Ayodhya, Sept. 1: There is a twist in the Ayodhya tale, and it's one that shows that despite the Babri Masjid demolition 24 years ago by Hindutva brigades, communal harmony is alive and well in what Hindus believe to be the birthplace of Lord Ram!
The Hanumangarhi temple trust, on whose land stands a dilapidated mosque, has decided to not only allow it to be rebuilt but it will also bear the cost of the reconstruction. The 300-year-old Aalamgiri Masjid was recently declared 'hazardous' by the local civic body and a notice banning entry into the building had been pasted on its walls.
"I asked our Muslim brothers to renovate and reconstruct the masjid on our expense and also issued no-objection certificate for Muslims to offer namaz as this is also a 'Khuda ka ghar'," Mahant Gyan Das was quoted by the Times of India as saying.
"I am also extending support to renovation of a mausoleum on the premises which is as old as the masjid," added the Mahant, who regularly holds iftar for Ayodhya Muslims during Ramzan.
Shuja ud Daulah, the 18th century Nawab of Awadh, had granted the land for the Hanumangarhi temple when Faizabad was still his capital (which he moved to Lucknow after the Battle of Buxar in 1764). When a group of mahants visited the Nawab in Lucknow and appealed for more land for the temple, he gave them a part of the land on which the masjid, built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, already stood.