Friday, 28 October 2011

Ayodhya After Dec. 6, 1992


Note: The following excerpts/articles were published soon after Dec. 6, 1992 and give an idea about the events in correct perspective


Vajpayee On Ayodhya

It is also a fact that we did not want the forceful demolition of the structure and were keen for a negotiated settlement of the issue, which has been hanging fire in the courts for the last 42 years and about which endless rounds of discussions have taken place without any tangible results to show. The flash- point reached when the centre, in order to score a petty political victory, tried to pitch up the BJP and the Kar Sevaks against the courts on the issue of restarting Kar Seva on 2.77 acres of land. The Centre refused to join the state government in making an appeal to the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court for expediting a judgement on this issue: for several decades. The Kar Sevaks obviously felt cheated. They were now told not to do any Kar Seva even on the site on which Rajiv Gandhi had allowed Shilanyas and later V.P.Singh had acquired for the Ram temple.

 - Atal Bihari Vajpayee. (The Economic Times. 15.12.92)

Advani On Ayodhya 

The following is the statement of BJP Leader L. k. Advani before he proceeded to Agra on December 9, 1992 alongwith other arrested leaders: 
The pulling down of the disputed structure at Ayodhya was an unfortunate event. But the vicious and intemperate language in which the happening is being condemned by opponents of the Ayodhya movement is sending some very wrong signals not only to the people in India but also to the international community. 

A few years back over 50 Hindu temples were destroyed in Kashmir.
Apart from the Bharatiya Janata Party, no political party uttered even a single word of condemnation. So far as the establishment is concerned, there was a deafening silence. 

When in 1984, after Ms lndira Gandhi's assassination, more than 3,000 Sikhs were murdered in cold blood by mobs organised by ruling party leaders, I do not remember anyone in authority feeling particularly upset about it. 

A grim tragedy has overtaken 200,000 Hindus of Kashmir. They have been uprooted from their hearths and home and made refugees in their own country. For nearly three years now they are having to live a life of destitution and suffering. Yet, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh family no one is bothered about their fate. Is this only because they are Hindus? 

And today, when an old structure, which ceased to be a mosque over 50 years back, is pulled down by a group of people exasperated by the tardiness ofjudicial process, and the obtuseness and myopia of the executive, they are reviled by the President, the Vice-President, and political parties as betrayers of the nation, destroyers of the Constitution and what not! 
(Indian Express. 9. 12.92) ... 

RSS didn't expect demolition: Bahri

New Delhi: The Justice P K Bahri tribunal has ruled that neither the central government nor the leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal anticipated that the disputed structure at Ayodhya would be demolished, reports UNI. 

In his 4 June, 340-page verdict on the government ban on these three organisations, Bahri observed: "Even the white paper prepared by the central government does not support this theory of pre-planning for destruction of the disputed structure by these (three) associations or their workers." 

The sitting Delhi high court judge, at the same time, took exception to the central government not producing video evidence of the demolition before the tribunal. "If such evidence was available to the Central government even before December 6 (the demolition day) it is not understandable why then all out efforts were not made for protecting the disputed structure by the Central government itself," the tribunal asked. 
Bahri said the Central government's star witness, Intelligence Bureau Joint Director N C Padhi, had categorically admitted that "there was no material evidence to show that these associations had pre-planned the destruction of the disputed structure." 

The IB official also admitted that a video recording of the events which took place on the fateful day on December 6 at Ayodhya was prepared by the IB. "For reasons best known to the Central government, the said video cassette has not been produced or proved by the Central government. 
"In case the same had been produced, it might have shown that some sincere efforts were made by the leaders present on the dais on that day for requesting such Kar sevaks not to cause damage to the disputed structure at all," the tribunal said. 

Bahri also ruled that a photograph of a mound showing some rehearsal under way for climbing it "by itself would not, in my opinion, show that in fact these three associations were behind those Kar sevaks or people who were carrying on such rehearsal." The photo showed certain 'Kar sevaks' rehearsing a demolition act by attempting to bring down a mound in Ayodhya. 

Bahri also refused to attach any importance to the statements of public witnesses Praveen Jain and Ruchira Gupta who said that some rehearsals did take place in Ayodhya by some kar sevaks for purposes of demolishing the disputed structure. 

