Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Heart Bleeds for You Ayodhya

Well, the verdict is out the land will be divided among the three warring parties and hopefully all will be well. The judges have played safe, they have accepted that Ram was born at the very spot where the disputed shrine now stands and they have handed it over to the 'Hindus'. They have declared that the Babri Masjid was not built according to the tenets of Islam and therefore was not a masjid at all...ha ha ha..so the 'Muslim' should not be offended and to further pacify the 'Muslims' some land from the disputed site has been given over to the Wakf board. The good thing that has come of the verdict is that the wind has been taken out of the sail of the BJP Rama Mandir campaign...phew! The ball is in the court of the warring parties now and they have to show the nation how they can live in peace and harmony. However the whole sordid saga leaves a bad taste in the mouth, for has justice really been done?? Justice would have been done if certain facts were made clear to the people of this country-
1 The fact that when the Babri masjid was built it was the norm and accepted practice of the victor in battle to demolish structures showing the greatness of the victim and building structures showing their own supremacy over them. There was no law against the destruction of any structure at that time. However when the masjid was demolished the Constitution of India was in place and the law of this country explicitly states that one should not take the law in ones own hand and neither can one just walk up and demolish a structure which they do not like. The act of demolition of the masjid shows gross violation of our Constitution and laws and a shameful lack of faith in our system of justice and redressal.
2 Everyone knows that Rama and Krishna are mythological characters and not historical ones. There are no lessons on either in History books ...I do not know what the Archeological Survey of India has found underneath the rubble but if it had been any concrete proof then Ancient History scholars would be abuzz with the news texts would be re-written. Therefore the proof must have consisted of secondary sources, along with the some material finds that indicated settelements in the area, which would have been found at any area in Ayodhya given the antiquity of the city. Indian people must learn to differentiate between mythology and history. If Rama and Krishna and all the others are part of mythology, it will not detract from their importance in indian culture and world view and ofcourse religious belief. The Greeks have an extensive mythological tradition and that is an impoortant part of their belief system...they do not mix it up with their history although many locations of their myths are historical locations too.
3 In Independent India all land and all structures upon it (specially if disputed by two religious groups) belong to the people and neither BJP- Sangh Parivar- Hindu Mahasabha nor the Wakf Board can claim to represent all Hindus and Muslims, leave alone all the people of India- this fact has to be driven home. The majority of the hindus and muslims of India do not care two hoots about this dispute, they care for safety, security, peace for all. Food, shelter, clothes, opportunities, healthcare, safe drinking water and a bright prospect for their children. That is what we care about.
It was nauseating to see grown men carrying on about the sthapana of 'Ram lalla' and Sita's kitchen, women like Uma Bharti waxing eloquent about the coming of Sat yuga and all that jazz!! Pompous BJP spokes persons declaring that a meeting will be held at Advani's residence and then there will be a declaration by the party. Hello? who wants to hear your declaration, you can shove it up your ---- for what I care. Have you looked at the city of Ram's birth?? Because of your desire for political milage it will be for ever remembered as a place where communal tensions were born. For what I have seen and read about the city of Ayodhya, it is one of those small dusty towns inhabited by poor ordinary Indian people, and it has only one proper hospital. If I were to pass judgement on this case I would have booted everyone out of the land and had a state of the art government hospital established on the spot, I am sure that Ram would be pleased with that. I would have got Kar sevaks to clean up the city.....that would make us a true believer and follower of Ram. These blokes who have ravaged the city and filled it with communal tension will have to answer to Ram (if they believe in Him at all) one day, and I am sure they will be squarely told off, something that our judges have not managed to do. I would like to see their faces then, the smug asses!
For now, my heart bleeds for Ayodhya...a land known for its glory now made murky and tainted with blood....may you see peace, if not prosperity, may you now witness the unity of the two faiths in India...Jai Hind!

13 comments:

ramesh said...

..strong words....

mohan said...

1. Hindus since a long time did not have any legal avenue to seek justice in the region of Oudh/Ayodhya for obvious reasons such as being under muslim control for longer periods. Before the British Raj, for nearly 600 years they had to live under the muslim rule and you know what that means: they couldn't ask for the temple.
And under British Raj they contested and they lost. Will talk about that in the end.

Regarding the Indian constitution point you made, please have a look at Places of worship act of 1991 and I think you will understand the difference.

2. By saying everyone knows Ram is not historical but only mythological, you are discarding the faith of many people including my grandma. I for one know that it will be devastating for her to know that Ram never existed.
The proof of Ayodhya being the source/home of ram... I am not sure about this because the books I read had always contentious claims. So I will not say there is proof for this and I am not sure how the judges came to a conclusion. Will have to look at the judgement. But there are books which clearly state that the mosque when built was using some of the pillars which consisted of Hindu gods/goddesses and so while its definitely built upon Hindu remains its not clear if its a temple or not on which the mosque was built (for me, that is)

3. Yes people try to gain something politically out of this and that is something to condemn. But that is something we have to live with since we are a democratic nation with high illiteracy rate.

