Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsav strongly condemns the decision to ban worship in Bharatmata Temple in Sambhajinagar’s Devagiri Fort

Archeology department bans worship in the Bharatmata Temple in Sambhajinagar’s Devagiri Fort

If the decision to ban worship is not withdrawn, devout Hindus will stage protests inside the temple

On the dais when the resolution was passed (From left) H.H. Pawan Sinha Guruji, Advocate Dilip Deshmukh, Guruprasad Gowda and Sunil Ghanwat (tabling the resolution)

The Devagiri fort of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar has a temple of Bharatmata. The Archeology Department has banned worship in the nation’s only temple dedicated to Bharatmata. Since 1948 i.e. for the last 75 years worship has been conducted there. However recently the Archeology Department sent a letter to the priests and issued a Tughlaki fatwa that worship has to stop. This order was unanimously condemned in the Vaishvik Hindu Rashtra Mahotsav with a resolution tabled that the said worship should be allowed to resume. The resolution was approved amid the chanting of Har Har Mahadev.

If the worship is not resumed then followers of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj, fort enthusiasts, and devout Hindus will enter the Bharatmata temple in Devagiri and perform mass worship. If this causes any law and order issue, then the police and administration will be squarely responsible. The sentiments of followers of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj, fort enthusiasts should not be hurt by stopping the ongoing worship in the Bharatmata temple, else they will not hesitate to take to the streets in protest.

Actually, if a religious activity is taking place in an archaeological site, it cannot be banned as per the rules of the Archeology Department. Every Friday, the Muslim community recites Namaz at the Taj Mahal. Namaz is being offered in Gyanvapi, which was built after the demolition of the Kashi Vishwanath temple, as well as namaz is being offered in the Kamal Maulana Masjid of Bhojshala in Madhya Pradesh. If the worship that is ongoing since 1948 is banned, then the Archeology Department is challenged to stop the namaz Taj Mahal, Gyanvapi and Kamal Maulana Masjid at Dhar. In fact, the Archeology Department has betrayed India by stopping the worship of Bharatmata. Sunil Ghanwat (Maharashtra and Chattisgarh Convenor, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti) also demanded that the central government should take strict action against such people and send a good message to the fellow countrymen.

Archeology department bans worship in the Bharatmata Temple in Sambhajinagar’s Devagiri Fort

28 June 2024

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar : The fort of Devagiri here is renowned in the world. Guru Janardanaswamy of ShantiBrahm Sant Eknath Maharaj lived in this fort and his tomb resides in the fort too. The idol of Bharat Mata on this fort is worshiped regularly. Whereas Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) issues unjustified ban on Worship of Bharat Mata at Devagiri’s Fort. The department has issued a order regarding this matter, causing anger among locals.

According to the order issued by ASI, performing pooja or any other rituals in these temples of the centuries-old fortified citadel protected by the ASI will be a breach of law.

The order stated that Raju Kashinath Rao Kanjune, the regular priest for worship at the site, should stop performing pujas and should not be permitted to conduct them in the future. NanasahebPeshwa erected a Sankat Vinayak temple on this fort, initiating rituals at both the temple and the Samadhi of Janardanaswamy. In 1948, following the integration of Hyderabad into India, a statue of Bharat Mata was installed at Devagiri fort as a symbol of social cohesion. The idols’ rituals being done by Pokhare Guruji, while management of the temple overseen by the Kanjune family.

Being a non-living monument, permitting rituals in any of the temples located in the fort’s premises will be a breach of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, according to the ASI which functions under the Union Ministry of Culture.

Two other Hindu shrines—Sankat Vinayak Ganesh Temple and Janardan Swami Temple—are located top the fort.

Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Ambadas Danve questioning the move.

When contacted, a senior ASI official told , “The Devgiri Fort is a non-living monument and there is no permission for performing pooja here. No priest can perform rituals, but tourists can visit the fort freely.”

Will the same criteria be applied to Aurangze’s grave ? – Ambadas Danve, Legislative Council, Leader of Opposition

Ambadas Danve, in a post on X, said pooja is being performed in Bharat Mata Temple, Sankat Vinayak Ganesh Temple and Janardan Swami Temple for years and long before the fort came under the ASI jurisdiction.

How can this fort be classified as a ‘non-living monument’ when its temples have been a site of worship for centuries, well before independence ? Will the ASI and Ministry of Culture impose restrictions on festivals like Dindi and Ganesha Puja as well ? If Hindu temple worship is being banned, will similar criteria apply to places like Aurangzeb’s tomb ?”

Source : Deccan Herald and Sanatan Prabhat

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