The tribunal also declined to attach any credence to the statements by these two public witnesses that the leaders present on the dais on December 6 last year in Ayodhya were only making "half-hearted appeals" to the kar sevaks to desist when they were actually in the process of demolishing the disputed structure. 
(The Independent. 9.6.93)

Reject Them - Ayub Syed 

The two shops, which should be shut immediately and locked permanently, are the Babri Masjid Movement Co-ordination Committee led by fire-spewing Syed Shahbuddin and the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee led by Salahuddin Owesi and others. If these so called leaders are left with any sense of shame they should dissolve their outfits in the interest of not only Muslims but also the country. These two bodies and their fanatic leaders are solely responsible for the total isolation of their community and its plight. As Advani whipped passions throughout the country with his strident slogan Mandir Wahin Banega and finally witnessed the demolition of the Babri. Shahbuddin and Owesi too contributed equally lethally to widen the Hindu-Muslim divide. The more they spewed venom, the sharper was the reaction from Hindu leaders. 

It was the duty of the liberal Muslims, who are out to promote secularism, to expose and ostracise these obscurantism and communal 'leaders'. They should have prevented the Congress, Janata Dal and Left parties from encouraging the Shahbuddin and the Owesis becoming the minority community's self-styled spokes- men. They are guilty of assuming that these rabid elements wield influence over the Muslim masses. The Janata Dal made a grievous mistake by getting Shahbuddin elected on its ticket and the Congress by hob nobbing with Owesi, a successor of Qasim Rizvi who communalised Hyderabad's Muslims arid finally ran away to Pakistan. The Congress has been responsible for preserving the Muslim League by entering in opportunistic alliances with them. 

The BMCC and the AIBMAC and their leaders have lost their relevance, if they had any, after the demolition of the Babri. They should be rejected by the Muslim community for the enormous harm they have done to it. The government should ban them as it has done in the case of RSS and VHP and its leaders should be put behind bars if they persist in poisoning the atmosphere. Poor Muslims, who mostly are daily wage earners and who were sucked into the Babri controversy, should be spared and allowed to live peacefully with their Hindu brethren, These Muslim fanatics have once again come up with the most provocative slogan of Masjid Wahin Banega. They are encouraged by Narasimha Rao's stupid decision to rebuild the mosque. The Babri is gone leaving a trail of blood. If the Muslims wish to build the mosque, they can do it. But not at the same place. It should be left, not to the VHP- Bajrang Dal, but to crores of Rambhaktas to build a temple in the memory of the greatest soul of India. This is the wish of almost every Hindu in the country and it will do enormous good to Muslims if they respect this nationl desire. 

The Muslims should realise they cannot live peace- fully in a permanent confrontationist situation. They will have to reconcile with certain aspects of the Hindu ethos. If Muslims are a minority, Hindus are a majority; A minority has to come to terms with the over-whelming feelings of the majority. Secularism cannot survive in this country if the Hindus do not want it. The Shahbuddins and Owesis do not have the monopoly of the Muslim masses, neither do the BJP-VHP-RSS over the Hindu masses. The election pattern in last forty years has proved it time and again. If the mind of India is sound, the pattern will be repeated in the next electoral battle too. Let the people decide if the country remains united and lives up to the ideals of Gandhiji or adopts a path, which shatters the dreams of the Father of the Nation. 
(Current, 25-12-92) ... 

Pak Hand In Blasts : Chavan

New Delhi: The home minister, Mr S.B. Chavan, today reiterated that Pakistan's involvement in the Bombay bomb blasts was "very clear and irrefutable". 

"It is unfortunate that a section of the press has persisted with wrong reports," an official release said here. 

It said, "the statements of the Pakistan High Com- missoner and that of the Secretary General of the Pakistan Foreign Office in this connection are based on misleading press reports which the home minister has described as absolutely incorrect." 

The two Pakistani diplomats had claimed that Mr Chavan in a statement in the Rajya Sabha, had cleared their country of any involvement in the Bombay blasts. 
(Times Of India, 4.5.93}

Implications Of Ayodhya - Ramkrishna Bajaj

As the one fortunate to have been brought up in close association with Mahatma Gandhi and Vinobaji since childhood, I have derived my basic thinking and inspiration from them. That is why I am a firm believer in our Constitution, which enshrines the principle of Sarva-Dharma-Sama-Bhava. 
What happened in Ayodhya was unnecessary .Those who sincerely believed that Babri Musjid was the place of birth of Lord Ram and wanted a Ram Temple to be built there, should have achieved their objective through negotiations and persuasion or, failing that, through the Gandhian method of peaceful and non-violent Satyagraha. 