Finally, I don't know if you know about this or not but this issue is not something started by RSS or the so-called hindutva groups. This was an open issue since a long time. During the british raj in 1886 a british court in Faziabad delivered a verdict in favour of Muslims. It said although there was a temple at the disputed land, it might be before 400 years and hence it's too long to air the grievences. But, this time around the court felt that was wrong. I leave it to you to find whose verdict is justified: 1886 British courts' verdict or the present Indian Courts'.

If you have time and patience, please read about Ayodhya in this book:
The History, Antiquities, Topography, and Statistics of Eastern India ... By Robert Montgomery Martin. You will know the facts.

mohan said...

Btw building a Hospital on a disputed land and such ideas are never good and lacks any sense. Just think about a piece of land being fought by brothers... if you,a middle person, want a hospital to be built there so that those brothers can use it.. how absurd it would be?

If someone destroys Tirupathi Temple and after some time we get hold on that place you cannot say that we should be building Tirupathi Temp. somewhere else since it has been a long time it happened and now people are used to it(Tirupathi not being there). or it might create problems.
That defies the logic of faith that humans have and that is what we are contesting here.

Anyway no such thing will happen again because of the Places of Worship Act 1991.

diya said...

@ Ramesh, has to be strong words, because I feel strongly
@Mohan To your point no. 1 I want to ask which 'Hindus' are you talking about? The whole definition of Hindu has changed in the 600 years that you mention.Why do you assume that 'Hindus' did not get justice under 'Muslim' rule, you mean to say that no temple could be constructed if the area was under Muslim rule?? How did the majority of the subjects remain Hindu and happy inspite of so many years of Muslim rule?? Bengal was also under Muslim rule when the British came along but the people were very happy, thank you, and they proceeded to get bled dry of all their prosperity, and the funds to build temples too, I am sure when the British arrived.
Speaking about Rama, I do not see why or how anyone can get affected if they accept that he is not a reality in the shape or form in which he is presented in the epics. I am sure that there would have been a righteous prince called Ram upon whom the epics must have been based but I consider that what is of utmost importance is what Ram actually stands for- justice, selflessness, belief in the equality of man, bravery, perseverence and humility. These traits of Ram defines him and is the soul of our culture and I have concrete proof that that soul exists. I believe that it would be a greater service to Ram and what he stands for if a hospital is built on that sacred spot instead of a temple which is of no use to the poor.
It was the practice in ancient times to use the bricks pillars etc of the temples of the vanquished to build the victors monuments. Hindu kings demolished Buddhist structures and established Hindu temples using those stones too. There is nothing remarkable or specially unjust about this. It would be if the same were done in this day and age when we have learnt to preserve our History.
I cannot accept that the guys who are fighting for that peace of land represent all Hindus or Muslims...as of now, today they just represent two vested interests who do not have the welfare of Ayodhya or India in mind. So I would very much like to tell these guys, who think that they know what Hindus and Muslims want to think properly and to ask themselves, is this fight in any way going to make Ram happy?

mohan said...

They had to pay tax for being a Hindu. If they cannot, either they had to convert or they had to leave the place. This was well documented fact. I am not sure where you have read that Hindus under muslim rule were happy. By the book, Muslims 'are' not tolerant towards other beliefs. Yes there were tolerant-rulers like Akbar but it was true even in their regime.

And I am not assuming Hindus do not get justice. I am saying Hindus did not get justice. That is a fact. I am not stating my opinion here, merely saying the basis of your conclusion is wrongly structured because you got the facts wrong.

If you read the book Observation of Law and constitution of India which was written anonymously by a British judge, I suppose, published in 1824 thats states very clearly that the mohmamdean law was very powerful and from his study it has been the same for the past 600 years before the british were here. This book was written so as to find which law should be incorporated in India when these guys rule us. And British did some extensive research on India so as to rule us.

"Hindu kings demolished Buddhist structures and established Hindu temples using those stones too. There is nothing remarkable or specially unjust about this." That is a very generalized statement you are making here. It is unjust. If you feel it isn't there are a lot of people feeling otherwise. Why do you think there was a case filed in 1886 regarding the same issue? The Hindus felt they need the ram temple to be established. They wanted their faith to be

And this issue is not to make Ram happy. We all know that.
Moreover what I was trying to say in the previous post and now is that your conclusion that the judgement given is in no way justice is based on wrong facts.

I am not saying what you said about this whole thing leaving bitter taste is wrong. Its absolutely right. What I am saying is you are wrong about leaving faith and belief from logic and reasoning while making a judgement. You are speaking as if while making a judgement one should not make theological considerations and I am saying that is not wise.

That is why the british extensively studied the faith, beliefs and customs of indians before they made the laws while they ruled us.

Indian in NZ said...

I agree with what you have written Diya. Not sure about building a hospital there since its a disputed site ( as commented by the other commentor)..its a fantatic idea though. I hope peace prevails. Even I dont get it what the big deal is about..I dont care whether there is a temple or mosque there even though its Ram Janmabhoomi. I totally agree with Rama being a part of mythology, not history !

diya said...

