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Why Indian Muslims should return all the Encroached Temples to Hindus?

Author: Manish Sharma
Publication: Trunicle.com
Date: May 24, 2022
URL:      https://trunicle.com/why-indian-muslims-should-return-all-the-encroached-temples-to-hindus/

India is a country full of contradictions, for hundreds of years, the invaders have attacked us many times, and tried to destroy our culture and temples, but even after all this, we preserved our civilization with full glory, and at the same time kept on combining it with modernity.

From the very beginning, Indians were able to nurture and preserve their culture and customers, because they never interrupted the observance of their traditions and maintained faith in every concept and thing that according to them was true.

Our temples have been the most significant catalysts of the existence of our culture, and that was the reason why foreign and Islamic invaders always targeted them. Even today there are thousands of such temples which are in a broken state and many are still in possession of the ‘modern successors’ of the invaders to this day.

Hindus are wounded- Will Muslims acknowledge it?

The most famous temples or shrines are Ayodhya, Mathura, and Kashi. These places are considered the holiest for Hindus, and they are indeed the center stage for millions of Hindus’ faith, just like the Vatican City for Christians and Makka-Madina for Muslims.

India’s Leftist historians propagate that Islamic conquerors took control of Hindu temple sites for wealth. However, they have conveniently suppressed the fact that it had a lot to do with Islamic religious zeal. Islamic aggressors destroyed thousands of temples in India because as per their religious faith, ‘worshipping idols is kufr (unIslamic) and has to be eradicated’.

The present-day inheritors of such faith are the terrorist regimes like the Taliban and the Islamic State. Here a valid question arises, why the victims (Hindus) are expected to forget such acts of aggression and move on?

Those who really want to have a lasting solution to these religious issues must recognize this civilizational wound, which is still fresh. But first, we must confront and acknowledge the problem, only then can we arrive at an intellectually honest solution. Will Indian Muslims acknowledge the problem?

Muslims make a Tactical but Bizzare stance on every dispute

We have observed during the Ayodhya struggle, how Muslims have tactically changed their stance from asking for proof of a temple underground to a court verdict to saying no court has the locus standi to undo something done by a valid sovereign in the 16th century.

The same goes with the Kashi and Mathura as well, where both are well-known holy cities for thousands of years. We have adequate historical records and evidence that prove beyond any doubt that there are temples at the disputed sites.

Muslims are asking Hindus to provide justification for a Ram Mandir in Ram’s place of birth, ShivLing at Gyanvapi, and Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi at Mathura. Although this is a bizarre demand, it indicates that no argument Hindus provide will be found satisfactory by the opposite party.

Overall, it has remained steadfast in refusing the place to Hindus, although the Babri Masjid had not been used as a mosque since 1949 and was of no importance to Muslims. Even when Supreme Court announced its judgment in favor of Hindus, Muslims filed a review petition to stretch the issue for a few more months.

Why Muslim should return all the encroached temples to Hindus?

These religious sites have been the holiest places for Hindus for thousands of years. All Hindus want is the handover of these sites back to them, so that they can restore them and exercise their right to worship their gods, which has been stalled for hundreds of years.

But appealing to Muslims’ good sense has remained futile, even if Hindus asked for only three places of the highest regard, leaving out thousands of others for good. Apart from that the liberal and secular discourse that avoids questions of Islamic doctrine (against Kafirs) fails in convincing Muslims to be more Hindu-friendly in India. On the contrary, the discourse only offers new reasons for being intransigent.

It is a wrong tenacity of Muslims to make claims about these holy places. It is a well-planned process to blame the Hindu community for creating animosity in society. These issues should be resolved to maintain goodwill in society, and the onus of this should be on Muslims.

The Muslim youth and leadership must understand that social and cultural unity is needed in society, as it impacts their safety, credibility, and Livingood as well. They must come ahead, make an amicable offer, and hand over these holy places to the Hindus. It will only help them create a generous environment in society.


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Author: Alka Dhupkar
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 2, 2022
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/loudspeaker-lessons-for-india-from-a-maharashtra-village/articleshow/91259002.cms

The villagers of Barad have passed a resolution to stop the use of loudspeakers

Barad shows that strong-arm tactics are not needed to curb noise pollution; a simple matter of sitting across a table and discussing can do wonders

Barad is a biggish village in Nanded district of Maharashtra with a population of around 15,000. It is roughly 20km from Nanded city. Over time, the village has prospered and places of worship, among other buildings, have been renovated.