However, let us analyse dispasssionately why all this happened. 

Since Independence, have we paid only lip-service to secularism? 

Have not almost all major national parties pampered the Muslim community for capturing votes, for remaining in power even at the cost of secularism, unity and stability of the country? Hindus and Muslims have to live together as brothers. I understand and share the deep sense of hurt nursed by the Muslims as a resu11 of the vandalism at Ayodhya. Like a true elder brother, the majority community has to safeguard the interests and respect the sentiments of the minority and give it a sense of safety and security. 

But, what about the younger brother? Hasn't he any corresponding responsibility or duty? Should he be always demanding more and more, whether it is right-fully due to him or not? If he continues to be intransigent all along, what happens to the family? 

What happened in Kashmir? Some temples were reportedly demolished and thousands of Kashmiri Hindus were formed out of the Kashmir valley. They have become refugees in their own country. Why has no one raised a voice against this all these months? Why have Muslim leaders, who are so vociferous in the defence of the minorities, not uttered a single word of regret or protest against this systematic persecution of the Hindu minority in Kashmir? 

Hindu secularists and others are advising the Hindus what to do and what not to do. Why did not they, or even one of the Muslim leaders professing secularism, tell the Muslims what was their duty under such circumstances? 

What happened to the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia? He is a Muslim; he spoke in defence of Salman Rushdie's right to express his own views. He was gheraoed by Muslim students and beaten up. Why didn't Muslim leaders protest against it? By such intimidatory tactics, liberal Muslim voices have always been sought to be throttled. This only serves to weaken the Muslim case. 

What about the speeches being delivered from Jumma Masjid, Delhi, and similar other places? They are inflammatory, almost anti-national and anti-Constitutional. What is our Government doing about them? 
Now these same people have the cheek to tell us to be secular and to uphold the constitution! 

Why, whenever there are serious communal disturbances, some Muslim leaders threaten to take the matter to the U.N.?

All these years, we have been trying to be friendly to the Arab and Islamic countries - even at the cost of our relationship with Israel. Why? We are afraid to annoy the Arab countries as, we feel, otherwise we may not receive oil from them. I would go to the extent of saying that let us face this problem once and for all. There are other countries prepared to supply oil. 

I hold no brief for BJP. I have been a non-party individual for many years and I claim myself to be a nationalist. But I feel what needs to be understood is that the Hindus, because of their philosophy, have been generally tolerant to a fault and frequently on the defensive. The Hindu assertiveness or aggressiveness being witnessed today is a reaction against the policy of unprincipled appeasement. BJP has gained ground because it has articulated this resentment in a forceful manner. 

Unfortunately, the major political parties have looked upon the Muslims only as a vote bank, and ignored their genuine socioeconomic problems. 
The Congress Party is committed to the construction of the Ram Temple without disturbing the disputed structure. The disputed structure by and large doesn't come in the 2.77 acre land. The Government could have found a way, inspite of the Supreme Court judgement, to allow the Kar Seva to take place-even to the excellent of starting the construction of the temple within the 2.77 acres. Had the Kar Seva been started from the entrance of the proposed temple it would have taken one or two years for it to reach the Garbh-graha. Meanwhile, there would have been enough time to allow the tempers to cool and evolve a solution that would be reasonable and fair to all. If the Governement really wanted to find a way out, even after the Supreme Court judgment, it could have tried its best to do so-as they did in the Shah Bano case. 

Besides, why should have the Allahabad High Court taken such a long time to deliver its judgment? Had it been delivered before December 6, the Ayodhya dis- aster could have, perhaps, been averted. 

It is the job of the Governement to govern. They cannot pass on the buck to the Supreme Court and take shelter behind it for their inaction. Unfortunately, our country is paying a very high price for such lapses. 
According to me, because of these happenings one after the other, a section of the majority community lost patience. What happened in Ayodhya was thus not an action, but more of reaction to these dilatory tactics. Once this basic fact is properly appreciated, it will help evolve an appropriate solution. 

Where do we go from here? 

1. Even now we have many leaders in our country who are universally respected and non-controversial. We should leave this issue to 5 or 7 of such persons for a final decision. 

