The doubts raised by G. Niranjan, general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee, over the authenticity of the old photograph of Charminar published by The Hindu (Nov. 21) and his assertion that the Bhagyalakhshmi temple beside Charminar is very old, are based on imagination rather than facts.
I lived in Hyderabad from 1948 to 1950, working in Crystal Co. situated at the Abids Road-Sultan Bazaar corner — a few hundred metres from Charminar. I used to spend my evenings in the foreground of Charminar — where a temple structure is shown in the second photograph — with friends. There was no temple then. Local shop-owners parked their cycles in the area where the temple stands today.
Arulur N. Balasubramanian,
We are thankful to The Hindu for publishing the revealing pictures of Charminar. It is clear that the temple abutting the historical Charminar is a recent construction. It can be moved somewhere else. People should stop treating it as a conflict. Already, the issue has done much harm to the image, economy and prestige of Hyderabad and India.
I was born in Hyderabad in 1945, was brought up in Hyderabad and live in Hyderabad. I have seen the Bhagyalakshmi temple as a child. My forefathers have seen it. It was established to remember the goddess who is believed to have saved people from a famine that struck over 100 years ago.
If one is to go by antiquity alone, many mosques should be removed as there is enough evidence that Hindu temples existed in their places.