Sects – Sekt Info Sat, 21 May 2022 06:57:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sects – Sekt Info 32 32 The Gyanvapi Line and the Places of Worship Law were born together. Now each wants to end the other Sat, 21 May 2022 03:19:01 +0000

AYodhya toh bas jhanki hai, Kashi Mathura baqi hai (Ayodhya is just a teaser, Kashi and Mathura are next)”. Over 30 years later, that 1990s battle cry used by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad during the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi movement has now reached ‘Kashi’.

The legal dispute over the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, which adjoins the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, dates back to 1991, the year the PV Narasimha Rao government passed the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act to preserve the ” religious character”. of a place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947. More than three decades later, both the mosque and the law are struggling to survive.

In the last week alone, the Hindu community’s claim to the mosque has been heard more than once in a local court in Varanasi as well as in the Supreme Court, orders have been passed to seal off the area of ​​the compound of masjid where a ‘Shiva Linga’ would have discovered, and a report of the discovery of debris from ancient temples was submitted to the court. And that’s why, Gyanvapi Mosque Row is ThePrint’s Newsmaker of the Week.

Read also : ‘Peace is our priority’ – why SC transferred Gyanvapi Mosque civil suit to lead judge

fault in our stories

The Gyanvapi Mosque is historically believed to have been built by Aurangzeb after he destroyed the Kashi Vishweshwar Temple. One of the sources cited by experts to prove this claim dates back to 353 years ago, written in 1669 by Saqi Musta’idd Khan, the contemporary historian of Aurangzeb. A passage from Khan’s book, Maasir-i-Alamgiri said: “Orders concerning Islamic affairs have been given to the governors of all the provinces that the schools and places of worship of the irreligious should be subject to demolition and that with the utmost urgency the manner of teaching and the practices of the sects of these disbelievers be suppressed.”

However, how this story is interpreted is key to how it is accepted and reconciled. For example, while Hindu right-wing historians use the passage to portray Aurangzeb Alamgir as a religious fanatic who ordered the demolition of all temples in India, secular historians have since tried to point out how the demolitions at the era were largely political – they were often used to punish “disloyal Hindu officers in their service by desecrating the temples with which they were associated”.

From 1991 to 2021

Citing this story, several attempts were made by the Hindu side to reclaim the Gyanvapi Mosque area. The original lawsuit in the case was filed in 1991 on behalf of the deity ‘Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar’, demanding that Hindus be allowed to ‘renovate and rebuild their temple’.

While this lawsuit was ongoing, the management committee of the Gyanvapi Mosque, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, succeeded in obtaining a stay of proceedings from the High Court in Allahabad in 1998. The committee had stated that such a lawsuit was prohibited by the provisions of the law on places of worship. , 1991.

As this stay continued for the next two decades, another attempt at ASI investigation was made through an application filed in December 2019, a month after the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict which gave the disputed site to Hindus.

Despite the High Court’s stay in 1998, Civil Judge (Main Division) Ashutosh Tiwari granted the request for an ASI investigation into the Gyanvapi compound in April 2021. The Allahabad High Court intervened again, criticized the order and suspended it on September 9.

However, the stage was already set for a new battle 22 days before the intervention of the high court. On August 18, a plea had been filed in another local court in Varanasi, by a Delhi-based woman and four Varanasi-based women, seeking permission to worship idols Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman and Nandi that would be inside the mosque. .

Read also : Aibak, Akbar, Aurangzeb – the Gyanvapi division and why a controversial mosque has a Sanskrit name

Shiva linga, kalash, trishul

Showing an expected but usually invisible urgency in the courts, the Varanasi court, on the day the plea was entered, ordered the appointment of a commissioner attorney, Ajay Kumar Mishra, to conduct an investigation at the scene. The following day, August 19, 2021, he also ordered the inspection to be filmed.

A procedural challenge was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on April 21, in a 14-page judgment that made no mention of the 1991 law.

