MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Ayodhya-like transformation of Mathura and Kashi lingers on Sangh radar

Though the BJP has so far refrained from putting the twin issues on its official agenda, Hindu groups and individuals have already pushed them on a Ram Janmabhoomi-like path, spiritedly pursuing the dispute in local courts and espousing the cause on the street

J.P. Yadav New Delhi Published 24.01.24, 05:36 AM
Narendra Modi.

Narendra Modi. File Photo.

The demand for an Ayodhya-like transformation of Mathura and Kashi with parts of mosques abutting Hindu temples removed would continue to simmer on the BJP's front burner notwithstanding calls for "restraint" and "humility" by Prime Minister Narendra and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat after the Ram temple opening on Monday, BJP insiders have told The Telegraph.

The consecration of Ram Lalla in the grand new temple could, in fact, spur the demand for a similar “abode for Lord Krishna in Mathura and Lord Shiva in Kashi/ Varanasi”, the insiders said, hoping to continue squeezing religious sentiment for political mileage.

ADVERTISEMENT

Though the BJP has so far refrained from putting the twin issues on its official agenda, Hindu groups and individuals have already pushed them on a Ram Janmabhoomi-like path, spiritedly pursuing the dispute in local courts and espousing the cause on the street.

The petitioners have been asserting that both the Gyanvapi mosque, beside the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, and the Shahi Idgah mosque, abutting the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura, have been built by demolishing temples in the Mughal era and should therefore be returned. In the backdrop of Ayodhya, the twin cases appear to have acquired a fresh momentum with the courts concerned actively hearing the petitioners.

The Supreme Court earlier this month stopped the execution of an Allahabad High Court order to appoint a commission to inspect the premises of the Shahi Idgah, but didn’t interfere with the proceedings on the maintenance of the suit filed by Hindu groups claiming that a temple once stood over the mosque land.

In the case of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, the Archaeological Survey of India has already submitted its report before a local court; the issue is also being pushed in Allahabad High Court.

In 2022, the issue had grabbed national headlines as Hindu groups claimed that water spouts used by Muslim worshippers for pre-prayer ablutions were actually “Shivlings”.

“The conclusion of the Ram Janmabhoomi project has awakened Hindus. Now the party and the RSS are not required to undertake agitations. People will pursue and win,” a BJP leader said, confident that in both the Mathura and Kashi disputes, the courts would rule in favour of Hindu litigants.

After the Gyanvapi case hit headlines, BJP chief J.P. Nadda had said that “courts and the Constitution will decide” such contentious issues. He was answering questions on whether the party would also take up the Mathura and Kashi cases.

“In the near future, evidence of Hindu temples being demolished in both Mathura and Kashi will come before the courts as surveys are undertaken. Then, the cases will acquire a momentum of their own,” a BJP general secretary said. “Once evidence like the presence of Shivlings inside the Gyanvapi mosque starts coming, party leaders will be compelled to speak,” this leader added.

BJP insiders said that the twin issues may not figure in a big way in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls but indicated that they could be put on the centre stage post the general elections and ahead of the next Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh in 2027.

“Mathura and Kashi will enter the BJP’s and Modi’s agenda post the Lok Sabha polls,” a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh said, arguing that the Krishna Janmabhoomi issue had the potential to deal a blow to the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim-Yadav vote bank.

This BJP MP pointed out that during his recent visit to Mathura, Prime Minister Modi had said: “The day is not far when God will be seen with even more divinity in the Braj (Mathura-Brindavan) region.”

“Modiji’s statement was a clear indication that after Ram Janmabhoomi, it was the turn of the Krishna Janmabhoomi to get a grand temple, but not just now. It will be reserved for Modiji’s third term in power,” the MP said.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT