B.Arch Thesis – MEMORIAL OF HUMANITY AND THE MUSEUM OF RIOTS, at Ayodhya, by Harish Nayar

Thesis Guides: Parvathy, Pillai Collega of Architecture, Mumbai

1

B.Arch Thesis Topic: Memorial of Humanity and the Museum of Riots, at the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid, Aayodhya , Uttar Pradesh, India

This is an emotional issue and cannot be resolved by law alone, it has to be resolved by creating trust and love again.
Shahdid Siddiqui,
Editor of ‘Nai Duniya’ newspaper and a member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee.

WHAT IS A MEMORIAL OF HUMANITY:

Before we talk about the memorial of humanity, it is important to understand what is the role of a memorial, and the difference between a memorial and a museum.

The primary function of a memorial is to “remind” and the function of a museum is to “reflect or explain” about something.
A memorial of humanity with respect to a region is made to make the humans understand the essence of humanity. It is made to abolish all bonds and ties that separate humans from each other, and a ground that collectively makes every human looks at each other in the same manner beyond the boundaries of cast, creed, religion or class.

It helps to get people to a common ground that is beyond religion, cast and other limitations tied to a person by the society.
It is a known fact that if a group, a society, a community or a country has to reach to a stage of peace and stability, the change has to begin with every human associated with it.

The memorial of humanity helps a human go in search, understand or realize, question and find the answers in oneself. Thus the multiplication of thoughts in several humans would result in bringing better changes to the community.

“Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character,
when there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home,
when there is harmony in the home, there is love in the region,
when there is love in the region, there is order in the nation,
when there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world”

-Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

NEED OF THE PROJECT:

Ever since the existence of mankind, we have been talking about religion and its role in a human life.

But it has been very evident from various incidents throughout these years, that we have failed to understand that God in all religions, cast and creed, have always tried to give a message of humanity and with all “Avatar’s” has tried to strengthen the knots of humanity.

Ever since the existence of mankind, we have been talking about religion and its role in a human life.

But it has been very evident from various incidents throughout these years, that we have failed to understand that God in all religions, cast and creed, have always tried to give a message of humanity and with all “Avatar’s” has tried to strengthen the knots of humanity.

To a lot of extent, we have blindly followed and believed in the religious guru’s etc. and we have been seeing god through the lens given by these guru’s. We have never bothered to think about choosing our own paths to reach god, we have never known that the path to a devotee begins with the stairs of agnostism. We have forgot to question everything we are asked to believe in.

We have forgot that the path to a right human, begins within one self and that it starts with recognizing, questioning and interrupting oneself in every step we take, every move we make.

It is about being thoughtful and not frightened, It is about being curious and not careless, It is about being Sensible before being Sentimental.

Many of us have never analyzed, drawn inferences or conclusions from books like Bhagavad Geeta, Quran and the Holy Bible which ultimately teach humanity.

This is very evident, from the riots that have emerged in different cities all through these years, in the name of religion. The nation has seen days when a human did not hesitate to kill another human, in the name of religion.
Today, when the people of this nation have felt the necessity to take a bold stand against communal violence, and its impact on the social fabric of the nation. When the people of the country have decided to bring out their voice’s through programs like “not in my name”!

This program and design proposal on a ground(site) which has led to so much of communal violence and has damaged the human body and mind, and has led to a memory of anger and hatred in the psychology of most people all through these years, could therefore be a good attempt to encourage and uplift a thought of humanity first.

Since Architecture is a form of Art that could be felt and Experienced unlike dance or music which could disappear in minutes. If the painters could paint about this issue, if the poets can write beautiful poems, then architecture being the mother of all art forms should definitely attempt to bring in peace, thus this proposal could be all about emotions and feelings that could be experienced in every nook and corner and could be an attempt to set an example for such issues.

HISTORY OF THE SITE:

The Site chosen for the proposal is the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India.

This site is believed to be the place where Lord Ram was born. The same part of the complex used to house a mosque that was built here during the Mughal era.

Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya has been the site of religious dissent and much bitterness all through history. In 1992, however, clashes between Hindus and Muslims escalated to unprecedented levels causing disturbances all over the country and affecting the lives of many thousands. Part of the mosque was demolished and in retaliation, more violence followed in different parts of the country.

