A museum in the United Arab Emirates launches “The Most Beautiful NFTs of the Metaverse” project

NEW DELHI: Thirty years after Hindu zealots demolished a centuries-old mosque in Ayodhya sparking bloody interfaith riots, supremacists are targeting other Muslim sites including the Taj Mahal, an architectural gem and a symbol of India in the eyes of the world.

Currently in the crosshairs of Hindutva (Hindu supremacy) supporters, the Gyanvapi Mosque, built in the 17th century in the ancient city of Varanasi (formerly Benares or Kashi), in the state of Uttar Pradesh (North), is the most threatened.

A court-ordered excavation was carried out at the site of the mosque last week, according to press reports, uncovering a “Shiva Linga”, a phallus-shaped object, a “sign” of the god Shiva to his worshipers.

“It means it’s a temple,” Kaushal Kishore, a state minister for the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, told reporters. Hindus should be able to pray there, he added.

bloody riots

Muslims are already forbidden from performing their usual ritual ablutions where the alleged relic was found.

They fear that this Islamic place of worship will suffer the same fate as the 16th-century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

After the mosque’s destruction in 1992, interfaith riots broke out, among the worst in the history of independent India, and more than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, died.

These events shook the country’s secular foundations and made Hindu nationalism the dominant political force, paving the way for Mr Modi’s 2014 election as leader of the country, home to 200 million Muslims.

Since the 1980s, the BJP has enthusiastically supported the construction of a temple dedicated to the god Rama, the avatar of Vishnu, right on the mosque’s premises. Mr. Modi laid the groundwork in 2020.

Hindu extremists have since turned to the Taj Mahal, built by the Mughals who ruled much of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to the 11th centuries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They championed the right to pray there, arguing that the monument was built on the site of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Shiva.

According to Sanjay Jat, spokesman for the Hindu Mahasabha, a radical Hindu organization, the Taj Mahal in Agra (Uttar Pradesh) was built on top of a temple dedicated to Shiva that was “destroyed by Mughal invaders”.

The mausoleum, built between 1631 and 1648 at the initiative of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to perpetuate the memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal, has become the universal symbol of eternal love and the country’s top tourist attraction, drawing millions of visitors each flock year there.

We will destroy the Taj»

That the Taj Mahal symbolizes India in the eyes of the world has always infuriated Hindu supremacists. But today that grudge goes so far as to openly threaten his integrity.

“I will keep fighting for it until I die. We respect the courts, but if necessary we will destroy the Taj and prove the existence of a temple there,” Jat told AFP, admitting the claim was unfounded.

A petition was launched this month in Uttar Pradesh by a BJP member to force the Archaeological Agency of India (ASI) to open 20 rooms in the Taj said to contain Hindu idols. The ASI denied the existence of such objects and the court dismissed the lawsuit out of hand.

Audrey Truschke, associate professor of South Asian history at Rutgers University (USA), considers these claims “about as reasonable as the claim that the earth is flat”.

No “coherent theory” has been put forward about the Taj Mahal, the expert told AFP, who sees it more as an expression of “an angry and fragile nationalist pride that will not admit anything non-Hindu as Indian and calls for the Taj Mahal to be erased.” Muslim Contribution to Indian Heritage”.

On Thursday, a court agreed to consider one of many requests to demolish the Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, where police have been on high alert ever since.

It was built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb after he conquered the city and destroyed its temples in 1670, alongside a temple that Hindus say was later built at the birthplace of the god Krishna.

These claims stem from a “very basic” knowledge of Indian history, explains historian Rana Safvi, coupled with a “sense of victimization” fueled by the tide of disinformation circulating on social networks.

#museum #United #Arab #Emirates #launches #Beautiful #NFTs #Metaverse #project

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.