Is Babri still relevant? The jury’s out

20 Sep

Vinod Sharma, Hindustan Times

On the cold wintry evening of December 6, 1992, I was working on a routine story at Islamabad’s international telex office. The computer age hadn’t fully arrived in the sub-continent. Punched telex tapes were the best way resident foreign journalists could reach messages back home.

A telephone on the adjoining table came alive with an incoming call. On the line was The Hindu’s Kesava Menon, sounding outraged, unable to say his piece in one go: “Pandit, they’ve done it, they have done the worst.” I couldn’t immediately fathom the alarm. “What’s it?” I stammered. “They’ve brought down the mosque. They’ve razed it to the ground,” he said.

Beads of sweat dripped down my forehead as Kesava hastily hung up. No, I wasn’t scared. I was shattered. My faith shaken in the system, the secular ethos I’d tout to silence Pakistanis prophesying the Babri’s fall at the hands of Hindu zealots.

What was it, I self-questioned, a Hindu-Muslim conflagration or a secular, non-secular divide? The latter argument served better to keep one’s head up in a grossly indefensible scenario. I propounded the theory a day later to the Jamaat-e-Islami’s Liaquat Baloch outside the Indian High Commission, where he stood with a clutch of supporters to submit a protest memorandum.

“Yeh kya karva diya, Sharma,” accosted Baloch on seeing me get off a cab. “I’ve no moral defence for what has happened,” I said. “But it isn’t a Hindu-Muslim issue. It’s a fight for secular and non-secular India in which secularists will emerge triumphant.”

Secularism is a four-letter word for the rabidly right-wing Jamaat. “What rubbish – kya bakwas baat kar rahe ho,” intoned Baloch. “Look at my country and you’d know that leaders who enjoy the trust of Muslims are all Hindus,” I countered, reeling off names ranging from V.P. Singh to Chandrashekhar and Lalu and Mulayam Yadav.

As an Indian journalist, I was part of a minuscule Hindu minority in Pakistan. That helped me understand the value of these leaders, some of whom I’d criticise for their OBC politics that exposed my upper caste moorings to the ire of Mandal-ites and my secular beliefs to the Brahminical BJP’s disdain. I’d often joke that the sangh parivar treated a non-supportive Brahmin the way the Muslim League treated Maulana Azad!

The Ayodhya outrage also brought home the tyranny of numbers that’s minority-ism; the moral high ground our non-denominational secular state could’ve lost to an Islamic Republic with territorial claim on the Muslim-majority Kashmir. But for the retaliatory destruction of scores of functioning and dormant temples in a government-sponsored strike across Pakistan, our country’s name would have been in the mud internationally. The dubious parity kept Islamabad from mobilising the Muslim world to isolate or ex-communicate India.

Replay of 1990s
In 2002, former foreign secretary J.N. Dixit categorised incidents such as the Babri demolition and Gujarat riots as “significant internal threats” to India’s security and territorial integrity. Who could have known it better than him? He led India’s foreign policy while Ayodhya happened and Kashmir was in flames in the early 1990s.

I witnessed Dixit’s discomfiture on being buttonholed by a Pakistani journalist in Islamabad in January 1994 on his earlier comment that India wouldn’t survive if anything were to happen to the mosque. The veteran diplomat took time lighting his pipe before responding. He said the eventuality he apprehended was averted by the “resilience of our people”.

The wheel has since come a full circle. Kashmir’s again in ferment and the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow Bench ready with its judgment on Ayodhya title suits. “No matter which way the verdict goes, some people will be upset. We’ve seen mobilisation already by various groups,” said a top security official.

He wondered whether it would help talking to parties inclined to use the verdict’s residuum to expand their electoral base. The answer came from Brajesh Mishra, national security advisor to the BJP-led NDA regime. He placed the onus on all sections – the Government, the Opposition, the RSS and the Muslim leadership – to ensure there was no violence, regardless of the verdict against which anybody could appeal in the apex court. “We have a very serious situation in Kashmir and Maoist-affected areas. Vitiating the atmosphere further on another volatile issue will gravely compromise India’s security,” he cautioned

Identity versus aspiration
Is the dispute over a medieval mosque relevant to today’s India that’s sizably youthful and driven more by aspiration than mere identity? Several BJP insiders admit 2010 isn’t 1992. The party retained power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and to some extent Gujarat, on the development plank, not the slogan of destroying a mosque or building a temple.

