Ayodhya reflections  

babri Masjid wikimedia
Babri Masjid-wikimedia

A Mosque stood in Ayodhya, it was built in the 15th century – since then, Tulsidas, the writer of the Ramayana, (that is the story of Lord Ram) did not write that Lord Ram was born in the precise place the mosque stood, Swami Vivekananda, the Icon of Hinduism did not mention it. The surveys did not indicate that, nor there any stories mentioned by the who is who in the Hindu community in the last 500 years, but a political party found Babri Masjid to be advantageous to have unlimited political gains.

Babri Masjid was built in 1528 when Tulsidas was seventeen years and was born and raised in Ayodhya. He made no mention of it in the Epic Ramayana that all of us revere. Poet Allama Iqbal had praised Ram lavishly in his poems.  Mr. Advani, then a major political figure of Jan Sangh (Political party) led the march for the destruction of the Mosque and it was destroyed on December 6, 1992.

BJP (formerly Jan Sangh) struggled with their divisive agenda and could not convince the Indians to give them more than 2 seats in the 545 member parliament for nearly 40 years. The politicians found it beneficial to politicize the issue and claimed that the Masjid was built on the where a temple stood before, and Lord Ram was born exactly 11,000 years ago where the Mosque stands now. Advani, rallied up people to go destroy the Mosque.

They destroyed the mosque, and right after that they got some 60 seats, and when they stirred up the passion of the Hindutvadis (Political Hindus and not regular Hindus) to build Ram Temple they gained a majority in the house of Parliament. These politicians got the taste, and have continually sowed the seeds of discord between Hindus and Muslims and earned a supermajority in 2019 elections.  But still, they were elected by 37% of the Indians and not even a majority of Indian voters. The election systems need to be corrected. The governing party or the coalition should have at least 51% of the votes cast to be a true representation of the people.

Today the Indian Supreme Court rendered their judgment to give the land to the party to build the temple.  There have been great suggestions to deal with the issue including the one proposed by Dr. AbuSaleh Shariff to build a cultural smart city https://thewire.in/rights/ayodhya-as-cultural-smart-city-a-mediation-proposal-for-the-mosque-temple-dispute

What is right, and what is wrong is the question, and where lies the future of Indian democracy, or we a Mobocracy or a Democracy?

We are Indians, supposedly smart people, and we have to find a way out of this, we cannot let our motherland rot, and our society to degenerate into rejoicing belittling each other.

Since three this morning, I’ve deleted hundreds of notes I wrote, some of you may be going through similar struggles, yet some of you are happy as a lark. I want to put together some reflections on how to steer India in the right direction.

What got me out of the freeze is this song, continually reverberating on my mind. The song is calling on us. https://youtu.be/kfAVUOvip9g

The questions are not legal but moral.

The Muslims would have had a moral upper hand, had they donated the land voluntarily with no conditions. If the Hindutvadis (not Hindus), the self-appointed representatives of the Temple issue came for more, the Hindus would have stood up and said, enough is enough. Bring us the jobs, and do not throw dust in our eyes.

The Hindu community’s will to welcome the gesture was not reflected by the men who represented them either. They could not assure the Muslims that after donating the Babri land,  no more claims will be made. Instead, we will focus on creating jobs, providing clean water, increasing literacy, bringing prosperity, and living our lives in the pursuit of our happiness.

Both communities have failed in their moral duty (not legal or political) to find a solution, given the destruction of a place of worship is wrong, and the destroyers were not punished. We have to remember, we don’t live under kings and dictators who did what they wanted to do, be it Muslim or Hindu Kings. We are a democracy, and we have a say in how we are governed.

Did the men who represented Muslims care for the opinion of the majority of Muslims? What would they have chosen? Muslims, at large, always wanted harmony and a cohesive India where we got along. It is not a religious issue; it is a social and political issue. Muslim kings have donated lands and grants to build temples, and we have a great history of that. Forget them, the ordinary Muslims amongst you, and I have donated to temples and vice-versa.

Did the men who represented Hindus care for the opinion of the majority of Hindus? Would Lord Ram have Approved their actions? Again, as Indians, we find songs to reflect our thoughts. A majority of Hindus would agree with this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGKFMGwFDwo

Would Indian governance reflect the will of the people or the decisions of a few?

What kind of India do we want? What kind of civilization do we want to foster? Do we want to continue to live in hostility propagated by political parties (not Hindus or Muslims)? When will we start living freely again?  When we have the jobs or places of worship?

I urge my fellow Indian-Americans to think in terms of liberty, freedom, and not as Hindus or Muslims. We can find answers at least for our sanity, the sanity that purges ill-will, malice for the other, and let us live freely, and see eye to eye and invite each other in our celebrations and commemorations.

We cannot let a few on each side, strip our goodness that we are blessed with from birth.

Please share your thoughts, let there be no blame, but solutions to build a cohesive India. Both Muslims and Hindus have agreed to abide by the verdict of the Supreme Court, and I am glad to see numerous reports from the Muslim community to let go of it, and I am sure the same sane voices dominate in the Hindu community. It is not a victory or a defeat, and it is a moment of reflection about us, what kind of people are we?

Neither Hinduism nor Islam should be used to fight political battles. Let’s fight to keep the sanctity of both religions intact. In the long run, we would be smart to keep religions to bring us together and now sow division. Let’s say words that bring us together and not divide us. We have to move on.

Here is another inspirational song. If only we realize that none of us will live forever, then why create pain for others?

Jeevan aani Jaani Chaya, jhooti maya, jhooti kaya,
phir kake ho sari umariya, pap ki gathri dhoyee


Mike Ghouse is a thinker, author, speaker, newsmaker, and an interfaith wedding officiant. His new book American Muslim Agenda is available on Amazon, coming up are books on Human Rights and Pluralism. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His information is linked-in.




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