The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, a right wing Hindu nationalist political party in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, released a Hindu New Year calendar which says that Taj Mahal along with several mosques and monuments from the Mughal era, are "Hindu Temples," Times of India reported Monday (March 19).
The calendar refers to Taj Mahal as "Tejo Mahalaya temple." On the other hand, the Kamal Maula Mosque in Madhya Pradesh has been called as "Bhojshala" and Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi has been referred to as "Vishwanath temple."
The Hindu Mahasabha calendar further termed Qutub Minar as "Vishnu Stambh," Atala mosque in Jaunpur as "Atla devi temple" and the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya as "Ram Janam Bhoomi."
Astonishingly, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha's Hindu New Year calendar referred the Muslim holy Mecca as "Macceshwar Mahadev temple."
Hindu Mahasabha National Secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey, while speaking to The Times of India, said that the organization resolves to make this India a Hindu Rashtra (religious Hindu state).
She also hopes that the government will accept their demand and declare the country a Hindu nation.
Pandey accused the Muslims of turning Hindu religious heritage sites into mosques and pledged to restore their original names.
Meanwhile, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, who belongs to All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), has termed the claims made by Hindu Mahasabha as baseless. He said that dubbing the holy site of Mecca a Hindu temple is against the spirit of secularism.
The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP
The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha's new Hindu calendar coincided with attempts by the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to re-write the history of India. The BJP government has appointed a committee with the task of using finding evidence such as archaeological finds and DNA to prove that today's Hindus are directly descended from the land's first inhabitants many thousands of years ago, and make the case that ancient Hindu scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayan are fact not myth.
Reuters news agency has published deliberations of the committee. Government documents refer to the panel as the committee for the "holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world".
The group of experts, which comprise a geologist, archaeologists, Sanskrit scholars and two bureaucrats, met in January in New Delhi, the Reuters reported. According to the minutes of the meeting, which the news agency said it accessed, the panel aims to use archaeological data and DNA evidence to prove that Hindus descended from the earliest inhabitants of India and that Hindu scriptures were history, not mythology.
"I have been asked to present a report that will help the government rewrite certain aspects of ancient history," Reuters quoted the committee's chairperson, KN Dikshit, as saying. Sikshit said it was "essential to establish a correlation" between ancient Hindu scriptures and evidence that Indian civilization is several thousands of years old. The current view is that people from Central Asia arrived in India 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.
Hindu scholars argue that history books in India try to ignore the dominant Hindu ethos of the country and its history before the Islamic period. India's greatest historical and cultural document, the Mahabharata, is hardly given any attention in the schools. So too, the Vedas, Ramayana, Puranas, Buddhist Jatakas and other prime historical and cultural documents of the country are ignored because of their religious overtones.