Manmohan Singh’s sweat equity in the UPA’s 2009 victory stemmed from his image as the economy’s best available saviour. Rahul’s youthful promise and the mother’s kitchen Sonia Gandhi promoted through the NREGS fetched the Congress-led alliance its winning formula. In comparison, the BJP looked a dowdy minstrel blaring beaten, old bhajans.

Having slipped in popular esteem with the turn of the century, the saffron family evidently considers Kashmir more potent than its other core issues: Ayodhya and the Common Civil Code. L.K. Advani has talked of restraint and Mohan Bhagwat of “the law and the Constitution” in the event of the verdict going against their expectations.

Difficult to say whether the leopard has changed spots. The answer perhaps is in the compulsions of coalition politics. If Bihar’s out of bounds for Narendra Modi, kar sewaks can’t be breaking barricades elsewhere.

The poll records of the past two decades have set the limits of sectarian politics. Even Lord Rama couldn’t help the BJP ever touch the 200 mark. Its best score: 182/339 when the Congress toppled Vajpayee but failed to give an alternative in 1999.


Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Religion/Indo Pak


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3 responses to “Is Babri still relevant? The jury’s out

  1. Dr.C.P.Trivedi

    September 29, 2010 at 7:30

    Ayodhya- A curse of God?

    The Ayodhya issue is 400 year old. It can not be solved with physical evidences only. We have to trace back the history.

    In the world, India is only country, which has not given importance to God in the constitution. With this the faith and belief has not been defined. The spiritual freedom is a very high concept, which can be adopted, only when people have the knowledge that that God is within them as consciousness. It has been ignored.

    With this as soon as the people became free from spiritual bondage, it has opened the door for corruption and other self interests, hence have forgotten the National integrity. India is facing the consequences of this or we can say curse of God.

    All religious scriptures are saying one and the same thing in their own language. What is God? it can be proved scientifically now. Without the help of God, we can not maintain peace and harmony in the country. The eternal truth is one and the same for all. It is not a illusion.
    Only amendment in the constitution that the eternal truth is one and same for all we trust in it, can solve all the problems. It will unite the Indians, who have been divided into Hindu and Muslim on the name of faith. It was a political conspiracy of the British Government on the name of faith, Mandir – Masjis is a symbol only. The symbol, which has divided Indians, the same can unite also. No doubt with it India will emerge as a great Nation in the world.

  2. Dr.C.P.Trivedi

    September 29, 2010 at 7:30

    British Politics of Faith and worship

    Mostly the people of India have been fed up on Mandir Masjid issue from the delay technique of the Govt. It is a fact that the matter of faith and belief is mostly related with vote bank strategy. No serious attempt was there to solve the issue. Because to rule over India. The Britishers have divided the Indians into Hindu and Muslim. The same is in practice after independence. How the court will decide the matter related with faith and belief. Before the decision they have to search what is God?

    Kaydeazam Jinnah won the race of ruler, and became the President of Pakistan. It was the root cause of division of India. It has created religious competition in the country. In this religious competition race, we have forgotten the national integrity, Otherwise spiritual freedom is the identity of India from time immemorial. All leaders are moving around the British policy on the name of faith and belief. Which has divided the India and the Indians. Where on the name of faith and belief, the Govt. is not a party. But the Govt. can do its duty by declaring the disputed land as National heritage, till consensus over the matter for peace in country.

    We should look into the past that to break the cultural unity and integrity of India , the British rulers have divided the Indians into Hindu and Muslim on the name of faith. It is important that first time, during the British rule the Ram Janm Bhumi issue was raised, and Britishers have divided the area on the name of Ram chabutra. They have given permission for the worship to Hindu out side the constructed structure. The issue may be solved at that time, but British Govt. was interested in dividing the Hindu and Muslim on the name of faith. They have drawn the line of bifurcation, by marking a place Ram chabutra as a birth place of Shri Ram.

    Otherwise to safe guard the temple from the Muslim invaders, at various places a mark of the mosque has been erected in front. The invaders have not touched the temple with this mark. Similarly, the Hindu were having regards for the Ram Janm Bhumi , It was the sacred place for them. They were doing Parikrama around it. It became the common place for regards. The Britishers have bifurcated it by restricting the Hindu – Indians upto Ram chabutra for the worship.