2. The mosque is no more there. The Government is committed to its rebuilding. If it decides to permit its re-construction at a place nearby leaving the disputed site vacant to be developed as a monument to Sarva- Dharma-Sama-Bhava, and allows the temple to be built at the site originally selected without encroaching on the disputed site, the feelings of both the communities would come together to build the mosque as well as the temple in a true spirit of brotherhood. 

One more thing. Whenever any crisis comes up, all the Muslim countries come together. India being a Hindu-majority country is singled out and left to fend for itself. Nepal is the only other Hindu-majority country. But it is too small. India should join hands with the all Buddhist countries, starting from Japan to all other East-Asian countries. We should cultivate their friendship, culturally and politically. Basically, the Hindu and Buddhist religions spring from the same spiritual traditions and culture. Such an effort to create a political block of Hindu-Buddhist countries will have a significant impact. 
(Indian Express. 26-12-1992) ... 

Beyond Ayodhya's Watershed - Girilal Jain

A historic opportunity for genuine and long-term Hindu-Muslim understanding, offered by repeated and passionate pleas by Hindu organisations for the Ramjanmabhoomi site in Ayodhya, has been thrown away. But all is not yet lost. Something can still be salvaged and a new beginning made. 

Amidst widespread riots touched off by the demolition of the ambiguous Babri structure in Ayodhya, it would, on the face of it, appear perverse to suggest that this very development offers us another chance. But this is so, as I hope to show. Of course, certain pre-conditions have to be met if this opportunity too is not to be wasted. The bloated rhetoric of secularism, constitutionals and rule of law has to give way to common sense and realism and the Muslim leadership, such as it is, has to recognise the urgent, indeed desperate, need for a change of course on its part. 

The pre-conditions are tough. The chances are that they will not be met. The Muslim leadership has not shown much capacity for realism at any critical juncture since the battle of Plassey in 1757. This observation applies as much to the 1940 Lahore resolution of the Muslim League, in favour of partition, as to other critical moves. There have, of course, been exceptions. But men like Maulana Azad have never commanded the allegiance of the community. 

Similarly, the dominant ruling elite, especially that in control of the media, are too intoxicated with borrowed ideas and phrases to give up the empty rhetoric of secularism and rule of law. The prospect is that the rhetoric will continue to bloat. 

On top of it, we have judges ready to usurp the powers of the executive in their anxiety to prove their credentials, and the President of the republic who does not believe that discretion behooves his office better than public or semi-public statements. Even so, one must hope against hope. The apparently impossible does become possible if only once in a blue moon. 

A number of points were self evident long before the demolition of the structure in Ayodhya. First, Muslims could not possibly hope to get the Ramlalla idols removed from there, either on their own, or with the help of the government, and reconvert it into a proper mosque. 

Secondly, the denial of that space for inclusion in the proposed Ram temple would keep alive the centuries-old dispute and continue to poison Hindu-Muslim relations. 

Thirdly, the stage was past when the issue could be put back into cold storage. However condemnatory one's view of the activities of the V HP, the RSS and the BJP, they had mobilised Hindu opinion to a pitch unknown in the history of Hindus as Hindus. 

Fourthly, a "compromise" solution was not possible in view of the attachment of millions of Hindus to the \ site called the Ramjanmabhoomi and the Muslim refusal to concede it. 
Finally, courts could not be particularly useful, however elevated their view of themselves and however great the trust in them of the proponents of the rule of law. 

All that notwithstanding, however it was unrealistic to expect either that Muslim leaders would agree to hand over the site for the proposed temple; or that the government would take it over and transfer it to the V HP, or that it could persuade Muslim leaders to be realistic. My own pleas to both were a case of hoping against hope. 

Building Gone 

The controversial building is now gone, the government's "brave" declarations not withstanding. One must be out of one's mind to believe that it can ever be rebuilt. The consequences would be too grim even for a Nero, or a Babar, or an Aurangzeb, to contemplate, though one cannot be too sure about our courts anxious to order the government about. 

A Ram Mandir already exists on the site, even if a makeshift one. The government's proposal to rebuild domes appropriate to a mosque on top of it is too ridiculous for words and speaks of the straits to which it has been reduced. It can, of course, get a Ram temple built on the adjoining land and hope that it can then persuade Hindus to shift the idols. But that is moon- shine. 