The village has 15 religious places — 12 Hindu temples and a place of worship each for Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. In some neighbourhoods, these religious places are in close proximity. No problem there.

It was only when these places started using loudspeakers to broadcast sermons, aartis and bhajans that the problem started. It became a veritable Tower of Babel — all noise and confusion.

“Since five in the morning, we used to play songs. In some places, one couldn’t hear the other’s songs or for that matter what was played in our temple,” says Suresh Deshmukh, a trustee of the local Hanuman temple.

For days on end, farmer Sharad Kawle’s 80-year-old grandmother couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of the rampant use of loudspeakers in the village.

But all this is in the past now. In charged times like these, Barad stands out as a model of communal harmony. Back in 2018, the villagers unanimously decided to remove loudspeakers from all religious places.

So, what happened in 2018?

According to deputy sarpanch Balasaheb Shankarao Deshmukh, sometime in December 2017, a Ganesh temple was using loudspeakers to broadcast maha aarti and a Buddha vihar nearby was playing religious songs. This went on till late at night.

“Groups from both sides started raising voices against each other, asking that the volume be lowered. Harmony in the village was completely disturbed,” he says. “Somehow we managed to cool tempers, but the tension simmered.”

But this wasn’t the only incident. A local school kept complaining about noise pollution to the Shiva temple trust and others in their area. The students couldn’t concentrate on studies because there was a kind of competition in using loudspeakers till late night and early mornings among all the religions.

The villagers were fed up. Some of them met after the tension escalated between Buddha and Ganpati followers. During a meeting with the local police, they discussed the proposal of removing all loudspeakers.

Thereafter, the villagers held a meeting with all the religious groups separately. Everybody accepted that the use of loudspeakers was a cause for concern and social discord. The religious trusts said if it was mandatory for all religious groups then they would also stop using loudspeakers.

After the consultations, a special gram sabha was called and a unanimous resolution was passed.

The villagers agreed to use sound boxes instead of loudspeakers. The only caveat: the volume of the sound box should be maintained at a pre-mandated level so the sound does not go beyond the walls of the holy place.

The gram panchayat has already installed around 40 small sound boxes for local announcements such as deaths, vaccination or other government programmes.

After the noise, peace

Yogesh Ratnparakhi, who runs Om Sai Coaching Classes in Barad, says, “In my centre, there are around 100 students and I can’t tell you how happy we all are that the loudspeakers have finally stopped. Earlier, students would use unending noise as an excuse not to study. Now, they properly focus on studies.”

Kiran Mahajan, a trustee of Chandra Prabhu Digambar Jain temple, says, “Ours is a private temple that is open to the public. We too had installed a loudspeaker because others installed it too. But after the removal of loudspeakers, we didn’t lose any devotees. Loudspeakers actually don’t matter.”

Sharad Kawle, the farmer, says, “Many of us in this village are followers of the Varkari bhakti movement. I believe that your religious activity should not disturb others. Keep it personal, so we all supported this proposal.”

His views are echoed by Sardar Sattar Khan Pathan of Jama Masjid in Barad. “We respect festivals of all communities. The kind of communal harmony we have maintained would not have been possible with loudspeakers at each religious place in the village.”

According to Vasant Lalme, a trustee of the Shiva temple, loudspeakers are not essential for singing bhajans or kirtans. “Devotion is a very personal feeling. It can be attained without loudspeakers. We have proved it.”

Model village

Deputy sarpanch Deshmukh, however, is disappointed that his village has not been given due recognition for the innovative solution to the menace of unchecked loudspeakers. The village doesn’t encourage the use of loudspeakers even for political rallies, weddings or other celebrations.

In other ways, too, Barad can be touted as a model village. It has received state awards for cleanliness and drinking water distribution management, open defecation-free status, success of ‘tanta mukti’ yojana (a scheme to clear local disputes at the village level) and other achievements.

The village has 20 CCTV cameras, which have helped curb theft, sexual harassment and other crimes. The village has developed a proper watershed system; a dormitory near a rural hospital is a unique feature of the village. It has also built a hostel for girl students, it has a zilla parishad school, multiple anganwadis, among other facilities.

As the noise over the use of loudspeakers at religious places grows louder and various state governments are using strong-arm tactics, perhaps it is Barad’s use of consultation that stands out more than its other achievements.