Sociology Current

Temple Construction

Temple Construction

Published on:
04 Nov 2023

Written by:
Pranay Aggarwal

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The News:

  • Kashi, Mathura, Delhi, Lucknow: Demands to rebuild temples claims gain momentum post
  • The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991, enacted by the P V Narasimha Rao government after the demolition of the Babri structure, prohibits changes in the existing scheme of things in Kashi and Mathura. Hence, the validity of law too is in question.
  • Sociological analysis:

  • The supporters of temple building movement believe there can be no reconciliation without truth. They believe that the secular Left dispensation has tried to hide or spin away the reality of Islamic iconoclasm (destruction of religious symbols) in India. This has been done first by denying it happened, then denying its religious motivations, then arguing “everyone did it”.

  • However, D. Kosambi points out that Raja Harshdev of 11th Century Kashmir appointed a special officer, Devottapatna Nayak, to uproot gold, silver and precious stones studded idols during his regime, while Richard Eaton tells us about rival Hindu kings destroying the defeated opponents Kuldevata (Clan god) Temple to build a temple of their own clan God.

  • In Srirangatnam, Maratha armies destroyed the Hindu temple and Tipu Sultan got it repaired. Hence, selective communal historiography has ensured the temple destruction becoming a major seed of divisive politics in India.

  • The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat too had described the Sangh’s involvement with the Ram Janma bhoomi movement as an “exception”, and has advised the public to not look for a Shivling in every mosque.

  • In conclusion, Ramachandra Guha writes that Gandhi was altogether opposed to the belief that a massive structure was in any way necessary to spiritual faith, or to national and civilisational pride. Hence, he believes that the Mahatma would have seen the movement for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya or the consequent temple movement as a tragic misdirection of the energies of Hindus and Hinduism.