The present government can at best begin constructing a temple; it is unlikely to be in a position to complete it. And what if it does? We shall then have two Ram temples side by side, both devalued because neither will be seen as being complete. 

In plain terms, Muslim leaders have no bargaining power left. The demolition squad has finally divested them of it. However much most of (Westernised) elite may denounce the squad in historical terms, it is immaterial whether or not Muslim leaders acquiesce in some so-called decisions of the government. For in reality, the government is paralysed and is unlikely to regain much room for maneuver. 
It would still be idealistic to expect Muslims to withdraw their claim to the site. But it is not wholly inconceivable that they can see some light, stop pressing the demand for reconstruction of the mosque, in course of time allow the claim to the land in question to lapse, and settle for the offer of a mosque around Ayodhya. 

More pertinent 

A couple of points may be addressed to Muslim leaders. First, it is time they realised that the secularism-pseudo-secularism debate is essentially an intra- Hindu affair. It is, in a sense, a replay, doubtless in very different circumstances, of controversies between modernisers and traditionalists beginning in the early 19th century. When I made this point some months ago, Syed Shahabuddin wrote to me to refute this proposition on the plea that Muslims had a vital stake in the outcome of the debate. It would have been more pertinent for him to say how they could influence the outcome from the position of self imposed marginalisation and of being objects of wooing (and that too for limited electoral purposes) they had reduced themselves to. 

It would appear reasonable to think that this point did not even occur to him. For, I have yet to meet a Muslim who has realised that the description, or treatment, of his community as a "vote bank" is insulting Similarly, it is not easy to find many Muslims who recognise that Indian nationalism has to be rooted in the Hindu ethos and that those who deny this self-evident proposition are ignoring the Indian scene in recent years, partly as a result of the VHP's campaign over Ramjanmabhoomi. 

Secondly, their own experience in a number of riots in recent years should convince them that they need the goodwill of Hindus which the Congress, decrepit in much of North India, the two communist parties, virtually non-existent beyond West Bengal and Kerala, and the various Janata Dals, centred on individuals preoccupied with themselves, can no longer assure for them. 

In the hothouse atmosphere of New Delhi and south Delhi, a different world even from the old city, certain attitudes and postures prosper. Elsewhere, the reality is different. Located in New Delhi the Union government has become a prisoner of this make- believe world. ' 
(The Times of India, 14.12.1992}

The Sangh Parivar Isn't Chasing Votes - Prof.Rajendra Singh 

There are moments when I feel that all that has happened in recent weeks has had a logic of its own. Even as we were going in for what you call self-flagellation, I was aware that something more was taking place. A great debate was beginning throughout the country over the character of the Indian nation, the concept of secularism or pseudo-secularism, the responses of the minorities and the political parties to the new challenges before them. 

We are not against any community. We are not interested in influencing the secular activities of the Government. It would be absurd to suggest that political power is what those of us in RSS have in mind. Ours is a movement for national consciousness that cannot be divorced from the views and the aspirations of a predominant segment of the Indian people. This is, let me repeat a national movement. Nothing more, nothing less. 


In a way December 6 was a watershed. Till then, the so-called elite and intelligentsia had laid a great emphasis on secularism. Their commitment to secularism, however, was not genuine. In the process, they tended to suppress democracy by riding rough- shod on the aspirations, ideals and well being of the majority community. 

A combination of the Muslim leadership which wanted to stoke confrontation and those interested in vote banks has so far dominated the political scene. But, today, a great change has taken place. The Hindu has decided not to take everything lying down. If justice is not meted out to him, he will react. If the real import of the Ayodhya incident is correctly appreciated by the intellectuals, a new beginning can be made. 

In fact, the demolition of the structure was an expression of the pent-up anger, an outburst of accumulated anger against wrongs. The kar sevaks had been humiliated by the Government, which stood in their way of building the temple. They felt that the temple construction was being thwarted and that an attempt was being made to belittle them and erode their credibility in the eyes of society. They were convinced that by various means the Government was trying to insult them. The angry kar sevaks decided to rebuff the tendency to play with their emotions and question their commitment to the temple. 

In the Shah Bano case, the Government could decide to flout the Supreme Court verdict. In the case of the graveyard in Kashi again, the apex court's decision was challenged. But when lakhs of people collected at Ayodhya to do kar seva, the whole matter was treated as trash. There was no consideration whatsoever for such a large number of people.

