This article is part of a series called “Heroes And Sheroes Of Plural India” under #AnHourForCommunalHramony campaign to celebrate the Heroes and Sheroes who struggled to shape modern India in all its plurality.  Today we celebrate Pujari Laldas who  laid down his life for a plural India. All are welcome to contribute an hour of your day, in celebrating these Heroes and Sheroes of plural India

A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are for.                                                                     John A. Shedd

If the fear of sinking holds the ship from sailing, the ship is bound to stagnate and even the water at the harbor will become its graveyard. A day will come soon enough when that same ship will be weakened because of its own fears; it won’t even be able to withstand the usual waves that move to and fro to the same harbor.

Pujari Laldas had a firm belief that Hindus and Muslims are meant to live together peacefully and all the nuisance created “In a name of Ram” is nothing but a greedy motive to cash in Hindu votes.

He was the chief priest in the Ram janmabhoomi temple and he vehemently opposed the actions of hindutva forces responsible of demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that followed it. Sitting in the heart of Ayodhya, he made sure that his views on communal harmony reach masses.

Pujari Laldas represented the ship that had the courage to sail in turbulent waters.  Unperturbed and poised by the communally charged environment, he held his views firm and showed resolute endurance in grave times.

Unsurprisingly, he became the victim of the extremist forces and was murdered in early 90s for his views on communal harmony.

His interview is available in Anand Patwardhan documentary – “Ram ke naam”

and is also available at –

Anmol Sharma is an IT professional.

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  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Such people should be projected as real architects of communal harmony and genuine guardians of secular India

  2. Nivedita Dwivedi says:

    A fitting choice for this series….There is an urgent need to bring to fore such personalities who have stood for communal harmony in life as in death….Thank You Anand Patwardhan for throwing light on the life of Pujari Laldas, Thank You Anmol Sharma for choosing to include him in this series and Thank you Countercurrents for hosting this series.

  3. #PujariLaldasSatKotiPranam!
    The BJP and the RSS has got the best by their balls, in a manner of speaking.Babri Masjid and the many riots against the minorities at different times since Independence have been juggled in the same bag of arguments and counter arguments.Nehru was,perhaps, the last leader to have tried to steer an independent course whilst engaging in religion and politics.Now most of us are left squabbling on what is Religion and its practice all about.Especially in the realm of politics.(if it has not entered all aspects of human life and living already)
    Religion is private but an inalienable part of the Indian psyche.So say the agnosts or the liberals or even the left.If it is overt, well then “garv sey kaho mein Hindo Hoon”.If religion is unobtrusively becoming a part of the governmental agenda and the boundaries between State and Religion are becoming blurred the common man is equally confused.You cannot uproot religion per se in its current entrenched form as it is agreed even by its famous opponents to be “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions”.That religion is a construct of man and in its critique is the first step towards criticism is not a very popular view.”To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”
    If the narrative has to be changed and has to be fought in the battlefields of a temple, church or a mosque and if religion and religious beliefs have to coexist in its present form as an article of private faith then the story of Pujari Laldas needs to told and retold in all homes.
    We shall have to wait until” the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics” happens and humanity is relieved of its many chains to be truly free.