Mohan- I am glad that you have thought so deeply about my post and are disturbed by it and have given your opinion on each point.
But friend, I still very much beg to differ from the orthodox line you take up. I am happy that you have made the allusion of two brothers fighting. My friend if the groups fighting for that piece of land are two brothers, then India and her laws is the mother, because all our rights emanate from the constitution. If I were the mother represented by the law,and these guys were my sons, killing each other for my legacy I would most definitely disinherit them and give the property for charitable purposes. Under the Constitution and the inheritance laws I have the right to do so, and so does the State, but they won't, that's why I said they were playing safe.
As a student of History I know about the jazia but I also know that it was not back breaking and the Muslims too had to contribute a part of their earnings as zakat. However, I do not think that all Muslim rulers exacted the jazia, will have to ask a Madieval History person for that. But this I know for a fact that the British land tax exaction system left the nation impoverished beyond repair, Hindu and Muslim alike were affected by it. It is also known for a fact that the British consciously potrayed the period before their arrival as a 'Dark Age', and Muslim rule as oppressive and tyrannical, all this to justify their own presence here. In their capacity as a harbinger of justice and law and order they poked their noses in to the working of our legal system and made it rigid and inflexible. It is only now that Historians have stated unequivocally that what one considered as the 'Dark Ages' was not dark in the least, it was a time of the moving together of Islam and various Hindu sects and was the time of the prevalence of the Bhakti cult and the Sufi culture which threw up saints like Kabir and Nanak and several others most of them revered both by Hindus and Muslims. The Islamic faith was accepted and adopted here not forcibly but with maturity and understanding.
Your 1991 law is the product of an independent Indian legal system, supported by the Constitution of India, which has stated expressly that in the eyes of the State all religions are the same and will be treated equally. I do hope it will be properly implemented and its significance properly understood by us Indian. Most ardently, I pray that such a dispute as the one at Ayodhya never occurs again, and we ordinary people are allowed some peace.

My friend, Indian in NZ- I too fervently hope that we have heard the last of this problem...the ordinary people of India just want peace and well being. I do not see how a temple built at a particular place will lessen their woes. I think the political parties should now concentrate on the welbeing of the people for a change...

mohan said...

I am also not sure about most of the things/facts. But google books is a blessing. Lots and lots of good authentic books available.

I don't think similar kind of thing will happen in the near future. But I will not rule out the fact that certain sections of the political arena will definitely raise some kind of furore against something or the other. India is still a poor and illeterate country and we are divided very very easily by these b******.

Atleast, the response from RSS is positive in the sense that they are not treating it as a victory. I am hoping that no stupid politician does try to turn this verdict into someone's triumph and someone's defeat while actually its not.

Lets see how the future unfolds. I am not optimistic as long as the Nehru-Gandhi family is at the realm. They are the ones keeping us in the dark and will forever keep us in dark.(Not related to this case)

diya said...

Mohan, I do not think that Google books give you the correct picture...it may be hopelessly biased. The Hindu newspaper carries an article by Romila Thapar, who is a greatly respected Ancient Indian History authority and she also states that the findings of the Archeological Survey have been contested by Historians and are far from conclusive. I think instead of reading books by Britishers you can read those by Historians of independent India to get a feel of what this country really is.
Politics is a dirty game and all are to blame equally and so are we because we are the guys who put the politicians there...if we vote responsibly we will get the leaders of our choice. No one can mislead us if we read the right stuff and are determined to move forwards rather than use the past to destry our present.

Rohit said...

Its not all about temple or faith of Hindus. Here the Q is very big and not so hidden. THIS MATTER IS LINKED TO THE SURVIVAL OF BHARTIYA JANTA PARTY (BJP). I am as Hindu as any other, but I never thought about temple, and i am sure it is so with every other Indian, leaving few RIGHT WINGER FANATICS apart.
This HIGH COURT DECISION is not a correct way of solving this kind of problems. These fanatics will use this FAITH OVER LAW approach in future to claim many more places.
@Mohan I am sure you are Right Winger (Fanatic or not, its upto you to decide). Open your eyes bro, we are not living in 15th century, nor it is Babar's rule. Behave like a responsible citizen. If you have faint in Ram, go and but a photo/ idol and pray from deep of your heart, thats all. Do we need to build a house for God when we say he is omnipresent?

diya said...

Rohit, good to see you back! I am afraid that Mohan's is a very common opinion in our country today, that's because the Constitution of India has not been taught properly in schools. People do not realise that in independent India the right to faith is awarded by the Constitution and it also enjoins upon citizens and State to treat all religions equally, hence in public life, the law is surely above relious practice. The State and citizens are also committed to preserve historical monuments as they are to preserve our History. It is the failure of us school teachers and the school syllabus that is not taught properly, thius failure is reflected in these opinions and nothing else...

Rohit said...

Long time no hear :)

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