The investigation into the mosque began on May 6. The case came to the Supreme Court last week, May 13, following a petition filed by the mosque’s management committee, citing the 1991 law. In response, the head of the Hindu Sena moved the court saying that the 1991 Act does not apply to the Gyanvapi Mosque because the former Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Shringar Gauri Temple within the mosque complex fall under the Ancient Monuments and Sites and Sites Act 1958 archaeological remains. The 1991 law exempts monuments covered by the 1958 law.

Before the Supreme Court could hear the case, a motion was filed before Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar alleging that a shiva linga was found in the premises of the mosque during the inspection. On Monday, the judge quickly ordered the Varanasi District Magistrate to seal the place where the shiva linga would have been found.

The Supreme Court allowed the ordinance to remain on Tuesday, while ordering that it should not “restrict or prevent access of Muslims to the mosque or the use of the mosque for the purpose of performing namaz and observances. nuns”.

On Thursday, two reports on the video investigation were submitted to the court in Varanasi, claiming that debris from ancient temples had been found on the walls outside the barricade, and Hindu motifs such as bells, kalash , flowers and trishul were visible on pillars in the tehkhana (basement).

The Supreme Court bench on Friday declined to interfere with the investigation, but transferred the case to a district judge, saying “a little more seasoned and mature hand (should) hear this.” He asked the district judge to decide whether the lawsuit filed by the Hindu side could be upheld on a priority basis. The court said it was making the decision with “paramount peace in their minds” and to “maintain balance and brotherhood between the two communities”.

Importantly, the court noted that the 1991 law only prohibits the conversion of places of religious worship, but does not prohibit the “verification of the religious character” of such places.

Read also : BJP stokes communal issues with eye on 2024 polls, says Shiv Sena on Gyanvapi Mosque row

Quest for “Original Glory”

The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991 prohibits the conversion of places of worship, such as churches, mosques and temples, into a place of worship of a different religion. It also indicates that any legal proceedings concerning such a conversion would cease after the entry into force of the law. The law exempted Ayodhya’s dispute and any legal proceedings relating to it.

But why did a law passed in 1991 set the date of Indian independence as the deadline for maintaining the status quo of religious sites? Because independence, in the words of the Supreme Court in its Babri judgment, “was a decisive moment to heal the wounds of the past”.

When this law was being debated in parliament, BJP leader Uma Bharti did not want August 15, 1947 as the deadline, demanding that a deadline be set “to restore the original glory of all religious places from the time of ‘Alvan’. -Qasim”. The best way to find a solution to such disputes, she said, “is to restore all religious places to their former traditional glory.” In many ways, this quest for “original glory” reappeared with the row of Gyanvapi mosques.

However, all these proposals were rejected. LK Advani and a few other BJP leaders staged a walkout, and the bill passed even as BJP members “peeked into the House”.

The Battle of Kashi

With the legal battle over the Gyanvapi Mosque and the Places of Worship Law used to interrogate the other, the stage is set for the Battle of Kashi.

The 1991 law is naturally cited as legal protection against any legal proceedings involving the Gyanvapi Mosque currently. This is particularly relevant in light of the Supreme Court’s observations on the law in its Babri verdict. The five-judge bench had asserted that the 1991 Act is “intrinsically bound up with the obligations of a secular state”, and with this Act, “Parliament has unequivocally mandated that history and its wrongs must not be used as instruments to oppress the present and the future”.

However, the dispute in turn also threatened the very existence of this law. Several BJP leaders including MP Harnath Singh Yadav, Madhya Pradesh official P. Muralidhar Rao, former Chhattisgarh Home Minister Brijmohan Agrawal and former Uttar Pradesh Minister Sidharth Nath Singh are lobbying to review the provisions of the law.

Thus, the dispute of the Gyanvapi mosque and the law of 1991 are fighting for their survival. The battle could be won in court or in Parliament, but the outcome would decide the future not only of the tangible religious structures in India, but also of the intangible foundational structures of secularism and religious freedom on which the country was built. .