    Accordingly the constitution was prepared in 1935 by the british Govt. The same bifurcation, we have accepted, where every faith has a constitutional right. The same theme has been adopted in our constitution. The court will follow the same. Whatever will be the decision? It will hurt the sentiments of any one, and the cyclone of faith is ready to ruin the country again after 1947. It was pointed out by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 50 years ago.

    We know the fact that small issue of land on the name of Mandir and Masjid is pending from last 400 years, the Supreme court has given only a time of six days. It is only that if we do not want a Mahabharat on the name of a small land than we must solve the issue at our own, where Govt. is not party on the name of faith and belief.

    It is not impossible if we consider the issue that we were slave from last twelve hundred years. The Muslim rulers were foreigner but Muslims are not foreigners. They have the same roots as we have in Indus Valley civilization. The British Govt. has given it a turn and divided the Indians into Hindu and Muslim. Now we are free to fight and to blame each other.

    After independence under the parliamentary democracy, we have adopted all policies of Britishers. the people have been divided into Dalit and upper caste than minority and majority. It has created more problems. The root cause of the heavy corruption is also in parliamentary system, where the M.P. feel his responsibility up to his constituency. If we have adopted the Presidential system than the condition would have different.

    Indian society is caste based society from time immemorial. Its roots are in scientifically developed Indus Valley Civilization. They were having full knowledge of the creation, with the knowledge of the origin of life from DNA as the single ancestor. The caste system with hereditary characters has been established for the stability of the society. It has been pointed out by a Russian Archaeologist Lamberg Karlovski.

    The caste based society is original identity of India , which connect it with Indus Valley Civilization. To break the cultural unity of India census commissioner J.H hatten brought in light the caste based untouchability on the name of caste. Which was the product of long slavery period. Although the profession was not the caste. With the historic revolution of 1857. In this revolution both Hindu and Muslim was having equal role. It has been clear to them that without breaking the cultural unity and integrity of the Indian cultural ethics, British rule is not possible. Indians have faced every terror of Britishers without fear. It was due to the ethics of Indian culture teachings. In which Muslims have been absorbed as one caste. Accordingly, unanimously they have fought against British rule.

  3. Dr.C.P.Trivedi

    September 29, 2010 at 7:30

    Religion in perspective of India

    If we consider the religion of India in perspective of foreign religion than every caste is equal to a religion. Accordingly the invaders were unable to convert the Indians into Muslim, other wise in the long history of slavery no Indian would have survive. Accordingly at some places with their caste people in mass have been converted into Muslim. They have preserved their traditions under the name of Muslim. Although originally Muslim religion has no caste based society, but in India we have many castes in Muslims also.

    British Govt. has imposed the Indian caste based society as one Hindu religion and other one Muslim on the basis of faith. Although Hindu is not a religion as advocated by the foreigners. There is no code of conversion. If it was a religion than it may have the code for conversion. Hence the converted Muslims could not be converted again. It was due to the misconception of Religion in perspective of Indian culture.

    Its root are traceable in developed Indus Valley civilization, which was scientifically developed in all respect. Its literary evidences are in Vedic Science. The Vedas are book of Science, which could not be interpreted so far. Now with the development of modern science. The science in it can be grasped. Which is more advance than the modern science. We may have the answers of our modern problem. The noble prizes, which have been awarded on the DNA and cell Biology are on the Indus Valley seals, and its literary evidences are in Vedic hymns. After having such a great heritage of Science, if we are not interested in solving our problems. It is a politics of self interest without ethics. We Indians have faced the consequences of faith and belief innocently. The fruitful solution of our tension can solve the age old problem.

    The basic fact of all Religion

    The God and Soul is a scientific fact. We can not divide it with name. The fundamental energy – gravitational force is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God and Soul of the religious scriptures. The life energy known as gravitational force, appears at its own with the movement of the sap in the cell body in the first cell with birth. It maintain its continuity with cell division. With ageing and death of the physical cell body, it disappears at its own.

    The concept of the Religious scriptures that one has to face the consequences of his deeds is also having a scientific base. The DNA is universally present in the living-beings. It records the deeds of an individual in its language code. Which is immortal through cell division. Accordingly one has to face the consequences of his deeds with opening of the language on the DNA in the womb. Accordingly under the laws of God and Soul the an individual lead a new life and birth, with repercussions of his deeds of his previous birth. It is known as fate or Prarabdh. Due to this even the time twins have different fate.
    At cellular level we all are related with each other with common ancestry in DNA.



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