Out of my mind: The never-ending dispute

Ram Janmabhoomi epic begins not in 1992 but at the same time as Independence. Jawaharlal Nehru may have been secular but his cabinet was not. Hence the sneaking in of the idols late at night despite locks at the site.

Written by Meghnad Desai | Updated: June 4, 2017 9:00 am
babri masjid, ayodhya dispute, ram mandir ayodhya The historic picture is of an abandoned building with people climbing all over destroying it. The dispute is about building a temple on the very same plot where the mosque was. But there are 67,000 plus acres in the area which have been sealed off.

What triggered the Mahabharata war? Was it the disrobing of Draupadi? Did that arrogant act destroy the Kauravas? Could it not have been avoided by Bhishma declaring the gambling match null and void?

The demolition of the Babri Masjid has been like the Mahabharata war, an issue of epic proportions. The guilt of L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti has not yet been proved in a court of law, but nor has their innocence. The final decision to build the temple on the site is still stuck with the Supreme Court, which has to rule on the Allahabad court verdict.

Ram Janmabhoomi epic begins not in 1992 but at the same time as Independence. Jawaharlal Nehru may have been secular but his cabinet was not. Hence the sneaking in of the idols late at night despite locks at the site. Then Rajiv Gandhi matched his Shah Bano decision with a concession for the installation of the Ram Lalla. Thus, 40 years after Independence, during the bright days of secularism, the seeds of the battle had been firmly planted.

The failure of the Congress to win a single-party majority in 1989 awoke ambition within the Sangh Parivar: the BJP could become the biggest party on the back of the temple movement. So there were rath yatras, with the predictable reaction of Lalu Prasad stopping Advani. But, eventually, it was not the BJP leadership which gathered at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, and destroyed the mosque, but the Bajrang Dal and other young activists who have yet to be fully tried. The violence of that episode sent shocks across the world. Widespread communal riots were incited in December and climaxed in the bombing of Mumbai in March 1993.

P V Narasimha Rao failed to either stop the original attack or bring the issue to a speedy end. The Liberhan Report took forever and again nothing got settled. Even in 2017, we have no finality about who was responsible for December 6, 1992. What the episode did was to begin the long process of the decline of the Congress. First it lost UP forever by alienating the Muslim vote.

The Congress has not recovered its primary place in North India. The young rebels of the Bajrang Dal and BJP wanted to take historic revenge for what they thought was the sorry period of Muslim dominance in (North) India. They would destroy a mosque as the symbolic revenge for the many temples which they believed the Muslims had razed to the ground. Yet, it did not bring the BJP any quick fruits. In three elections, 1996, 1998 and 1999, it did not win a majority but was stuck around 180, a hundred short of majority. The mosque may have been smashed but the temple was not built.

The historic picture is of an abandoned building with people climbing all over destroying it. The dispute is about building a temple on the very same plot where the mosque was. But there are 67,000 plus acres in the area which have been sealed off. There is land enough to make Ayodhya a global showpiece for the multi-faith civilisation that India is. Why not build a temple, mosque, gurdwara, a Buddhist vihara and a church?

That would be the perfect example of sabka saath, sabka vikas.