Views are personal.

(Edited by Prashant)

]]> Be vigilant against those who pit one community against another: Omar Abdullah Thu, 19 May 2022 14:06:33 +0000

Sagar, Altaf, Javed, Ajaz also addressed the gathering

Jammu, May 19 (KNS): Deputy Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that the ruling dispensation’s stupid policies have affected every section of J&K.

So he said while addressing a massive public gathering at Kalakote in Rajouri. JKNC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Chief Chief Mian Altaf, Javed Rana, PP Jammu Rattan Lal Gupta, YNC PP Ajaz Jan, Additional Spokesperson Th Yashvardhan Singh also spoke on the occasion. Among others, Vice President’s Political Secretary Mudassir Shahmiri, DDC Chairman Naseem Liyaqat were also present.

Earlier, the vice chairman of the party reached Kalakote to a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the party officials.

Addressing the rally, Omar said, “The ruling party in power only works to create divisions, it only relies on promoting hatred and pitting communities against each other. Having failed on each matrix, they will pit Kashmir against Jammu, Gujjar against Kashmir and Pahari against Gujjars. Their incompetence had affected all sections of society equally. Soaring prices, skyrocketing unemployment and daily tax hikes hit everyone with discrimination. They don’t stand a chance in any election, considering their absolute failures. They are betting on creating divisions to cross. We don’t have to give them the slightest chance to divide us. It is the discord in our ranks that strengthens them. Our unity worries them,” he added.

Asking workers to rise to the changing times by increasing their reach with people from different fields, Omar said the success of the party has baffled the powers that be. “The success we had in the DDC elections proved to some extent very detrimental to us. The election results had established the NC as a formidable force across Jammu and Kashmir, the same in Kalakote. Bearing in mind our enormous goodwill among the public , they hid behind the fig leaf of the boundaries commission and restored the gerrymandering of the assembly segments to aid them electorally. The constituencies were redrawn after a long process, it was not by mistake or by chance. DDC election results were kept in mind and the final commission price was designed to benefit them. Now we must rise to the new reality and increase our reach in regions and areas, where the good work done by our MPs is unknown. We need to reach out to the people of these areas in our fold and let them know about the amount of development activities being done by the NC leaders in their respective fields,” he said.

Later, Omar Abdullah addressed a public rally at Lambehri in Rajouri, where he discussed the challenges facing the people and asked them to unite to defeat the forces that are bent on dividing J&K based on caste, creed, region, sects and religion. (KNS)

What is the Places of Worship Law, why is it relevant in the Gyanvapi Mosque case? Tue, 17 May 2022 10:46:19 +0000

The ongoing investigation into the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has led to a legal row in the country, with some questioning the constitutional validity of the decision. The petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court, which heard the claim on Tuesday, against the videography and apparent searches carried out inside the premises of the mosque, against the Places of Worship Act 1991 passed by the Indian Parliament.

The provisions of the law have come to light after a civil court in Varanasi ordered a video survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex located near Kashi in response to a petition from some Hindu groups who claim the mosque was built by Aurangazeb after the demolition of Hindu temples. In a court-mandated video investigation on Monday, the lawyer representing the Hindu side claimed the Shivling was found near the ‘wazookhana’ – a small reservoir used by Muslim worshipers to perform ritual ablutions before offering the name.

The allegations were disputed by members of the Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid committee who raised the issue in court and claimed that the investigation contravened the law on places of worship. While the authorities who undertook the investigation have yet to file an official report in the findings of the investigation, many, including members of the mosque’s management committee, members of the Muslim intelligentsia, political parties and civil society, opposed any proposed attempt to alter the religious character of the Gyanvapi Mosque. .

What is the Places of Worship Act?

