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Qutub Minar Not a Place of Worship

Context:

The Qutub Minar complex is not a place of worship and its character cannot be changed now, the Archaeological Survey of India submitted in a Delhi Court while opposing a plea challenging the dismissal of a civil suit seeking “restoration” of temples on the premises.

Relevance:

GS I- History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Why is it making headlines now?
  2. What really is the situation?
  3. About Qutub Minar

Why is it making headlines now?

  • The ASI now claims that when the Qutub Minar complex was first designated as a protected monument in 1914, it was not a place of worship.
  • According to the ASI, the nature of a monument is determined by the date it is placed under protection.

What really is the situation?

  • According to the initial lawsuit, 27 temples were demolished in order to construct the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque at the Qutub Minar complex.
  • The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991 was used to dismiss this case last year.
  • The order has now been reserved by the Additional District Judge (ADJ).
  • The petitioner claimed that the first litigation was wrongfully dismissed under the 1991 Act.
  • The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act of 1958 applies to the Qutub Minar complex.

About Qutub Minar

  • It is a five-storeyed red sandstone tower (72.5 m high) built by Muslim conquerors in the thirteenth century to commemorate their final triumph over the Rajput rulers of Delhi (Qutub means victory), while also serving as a tower from where muezzins (criers) call for prayer at the Quwwatu’l-Islam mosque nearby.
  • A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque.
  • Its surrounding contains Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311).
  • The building process of Qutub Minar took about 75 years. Its construction was started by Qutub-ud-din Aibak (1206-1210) in 1193 and finished by Iltutmish (1211-1236).
  • In 1368, it was repaired by the rulers of the day, Muhammad-bin-Tughluq (1325-51) and Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-88).
  • The minar (tower) is engraved with fine arabesque decorations on its surface, mainly verses from the Quran.
  • Qutub Minar and its monuments were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

-Source: The Hindu


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