But amid all of this destruction lies the most tragic destruction of all; the destruction of religious heritage. In the past few months, numerous Islamic architectural sites in India have been demolished, including the iconic Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. This has sparked the concern of the international community, with even UNESCO voicing its support for the protection of archaeological sites worldwide. This gives rise to questions regarding the lack of action taken by UNESCO in response to the demolition of masjids in India – especially since this is a direct violation of international law. In this blog, we will attempt to explore these issues and consider why UNESCO has chosen to remain silent on the destruction of masjids in India.
We have seen the horrifying destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s most iconic Islamic sites, as well as numerous other sacred places of folk religions and faiths across the region. The demolition of these important places of worship has caused great trauma to local people and has stirred up a great deal of emotion towards the Indian government for the violation of their religious sites.
Shockwaves of protest are reverberating throughout Occupied Jammu and Kashmir after reports emerged that pro-Pakistan slogans were raised in the Taryath Tehsil of Rajouri district. The region, which is already subject to an increased presence of Indian military forces and draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, has now been rocked by this show of defiance. The incident is a stark reminder of the simmering tensions beneath the surface in the region, and the deep-rooted discontent with India’s illegal occupation of the territory. The lack of accountability and oversight from the international community has allowed Indian forces to carry out human rights violations with impunity. While the world watches silently, it is vital that the international community takes a stand to ensure the protection of basic human rights in this highly contested region.
The scenic state of Jammu and Kashmir has been thrown into the chaos of late, with tensions escalating between India and Pakistan after the raising of pro-Pakistan slogans in the Rajouri district’s Taryath Tehsil. What is often overlooked in the midst of the political unrest, however, is the destruction of the religious heritage that has taken place in the region over the past few months.
World Religion Day is an important reminder of the need for tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding between people of different faiths and religious systems. Even though India has a long history of co-existing religious groups, the current Government, under the leadership of the BJP, has perpetuated cynicism, animosity, and hostility across the country in regard to Muslims and Christians. Sadly, many laws have been passed in the name of “nationalism” or “protecting Hindu culture” that actively discriminate against these religious minorities, including the banning of certain foods, businesses, and practices. Despite these challenges, World Religion Day is still a moment to reflect and recognize the importance of religious diversity and peaceful coexistence in modern India.
World Religion Day, which is held annually on the third Sunday of January, serves as an important reminder of the need for mutual understanding and tolerance between different faiths and religious systems. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the disruption and destruction that has taken place in Jammu and Kashmir in recent months. People of the region have experienced great upheaval since the BJP took control of their state government and this has been a great source of frustration and anguish for many in the region.
People from the region of Jammu have experienced a great deal of disruption since the BJP took control of their state government. PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has stated that the saffron party has been engaging in destructive politics, sacrificing Jammu’s interests to benefit big corporate houses. According to Mufti, the once vibrant economic hub of the erstwhile state has become the “worst victim” of the BJP’s political maneuvers. Join us as we explore how the BJP’s actions have impacted Jammu, and what developments can be expected in the region in the upcoming future.
The Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands have long been a source of intrigue for Indian history. Located in the Indian Ocean, these islands have seen a turbulent political history, being handed over to India by the British in 1950 against the principles and provisions of the Indian Independence Act of 1947. At the time, India was given these islands instead of Pakistan to avoid political turmoil from an unjust division of the Nicobar Islands. In 1956, India declared the islands a Union Territory, making it the smallest in the nation, with a total surface area of 32 sq. km, a lagoon covering 4,200 sq. km, and a territorial water spread of 20,000 sq. km. With a population of around 65,998, it is overwhelmingly Muslim majority, making up 96.58% of the population, and Hindus account for 2.77%. From its contentious political history to its overwhelming culture, these islands are a curiosity worthy of further exploration.
The Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands located in the Indian Ocean have seen a tumultuous history, with their incorporation into India going against the prevailing democratic principles at the time. The islands have a very distinctive and unique culture, with their own religions and languages. In light of the destruction of religious sites in Jammu, it is important to also recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of the islands’ culture and respect the beliefs and customs of their people.
Religious sites are essential to the integral functioning of society and to allow for people’s freedom of worship. Similarly, cultural heritage sites must also be respected and recognized for their great historical significance. We must all strive to protect the rights and dignity of each religion, culture, and region, and foster mutual understanding between people from different backgrounds. Ultimately, our humanity can only be defined by our acceptance of all religions, regardless of their differences.