With the prayer being performed at the “vyas ji ka tehkhana” after 31 years and the historical site being opened for visitors amidst heavy police deployment at the contested premise of Gyanvapi, finally, a new dawn has ushered in the Kashi. A city known as the abode of Bhagwan Shiv and among the oldest and most revered sites of Hinduism, Kashi also known as Varanasi holds a very significant place in history like Ayodhya.
It is widely believed and has been mentioned in various Hindu texts and scriptures that Bhagwan Shiv established himself in the form of jyotirlinga at the site which eventually became the epicentre of worship known as Kashi-Vishwanath temple.
But, like Ayodhya and other historical places, Kashi was also subjected to multiple demolitions over a period of time during the Islamic invasion of India. From the destruction of the temple by Ghurids in 1194 to the final blow of the complete annihilation of the Vishwanath temple ordered by Aurangzeb in 1669, building of Alamgir mosque on the remnant of the temple site, which was later called Gyanvapi, the legacy of invasion was later carried forward by cabal of left intellectuals, academicians, and historians who contested the history and legacy of demolition and razing down of Kashi-Vishwanath temple by the orders of Aurangzeb by peddling narratives about the secular credentials of Aurangzeb, portraying him as messiah figure of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.
To understand the need and origin of why Aurangzeb and invaders were eulogised in the history textbooks by these historians, we need to understand the truth behind the project of history writing in India. After Independence , the secularisation of history was considered a project to be undertaken in order to maintain communal harmony. Historians of that particular time and space were more concerned about the way in which the project of history writing should move forward.
Against the wishes of very prominent historian and staunch nationalist of the time- RC Mazumdar, who opposed the idea of writing a specific version of history, PM Jawahar Lal Nehru and then education minister Maulana Azad emphasised the need to bracket the understanding of history in such a way that generations to come don’t feel contempt and hatred towards each other over the communal history of India.
Moving ahead on the same path, left historians and academicians started mobilising resources at their dispense with their undue influence over the government and government-funded bodies, to re-narrativize the events in the light of erroneous peace and prosperity during the mediaeval period, whitewashing the barbaric history of the Islamic invasion and the destruction of most important Hindu shrines. The Middle East colonial project was enmeshed with Indian history and was subsumed and amalgamated as native history.
Left-leaning historians with a Marxist view of Indian history like Satish Chandra, RS Sharma , Bipin Chandra , Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar , DN Jha and coterie made sure that Hindus remained ignorant of their past and never regained the confidence to speak out against historical injustices permeated on their ancestors and their religious places by colonists from the West Asia.
They maintained a steadfast position against the viewpoint of Indian history from the lens of the temple destruction by invaders. They continually falsified the theories of temple demolition by invaders. With the Ram Mandir issue gaining momentum, they used all the methods available to dispute the specific geographical positions of the destroyed shrines. Using complex language and narrative, they countered overwhelming archaeological repositories and evidence by labelling the ASI as handmaiden of the Hindutva project.
They called out that ASI has been saffronized and the archaeological findings have been distortedly given the specific meaning and colour to suit the wider Hindutva narrative for reclaiming the sites that they label as “allegedly” belonging to Hindus. However, evidence and findings suggest the contrary: thousands of temples were razed down by invaders, and they built mosques over them to suppress hindu identity and assert the Islamic tenets, which considered temples to be a place of idols and idol worshippers, thus worthy of being demolished.
As the Gyanvapi issue gained impetus, multiple barrages of cases were registered in the local court . It was primarily considered to be a Property dispute i.e. ownership of religious property where the local court in Varanasi ordered a vediographic survey of the mosque which was met with resistance from the masjid committee. They argued that the Places of Worship Act 1991 prohibited any such activity and moreover historical significance of Gyanvapi as a place of offering prayer cannot and should not be questioned and historical elements of past shouldnt be brought into the present.
Later, as the ASI surveyed the site by the order of the Varanasi district court , multiple pieces of evidence of a Hindu temple underneath were uncovered recently. ASI findings state that “Sculptures of Hindu deities and the inscriptions in Devanagari, Grantha, Telugu, and Kannada scripts are found moreover names of deities such as Janardhana, Rudra, and Umsvara are found in these inscriptions “
The Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey report of the structure prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India state that “This wall, made of stones and decorated with horizontal moldings, is formed by remaining parts of the western chamber, western projections of the central chamber and western walls of the two chambers on its north and south. The central chamber attached to the wall still exists unchanged whereas modifications have been made to both the side chambers”. Further they mention that “Sculptures of Hindu deities and carved architectural members were found buried under the dumped soil in cellar S2”
Decades of false propaganda and narrative peddled by the axis of left historians, marxists and intellectuals who distorted the historical facts disputing the shrines of Hindu origin are being challenged in the court. Alongside Gyanvapi mosque, Shahi Idgah of Mathura is also a sub-judice. The legal recourse to the injustices of the past indicates the will and devotedness of Hindus towards the cause of dharma and the course of correcting the grave injustices of the past through legal recourse.