Ayodhya: A Wasted Opportunity

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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 

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Archaeologist K.K. Muhammed 

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.

 

Let Us Pray For Nation First

 

 

Picture courtesy ANI news agency

DASARA FESTIVE SEASON is here. The Indian populace is in the grip of a devotional frenzy. The Ganesha festival season has just ended and idols of the elephant-headed God, costig of millions of rupees, have been just immersed in rivers, tanks and sea, throwing along with them tonnes of flowers, plastic and polluting material.

And now the Durga idols will be immersed. It may take till next Ganesha season to clean up all the beaches, river banks and tanks – and the pollution will occur again.

Thousands of crores of rupees are offered in ALL places of worship daily. There are many lakhs of them in the country. In Tirupati, the offerings often cross a crore per day, with some presenting diamond-studded crowns or other ornaments or bundles of currency notes.

It is not in Hindu places of worship alone that offerings are made, though they seem to believe more in quid pro quo: you receive God’s benevolence and you pay for it in the same proportion. This custom might have started in the days when Brahmins, poor by choice, lived on alms and temple offerings. Now they do jobs or even launch business enterprises. The temples too need money for maintenance and upkeep, but the collections far exceed this requirement in most temples.

It is not in Hindu temples alone that people make offerings, In churches plates get passed around for collections. Islam makes it mandatory for every believer to give for charity a portion of the earnings. Mosques and churches too invove big money. Money from churches and mosques is used for monastries, madrasas or proselytisation — to convert more people to the religion by any means.

Recently newspapers have published pictures of a golden Durga idol (above) costing Rs 20 crores (which of course, will not be immersed) at a Kolkata pendal. And that city has lakhs of pendals with very costly idols and fixtures. They also promote high creative talent. Many other cities have also begun putting up Durga pendals. Religion attracts huge wealth in ths country – and in most countries.

If that money is used to build schools, homes for the poor, toilets, bridges to villages cut off during monsoon and such things, the image of India as a nation of snake charmers and beggers, prevalent in Western countries, may change for good.

Whenver there is talk of development, of things like bullet trains or money-earning tourist attractions such as Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity, self-proclaimed liberals and intellectuals come up with objections, mentioning the above list and more as bigger priorities.
They are right that India needs development.

Some, though far fewer, such voices were raised when my Nagpur friend Vasant Sathe, as Information and Broadcasting Minister, wanted to bring colour to Indian TV. Does any of the objectors now opt for a B&W television set as home? Are such sets seen even in slums, most of which have scores of dish antennas? Do those who object to latest devices go to their offices by bullock carts instead of the AC cars they use? Would they prefer India without ‘unnecessary’ airports and flights?

The present government depending for its existence on ‘Hindutva’ elements may not have the courage to compel religious places to use their huge collections for public welfare.
There is a close link between organised religion and commerce.

Here is a comment on this:
कम से कम दो साल के लिए भी ऐसा हो जाये देश का विकास,बिजली बचत हो जायेगा l
हर शहर के हर मोहल्ले में एक़ पूजा भी कर दें तो बेहतर रहेगा l
ये तो दिखावा और काला धन खर्च कर पाप शुध्दीकरण स्थल जो हो गया