The Places of Worship Act was passed by Parliament in 1991 and aims to maintain the status quo between religions. It was introduced at a time when veteran BJP leader LK Advani’s Rath Yatra and Ram Janmabhoomi movement was gaining momentum and leading to incidents of violence in Uttar Pradesh. The law is the result of a bill passed by Shankarrao Bhavrao Chavan, former interior minister of the PV Narasimha Rao union.

The bill came in the context of the shooting of kar sevaks in Uttar Pradesh and the arrest of LK Advani in Bihar. According to the bill, places of worship cannot. convert to other religions and denominations

What does the law on the conversion of the religious character of places of worship say?

Section 3 of the Places of Worship Act explicitly prohibits the conversion, in whole or in part, of a place of worship of any religious denomination into a place of worship of a different religious denomination. The section also prohibits conversions even within different sects of the same religious denomination.

According to Section 4(1) of the Act, the religious character of a place of worship “shall continue to be the same as it existed” on August 15, 1947. According to Section 4(2), any legal proceeding or pending lawsuit regarding the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship that was around on August 15, 1947, in any court, shall be mitigated. according to the law, no new legal proceedings or legal action in this way can be brought.

LILY: From Ayodhya to Jerusalem: The Burden of Civilization’s Churn

Exemptions under the Act

The law exempts any “ancient and historic monument or archaeological site or remains covered by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 (24 of 1958) or any other law currently in force”.

Section 5 of the law also states that all cases relating to the ongoing Babri-Ram Janmabhoomi disputes have been excluded from the law.

Why the Places of Worship Act is relevant to the Gyanvapi Mosque case

The Supreme Court had refused last Friday to grant an interim standstill order on the investigation at the premises of the Gyanvapi mosque. The high court, however, agreed to consider entering a Muslim party’s plea against the investigation which the court agreed to hear on Tuesday.

A local court in Uttar Pradesh on Monday ordered the closure of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found there during the court-mandated video investigation. . However, a member of the mosque management committee Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid Committee disputed this claim, saying that the object was part of the water fountain mechanism of the wazookhana tank where worshipers perform ablution before offering the namaz.

The petitioners claimed that the investigation is against the law.

In Babri Masjid, the court held that according to the Places of Worship Act, all places of worship will henceforth be treated according to law and left in the same condition as they were in 1947. Parties like the AIMPLB have opposed the claim that the mosque is a temple and say that this prayer should have been immediately rejected by the courts.

READ: Tracing the history of Babri Masjid: 1528 to today

AIMPLB Secretary General Khalid Saifullah Rahmani in a statement to the media said that in 1937, in the case of Deen Mohammad v. Secretary of State, the court decided based on oral evidence and documents that this whole complex (Gyanvapi Mosque complex) belonged to the Muslim Waqf and Muslims have the right to offer namaz there.

The court also delineated the areas that belonged to both the mosque and the temple. At the same time, the wazookhana was accepted as property of the mosque, Rahmani added.

The Waqf Board has seized the UP High Court in this case and the case is pending there.

(With PTI entries)

The former royal ensemble of Qazvin is undergoing restoration Sun, 15 May 2022 15:39:41 +0000

TEHRAN — A new round of a restoration project has been launched on the Safavid Garden Complex of Qazvin, known locally as “Dowlatkhaneh Safavi”, said the head of tourism of Qazvin.

A budget of four billion rials ($14,200) has been allocated to this phase of the project, Alireza Khazaeli explained on Sunday.

The project consists of reinforcing the walls as well as repairing the damaged parts, the official added.

Dowlatkhaneh Safavi, consisting of a few historical monuments, some of which have been destroyed over time, was once a royal ensemble and residential complex for Safavid monarchs (1501-1736).

Qazvin was once the capital of the mighty Persian Empire, under the Safavids, from 1548-98. It’s a major tourist destination with a beautifully restored caravanserai turned arts quarter, a few quirky museums, and a handful of decent dining options. For most travelers, Qazvin is also primarily the starting point for excursions to the famous Assassins’ castles and hikes in the sensational Alamut Valley.

