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Pillar Found at Site of India Mosque ^ | Posted on Tue, Apr. 01, 2003 | V.J. BANDOPADHAYA

Posted on 04/02/2003 2:39:19 AM PST by miltonim

LUCKNOW, India - Archaeologists have uncovered a broken pillar with a carving of a lotus flower at the site of a destroyed 16th-century mosque claimed by both Hindus and Muslims, a government official said Tuesday.

The significance of the discovery was still unclear, but officials hope it will eventually help settle the impassioned debate about what was originally built on the site.

"The finding of a pillar and a multilayered flooring suggests there exists a permanent structure beneath the soil," said R.M. Srivastava, the senior government administrator in the northern town of Ayodhya, where the site is located.

"At this point we can only say that remains of a permanent structure lay buried in the soil. It could be anything - a temple, a mosque or even a kitchen structure."

The 16th-century Babri Mosque at the site was demolished by Hindu hard-liners in 1992, provoking nationwide riots that killed more than 2,000 people. Hindus claim the site in Ayodhya, 345 miles east of New Delhi, was the birthplace of their chief god, Rama, and that a Hindu temple was on the site before the mosque.

They want to build a new temple in Rama's honor. Muslims say there is no proof a temple was ever there.

The meaning of the lotus image on the pillar also was unknown. The lotus is a common motif in ancient Indian architecture and does not denote a particular religion. It could have been simply decorative, as well.

The Allahabad High Court in Lucknow, the capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state, is sorting through evidence in the dispute. Earlier this month, the court asked government archaeologists to report within a month whether ruins of an ancient Hindu structure lie beneath the site of the demolished mosque.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: antiquities; archaeology; avodyha; ayodhya; ayodyha; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; india; mosque; muslims; southasialist; temple

1 posted on 04/02/2003 2:39:19 AM PST by miltonim
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To: miltonim
Well, Muslims don't carve images of living things. It had to be Hindu.
2 posted on 04/02/2003 3:11:52 AM PST by drlevy88
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To: drlevy88
Given the propensity of Moslems to build their mosques on top of temples/churches they have destroyed, it is likely that there was a Hindu temple on the site first, especially if the temple was a particularly revered shrine.
3 posted on 04/02/2003 3:35:18 AM PST by arthurus
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To: arthurus

"The Salisbury University Arboretum has beautiful photographs of the sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) of the Hindu."

To view the photographs, click on the link:

"This species is intimately linked with the Buddhist religion, symbolizing vitality and purity."

and from :

"BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS Many Hindu stories attempt to explain symbolically the creation of the earth. In one, Vishnu, the controller of human fate and one of the three key Hindu gods, sleeps on a serpent floating in the sea of eternity. The Lord Brahma, the Creator who is beyond worship, emerges from a lotus flower in Vishnu's navel and creates the world. Vishnu then awakes to reign over it. Hinduism is a religion of cycles, timeless movement and regeneration. At its core is a belief in a primary essence that precedes the gods. Basic to Hinduism (as to Buddhism) is the cycle of birth, death and rebirth."

(Not claiming these sources as proof of anything but the misleading nature of the author's claim that the lotus doesn't denote a particular religion.)
4 posted on 04/02/2003 4:00:07 AM PST by just mimi
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To: just mimi
the lotus doesn't denote a particular religion.

I think the author means that the lotus doesn't necessarily denote a particular religion as the theme is used in decoration in other religions also, including in some Moslem decorations in India. (Not all Moslems always adhered strictly to the ban on depicting living figures.) Almost all uses of the lotus before the last couple of centuries, however are derivative of Hindu/Buddhist use.

5 posted on 04/02/2003 4:09:31 AM PST by arthurus
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To: arthurus
Thanks, you're probably right.
6 posted on 04/02/2003 4:53:39 AM PST by just mimi
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To: *southasia_list
7 posted on 04/02/2003 7:36:29 AM PST by Free the USA (Stooge for the Rich)
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To: miltonim; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs
Just adding this to the GGG homepage, not sending a general distribution.
India official cleared
of inciting violence
against Muslims

India's deputy prime minister was cleared by a court Friday of inciting crowds that demolished a historic mosque, but a Cabinet minister and six other officials were ordered to stand trial for the destruction that sparked years of deadly violence... Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, the No. 2 leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a possible future prime minister, was present in the northern city of Ayodhya on Dec. 6, 1992, when tens of thousands of Hindu activists razed the 16th-century Babri Mosque with spades, crowbars and their bare hands... Last year, riots killed nearly 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, in western Gujarat state after Muslims incinerated a train car carrying 60 Hindu pilgrims and activists from Ayodhya... The dismissal of charges against Advani was seen as a victory for the BJP, the party of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The party came to power in 1998 largely because of the publicity it gained over the mosque destruction and the temple campaign... "I do not take it as an accusation," said defendant Acharya Giriraj Kishore, leader of the World Hindu Council. "I have simply washed the 450-year-old stain on the Ram temple." ..."The party is of the opinion there is no reason for anyone to resign. The case involves political persecution, not moral turpitude," said Venkaiah Naidu, the president of the BJP.
A recent archaeological operation discovered the remains of the Ram temple, which not surprisingly once stood exactly where the Hindu say it stood.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.

8 posted on 07/21/2004 6:31:07 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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