SC’s today’s order on Gyanvapi case deferring the “scientific survey” order of Allahabad HC is a temporary setback for Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Shankar Jain. Yet, they continue their legal fight for Hindu temples.
Sheo Prasad Pramanik
Vishnu Shankar Jain and his father Hari Shankar Jain stand as stalwart defenders for Hindu devotees yearning to witness Baba Vishwanath in all his splendor. These two “Men in Black,” as they are often referred to, are the champions leading the legal battle on behalf of the Hindu community.
Their journey has been one of perseverance, confronting numerous challenges, often from within the Hindu community itself, and with little external support.
Despite these hurdles, they remain hopeful that their legal arguments will eventually sway the judiciary to recognize the merits of their case.
Here is his latest tweet on the SC order and Gyanvapi issue.
Their ultimate aspiration is to see the devotees of Baba Vishwanath reclaim their sacred sanctum sanctorum in its full magnificence.
Their steadfast commitment to this cause was notably demonstrated on May 16 of the previous year when Vishnu Shankar Jain’s jubilant cry, “Baba Mil Gaye,” echoed across Hindu households throughout India. The phrase can be found in a tweet by Vishnu Shankar Jain:
His exultation was far from baseless, as it rekindled a glimmer of hope within millions of Hindus who have been waiting for justice for years.
Vishnu Shankar Jain’s fight has experienced its fair share of highs and lows. He has been chided, ignored, and even ridiculed by the courts. However, he and his father remain undeterred, continuing to wage their battle regardless of the challenges they face.
Today, their cause suffered a setback.
They were optimistic that the High Court’s orders would ensure that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would be allowed to conduct a thorough survey of the entire structure, thus providing an informed opinion on the claims of both sides.
However, today, on May 19, 2023, the Supreme Court of India put on hold the directions of the Allahabad High Court, which had allowed a scientific investigation to determine whether an object found during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises is a Shiva linga or a fountain.
The bench, composed of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha, deferred the High Court’s directions and sought responses from the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments to an appeal filed by a Muslim party challenging the High Court’s direction.
Despite this setback, their resolve remains unbroken as they continue their legal fight.
The case traces back to when Hindu devotees approached a civil court seeking the right to worship inside the Gyanvapi Mosque, claiming it to be a Hindu temple that still houses Hindu deities.
The civil court ordered a survey of the Mosque, and the subsequent report stated that an object similar to a Shivling was found.
The matter was then transferred to the District Court, Varanasi, on orders passed by the Supreme Court. On October 14 of the previous year, the District Court rejected a plea for scientific investigation to ascertain the nature of the object, prompting a challenge in the High Court on the ground that it had wrongly presumed that a scientific investigation could harm or damage the object.
The Allahabad High Court subsequently ruled in favor of the Hindu party, leading to the current plea before the Supreme Court.
During the apex court hearing, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Muslim party, mentioned that carbon dating was scheduled to happen on May 22.
However, the Supreme Court issued notice while putting the High Court directions on hold, stating that the implications of the directions in the High Court order would merit closer scrutiny.
Advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Shankar Jain, a father-son duo, have become notable figures in the legal battles surrounding Hindu temples in India.
Known as the “crusaders” of modern-day Hindutva, they have represented the Hindu side in various cases, including the recent Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath dispute.
Hari Shankar Jain, born on May 27, 1954, has been practicing law since 1976, starting his career at the Lucknow court before moving on to the high court and the Supreme Court.
His son, Vishnu Shankar Jain, born on October 9, 1986, completed his law studies in 2010 and has been assisting his father since then.
Vishnu Shankar Jain is also the spokesperson of the ‘Hindu Front for Justice’.
He started his practice with the Ayodhya’s Shri Ram Janmabhoomi case, challenging the verdict of the Allahabad High Court.
The father-son duo has appeared in as many as 102 cases on behalf of the Hindu side, with the oldest case dating back to 1990.
The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi’s case at Mathura is one of their ongoing major battles.
One of the significant instances of their legal fights includes the Gyanvapi Mosque case.
This case began when Hindu devotees approached a civil court seeking the right to worship inside the Gyanvapi Mosque, claiming that it was a Hindu temple and still houses Hindu deities.
The case was later transferred to the District Court, Varanasi, on orders passed by the Supreme Court.
The father-son duo played a significant role in this case, with Vishnu Shankar Jain being frequently seen with the survey team on news channels since the case hit headlines.
However, the father-son duo continues to be active in the legal landscape surrounding the issues of Hindu temples in India.
The Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute is a long-standing conflict between Hindus and Muslims over the ownership of a site in Varanasi, India.
The site is currently occupied by the Gyanvapi Mosque, but Hindus claim that it was once the site of a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The dispute dates back to the 16th century, when the Mughal emperor Babur ordered the construction of the Gyanvapi Mosque on the site of a Hindu temple.
This act of iconoclasm sparked a wave of anger and resentment among Hindus, who have been demanding the return of the site to them ever since.
In recent years, the dispute has reignited, with both Hindus and Muslims taking increasingly aggressive stances.
In 2020, a group of Hindu lawyers filed a petition in a Varanasi court, demanding that the site be handed over to them.
The court ordered a survey of the mosque premises, which led to the discovery of a number of Hindu religious symbols, including a “shivling” (a representation of Lord Shiva).
The discovery of the shivling has further inflamed differences between Hindus and Muslims.
The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi Mosque, has denied that the shivling is a religious symbol and has called it a fountain.