Also known as the Castle of the Assassins, the 12th century Alamut Castle is nestled on top of a peak. It was once a haven for followers of Hasan-e Sabbah (1070-1124) who was a spiritual leader of an Islamic sect. In the early 1930s, Italian-British explorer and writer Freya Stark described her exploration of the place in her book “The Valleys of the Assassins”.

Qazvin is also home to one of the largest covered caravanserai in the country, Sa’d-al Saltaneh Caravanserai. Dating back to the Qajar era, this is a place to discover dozens of Hojreh or shops, cafes, yards and a stunning mosque. It is a place for visitors who want to experience Iran’s culture, cuisine and hospitality.


Gujarat: Swaminaryan sect Warring factions hold first meeting with Judge MS Shah Fri, 13 May 2022 18:46:22 +0000 The two warring groups at Akshar Purushottam Swami Haridham Temple in Sokhda in Vadodara met on Thursday to find a compromise in the presence of the retired Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, MS Shah. It comes even as the trust on Wednesday night elevated Premswaroop Swami as the spiritual successor of the late Hariprasad Swami, whose death in July 2021 sparked the dispute.

In Thursday’s meeting, held at the Gujarat High Court Mediation Center, the two groups, one led by Prabodh Swami and the other by Premswaroop Swami, agreed to pursue mediation to reach a compromise regarding the inheritance of the trust. . While the Prabodh Swami Group has submitted its compromise proposal, with conditions, to Judge Shah, the Premswaroop Swami Group has been instructed to do so by May 23.

The controversy, which began for the trust’s presidency following the death of their guru Hariprasad Swami in July 2021, is now key to deciding the future of the trust’s spread of religious activities. With Premswaroop Swami elevated to the rank of spiritual guru of the trust on May 11 – to mark Hariprasad Swami’s birthday – resolving the dispute does not seem easy, however.

A member of the temple, from Premswaroop Swami’s side, said: “The fact is that the Prabodh Swami group wants to split up in order to dominate the heritage of Hariprasad by creating its own sect. They want to divide the assets in order to have their own identity… Obviously the trust cannot allow the legacy of Hariprasad ji to be divided and misused by people who do not want to be associated with Akshar Purushottam Trust , who was trained by Hariprasad Swami. himself.”

According to sources, more than the presidency of the trust, the dispute is for the successor of the spiritual activities. During his lifetime, Hariprasad was the only guru and leader of the faction that broke with the BAPS in the 1960s. While Prabodh Swami was involved in spiritual discourses with Hariprasad Swami, Premswaroop Swami focused on duties administration of the trust.

“He has no experience of spiritual discourses and he cannot, for this reason, be the spiritual leader because devotees and disciples see Prabodh Swami as the spiritual guru… It doesn’t matter who the chairman of the trust is, the spiritual face of trust can only be the person people identify with,” one follower said.

While arguing the habeas corpus petition in Gujarat High Court, Prabodh Swami’s group petitioner had argued that Premswaroop Swami allegedly falsified documents and records to prove that Hariprasad Swami had resigned as President in 2018 and declared Premswaroop Swami as successor and Trustee. The group is now preparing to separately file a legal action to challenge the validity of the claim made by Premswaroop Swami, outside the realm of mediation.

When contacted, barrister Chitrajeet Upadhyaya, who represents the Prabodh Swami Group, said Judge Shah had ordered the proceedings of the mediation to be kept confidential in the best interest. “The parties voluntarily met before Judge Shah to advance compromise in the dispute. We have already submitted our requests, but the other party has not yet made any submissions. The arbitrator asked them to do it before May 23 in order to have the next meeting on May 25. We are trying to ensure that this issue can be resolved in the best interest of the trust,” Upadhyaya said.

However, he declined to comment on the elevation of Premswaroop Swami as the spiritual guru of the Sokhda trust.

