The Hindus as a community are stunningly patient. They waited for over five centuries to see the temple of Shri Ram at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, which is for them, in terms of reverence and importance an equivalent to what Mecca is for Muslims. They pursued all the forms of struggle to reclaim their holy site which they had lost to the barbaric sword arms of Islamic imperialism at the onset of Mughal Empire in Northern India. Hindus fought multiple battles, including the battle in the court of law, and produced demonstrable evidences to substantiate their claim on Ram Janmabhoomi. Meanwhile the Muslim leadership in India behaved in the most uncharitable manner possible. Even if we discount the numerous incidents of bloodshed and desecration of the holy site at Ayodhya, we must make an analysis of the attitude of the Muslim leadership when the legal contest for the Ram Janmabhoomi was going on.
The Muslim leadership had decided to fight that case despite knowing that all the archaeological, historical and literary evidences of that case were screaming aloud about the presence of an important temple at that very site before it was forcefully converted into mosque by invading Islamic army. The Muslim leadership was indifferent to truth, and it was rather relying on the tactics of exerting political pressure to eventually gain the ultimate veto authority in a political atmosphere in which their approval was a must for the certification of secularism.
An entry into the Aurangzeb’s court records, better known as, Maasiri Alamgiri on 2 September 1669 mentions that in accordance with the Emperor Aurangzeb’s command his officers had successfully demolished the temple of Vishwanath at Banaras. Saki Mustaid Khan, the record keeper of Aurangzeb’s court and compiler of Masiri Alamgiri, also mentions the destruction of Mathura’s Keshav Rai Temple which marked the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in January 1670.
The Muslim leadership acquired an attitude of extreme insensitivity towards the legitimate demands of the Hindus of this country who are an overwhelming majority with around 80% of population. Hindus, despite having far greater numbers and a surviving historical memory of losing their holy site to invaders, showed exemplary restraint, resilience and perseverance.
The Muslim leadership in India fighting against the claims of Hindu majority for justifying a historical wound on the Hindu social body inflicted by the invaders has created several doubts in the mind of common Hindus of this country. They might be thinking in their head that how come the Muslim leadership of 21st century develops a feel of affinity with 16th century invaders?
This question arising in the mind of the Hindus requires an immediate answer. The onus of answering this question lies on the Muslim leadership.
Fortunately, the Muslim leadership has got a great opportunity to not just change their image but also to clear the doubts arising in the mind of their Hindu neighbours. The legal processes for ascertaining the existence of historical temples in Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi at Mathura and Kashi Vishwanath temple at the site of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi has set on a roll. Like in the case of Ayodhya the host of evidences are clearly saying that Mosques were mounted on the body of razed and desecrated temples at both these sites which are no less in importance for Hindus than the Ayodhya site.
This is a high time for the Muslim leadership to decide against taking the contestations any further and accept the historical facts. Especially when the evidences of Kashi and Mathura are far more clear and obvious than those in the case of Ayodhya. Even the chronicles of Mughal court have recorded that Aurangzeb gave orders to raze the Kashi Vishwanath temple. An entry into the Aurangzeb’s court records, better known as, Maasiri Alamgiri on 2 September 1669 mentions that in accordance with the Emperor Aurangzeb’s command his officers had successfully demolished the temple of Vishwanath at Banaras. Saki Mustaid Khan, the record keeper of Aurangzeb’s court and compiler of Masiri Alamgiri, also mentions the destruction of Mathura’s Keshav Rai Temple which marked the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in January 1670.
In the light of written historical records and plethora of evidences on the walls and structure of the present construct of the Mathura Janambhoomi and Kashi Vishwanath premises, the cases are unworthy of any contestation. The evidences are conclusive in nature, and they are visible to naked eyes.
The Muslim leadership should not choose the futile adventurism of dragging a legal battle in courts and earning further disrepute. They need to shun the political obstinacy. They should come forward to admit that the mediaeval Muslim rulers of Delhi Sultanate and Mughals were fanatics and the Indian Muslims of 21st century neither idolize them nor they wish to own their chequered legacy.
Till now, the preliminary moves made by the Muslim leadership are abysmally disappointing. They tried to forcefully stop the court ordered videographic survey of the Gyanwapi premises in Kashi Vishwanath complex in Varanasi. On 16th May, when Shivling was found in the ‘Vajukhana’ of Gyanwapi, they tried dismissing this massive evidence by declaring it a ‘Fauwarra'(fountain) installed by Aurangzeb. On television channels, many affluent Muslim Maulavis and Ulemas, were seen ridiculing and insulating the Shivling found in Gyanwapi. Even, in case of Mathura, the Muslim leadership tried to hinder the whole process of legal redressal by showing no signs of cooperation. The early responses of Muslim leadership on Kashi and Mathura temple issue are not at all promising. They know that the evidences are in favour of temple at both the places, but still they are showing no indication of learning from the Ayodhya experience.
The larger Muslim community should try to educate their leadership to take steps to curb the doubts arising in the mind of Hindus of the country. Hindus who have been patient for so long, can’t be mistaken for being casual about Mathura and Kashi. They are in a phase of the rejuvenation of their historical collective memory. They are entrusting courts and the law of the land to deliver justice to them. Muslim community at large should understand the importance of historical opportunity and exert pressure on their leaders to pave the way for justice to Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi and Kashi Vishwanath Mandir. Muslim leadership should take this opportunity to acknowledge the truth which is already recognized but not yet admitted due to political ego. It should make use of this moment to build a goodwill for harmonious coexistence.