsible for the misdeeds and atrocities of those foreign invaders? They have not demolished these temples. So what is the solution to the temple-mosque dispute now?  Bhagwat says that either the two sides should communicate mutually on such contentious issues and if they are not successful in resolving, accept the decision of the court of law.  The suggestion of the RSS chief is very practical but some adamant  Hindu organizations are neither  willing to agree to any  mutual dialogue nor are ready to accept the decision of the court of law.

    Can any court give such a decision that all mosques should be demolished and temples should be built there? The Babri Masjid was already demolished.  Hence the court decision to build the Ram Mandir.  If any such decision is repeated, I am sure; it will hurt the majority of Indians and could potentially disrupt peace and tranquility of the nation.

    Then what to do? Better not to dig any grave. Let the temple and mosque coexist with amity so that there is no room for enmity.  Let all have a larger heart. If possible, accommodate a gurdwara, church and synagogue in the same premise.  Then peace will blossom in full and tranquility will prevail. Coexistence of religious worship places will help to embolden unity and fraternity of the nation.  With this vision Narasimha Rao government had acquired abot 63 acres of land near the Ram temple in Ayodhya.   The Katha Upanishad has taught us “ Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti “ which means God Is one, worshipped in different names. Then why can’t we all live together in harmony as civilized souls?


    *Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educationalmissions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.

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