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Destruction of Gobind Dev Temple at Vrindavan
Oct 2015

The Gobind Dev temple at Vrindavan, Mathura, is indeed massive; its plinth is 105 feet by 117 feet. It is estimated that the original height was about 110 feet without which it would not have been possible to see the mashaal or torch either from Agra or from Delhi. Today its height is only 55 ft or half. The temple was built in 1590 AD by Maharaja Mansingh of Jaipur.

The Gobind Dev temple is also unique for two other reasons but we shall come to these a little later. For the satisfaction of its desecrators, the celia, or the sanctum sanctorum, was destroyed. Fortunately, the idol of Sri Krishna or Gobind had been removed to Jaipur by the pujaris in anticipation of Auranzeb's proposed visit in 1670 AD; the emperor was already notorious as an iconoclast.  The roof of the truncated edifice was to be reserved for namaaz. No sooner had the meharab been constructed, as illustrated in the photograph in History of Indian and eastern Architecture by James Fergusson, Aurangzeb inaugurated it himself by offering prayers.
Addressing the Golden Jubilee celebration of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat on 31st August 2015
Vice President Hamid Ansari is reported to have inter alia observed: The default by the state or its agents in
terms of deprivation, exclusion and discrimination is to be corrected by the state; this needs to be done at the earliest and appropriate instruments developed for it.  He further went on to observe that the Muslims have to identify the shortcomings, corrective strategies, category differentiation admissible in Indian state practice and hitherto denied to Muslims (Scheduled Caste status) or inadequately admitted segment of OBC status.  
It needs to be mentioned in this context that Muslim leaders in the past have complained that Muslims had a raw deal since Independence in 1947.  It is the Muslims of minority provinces like U.P., Bombay and Bihar who were responsible for the division of India and for any backwardness it is the Muslim leaders themselves who need to be blamed.  Vice President Hamid Ansari has enjoyed abundantly the fruits of Independence by holding eminent posts and position.  It is unbecoming of the country's Vice President to blame the Indian state for the backwardness of his co-religionists.  
By making unwarranted and uncalled for statements he is replaying the Muslim politics of pre-partition India.  Times have changed since 1947 and any such demand on the basis of  religion would re-ignite the forces of reaction experienced in 1947.  It is on record that M.A. Jinnah and seven other eminent leaders of Muslim League had demanded an exchange of population together with the division of India into Hindustan and Pakistan.  It was Gandhi and Nehru who had turned down this proposal.  
Why, incidentally, did his forefathers turn into Ansaris from being julahas?  If Hamid saheb feels he had no role therein why does he not return to becoming a julaha now. Then he would enjoy a scheduled caste status like the bunker.  In the light of his strong feelings what has Mr. Ansari done for his own community?


April 2017


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