Gyanvapi Mosque dispute – UPSC GS2

  • Representatives of the Hindu faith had filed a petition to reclaim the Gyanvapi mosque land.
  • Now, a civil court in Varanasi directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey. In that, the ASI will confirm whether the Gyanvapi mosque was built over a demolished Hindu temple or not.
  • But any attempt to bring back the buried disputes is a threat to secularism and peaceful coexistence
What does the Place of worship act 1991 say in this regard?
  • The Places of worship Act declares that the religious character of a place of worship shall continue to be the same as it was on August 15, 1947.
  • It says no person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination into one of a different denomination or section.
  • Exemptions under the Act: There are few exceptions under the Act. Such as,
    • The Act will not apply to ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites. Because these are covered under the  Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
    • The Act exempted the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
Challenges with the recent Case:
  • It will open the floodgates for another prolonged religious dispute.
  • The order is a gross violation of the Place of worship act that prohibits any litigation over the status of places of worship.

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