New Delhi, J. Venkatesan (Asianage): At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen on avoiding any controversy on religious issues, six advocates with RSS leanings moved the Agra city civil court on Wednesday seeking a declaration that the Taj Mahal is actually a Shiva temple!
The plaintiffs, Hari Shankar Jain and five others, named Lord Agreshwar Mahadev as the main plaintiff to claim ownership of the property, now under the control and maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India. The suit seeks a direction to remove all alleged burials under the Taj Mahal; as well as to restrain worship by Muslims and to allow worship of Lord Shiva by Hindus. This suit was filed even as the title suit for the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya is pending adjudication in the Supreme Court.
The suit claimed ownership for the building complex along with a building (claimed to be a masjid) towards the west and a replica building in the east, along with the garden, western, eastern and southern gates situated within a boundary wall over Khasra No. 12 measuring 77 bighas and four biswas.
The suit claimed the entire temple was the seat of Lord Agreshwar Mahadev Naagnathe-shwar since time immemorial, and that the property belonged to the deity. It said: “The property in suit is not a burial ground and has never been so in the past. There exists no real grave in the entire suit property. The use of the suit property for purposes other than Hindu ‘pooja’ and worship of the deity is unlawful and has become unconstitutional since the enforcement of the Constitution. The deity is a perpetual minor under Hindu law. The property once vested in the deity continues to be the deity’s property and even the King could not have taken or transferred the possession of HIS property.”
According to the plaintiffs, if at any point of time under the invaders’ rule the property was forcibly occupied by the then rulers, the deity can always assert HIS right to title and possession, without any restriction or fetters on Him or His devotees performing their religious rites and rituals. It said: “The temple site is famous in the whole world. The people visit this place in lakhs either as devotees or as visitors. The issue involved in the suit concerns society at large. The suit is being filed for the benefit of the deity and the devotees and in the interest of the Hindu community in a representative capacity under Order 1, Rule 8 of the Civil Procedure Code so that all persons interested in the suit property may contest the suit so that a decree may be binding on every member of society.”
This article is first published at ASIANAGE