Taking Hindu mythological records into account, it may be said that the city of Ayodhya over which Ram reigned existed as far back as the Tretha Yug 3 or about 900,000 years ago. If religious records are discounted, historians suggest that the current city of Ayodhya dates back to at least the 7th century AD. It seems a temple of some sort existed at the spot in 1528 when Mir Baqi, a general of the Mughal Emperor Babur raised a mosque at the spot which could face the mecca, against which he gave much more land to the Hindus in the same locality to rebuilt a larger temple and to compensate for the same. Ever since, the Ram Janmabhoomi has been at the centre of much conflict and an ongoing tussle.

The conflict cannot be considered more concrete even from 1528, when the Babri Masjid was actually constructed, because the Hindutva groups claim that the mosque replaced an existing Ram temple for which there has never been any tangible evidence. The ASI report, however, is not available for a comment in public domain.

The mosque was however demolished by the Hindu Kar sevak’s taking the law and order for a ride on the 6th of December in 1992, which led to Riots in different parts of the country in different years.

Ref: ‘The Hindu’, September 30’2010.

TITLE OF THE PROJECT:
“KHOJ”-MEMORIAL OF HUMANITY AND THE MUSEUM OF RIOTS AT THE RAM JANMABHOOMI-BABRI MASJID, AYODHYA.

AIM AND OBJECTIVES:

The proposal’s Aim and Objectives would be:

To Generate a brief and a program that does not hamper or harm the sentiments and feelings of both the communities.

To Honor the program and develop a design that could help experience, realize or understand god in humanity, before finding one’s god through religion. To use Architecture as a medium and an attempt to allow a Thoughtful, Honest, Ethical, Intelligent, Skeptical Thinker, to walk out of the neutral ground.

The Fight within the nation for the temple or mosque on that site has been jumping around for the last five decades and has created a lot of unrest all around.

The need for a proposal on that land is to target any visitor who have tied knots in their minds and will have to aim at untying the knot to remove a secular and sensitive human out of the space.

The government has acquired 67 acres of land around the disputed site, and thus, this proposal could bring them to a level of humanity and act as a gateway to the mosque and the temple on the land acquired by government around.

METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:

Draw excerpts from books like Bhagavad Geeta and Quran.

Then find common points that have been mentioned in both the books.

To generate a program that could express these common points through Art and Space.

Study the methods that could be adopted and formulated to emotionalize humans in a space.

Study methods that could allow multiple emotions to flow out in space.

Methods that could give moments of Excitement, moments of Calm, moments of light and Circulation and also make the visitor Think.

Not to build anything on the spot where the Masjid earlier stood or the spot that is believed to be the birth spot of lord Ram.

To Bring in elements like water (waterbody or waterfall) for that spot that could signify peace.

To try not to build anything above the ground or try to build minimum above ground and more below the ground so that the visitor at entry could see nothing else but the open sky and the water.

The building could have no defined entrance for a visitor so that they pass through the memorial and then derive their circulation with open to sky and enclosed spaces.

The enclosures to allow the body to move and the open spaces to allow the mind to think.

Just when you feel you are completely dis-oriented, what gives you orientation is the open-to-sky spaces that could be spread across in broken patterns.

The localities once familiar with the building could find their short route, out from this gateway.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY/WORK:

An Architectural attempt to a religious conflict that has disturbed the balance of the country.

An attempt to create a secular and humanitarian building that shares a common space and uplifts the importance of humanity, breaking all myths of religion.

A proposal on the very disputed site such that it becomes an Agenda for any visitor at Ayodhya, to visit.
Also to propose a building that allows the foreign tourists to think and clear all misconceptions about religion.

The site that carries the baggage of dispute, fight and a history known to almost every Indian and even tourists abroad, is therefore very renowned and fit enough to make promises.

The site in today’s scenario draws a memory of hatred, anger, fight and sadness, which holds a capacity to be turned into a symbolism of peace.

LIMITATIONS:

Since bitter disputes and communal violence broke out at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid, this area is manned by armed security officials round the clock. Visitors are requested to abstain from carrying weapons or suspicious articles. Some shrines may be inaccessible due to security reasons.

Therefore, to document the site with photographs or sketches, on site, is not possible (memorizing the site by walking through it for 4 times back-to-back was the only solution).

This proposal has been formulated based on the outlook of people in the recent times and also their interest through program’s for non-violence like ‘not in my name’. Hence, the impact and acceptance of the project based on social, political, physical and legal factors may not be predictable.

The museum may not have existing artifacts to display but could be a museum that could be developed with the help of artists, creating the necessary art work and other aspects to depict and experience history, sorrow and pain.
To get into the depths of religion (or practices) is beyond control and it depends on every individual’s belief.

