M.K. Gandhi: Due to religious fanaticism, the Mughal rulers occupied many religious places of Hindus – Roshan Jaiswal

M. K. Gandhi

Roshan JaiswalMahatma Gandhi wrote: “It is a very heinous sin to damage any place of worship. During the Mughal period, due to religious fanaticism, the Mughal rulers occupied many religious places of Hindus.” – Roshan Jaiswal

Amid the ongoing mandir-masjid controversy across the country, a newspaper clipping from 1937, which purportedly shows that Mahatma Gandhi wrote that mosques built by demolishing temples were a sign of slavery, is being widely shared.

The newspaper clipping from July 27, 1937 from Navjeevan Patrika is going viral [on social media]. In the article, Mahatma Gandhi has written a response to a letter from Shri Ram Gopal ‘Sharad’.

His writing, translated from Hindi, is as follows:

It is a very heinous sin to damage any place of worship. During the Mughal period, due to religious fanaticism, the Mughal rulers occupied many religious places of Hindus. Many of these were looted and destroyed and many were converted into mosques. Although both temples and mosques are holy places of worship of God and there is no difference between the two, the worship tradition of both Hindus and Muslims is different.

From a religious point of view, a Muslim can never tolerate that a Hindu loots the mosque where he has been praying. Similarly, a Hindu will never tolerate that his temple, where he has been worshipping Ram, Krishna, Vishnu and other gods, be demolished. Where such incidents have happened, these are signs of slavery. Both Hindus and Muslims should decide between themselves about such places where disputes take place. Those places of worship of Muslims which are in the possession of Hindus, Hindus should generously give them to Muslims. Similarly the religious places of Hindus which are in possession of Muslims should be happily handed over to Hindus. This will remove mutual discrimination and unity among Hindus and Muslims will increase, which will prove to be a blessing for a country like India. – Excerpt from  India Today, 28 May 2022

Roshan Jaiswal is a journalist with India Today and  Aaj Tak in Varanasi.

M.K. Gandhi Navjeevan Patrika July 27 1937