Should we move forward or backward?

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

A very old friend of mine, who is a Hindu, just now mailed me this :


If you have not listened to this earlier, it is really worth listening.

This was my reply :

It is true that there were many Hindu temples which were converted into mosques e.g. Quwwat ul Isam mosque near Qutub Minar, whose pillars have Hindu carvings, or Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi which has carvings of Hindu gods/goddesses on its rear wall, the Atala Devi Masjid in Jaunpur, etc. I have seen these myself.

But the point is should we look backward or forward ? There are over 50,000 mosques which are claimed to have been built by destroying Hindu temples. Should we keep fighting over them, or take steps to abolish poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, price rise, etc ?

It is even alleged that Jama Masjid in Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra have been built after destroying Hindu temples.

Earlier, Buddhist shrines were allegedly demolished and converted into Hindu temples

Should we keep harping on all this, or move forward to solve the massive socio-economic problems of India? Is it not all politics for polarising society to get Hindu votes?

And was it not to put a quietus to all such disputes that Parliament enacted the Places of Worship Act, 1991 ( which says that the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on 15th August 1947 will not be changed)?


(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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