No replica of Babri Masjid please  

Building a multi-speciality hospital and a vocational training centre would be highly appreciated not just by people living in this area, but world over, for spirit and spunk they would represent

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)

Faraz Ahmad

It is commendable on the part of the IndoIslamic Cultural Foundation created by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board to come up with the proposal to build a multi-speciality hospital at the site allotted to the Muslims at the instance of the Supreme Court in lieu of the land on which the historical Babri Masjid stood in Ayodhya for more than 400 years. It was razed to the ground by majoritarian Sanghi vandals under the watchful eyes of top BJP/VHP leaders including the then BJP president LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Bajrang Dal leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP International president Ashok Singhal and the current BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta. All of them watched gleefully and rejoiced in that majoritarian hooliganism with the stated objective of humiliating and belittling the minority Muslim community and to show the Muslims their place as second class citizens in a “secular” India.

The Supreme Court, awarded the site of the Babri Masjid to those who, it acknowledged in its judgment, had committed grave and blatant illegality. But presumably to respect the majoritarian sentiment, it gave away the land for the construction of “Bhavya’ Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir while also conceding that it found virtually no evidence to substantiate the claim of the BJP/VHP/RSS that any mandir was demolished to build that mosque by first Mughal Emperor Babar’s general Mir Baqi who built this mosque and named it Babri Masjid.

The five-acre plot has been awarded by the Government under Supreme Court directions in Ayodhya’s Dhannipur village, according to reports. The Supreme Court has allotted this piece of land to reduce its sense of guilt at condoning and rewarding the act of RSSorganised vandalism and hooliganism, conceded by the court.

The Waqf secretary and spokesperson Athar Husain announced that they plan to build an exact replica of Babri Masjid as well as other public utilities on this plot of land. Husain said, “We are working to make the hospital like a private facility in terms of services and efficiency and like a government facility in terms of expenses for people. Because of the pandemic, the thought of building a hospital came to us. We would like the hospital to have a centre for heart patients and also one for the treatment of cancer patients where chemotherapy can be done,” he said.

He also disclosed that they have engaged the Dean of Jamia Millia Islamia’s architecture department, Professor S M Akhtar, to design its plans. But Husain also disclosed that Professor Akhtar has pointed out certain technical difficulties in designing and planning the mosque.

I would suggest, at the cost of being condemned as a heretic, to totally abandon plans for building a replica of the Babri Masjid. In fact, have no mosque there at all. One, a new mosque is not the historical monument pulled down by the Sanghi brigade. Two, it would make the perpetrators of that crime feel less guilty about that blatant act. And three, if they can pull down that historical monument, what will prevent them from using some or any other pretext to pull down your new structure as well? Instead, let the Bhavya Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir stand there, for the rest of the world to see, as a tall majestic standing monumental witness of the tyranny of majoritarianism and the sacrifice of India’s proudly acclaimed secular ethos ingrained with all their might in India’s Constitution.

That itself would be a great tribute to the destroyed Babri Masjid rather than building a replica at another spot and giving it the same name. On the other hand, the proposal to create public utilities like a multi-speciality hospital, maybe also a centre for imparting vocational training to young men and women to help create employment opportunities for them, would be highly appreciated not just by the people living in this area, but the world over, for the spirit and spunk they would carry with them.

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