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FAITH AND RIGHTS: INDIA'S MOSQUE CONTROVERSY

FAITH AND RIGHTS: INDIA'S MOSQUE CONTROVERSY

By Sehr Rushmeen

Recent decision by India's Supreme Court to postpone plans for the survey of Mathura's centuries-old Shahi Eidgah Mosque has revived a long-standing controversy between Hindu and Muslim groups in India. The case revolves around the supposed construction of the mosque on a site that some claim, used to be was once a Hindu temple. This incident occurred only days before the inauguration of an important temple in Ayodhya, devoted to Lord Ram, a god revered by millions of Hindus, and has sparked widespread outrage and controversy across the country.


The Recent Decision of Indian Supreme Court Decision


The latest Supreme Court’s decision halted a lower court order, permits a commission to assess the Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura. The court found out that the application for the appointment of the local commission was ambiguous and unclear. While this ruling appears to be just procedural, it has far-reaching repercussions for minority rights in India. The mosque in question is more than simply a religious icon for the Muslim community; it also represents the historical presence of minority communities in the country.


Impact on Minority Rights


India, renowned for its religious and cultural diversity, has a substantial Muslim minority population. The decision to postpone the survey of the Shahi Eidgah Mosque raises concerns about minority rights and access to religious sites. For decades, minorities' rights have been the topic of controversy and contention in India. The nation's constitution expresses its commitment to secularism and the safeguarding of religious and cultural diversity. However, occurrences such as the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, as well as following events, have called into question the treatment of minority communities, notably Muslims. The new judgment of Indian Supreme Court could set a precedent for how minority religious sites are treated in the country. It also brings up questions about whether minority communities can expect equal protection under the law and if their historical and cultural heritage will be preserved or otherwise.


Political Implications


The dispute over religious sites in India frequently overlaps with politics. The inauguration of the Ayodhya temple has been presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Some analysts believe that such judgments may be affected by political reasons, particularly in light of forthcoming General Elections. Political parties frequently use religious concerns to get support from their voter base. In this scenario, the choice regarding Shahi Eidgah Mosque could be interpreted as an attempt to cater to a specific demographic of the public, potentially at the expense of minority rights.


International Concerns


The impact of decisions related to religious sites in India extends beyond its borders. India is a diverse and influential nation on the global stage. Its treatment of minority communities and the preservation of their rights are matters of international concern. Human rights organizations and foreign governments have often expressed their concerns about the treatment of minority communities in India. The recent decision regarding the Shahi Eidgah Mosque is likely to be closely watched by the international community, with an emphasis on ensuring the protection of minority rights. The decision to halt the survey of the Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura, has brought to the forefront not only the ongoing debates and disputes surrounding religious sites in India but also the critical issue of minority rights.


The importance of this judgment for minority rights cannot be overstated. It raises fundamental problems regarding India's treatment of minority communities, including whether they may expect equal legal protection. As the country progresses, it is critical to create a balance between religious convictions, historical evidence, and the protection of minority rights. While the ruling may have temporarily halted the survey, bigger discussions about the coexistence of different religious communities and their shared historical heritage continue in India, with the world watching intently.
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Author’s Bio
Sehr Rushmeen, an Islamabad based freelance researcher, with area of research interest in Strategic Nuclear Studies, Artificial Intelligence in Warfare, South China Sea and South Asian Politics. She tweets on @rushmeentweets and can be reached on [email protected]

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