That tens of thousands of temples had been desecrated and destroyed during the period of Islamic invaders and the rule of Muslim dynasties almost all over India is a historical fact with evidence still coming up. The facts were recorded by Muslim scribes who wrote histories of Islamic invasions and conquest of India by Md of Ghazni, Ghori, some Delhi Sultans and Aurangzeb, but these are ignored in any discussion or dispute.
It was only in Spain that the desecration and destruction wrought by the Islamic invaders and their rule for over six centuries were undone in the 15th century and the churches which were converted into mosques were restored back as churches and 90 per cent of the people converted to Islam were brought back to Christianity. Such a thing may not happen in the present times anywhere in the world.
We have the record at the Somnath temple being rebuilt under the Government auspices but by public funds soon after the Junagarh State was liberated from Pakistan to which the Muslim ruler acceded and fled to Pakistan. That was with the resolve of indomitable Sardar Patel despite Nehru’s resentment.
Hindus cannot forget the destruction of the temples held by them to be of supreme sanctity and in which place mosques were constructed. Such maybe called, the Hindu Masjids. This is the title of a book written by Praful Goradia a former Rajya Sabha member. In that book he has described on great detail which were such temples that were destroyed and in those very places mosques were constructed. This was published in the year 2012.
Sitaram Goel brought out in two volumes a book,
- Hindu Temples
- What happened to them (the Islamic evidence)
These were published by Voice of India in the early 1990s and reprinted more than four times since then.
Apart from Hindu Masjids, there are two other varieties of mosques built by Islamic invader- rulers in this country. One variety is in open spaces in the conquered territory without involving any temple destruction. In regard to this, Hindus have no intolerance. They are treated in the traditional Hindu spirit of tolerance as places of worship in different ways by different people.
The other variety is temples destroyed and mosques constructed by using the materials of the destroyed temples not exactly in the very place of that temple but adjacent to or away from them. In regard to this variety also, Hinds with sadness can tolerate them.
However what are Hindu Masjids like those in Ayodhya, Kasi, Mathura and several other places like in Delhi ( Quvatul Islam Mehrauli ) are a different matter. They are like swords in the heart of resentment over their Hindu body, constantly reminding them of the humiliation that was inflicted upon them and the helplessness because of the indifference of the subsequent rulers till today especially after independence Aug 1947.
The Gyanvapi findings are reaffirmation of the fact brought out in Ayodhya namely that in the very destroyed temple’s place, a mosque in constructed. Now just as in Ayodhya’s Rama Janmabhumi case evidence is forthcoming because of the artefacts discovered by an investigating team appointed by a court in Varanasi. As in the case of Ayodhya, the Muslim parities and their traditional Marxist historians and secularists, the case will be tried to be dragged for decades in courts. The Places of Worship Act 1991 became handy for the Muslim parties and their traditional backers, the Marxist historians and “eminents”, many from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) of Delhi. It is possible that among the judges in several courts, including that of the Supreme Court, there are people in sync with the position of the Muslim parties and their Marxist allies. The sudden transfer of the trial judge in Varanasi by a Bench of the Supreme Court is Ominous. It indicates a mind sympathetic to the Muslim parties habitual denials of atrocities by Islamist invaders/ rulers.
As long as the Hindu Masjids exist and the Hindus’ resentment goes on building up against their existence in free India, in partitioned India in the Hindu lands of this country, case after case will be taken up by Hindus who are becoming free to express their resentment after decade’s of “secular” rule of a dynasty during which Hindus raising this issue were demonised as communal.
If the agony in the Hindu psyche is to be healed and the divide between Hindus and Muslims is to be progressively reduced, it is wise and imperative that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission must be established. The example of South Africa and Peru must be followed. The Government may appoint the Commission with the mandate that within, say, three years, in association with the Archeological Survey of India and any other scientific bodies, the situation in Hindu masjids should be ascertained as in the Gyanvapi Masjid of Varanasi and Rama Janmabhoomi of Ayodhya. This Commission may consist of not only legal luminaries but also archaeology experts and ideologically unaffiliated professional historians. There could be public hearings with evidence deposed before the Commission.
The Places of Worship Act of 1991 should not be coming in the way of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and its conclusions afterwards. This particular Act was passed by a Government facing widespread agitations and disturbance to peace. Another aspect is no Act can be permanent. Passage of time requires amendments, repeal or replacements by another Act. The sedition clause under 124A of the Criminal Procedure Code is under scrutiny. So many Acts passed in the past are repealed, and new ones are enacted where necessary according to the requirements of present times.
A paper presented to the Indian History Congress by me in 2015 in Malda, West Bengal, but not allowed to be discussed, makes a case for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is sent herewith for reading and further action.