If the Bharatiya Janata Party looks for a temple in every mosque then people would soon start searching for a Buddhist monastery in every temple, said Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
If the survey is taking place inside the mosque, it should also be surveyed what was before the Hindu temple, said Maurya on 27 July. His comments comes on the heels of the Allahabad High Court order on July 27 that stayed the scientific survey of the historic Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi till August 3. The Hindu plaintiffs in the case have sought the right to hold prayers inside the mosque compound claiming that an image of the Hindu deity Shringar Gauri exists at the mosque.
“I believe most of the present Hindu temples were Buddhist religious places like temples, monasteries or learning centres,” Maurya said. “They [Hindu temples] have been constructed after demolishing them.”
On Sunday, the SP leader reiterated his comments and said that there is evidence to show that Badrinath and Kedarnath temples in Uttarakhand were Buddhist monasteries between the seventh century and the eighth century. However, it was Hindu figure Shankaracharya who converted them into Hindu temples, Maurya said.
The Jagannath temple in Puri, the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala and the Vithoba temple in Pandharpur were Buddhist monasteries that were demolished to set up Hindu religious shrines, he claimed.
Maurya further said that his comments had attracted criticism from Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and BJP leader Pushkar Singh Dhami who said that it had hurt Hindu sentiments. “If your faith is important to you then faiths are also important to those who follow them,” Maurya said. “If you are worried about your religion, you should also be considerate of others religions.”
There might not be enough evidence to support the claims of mosques built on existing temples, but there is enough evidence to show that temples were built on Buddhist monasteries, the OBC leader added.