History taken out of context: Historians slam Qutub Minar plea

Historians have pointed out that transforming it into a temple would be a matter of serious erasing of history


Historians have spoken up against the suit filed in Delhi’s Saket court for restoration of 27 temples in the Qutub Minar Complex.  The plaintiffs, which includes Lord Vishnu and Tirthankar Rishabh Dev, apart from humans (their devotees), claim that these temples were dismantled, desecrated and damaged under the command and orders of Qutub-Din-Aibak, a commander of invader Mohammad Gauri, who established “slave dynasty” and to show the ‘Might of Islam’, raised some construction at the same very place of temples naming it as, ‘Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque’.

Professor and historian Harbans Mukhia said, “History is not a matter of public opinion. Historical events take place in their context. You can’t isolate a 12th century fact from its context and present it in 21st century and claim victimhood. Where does logic find a place in all this?”

Another Historian Dr Swapna Liddle told TOI, “Nobody denies the fact that temples were destroyed in a moment of war. But this was not because they were symbols of a rival faith but because they were symbols of power of the regime that was supplanted. That context is important.”

Explaining the Hindu motifs, Professor Catherine Asher stated that Ghazanavids and Ghurids employed Hindu artisans for a long time before their armies entered Delhi. So, there was a familiarity with Hindu imagery.

Liddle spoke to TOI, “You will find the lotus and kalash at Muslim monuments. Look at maulana Jamali’s tomb (Jamali-Kamalil mosque). Right above the mihrab, there is a kalash with Allah written on top of it. Look at Gandhara art, for example. Today, we only see specimens of it in museums. But these Turkic people came from those same lands where Gandhara art was practiced. Islam is a religion accepted by so many different cultures. But architecture was cultural. They grew up in that culture, so they were familiar with it. Why is it so difficult for us today to understand that?”


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