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 – http://patwardhan.com/?page_id=427
Anmol Sharma is an IT professional.