Earlier today, a local court decided that a group of Hindu women should be heard by the court who are seeking to pray at the shrine situated between the famous Kashi Viswanath temple and the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.In order to hear the women’s petition, the hearing will take place on September 22nd.
Taking a closer look at this big story, here are 10 interesting facts
- As a result, it will be a big step forward for the five women, who have been asking for permission from the authorities to perform yearlong rituals and pujas in part of the mosque complex. The women have claimed that the mosque complex contains idols of Hindu gods and goddesses.
- A Muslim petitioning society, primarily mosque administrators, seeks to have the petition thrown out of the Gyanvapi complex by citing three laws they cite as lawful barriers for women to pray in the Gyanvapi complex. The Supreme Court recently ruled that these three laws do not really constitute legal barriers for The Hindu women to pray in this complex.
- An earlier court decision ordered the filming of the centuries-old mosque by a lower court this year based on the petition of the women who requested the filming.
- Just hours after the Hindu petitioners submitted the report of the filming to the Varanasi court, they leaked details in a controversy, which the court widely condemned.
- According to the report, a Shivaling or relic of Lord Shiva was found in a pond within the complex of the mosque where the “Wazoo” or purification rituals are performed before Muslim prayers, in what appears to be a mysterious location.
- It was then decided by a court that the pond would be sealed and large namaz gatherings would not be allowed at the mosque. The court ruled that the number of people who can attend a gathering should be limited to 20.
- As a result of the filming inside the mosque, the committee of the Gyanvapi mosque filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court claiming the action violated a 1991 law (Places of Worship Act) that froze the religious status of places of worship, starting from 1947, as it pertains to the filming.
- The Muslims petitioning for the sealing of mosques argued that such petitions and the sealing of mosques could lead to public mischief and communal disharmony, and were likely to have an adverse effect on mosques in the country at large.
- According to the Supreme Court, the case was assigned to the city’s highest ranking judge in May, because of the controversy’s “complexity and sensitivity,” which they indicate requires the assistance of an experienced judge.
- It is believed by Hindu hardliners that the Gyanvaapi mosque is one of the several mosques built on the ruins of the temples that once stood in the area in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his constituency in Varanasi.