As promised, I am going to write more on the Ayodhya issue. I realize it is embarrassing for most of the young people to even talk about the topic and if you are a Hindu you are expected to be even more apologetic about the destruction of so called Mosque by the so called Hindu fundamentalist.
Indian media which is as usual devoid of any intellectual pursuit portrayed the whole Ram Janmabhumi Movement as a movement conspired by a few to gain votes. Thats a simple hypothesis and hence most of the people especially from my generation are likely of fall prey to. But the movement was lot more than this. It was not a conspiracy of few but a few tried to gain from the movement that had rose from masses. It is unfortunate, shameful and disgraceful that the leaders who lead it one day are now turning their face away. They have not only disowned their own responsibility but they have actually killed the movement.
1. The mosque or just a structure?
Had the case been that there was a very popular mosque sacred to million Muslims. Where Muslims offered prayers and one fine day some Hindu fundamentalists destroyed the structure by applying pure force, I would have understood the whole contempt for those who destroyed the structure. After all we are in process of building a law abiding society why should some group destroy other people’s sacred sites?
“But why do you refer to it as a mosque at all? Where is the mosque, my friends, when the namaz is not performed? When for forty years idol worship is going on there, what kind of a mosque is it? That is just the temple of our dear Ram.”
Now I am not quoting Mr. L.K. Advani here I am quoting V. P. Singh. The structure that was destroyed on 6th of December 1992 was in fact a temple inside. There were idol of Ram inside and people flocked their to offer prayers everyday.The idols appeared inside the structure in 1948. A pujari offered prayers every day though the structure was kept locked.
Who opened the locks? MR. Rajiv Gandhi ordered to open the locks. He started his election campaign from Ayodhya. He had already conceded too much to Muslims in form of Shah Bano case and Stanic Verses Ban. Once the locks were opened VHP began demanding that a temple be built on the site as the structure is a temple for all practical purposes.
The government began to work. V.P. Singh devised the three point formula that the structure will be shifted brick by brick to another place and Hindus would bear it’s cost. Government would acquire the land and hand it over to the Shilanyas Committee. VHP, BJP and RSS agreed. They promised that they will not touch the structure, they promised to pay for shifting the whole structure.
And then what happened? Here in Shourie’s words.
Then came a stormy meeting of Muslim leaders with V P Singh. And so around 5 pm V P Singh let it be known that he had changed his mind. What was the “disputed structure became the “disputed land”. And all lands, the titles to which were in dispute before the Allahabad High Court were now to be taken to be covered by the expression “disputed land”.
As nothing was to be done to disturb what was “disputed”, this change meant that nothing could be commenced anywhere, not even at the spot where the shilanyas had been done.
“But once Government acquires the land,” the law officer of the Government explained to him, “all disputes about its titles would end. There is thus no reason for going back on what has been agreed — about commencing construction.”
“Then I won’t acquire the land,” said V P Singh.
V.P. Singh indeed acquired the land. But instead of prior agreement between him and VHP he did not made any distinction between the disputed structure and non disputed land. This left both L.K. Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpeyi as losers in the eyes of their supporters because these were the two men who were responsible for maintaining peace and solving this matter peacefully. It was because of them that their supporters believed that this matter can indeed be solved peacefully.
People like Mulayam Singh Yadav saw this as an opportunity. If somehow they could jeopardies all move by Hindu leaders such as AB Vajpeyi and L. K. Advani, and instead build a mosque there they would have become eligible to the vote bank of Muslims. Thus the secular class of India which today claims that Babari Structure destruction was a heinous crime back stabbed moderate leaders like Advani and Vajpeyi to appease some factional Muslims leaders.
There wasn’t a mosque in first place. It was a temple. The structure however old was used as a temple for all practical purposes. The demand that it should be erased or respectfully moved to another place was denied in the most disgraceful way to make people like Sayyed Shahbuddin happy.
