Gyanvapi Mosque: Yet Another Headlong March into an Unknowable Past – By Ram Puniyani
Some recent developments are both alarming and significant for Indian citizens. First, a District Court in Varanasi has directed the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a study of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Second, the Supreme Court is reportedly ready to reconsider the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. According to this act, all worship sites have to maintain the status quo as during Independence. In brief, this law sought to foreclose all disputes over religious sites, except the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, by preserving their character. It means all pending disputes over worship sites would abate….
Raking up history, which by its very nature is about versions and interpretations, is of no use. India needs to redefine which sites it considers holy: just religious sites or our education and health institutions. There is a need to keep the 1991 law intact and forget about raking up fresh disputes over matters from the far-off past.