Meanwhile, the Prabodh Swami Group is planning a big event on May 22, to mark Hariprasad Swami’s birthday. The Prabodh Swami group had left the premises of Sokhada on April 21, following an instruction from the HC in a habeas corpus petition filed by Pavitra Jani, the personal secretary of Hariprasad Swami, to request the release of the seers who were allegedly held hostage. by the rival group.

The group had sought a ‘joint operation’ of the trust with Premswaroop Swami, as was the original statement from the board following the death of Hariprasad swami.

On April 21, the HC had also ordered Premswaroop Swami, JM Dave and Tyagvallabh Swami to refrain from trying to visit the two premises or make contact with seers and evacuated devotees from Sokhda.

Meanwhile, on April 27, a seer Gunatit Charan Swami is said to have died by suicide at the Sokhda temple premises. However, Vadodara District Police, which recorded a case of accidental death, opened an investigation into the incident as the temple trust had “decided to pass off the suicide as a natural death and did not inform the police”.

Six members of the US Air Force charged with stealing thousands of cartridges from an airbase Thu, 12 May 2022 02:44:06 +0000

According to federal court documents filed last week as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged ammunition theft ring centered on Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state, federal agents have recovered more than 14 000 cartridges stolen from the base by at least six members of the United States Air Force.

The indictment claims the ammunition ring was discovered after one of the airmen was investigated by the FBI after posting on social media about his belief that the 2020 presidential election was “fraudulent”, that the US Capitol had to be stormed and that “people have to die.”

The six airmen face multiple charges, including conspiracy to steal government property, possession of stolen ammunition and possession of an unregistered firearm. So far, Staff Sergeants John Sanger, 30, Eric Eagelton, 29, and Nathaniel Richards, 25, along with three other Airmen – Austin Limacher, 28, Shawn Robson, 40, and Jonah Pierce, 25 – have been charged in connection with the conspiracy.

Fairchild Air Force Base

The indictment is worded in such a way that it leaves open the possibility of further charges being filed against as yet unnamed co-conspirators.

In addition to finding thousands of 5.56mm cartridges, the standard cartridge used by the NATO-aligned US military, the government says it has recovered other military equipment stolen from soldiers’ homes.

Equipment allegedly salvaged by the government includes M68CCO red dot sights and PEQ-15 target illuminators, which are typically mounted on rail systems found on M-4/AR-15 military-style rifles. The PEQ-15 includes a visible laser and an infrared laser. The latter is used with night vision goggles to allow operators to “paint” targets in dimly lit areas and illuminate the likely trajectory of a bullet.

The indictment alleges that searches carried out on the basis of warrants made it possible to find ammunition stolen from the residences of the six servicemen. In its search, the government says it also found two unmarked suppressors belonging to Limacher and a “gold and bronze colored gun suppressor” belonging to Eagleton. The latter, despite multiple serious charges, was released from police custody in late April despite the objection of federal prosecutors.

In the indictment, the government alleges that the six men, all from the combat arms training management section of the 92nd Security Forces Squadron at Fairchild, were “part of the conspiracy that the Defendants and their known and unknown conspirators would steal military ammunition, property of the United States to which Defendants had access through their military service, and supply the stolen ammunition to known and unknown conspirators for their personal use and possession.”

The government says Sanger was investigated by the FBI after posting online his support for former President Donald Trump’s fascist conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen and the presidency of Joe Biden was illegitimate.

According to federal prosecutors, in an online exchange on Dec. 2, 2020, just a month before the U.S. Capitol was overrun by members of the fascist militia as part of Trump’s attempted coup, Sanger was asked “what was it like to ‘take back our government’.” Sanger reportedly replied: “I think the capital [sic] must be seized… No trial or chance to escape.

In another article cited by the government, on December 9, 2020, Sanger, who reportedly writes under the social media name “problematicpatriot,” wrote, “They defrauded our electoral system and still get away with it.”