Pencil Whipping Kashi, Mathura Temples By Lutyens Media Will Meet Its Waterloo
Soon after the bhoomi pujan at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, the Lutyens media chose to pencil whip the difficulty of Kashi and Krishna Janmabhoomi temples going Ayodhya way.
They are quoting a legislation enacted by Congress government led by Narasimha Rao prohibiting conversion of any temple into a mosque and vice versa. It, however, exempted Ayodhya case as it was being heard in the courts.
This was like telling Hindus – “Hey, you were wrong in demolishing the mosque and yet we gave you your Ram Janmabhoomi. Therefore, stop complaining and drop the idea of reclaiming any other temples razed by invading Islamists.
The law in question is section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which was enacted to prevent Sangh Parivar, which has been seeking liberation of Kashi and Mathura temples, that were partially destroyed by Aurangzeb to build mosques on their ruins.
Now, the Lutyens media are making all efforts to hallow the Congress government’s law as God’s Commandment. On the contrary, there are provisions under the Constitution of India to amend or modify the law passed by the Parliament.
In fact, certain provisions in the Act are ultra vires of Right to Worship and need amendment.
Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to amend certain provisions in the Act as they are against the spirit of Fundamental Right of Freedom of Worship, enshrined in the Constitution of India.
The law cannot have the overriding effect of extinguishing fundamental right of freedom of worship under Article 25 and 26 as also faith enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution and hence the Law Ministry should bring an amendment to this Act, he said.
Subramanian Swamy is not alone, even Vishwa Bhadra Pujari Purohit Mahasangh has filed a PIL in Supreme Court seeking directions to declare Section 4 of the Act as ultra vires.
The Mahasangh called the law an impugned Act saying that the Parliament cannot slam the doors for aggrieved persons and snatch the power of courts, conferred under Article 226 and 32 of the Constitution of India.
The Parliament also cannot restrain Hindu devotees from getting back their religious places of worship through the judicial process, it said adding that the law-making body has transgressed its legislative power in barring remedy of judicial review, which is a basic feature of the Constitution.
The Lutyens media also are referring to the Supreme Court’s observation of the 1991 Act while delivering its verdict. The then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said that the law is a legislative instrument designed to protect the secular features of Indian polity, which is one of the basic features of the Constitution.
However, the same Supreme Court defined the Act as a “colourable piece of legislation” in the case of KC Gajapati Narayan Deo versus State of Orissa 1954 SCR 1. It had stated that the Constitution prevents the legislature from transgressing the limits of its constitutional powers by providing fundamental rights to the citizens.
The apex court also stated that the Act washes its hands off when it comes to protection of Hindu Religious Places and Institution as it infringes Articles 14 and 21.
Way Forward: If the Hindus want a logical solution of Kashi and Mathura temple disputes, they should build a narrative of Muslims as temple destroyers, which absolutely is an accurate description.
They must ask why Hindus took to the demolition of Babri Masjid when they allowed their temples to be destroyed and turned into mosques with little retaliation for over a thousand years.
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