2. The Demolition
Two wrongs can not make one right. Indeed if Muslims destroyed the temple, destroying the mosque is not a solution. If it was there are over 2000 Mosques waiting for destruction. But then when the one wrong is performed it needs to be punished condemed and it should be made clear that such an act is not tolerable.
If at all India was secular and if the secularists were not Muslim appeasers, they had a brilliant chance to do so with Ayodhya. Had they built a temple over the Ramjanmabhumi it would have not only killed BJP’s upsurge but it would have also sent a strong message to increasing fanatic Muslim demands .
Any ways. The secularism faltered on those line and the structure was demolished. That resulted into BJP’s rise and it sent Islamic leaders on back-foot as they should have been.
The underlying demand and frustration of Hindu community was not an artificial one. Nor it was conspired by “a few” as the liberhan tries to portray it. Instead, it was because untill India got it’s independence Hindus were unexplainably at the receiving end. Not only Islam tried hard to destroy every good thing Hindus built, Islam even cut the nation into tow parts. After independence the government of India failed to even recognize that Hindus indeed suffered because of Islam.
By denouncing the valid claim of the masses. By terming it not just communal but heinous and national shame, they only hurt Hindus further.
What happened that day:
Even VHP leader Ashok Singbal tried to stop the activists, until they threatened to pull off his dhoti. Anti‑Hindutva spokesmen want us to believe that this was all theatre, but it was genuine (as was Murli Manohar Joshi’s jubilation). A small Hindutva faction had prepared the demolition, deliberately keeping the leadership in the dark about it.
If the Indian media had meant business, they would have found out and told you within a few days just who engineered the ‘Kar Seva’. Instead, they chose to spurn the scoop of the year and stuck to the politically more useful version that the BJP did it, somewhat like late Jawaharlal Nehru’s attempt to implicate Veer Savakar in Nathuram Godse’s murder of the Mahatma.
Most BJP leaders (Kalyan Singh being the chief exception) dealt with the event in a confused and insincere manner. The gradual BJP retreat from Ayodhya was completed overnight, and the party was reduced to waging its subsequent election campaign with colourless slogans like ‘good government’.
3. What is to be gained by building a temple?
Nothing. Temple is merely made up bricks and mortar. The question that whether there really existed someone like Ram is debatable. But the movement was no supposed be about the physical structure of some building. It was about undoing the wrong of past.
This is for those people who say things like “Will building a temple solve unemployment in Hindus?” Shouldn’t we have different priorities? At a superficial level it might appear as true. But underneath there is larger goal which BJP should have tried to achieve. Ram Janmabhumi should have been only a step forward.
The spineless leadership and ignorant second tier leaders like Shushama Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Vainkayya Naidu buckled up under the secularist/communist propaganda to downplay the whole movement and kill it.
4. Islamic damage to Hindu psyche.
The Ram Janmabhumi movement was the begging of process of that undoing of damage inflicted by Islam on Hinduism. No one else but Koenraad Elst puts it in the best possible words.
Some diehard Hindus activists demand that all the thousands of mosques built on top of destroyed temples, be handed over to the Hindus. They think that would be a physical undoing of the historical wrongs. Well, that is a very crude way of doing justice to Hinduism. It overlooks the fact that these stone structures are but the outermost layer of the real harm done to Hindu society. There has been a loss of vast territories — they may be claimed back, but that would hardly be any less superficial. Far more fundamental is the moral damage that has been done : the loss of self-confidence, the unprecedented and harsh enmity within Hindu society (internal enmity and bitterness typically occur in powerless groups), the boot-licking attitude among the Hindu intelligentsia, the negative self-image (e.g. Hindu caste inequality vs. Muslim brotherhood). The moral damage again is partly due to a loss of knowledge and memory : the Hindu education system has been destroyed, and the Hindus are helpless in the face of concerted efforts to disinform them and destroy their soul.[Source: Ayodhyaa and After by Koenraad Elst Voice of India publication]
5. BJP’s grand failures
BJP’s grand failure lies in the fact that it could not convert Ram Janmabhumi movement into a grand Hindu reconciliation. The movement had united Hindus across cast and creed. It failed to address their problems and genuine concerns to gather Muslim votes. BJP had not need to be “Hindu” in order to do this.
