The Lucknow City municipal corporation (LMC) is planning to build a giant statue of Lord Lakshman near the Teeli Wali Masjid in Lucknow, as reported by DNA. The move seems to have angered Muslim clerics.
The Muslim clerics have opposed the plan to build the statue near the surrounding areas of the mosque. In a shocking statement, the clerics have said that the construction of any Hindu religious structure would ‘lead to violence’.
The Imam of Teele Wali Masjid Maulana Syed Fazlul Mannan Rahmani said that he has spoken to the mayor and talks were on to settle the issue. “We will not allow any statue to be installed near the mosque,” said the Imam, suggesting the installation of the statue at the Lakshman Mela ground on the banks of river Gomti.
The city authorities had planned to build the statue as some sections believe that like Ayodhya, there are remnants of Lakshman temple under the mosque. The temple known as ‘Lakshman Teela’ was demolished around 350 years ago to build structures of Bada Imambara, Teele Wali Masjid. This is also mentioned in a book called Ankaha Lucknow, written by senior BJP leader Lalaji Tandon.
Muslims, however, claim that the mosque was built on the instructions of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb when he visited the city in memory of famous Muslim Scholar Shaikh Peer Muhammad who ran an Islamic Study Centre at the place. His tomb is located just 20 metres east of the mosque. Aurangzeb, contrary to what modern Historians would have people believe, was no secularist. There is documented evidence of him being a bigot who destroyed many Hindu temples during his reign and indulged in barbarity regularly.
The Lucknow Nagar Nigam Executive Committee, however, has passed a resolution to install a grand statue of Lord Lakshman. The committee has decided to build the consensus and said that the final decision will be reached after involving all stakeholders.
“The statue will not be installed on the land of the mosque where namaz is held but planned at the roundabout outside the mosque. A final decision is yet to be taken in this regard. If anyone has any objections, we may reconsider the decision,” said BJP Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia.
Interestingly, Lucknow also gets its name from Lord Lakshman, the brother of the great Lord Ram. The city was his capital and was earlier known as Lakhnavati or Lakshmanpuri. An attempt to the build the temple was started during Ram Janmabhoomi movement, but could not get enough momentum to build the temple.