AREA of the site: 36,500sq. m
F.S.I to be considered as 0.5 for Public Building.
Height Restrictions: 18M
Circulation Included: 40%

————————————————————————————————
DESCRIPTION
————————————————————————————————
The program has been generated through excerpts and the common points mentioned in the Bhagvad Geeta and Quran.
The best method to express these emotions is believed to be through Art.
The description of the character of these spaces have been mentioned below.

MEMORIAL OF HUMANITY:

1.The Karma Gallery: (MIME ART)
The Karma gallery, has been derived from the point, “we are responsible for our own Actions”.
The gallery aims at Understanding and Enhancing on Karma, its importance, the initial thought and its aftermath through.
2.The Gallery of Co-Existence:
The gallery of co-existence, comes from the point, “the earth, the soil, the sky and the water are only elements are only a place of rest and they exist to teach us lessons of co-existence”.
The gallery aims at making a space that converges at a point that brings together the earth, the soil, the sky and water together and then talk about the beauty of co-existence.
3.The Gallery of Life and Soul: (PAINTINGS)
The gallery of life and soul, comes from the point, “Every Living thing has a soul” and “Only god can give and take life”.
The gallery would aim at enhancing the importance, respect and care one has to offer to any living soul.
4.The Gallery of Hell and Heaven: (ILLUSION)
The gallery of hell and heaven, comes from the point, “The Hell and the Heaven, the Angels and the Devil, all exist on the Earth itself”.
The gallery aims at making the visitor understand the hell and the heaven on earth based on the actions (karma), and bringing people out of the myths and misconceptions about the hell and the heaven.
5.The Gallery of Righteousness and Truth: (SCULPTURES)
The gallery of righteousness and truth, comes from the point, “Do not lie to yourself, or to the others”.
The gallery aims at creating an awareness of the importance of truth, honesty and sincerity in a human’s life, the impact and the changes it brings to the character.
6.The Gallery of Anger in Time: (POETRY)
The gallery of anger in time, comes from the point, “Do not Hurt people, Emotionally and Physically”.
The gallery aims at throwing back the result of decisions taken in anger, fury, grudge and enticement.
The damage and destruction done to humanity and the evaporation of feelings and warmth.

MUSEUM OF RIOTS:

1.The Impact Space:
The impact space aims at taking up issues and portraying the impact of the anger and fury that has affected the lives many others.
For example, the impact on the life of a 2-year-old child whose father promised that he would return in 5 minutes with milk, but got killed due to some communal tension and the child kept waiting with curious eyes for those 5 minutes to end.
2.The Experience Corridors:
The experience corridors could just be spaces for circulation, but could convey a story.
For example, a double height glass floor, below which lies the history of the Godhra train burn incident. The visitor therefore looks down to visually connect with the incident, here they don’t simply understand the story but, it also helps them experience a glimpse of what the person travelling to Godhra in that train would have experienced (which could make them circulate and lead to the path as per the design concept).
3.Photography and Literature Room:
Like any other Museum, this space could allow the Photographs and Write ups on communal Issues to be Exhibited.
It could change on regular basis, which could help make people aware on day-to-day communal violence/ tension (if any) in any part of the country and collectively take a necessary stand.
4.Special Exhibits:
The special exhibits could change on regular basis and could be temporary exhibits for awareness.
These could also be the most expensive exhibits that need to be returned to the Artists.
5.Stores for the Museum:
Ayodhya being very much renowned for its talented craftsmen, could take up the opportunity to exhibit their products on humanity and could also sell them using the store.
Which would also allow an income to the craftsmen and also enhance a sense of secularism amongst them.

CAFETERIA:
Once the visitors satisfy their curiosity in the museum, they could take time to satisfy thirst and appetite.
Since there are a lot of spots, just around the site to munch something based on every individual’s taste, this cafeteria could offer limited stuff that could satisfy the thirst or hunger of the visitor.

Drawings:

Inspiring Architecture and Design Projects
in your inbox

Subscribe for FREE, and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Uh oh! Something went wrong. Try again?

Subscribe to ArchitectureLive!
Subscribe to keep yourself updated on the latest projects, sories, news, events and jobs related to architecture
You can unsubscribe at any time.
1 Comment
  1. pratik says

    seriously i like this project…,i also working on this type of project for b.arch thesis.this project very heplfull for me.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Amazing Architectural Content in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Uh oh! Something went wrong. Try again?