BJP should have been “truely secular” and worked hard towards the secular lies that Congress and Communists have perpetrated especially to degrade Hindusim. But they failed at every level. Except for few intellectuals like Arun Shourie, Govindacharya and another few it was more concerned about acceptance in Muslim community.
Let me quote Elst again.
So, the more fundamental concern should be the reviving of Hindu consciousness, both in a spiritual and in an intellectual sense. Of all the politicians involved in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, how many have ever taken parliamentary initiatives to revive Sanskrit education, to give more chances to the teaching of the Hindu cultural traditions, to abolish the discrimination against teaching Hindu religion in state-subsidized schools? How many have taken a look into the systematic distortion of history that is being broadcast by all the official media including the school curricula, and taken the official media including the school curricula, and taken initiatives to counter it at the intellectual or political level? It seems that all these Hindu campaigners needed a crudely physical issue like the bricks in Ayodhya in order even to get reminded of their responsibility to Hindu society.
If we check BJP’s track record, there hardly anything that BJP did different from Congress. That explains why people successively decided to vote for congress.
6. Arguments in History
Now that BJP is fully on back-foot and media completly under control of them, both Congress and Communists are getting up their long formlated arguments that there was never a temple on that site and hence it was never destroyed. Historians like Romila Thapar has romaticised that even Somnath Temple was not really destroyed. These people have even destroyed evidence by using their power.
Sita Ram Goel, Ram Swarup Arun Shourie and Koenraad Elst took pains to document these cases. And remind you none of these are RSS men as the secular media often Quotes them. Arun Shourie in his book Eminent Historians exposed Marxists historians like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib in a fashion that they had to hide their faces. They are not lifting their head up again in th Congress era.
Ram Swarup’s book Hindu Temples What happened to them ( a very rare book) documents over 2000 cases where mosques were raised by erasing temples. No historian has yet come forward to refute even a single claim. Most importantly he uses the Muslims scholar’s texts as the proofs.
7. The Path Ahead
I do not think issue of bricks and mortars at a particular place is important. But it should be symbolic of a larger issue. The issue which should lead entire Hindu society to look within, to unite, to rediscover it’s own glorious history and culture and of course to defend it’s beautiful culture from the Islamic and Nehruvian Invasion.
A lot was expected out of BJP. But as of today it is paralysed and continues to exist as Congress’s B team. The convoluted history and facts are running in the vein’s of Indian society making it even more difficult to bring the facts in light. Islam, the religion of peace continues to inflict wounds on our nation but we are more happy it believe that these are few misguided and politically or economically motivated individuals doing it out of frustration. It is easier to accept this fake argument than hard-hitting reality.
Elst wrote 5 years ago
This purely secular posturing worked well in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, but it may prove to be yet another “cheque which can be cashed only once,” especially considering the BJP’s recent loss of credibility regarding governance.
The party’s best chance of a meaningful survival now lies in the adoption of a better‑considered Hindu agenda, not focused on dead buildings but on consequential political reforms.
The path ahead seems to be dark. India’s survival was possible for so many centuries purely because of it’s adaptive, open and tolerent culture. May be for last one or two centuries we started calling it Hinduism. Several factors today are destroying this culture. Islam remains the biggest threat and Congress the second largest threat. But we should also put parties like BJP which buckle under the pressure and make these values obsolete are an equally dangerous threats.
Today most of ever, political notions are based on labels. Muslims Christians and Communists are secularists by the virtue of their existence and Congress remains the sole certification authority. BJP is tring hard to qualify it self by proving itself secular to congress. This is never going to happen. In the process BJP will become more and more like Congress and Monotheist religious groups.
Optimist in me believes that this phase too will pass just like all previous ones. The cynic in me tells me that God his own designs of destruction.