Dangers of Ayodhya Verdict: Politics of Ram Temple in Ayodhya
The October 30th Judgment of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court is being challenged by both the parties involved in the case, in the Supreme Court. Lot of things have been said and political parties are positioning themselves accordingly. Whatever be the result in the Supreme Court, a few things need to be examined and explained.
Reams of paper have been wasted in dubbing this verdict as "historic". Television channels brought back the old redundant saffronites for a 'united India'. We saw, the Maulanas and Brahmins at the helm of the affair of India again. Lord Rama is the conscience keeper of India and Advani's heart melted as he felt exonerated for his anti-national act of destruction of the Babari mosque on December 6th, 1992. These forces were totally out of power in Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar and have been waiting for this issue to reinforce their Brahmanical vision on India. While media and political analysts may say that much water has flown down Saryu and India has moved on yet it is the media which revived the issue and not the people. The cut throat competition in the media was so much that for the entire day they 'analysed' this on various shows and all the saffron Sadhus and their favorite chant, 'we respect court verdict’, statement became the hall mark of the day. We forgot the same saffron gang shouting loudly led by both Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharati that the issue of faiths can not be decided by the court of law and that no court was bigger than the court of Lord Rama. What a U-turn!
The decision of the court was more shocking. It ventured into an area which will open a can of worms. Was the issue before the court really 'whether Rama was born in the same place where the mosque existed?' 'Should the courts entertain such petitions? How can court decide on it? What will happen if the courts are asked the same question related to Mathura and Kashi? The judges in their wisdom decided to distribute the land between the three parties. Actually, it is two parties but how interestingly it is that Nirmohi Akhara is a separate party other than the 'Hindus and Muslims'. How can they be separate from Hindus? The issue of illegal occupation of the mosque was side tracked as well as how the idols of Lord Rama were placed into the mosque in November 1949. The court did not make any inquiry into it and therefore those perpetrators of a gory crime got legitimized by the courts though inadvertently.
The time when the judgment came and afterwards the saffron forces were in full flow. Ravi Shankar Prasad, speaking as lawyer appearing for "Hindus" appealing to "Muslims" to "honour" the court verdict. Prasad should tell his party president to honor everything that the court says and mourn the planned demolition of the Babri mosque even after the then chief minister had assured the Supreme Court as well as the National Integration Council for protecting the mosque at all cost. Yet, it was demolished and created an unprecedented anarchy in India which could be compared to partition days only. The saffron forces were always interested in that as they were losing hold over the masses and needed some tantrums to show us their legitimacy. Hence, this judgment can not be called a judgment in a legal sense. It is more a political judgment to keep two religious groups happy and hand over the leadership of the two communities which want to move ahead from the religious thugs of both the sides. India need to look ahead to the path of democracy where the voices of marginalized are continuously asking questions and seeking their space in our democratic set up. The religious rights are getting marginalized in their own way and need to show the predominance over the masses. The media run by the capitalists on the guidance of the religious thugs is always happy to play the dirty game of "sarva dharma samabhava" thus marginalizing those voices which challenge the 'popular discourse'. Hence those who question the very legitimacy of Lord Rama as an idol of India are not only marginalized but targeted and forced to keep quiet. The Sangh Parivar has succeeded in it as almost each one of us is shouting "Jai Shri Rama."
All the babas who have amassed huge properties through their crooked deals were basking on a 'grand Ram Mandir' to be built at Ayodhya. One does not know what does a 'grand’ temple mean. And why should they need 67 hectare of land for the temple. Does India lack temples and mosques? One is amused by this focus on the temple by the top brass of the Sangh Parivar. The Hindus have lot of problems to resolve but the Sangh Parivar and its many offshoots only need the issue which involves the Muslims. The right wingers of the Muslims also want the same so that the voices of the pasmanda remains on the margins. Though it is very clear that Muslims feel betrayed by the judgment but the fact is that their leadership too used the 'respecting court's verdict' according to their fancies. We all know what happened to other issues including that in Shahbano case. Justification can always come from Mr Shahabuddin about Ayodhya but the fact is that it is the religious leaders of both the sides that are fixing the agenda and that does not hold good for a secular democracy.
In the High Court, we saw the lawyers with the red mark on their foreheads. Such marks never used to be part of their fraternity. These days, a tilak is used in such a way as if it is ready to attack all those who do not agree with it. This show of militancy at every level has to be rejected. Indian courts must admonish those lawyers who show their religious faith outrageously in the court. It is trying to put pressure on the judiciary. Each party was saying that it would respect the court verdict. Then, why are they again thinking to go to the higher court? The Muslims as an aggrieved party are taking it to Supreme Court. The Hindu Mahasabha wants the entire area to be declared as the place of Lord Rama. Every body is asking for huge temple and we all know in this wonderful land, there is no land ceiling law applicable to huge land amassed or collected in the name of temples or mosques, muths or churches, Gurudwaras or farm houses. So, as India's poor continue to lack land to live and cultivate, the likes of Ramdev, Advani, Imams will have thousands of acres to cultivate their gods and goddesses. The state is a party to it. The media knowingly handing over the entire issue to these gangs who want this issue to rise so that they can have their TRPs.
Till the 30th, we all were debating the issue of land rights, tribal rights, issue of caste based census and many more things but from that day, all the dead woods are back to business. The sarva-dharm champions are back with the candle lights. It is nothing but trying to bring back the Brahmanical supremacy in Indian life. One has to understand the entire game of Ayodhya and its Ram temple. The brahmanical forces know pretty well that the Muslim religious lunatics too would not like to 'accept' 'defeat'. Both need to feed each other and hence the issue will continue. These Babas have earned millions of rupees and now they want entry into the Parliament and save their illegally grabbed money.
