Q. What is the Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute?
A. The Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute is a legal and historical controversy surrounding the Gyanvapi Mosque located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The dispute involves claims and counterclaims regarding the origins of the mosque and whether it was built on the site of the original Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Q. When did the Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute reach the Supreme Court?
A. In 2022
Q. What are the main issues in the Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute?
A. The main issues revolve around the ownership and right to worship at the Gyanvapi Mosque. Some Hindu groups claim that the mosque was built on the site of the original temple, while the mosque's management and Sunni Central Waqf Board oppose archaeological surveys and assert that there was no temple at the site.
Q. What was the 2021 petition filed by five Hindu women affiliated with the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh?
A. The petition filed before a Varanasi Civil Court sought permission to worship the Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, and Nandi idols said to be located inside Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque. The women also sought to prevent any damage to these statues.
Q. What is the significance of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, in the Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute?
A. The Act was passed in 1991 partially in response to the controversy over Babri Masjid-Ram Janma Bhoomi dispute. The Act maintains that the character of a place of worship shall be frozen as it was on August 15th, 1947. The Gyanvapi mosque's Management Committee argued that a survey would violate this provision.
Q. What happened during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex?
A. In 2022, a confidential court-mandated survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex took place amid interruptions and protests. Hindu petitioners claimed the discovery of a 'Shivling' close to the 'wazukhana', a water tank used for ritual ablutions before 'namaz'. The mosque management committee spokesperson disputed the claims, stating it was part of a "fountain."
Q. What happened during the Supreme Court proceedings?
A. The Supreme Court refused to stay the survey but agreed to list the matter.
Q. When did the Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute gain prominence?
A. The issue has been ongoing for a long time, with petitions filed in the courts seeking permission to worship inside the mosque complex by Hindu priests who claim it to be part of the original Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The dispute resurfaced after the Ayodhya verdict by the Supreme Court.
Q. What is the significance of the Shringar Gauri Complex in the dispute?
The Shringar Gauri Complex, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, is also part of the dispute over the right to worship.
Q. How did the Gyanvapi issue impact other parts of the country?
A. The Gyanvapi Mosque controversy led to similar disputes in other parts of the country, such as the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah dispute in Mathura. The Supreme Court also directed the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court to provide details of suits pertaining to the Mathura dispute.