For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App

  1. I
    Imran
    Jun 5, 2017 at 4:09 pm
    Muslims of India lets unite and rebuild Babri Mosque and rebel against the oppressive state of India. Hindus are kaffirs and we are liable to fight against them and concert them into muslims. Let's unite and reclaim the rightful throne of India by converting Hindus and those who do not convert throw those hindus in the Indian ocean.
    Reply
    1. P
      Pitambar Sharma
      Jun 5, 2017 at 3:02 am
      Hindus are always bending over backwards to compromise and accommodate others. They are even wil to tolerate ic comments such as "... symbolic revenge for the many temples which they believed the Muslims had razed to the ground." ic because only an does not know that thousands of temples were razed by Islamists -- practically every Muslim but I want to be politically correct. But it takes two hands to clap. Islamists, Congis, leftists, Mullu, Lallu, and the w bunch of anti-nationals have no interest in solving the problem.
      Reply
      1. P
        Pitambar Sharma
        Jun 5, 2017 at 2:59 am
        Hindus are always bending over backwards to compromise and accommodate others. They are even wil to tolerate ic comments such as "... symbolic revenge for the many temples which they believed the Muslims had razed to the ground." ic because only an does not know that thousands of temples were razed by Islamists -- practically every Muslim but I want to be politically correct. But it takes two hands to clap. Islamists, Congis, leftists, Mullu, Lallu, and the w bunch of anti-nationals have no interest in solving the problem.
        Reply
        1. S
          Swaran Jit
          Jun 5, 2017 at 1:14 am
          A slight amendment to my post in response to VnK Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, not Sher Shah Suri, in 1526 to found the Mughal Empire, in place of Delhi Sultanate, not a Hindu Kingdom but a Muslim ruler ship of Delhi and died four years later in 1530. His priority in the short span of four years would obviously be have to be consolidation of his power and not to 'humiliate' any of his subject communities. So, where was the motive for him to destroy the so-called Ram temple. It is a fact that Indiais a Hindu majority country, but as per our Cons ution it belongs to all its citizens - Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Budhhists, Jains etc and even agnostics and atheists. We should therefore solve our problems in terms of 'Indian' nationalism and not nationalism linked to a particular religion.
          Reply
          1. M
            mtv
            Jun 4, 2017 at 11:43 pm
            As Ayodhya is a sacred place for Hindus, Muslims should have shown large-heartedness and wisdom in a secular country and vacated the site much before 1992.
            Reply
            1. J
              John Joseph
              Jun 4, 2017 at 11:40 pm
              We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is a religion of peace. It is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of muslim fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. 'The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the muslim fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. 'It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists globally and are gradually taking over the entire world in an Islamic wave. It is the muslim fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over churches and temples to built mosque after mosque. It is the muslim fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homo uals. It is the muslim fanatics who tell their young to kill.
              Reply
              1. S
                sheiksaleem
                Jun 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm
                you guys never ever ever change , you killed not we muslims. ISIS appointing the jews they say muslim kill human being when quran says kil is prohibited you both are same same foolish guys . see the verse quran /5/32 that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
                Reply
              2. S
                sochee
                Jun 4, 2017 at 11:10 pm
                Lord Desai, We are humble Hindus and we want to have a Ram temple at the site where there was one. We are not multi cultures vultures like you who are faithless Hindus baloons floating in the air to provide you with entertainment. Don't try to degrade us.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Swaran Jit
                  Jun 4, 2017 at 9:04 pm
                  @VnK. Brush up yr history. Babur defeated not a Hindu king to humiliate Hindus. He defeated Sher Shah Suri, Nother Muslim ruler of India to found the Mughal Empire instead of Delhi Sultanate. So, where was the motive for him to destroy the so- called Ram temple to 'humiliate' the Hindus? As nationalist 'Indians' and not nationalist 'Hindus' we should resolve these issues in 'national' interest and sectarian or religious interests.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    S. Kumar
                    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm
                    Did Babur destroy mosques built by Sher Shah Suri? Why did he only destroy Hindu and Buddhist shrines? The reason was to humiliate. You should ask the aggressor to rectify his aggression rather than preaching nationalism to a community who always wanted a united India and not par ion. Appeasers did not want an independent India, they said British Raj is doing well, why have trouble? But karmveers like Veer Bhagat Singh, Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhas and Lokmanya Tilak said better to die than be slaves. People like you are an absolute disgrace.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      S. Kumar
                      Jun 4, 2017 at 10:57 pm
                      What is your recommendation to the lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus? Think like nationalist Indians and accept the humiliation? Words fail me to describe my contempt.
                      Reply
                    2. Load More Comments