While I fully endorse the view that rule of the law has to prevail but what is rule of the law in this country. It is brahmanical values. That RSS and other Hindu organizations with the help of other parties have been able to again put forward their own castiest agenda on the country and all other issues are out. One friend wrote in the face book that there is no OBC-Dalit priests in Ayodhya. Unfortunately, he is wrong. OBCs are the foot soldiers of the Hindutva brigade and the day they understand it, it would be better. I can provide many OBC babas in Ayodhya living in their Akhadas and part of brahmanical value system. They have to understand that Advani's Rath yatra started to eliminate the Mandal effect that time and it failed as the Mandal forces were very strong enough but in that entire process the Sangh Parivar got Mandalised and co-opted the shudras. This time the target is the caste census issue. Advani and congress both do not want census on the basis of caste and want the issue to get diluted. They have foot soldiers like Ram Dev and others who are here to repose our faith in those brahmanical values that degraded the Bahujan masses of the country. This is dangerous. These ' so-called' non Hindutva Babas also want the same domination in Ayodhya. None of them talks about the annihilation of Buddhist culture from entire Avadh region. We must ask this question. I had posed this question to a Swami in Ayodhya during an interview and he proudly proclaimed that we threw the Buddhists away. He clearly admitted that Ayodhya was a Buddhist place named as Saket and that we threw them away. Even today, Ayodhya has a number of places which can easily be termed as Buddhist places. Our Buddhist friends actually could not do their home work well or may be in the din of Hindu Muslim noise, the voices of Buddhists and Dalits were ignored. I have visited number of temples in Ayodhya which I can say are Buddhists particularly some of their statues but have been converted into Hindu Gods.
The Supreme Court must take all issue into one. It must punish those who perpetrated the ghastly crime of dismantling the mosque on December 6th, 1992. It must also punish those who put the idols in the mosque. The court also must seek clarification from the Archaeological Survey of India. It said during the Setu Samudram Finding that there is nothing of Ramsetu in Rameshwaram region and that all that was fictitious. How can the same department say that there were signs of the birth of Lord Rama in Ayodhya? There could have been a temple but can any one prove that Lord Rama was born there. How the court was capable enough to decide about this matter? The Supreme Court must hear this petition with a longer bench and give a verdict so that tomorrow such issues do not come up. The verdict should not be given in isolation. The verdict must involve all those issues related to Ayodhya and demolition of Babari Mosque. The courts must ask the government what has it done to the promise made by the then Prime Minister Narsimha Rao to the nation that a mosque would be rebuilt there?
Can we undo the injustice of history? And if yes, then how? If Babari Masjid was the symbol of victory of aliens then what was Rama's victory? Can you undo the Muslim contribution to India and its four hundred old histories? Can we demolish Taj Majal, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and much beautiful structure which were made by the Mughal Kings? Will we not listen to Mohammad Rafi and Begum Akhtar simply because they were Muslims? Buddhists and Dalits have beliefs that Ayodhya was Saket and that many temples and idols there had been demolished by the Hindus and converted into Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Things were explained to me by several Buddhist friends and I did record events there. But Buddhists are not a party. History has enough evidences that a large number of temples are actually built on the edifices of Buddhist structures. What should the Buddhist do? Should they also start undoing the historical wrong and if yes, then how?
Undoing the history could prove expensive to the Hindutva forces. How will the Dalits and Shudra undo the history? Should they start thrashing these Aryan forces? In democracy, it is number that matter. The numbers are with the Dalit, Shudras, Adivasis and other such people oppressed by the brahmanical tyranny in India. If they all unite and start undoing everything Hindu dharma will collapse as it is based on a fad of caste hierarchy. It is time for these religious lunatics to come to senses and leave their false egos aside and work for an equitable and united India. Let them work for the eradication of untouchability. Let them work against dowry system. No, those who started the practice can not go against it.
The courts have to come clear on these issues. The faith of the so-called majority community cannot be the rule of law in the democracy. But unfortunately this is happening. Our political parties, intellectuals have conspired against India's indigenous people. On one side they are being thrown away from their homes in the name of 'development' and 'beautification' of our cities and towns, on the other side, they are being fetched by these religious thugs through cultural annihilation. Imposition of Rama culture by mass media on India people is actually an attempt towards annihilation of the indigenous culture of India. The new history is being written by the Dalits, Adivasis, Shudras by questioning the relevance of these patriarchical gods and their brahmanical masters. Ambedkar questioned it long back; Periyar moved against; Phule exposed them. The Hindus want to build a Ram temple while the Muslims want to build a mosque there. The best option for the oppressed communities is to read more "Sachchi Ramayana" and 'Riddles of Hinduism' by Periyar and Ambedkar respectively so that they can understand the conspiracy of these classes against oppressed Bahujan masses of India. Remember, the Hindutva is not against Muslims, it cannot actually do anything against them, and its target is to curtail the growing assertion of the Dalits, Shudra and Adivasis in the country. We must not keep quiet. We cannot watch the game from outside which actually affects us. Speak up for human rights and humanist values. Let us send these hate mongers to their dens. Let us not allow them to lead our polity. Let us be careful as the Hindutva vadis were the first to indulge in social engineering work after Mandal. The war for supremacy of Brahmanism has begun despite political defeats they are still active, aggressive and manipulative as they run their agenda through culture. It is time to combat it with our counter culture which is more humane, more rational and more civilized.Vidya Bhushan Rawat can be reached at email@example.com