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Ayodhya: A Book claims Ram Temple was Destroyed by Aurangzeb not Babur

The book has given a new dimension to the history of Ayodhya and provides a new perspective that is contrary to the common belief

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Babri Masjid Demolition. Image source: newsworldindia.in
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  • A book claimed that Ayodhya was under the reign of Aurangzeb, when the Ram temple was demolished
  • The author has tried to establish that a temple did exist at the site in question at Ayodhya by quoting many Sanskrit, English and French scholars
  • Kunal served as an Officer on Special Duty in Ayodhya from 1990 to 1992

NEW DELHI: With Uttar Pradesh polls ahead, once again, the Ayodhya issue is back in spotlight. A new book titled ‘Ayodhya Revisited’ gives a new perspective to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid controversy. Penned by Kishore Kunal, a former Gujarat cadre IPS officer of 1972 batch, the book claimed that it was under the reign of Aurangzeb not Babur, when the Ram temple was demolished.

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Kunal, who hails from Bihar was the President of Bihar Board of Religious Trusts, said the TOI report. He served as an Officer on Special Duty in Ayodhya from 1990 to 1992 to the then Union home minister and had an insider’s view of the goings-on in the dispute. After retirement, he became the Vice Chancellor of KSD Sanskrit University at Darbhanga.

Kunal said, the book is based on facts and immense research. With references to original sources and after thorough scientific investigation, it propounds a new thesis, which demolishes many popular perceptions like it was Babur who built the mosque in 1528 AD.

Babri Mosque prior to its destruction in 1992. Image Source:soundvision.com

According to the TOI report, Kunal argued that Mughal rulers with the exception of Aurangzeb who was a fanatic, were quite liberal and extended patronage to all religions. “All the Mughal emperors from Babur to Shahjahan were magnanimous and liberal rulers and the Bairagis of Ayodhya enjoyed patronage of the first four nawabs of Awadh.”

Kunal stated that Babar had not visited Ayodhya or ordered demolition of the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple there but rather it was Aurangzeb who did it.

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In another report by HT, Kunal has accused Francis Buchanan, who surveyed Ayodhya in 1813-14, of erroneously crediting the mosque to Babar by drawing upon a ‘spurious inscription’ that contained a ‘fabricated portion’, which read that it was built by Mir Baqi at the command of Babar.

Image Source: ndtv.com
Ayodhya Revisited. A book by Kishore Kunal. Image Source: ndtv.com

Through his book, Kunal has tried to establish that a temple did exist at the site in question at Ayodhya by quoting many Sanskrit, English and French scholars. He has heavily relied upon literary sources of foreign travel accounts and archaeological excavation reports.

G B Patnaik , former Chief Justice of India has written the foreword of the book. He said, the author has given a “new dimension to the history of Ayodhya” that challenges the present view and provides a new perspective that is contrary to the common belief.

Kunal believes that the book will provide an insight to the true history of the issue that has created so much tension in the past and transform the thinking of the people on the matter.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Temple, Mosque, Gurudwara Join Hands In This UP Town

In another incidents, last year in September, when dates of Durgapuja and Muharram clashed, Mishra and Muhammad Rizwan, Haneef's son, took charge

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All religions joined hands together to clean the polluted river. IANS

With inter-community violence reported from many parts of India in a society increasingly polarised on religious and caste lines, a small town in Uttar Pradesh is setting an extraordinary example where a temple, a mosque, and even a gurdwara, have joined hands to clean a polluted river while bringing their communities together.

About 100 km from the state capital Lucknow is the town named Maholi in district Sitapur. Here lies an old Shiva and a Radha-Krishna temple along with Pragyana Satsang Ashram and a mosque, all at a stone’s throw of each other.

Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you'll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons
The river in Sitapur is really polluted. Wikimedia Commons

Along the periphery of this amalgamated religious campus, passes a polluted river called Kathina, that merges into the highly polluted Gomti River, a tributary of the mighty but polluted Ganga. Often used as dumping site by dozens of villages and devotees, the stink from Kathina was increasing daily. The solution — Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (a term used for a fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements) – of Awadh.

