AYODHYA: Unfurling of the tricolour and tree plantation on India’s 72nd Republic Day marked the formal launch of the Ayodhya mosque project at Dhannipur village, 25km off Ramjanmabhoomi, exactly six months after the Sunni Waqf Board constituted the mosque trust — Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation — following the 2019 Supreme Court verdict that mandated construction of a temple at Ramjanmabhoomi and a mosqut in the district in lieu of the Babri Masjid.
The tricolour was hoisted by trust chairman Zufar Ahmad Farooqui, and nine saplings were planted at the site by its members amid cheer from villagers of Dhannipur, a nondescript hamlet which catapulted into fame after a 5-acre plot adjacent to a century-old Sufi shrine was allotted for the mosque.
Holding afloat Ayodhya’s secular and syncretic moorings, three members of the Hindu community, including a prominent RSS functionary made generous donations for mosque construction on the occasion. While professor RK Singh of Awadh University and his wife Dr Sunita Sengar donated Rs 22,000, RSS member Dr Anil Singh, who is also president of Ayodhya’s Muslim Rashtriya Manch, donated Rs 2,100. To recall, the first donation of Rs 21,000 for the mosque project came from a Hindu academic from Lucknow University, Rohit Srivastava, last year. Talking to TOI, Singh said, “Majority Hindus will support construction of this mosque in Ayodhya along with the temple at Ramjanmabhoomi and this is the best example of communal harmony.”
Talking to TOI, trust secretary Athar Hussain, said, “The trust chose January 26 for laying the foundation of the mosque as on this day the Constitution came into effect more than seven decades ago.”
The new mosque will be bigger than Babri masjid, but won’t be a lookalike of the structure which once stood in Ramjanmabhoomi premises. “The hospital will hold centrestage and will serve humanity in the true spirit of Islam as taught by the prophet 1,400 years ago,” Farooqui said.