INDIA’S SUPREME COURT has wasted its time and effort by pronouncing a 1045-page verdict on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. That could have gone to reducing the pendency of thousands of cases delaying and thereby denying justice; it is still a welcome act as a pestering l issue of dirty politics as been buried for ever, so that we can oncentrate on real problems of the coujtry.
While the dispute is centuries old, the court case, starting with the demolition of the mosque in 1992 by BJP-led ‘kar sevaks’, was kept alive for decades by those interested in suppressing the Muslim minority by creating fear-psychosis and thereby a vote-bank of millions for the dynasty-ruled Congress party. The hatred generated in that community by self-seekers had thwarted its efforts to join the national mainstream by integrating itself with the culture and lifestyle of the country.
No one had objected to their keeping faith in their own religion and its rituals, including blocking roads for prayers, and yet Muslims were encouraged to become separatists, join militants who wants to break India and destroy it. Some even joined the barbaric ISIS.
That this section of the minority community would reject, oppose and protest any verdict that did not uphold its own claim was a foregone conclusion, even after all major Hindu organizations and the government said they would accept whatever judgment the court gave. It could be said an equally foregone conclusion was that some Hindu fringe groups would have protested if the verdict favoured the masjid.
Logic, rationality and law did not matter: it was an emotional issue based on the sect of that community, one happened to be born in. Indian Hindus have no problem with Shias, Dawoodi Bohras, Ismailis, Ahmedias or any other sect, though all are Muslims; Sunis alone lead the protest. Sunni All-India Personal Law Board, the AIMIM party of Razakars who wanted Telangana to be a part of Pakistan, the ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang of Jawaharlal Nehru University and such Sunni groups are opposing the verdict and supporting the right of invaders from Turkey and Arabia, who brought Islam to India, to have more rights and special privileges than others because Indians let them convert by force.
The view that goodwill could have been earned by them is not mine alone. “Even now
the time has not elapsed. Before the Supreme Court gives its judgement, Muslims should hand over the place to Hindus and create an example. That is my humble request to them” wrote a Muslim K. K. Muhammed, Regional Director (North), Archaeological Society of India (ASI), who according to a social media post, “publicly told about the discovery of remnants of the temple under the masjid despite the threat of being suspended.” He is a Sanskrit scholar who “excavated and restored a complex of 100 temples” in Morena (MP), negotiating a deal with dacoits who still rule the ravines of Bhind and Morena, the post says. In these days of fake news, I hope this is true.
Years ago I suggested building in the Masjid area a ‘Museum of National Integration’ which may highlight stories like this. There are plenty: the Muslim potters of Kolkata’s Kumartoli who make the Durga idols, the IAS officer of late ’50s Dr A. U. Sheikh who had a Ph.D. in Sanskrit, a Telugu Muslim ‘Harikatha’ exponent, a Hindu girl who knew the Holy Quran by-heart, a Muslim boys team which presented a Hanuman Chalisa dance in a TV competition…. Or just yesterday, a mosque putting off Ide-e-Milad celebration in Kerala as a Hindu wedding was to take place next-door.
The chance for producing such goodwill has been squandered.
Hindu liberals who condemn the Masjid demolition (but not Babar destroying the Ram Mandir or Ghori the Somnath temple) wanted a urinal built there and famous Bollywood writers Salim and Javed a hospital. Obviously they all do not want a Ram mandir there.
“Neither Hinduism is enriched, nor is Islam poorer with the Supreme Court verdict ….. In their spirituality, none of them reside in the bricks and plaster monuments,” wrote a former colleague, Promod Puri of Canada in a thought-provoking blog. He feels spiritualism is buried in the foundations of places of worship.
Let the Ram temple at Ayodhya be the last Hindu temple built in this century, till we build schools, hospitals and toilets in all villages in India. That is the real tribute to Rama, the Hinduism of Swami Vivekananda and patriotism of Mahatma Gandhi.