“The river belongs to everyone. Hindus use it for ‘aachman’ (a Hindu ritual for spiritual purification), Muslims use it for ‘wazu’ or ablution. Due to lack of awareness, people had been dumping solid and bio waste here, and also doing open defecation. The situation was worsening. Only solution was to start cleaning it ourselves,” said Swami Vigyananad Saraswati, head of the Pragyana Satsang Ashram, as he inspects the river stretch along with Muhammad Haneef, head of the mosque’s managing committee.

Swami said that once the ashram and temple administration began rallying volunteers for the cleaning drive, the mosque also came around to help. Even Maholi’s Sikh gurudwara committee came forward and brought along many volunteers from the Sikh community.

“Once the communities came together, number of volunteers multiplied. The initiative has now become a kind of an environment-movement which is being driven by religious fervor and bonding. Watching our efforts, the local administration also offered help, and other unions like traders and Sikh gurudwara committee also joined hand for cleaning the river,” Swami told IANS pointing out the potential of possibilities when different communities join hands for good.

Ujagar Singh, a member of the Sikh gurdwara committee, equated the effort in cleaning the river with ‘sewa’, an important aspect of Sikhism to provide a service to the community. “Keeping our rivers clean is our duty and we will continue sewa whenever required,” he said.

The temple and mosque, near the town’s police station, were both built in 1962 by then Inspector Jaikaran Singh. The communal fervor is shared since years. During ‘namaaz’, the ashram switches off its loudspeakers and on Hindu festivals and special occasions, the mosque committee helps the temple with arrangements. Still underway, the joint Hindu-Muslim team began cleaning the river from March 14. According to the volunteers, it took three days alone to get the river front cleaned of defecation.

Also Read: All Religions Flourished In India: Modi

“Many villages do not have toilets and volunteers had to stay here round the clock to stop people from defecating or throwing waste. The work was divided. Muslims volunteers would take over the Muslim majority areas and Hindus would tackle other areas, convincing people to stop pollution further while we clean,” Muhammad Haneef told IANS.

The actual cleaning of the river began from March 17, when about 400 volunteers got into the waters, while about 700 of them cleaned the shores. “Several trolleys of garbage — that included plastic, polythene, shoes, rubber, animal carcasses, human waste, glass and ceramic waste, and even some old boat wreck — were taken out of the river.

“Apart from that, several trolleys of water hyacinth, an invasive species of water plant, was removed. It obstructs the flow of the river,” Sarvesh Shukla, executive officer of Maholi town told IANS. Stating that such drive is not possible unless people come together, Shukla said that since ‘mandir-masjid’ joined hand, it was very easy to convince people to cooperate. However, with poor garbage management system of small town, Swami and Haneef looked up to the administration for help.

“Few days back, some butchers were taking waste towards the river. We stopped them and there was a heated debate. Soon other elders of the community joined and we did not let them dump the waste into the river,” said Haneef, pointing out that stopping people without proper management could be daunting in future.

Swami said that they would need disilting machines to clean the river towards the second phase. According to Abdul Rauf from the mosque committee, the work is only half done. “The challenge is to maintain the cleanliness. We could clean only a small stretch of the river. We will rally again and take movement to second phase once we get directions from our elder brother Swami ji,” says Rauf. Nearly one kilometer of the stretch has been cleaned. The volunteers are aiming to clean another kilometer of it. However, be it river or communal fervor, the challenge, as residents of Maholi find, is consistency of the good.

Rohingya refugee
All came together to clean the river.

“There are bad elements everywhere. Few weeks back, a fringe group named Vishwa Hindu Jagran Parishad entered a Muslim-majority area and started hurling abuses. Before they would do more damage, the Hindus of that area came forward and retaliated. The group never returned since,” said Shailendra Mishra, a local resident and member of temple committee. In another incidents, last year in September, when dates of Durgapuja and Muharram clashed, Mishra and Muhammad Rizwan, Haneef’s son, took charge.

“All we had to do was keep a few notorious people from both communities at bay. About 5,000 strong Hindu’s Devi Shakti procession and about 2,000 strong Muslim Tazia procession of Muharram used the same road at the same time. Not a single untoward incident happened,” Haneef said. IANS