Jobs @ MG
Open letter to Mr. Vajpayee
|WE all appreciate your appeal to world
leaders asking them to condemn the Taliban for vandalizing and destroying
historic Buddhist monuments and archaeological sites in Afghanistan. It is
an act of incredible stupidity.
But was it not you, sir, who less than two months ago defended the
destroyers of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and described their intentions
of building a Ram temple in its place as being ‘in the national
Does the similarity in the thought process of you, your party and the
dreaded, hated Taliban not strike you?
Granted, perhaps the Babri mosque was perhaps not as valued an object of
art or even of archaeology as the monuments in Afghanistan. But is it not
indisputable that demolishing it hurts the sentiments of a secular (though
unfortunately largely silent) majority that had been nurtured on the
belief that this country is proud of the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and that
it believes in tolerance and humanity?
At the time of the Masjid demolition, the destroyers openly stated that
they were driven by their sense of intense piety; that they were the
children of God (‘Baccha, baccha Ram ka Janmabhoomi ke kam ka’). The
Taliban says the same. Their god told them to destroy all idols. Is their
intolerance really very different from yours? Will the world stand by and
reward them for this intolerance as the people of this nation stood by and
rewarded you for yours? Your party had two seats in Parliament before it
started the campaign to demolish the Masjid. The campaign brought you to
power and from time to time, whenever necessary, you revive these very
sentiments of intolerance, to keep yourself in power.
But you are, of course, not as crude as the Taliban. You sit in an office
under a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi, a man who was killed in1948 by the
gurus of your own ideology, a man whom you murdered once more on December
6, 1992 and then again for the third time on May 11, 1998 when you
exploded once and for all India's claims to pacifism. Yes, you can take
refuge in the fact that you were not alone in your madness. At least five
other nations preceded you.
Should I be consoled by this? That my nation is no worse than an America
that bombed Hiroshima? Than a Pakistan that invokes Jehad? Than an
I do not wish to neutralize the horror I feel at the destruction of
Buddhist monuments with the thought that my national leaders did the same
a decade ago. But I do believe that if this act sparks in us the desire to
fight intolerance of all kinds, then surely the buddha will not have lived
and taught in vain.