Things Have Changed 

But now things have changed. When some sadhus went on fast on the darshan issue, the judgement came within three days. The authorities have now realised that the Hindus will no longer remain quiet, nor can they be subdued by these methods. Sadhus normally do not interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the nation. They are busy in their own secluded world far away from the hurly-burly of politics. 

But when the issue of honouring the national hero, Bhagwan Shri Ram, came u p, they also reacted. For those seeking moksha through meditation, the question of recognising Ram as the symbol of national integrity was equally important. 

The real significance of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, however, will have to be seen in the larger context of the assertion of nationalism, which is a global phenomenon now. But India, in some very important ways, is different from other countries. Though divided into various sects and ways of worship, the country itself is perceived to have a soul of its own and is uniformly revered and loved. 

Unifying Heritage 

India is not just a geographical entity, but is invested with a spiritual glow. Its hills and rivers are sacred for the people. Again, the great men of this country like Ram, Krishna, Gautam Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak - call them avatars or outstanding geniuses - are respected all over the land. And, finally, in all the sects the idea of being a good man, the notion of Karma is very important. 

These ideas have permeated the entire Indian society and reinforced our unity. There are many states, but the basic philosophy has acted as a common strand. The destinations of the pilgrim, whichever part of the country he is from, are the same. They all converge on Rameshwaram, Varanasi and other such hallowed places. Ours is a multistate nation, the culture being the same everywhere. 

Ram is a unifying symbol of this country. In Europe, there have often been conflicts between the nation and the state. Nations have been submerged into a state without a cultural homogeneity. Though known for his humility and persuasiveness, Gandhiji very strongly told Jinnah that the demand of a group of converts for a separate nation had no parallel in history. 

The present conflict can be partially attributed to the inadequacy of our system in responding to the needs of the essential India, its tradition, values and ethos. At the time of Independence, the 1935 model was adopted wholesale with some modifications here and there. Scores of amendments to the Constitution that have been enacted point to the need for change. 

Certain specialties of this country should be reflected in the Constitution. In place of "India that is Bharat," we should have said "Bharat that is Hindustan." Official documents refer to the "composite culture," but ours is certainly not a composite culture. Culture is not wearing of clothes or speaking languages. In a very fundamental sense, this country has a unique cultural oneness. No country if it has to survive can have compartments. All this shows that changes are needed in the Constitution. A constitution more suited to the ethos and genius of this country should be adopted in the future. 

The aim of our struggle is not grabbing some more parliamentary seats, nor is it directed against a particular Government. Its basic purpose is to change and reform the system. The system the country adopted after Independence was a mix of both the capitalist and the socialist models. It was called democratic socialism. Along with the parliamentary system we went in for a mixed economy too. 

Now, socialism is dead and the inadequacies of capitalism are showing up in the US and Britain. The system solely propelled by profit motive has widened the social hiatus and accentuated the sufferings of people. So we need a third model based on the principles and ideals of the hoary Indian past which advocates decentralisation of political and financial power. Gandhiji also thought about it. But at the same time we need an economically strong India. What the Sangh Parivar is working for is the adoption of the Indian model. 
(Indian Express, 14-1-93). 

Indian Secularism X-rayed - Ram Swamp

What Islam needs is an introspective leadership, a leadership that is prepared to have afresh look at its traditional doctrines and approach. It must give up its religious arrogance and its fundamentalism, its basic categories of believers and infidels, its imperialist theories of Zimmis and Jazia, its belief that is has appeared with a divine mission to replace all other religions and modes of worship. 

The country's political atmosphere is rent with anti- communal slogans. There are deafening warnings against the threat to India's "Secularism". Everywhere there is gushing love for the minorities and a hearty condemnation of the forces of communalism as incarnated in the VHP, the RSS and the BJP. 

The parties and personalities who not long ago opposed India's struggle for freedom and unity are fully in the campaign. The Left intellectuals who dominate the media lead the chorus; Muslim fundamentalism provides the political sinews; that section of the press which was owned by the British till recently is rendering yeoman's services in the full spirit of the game. 
The warnings against communalism are not new. They have been a familiar feature of the post-Independence period. They have been sounded partly to keep the warners in form; and partly because they have been the stock-in-trade of slick intellectuals in search of a progressive image and of skilful politicians in search of easy votes. But one also notices this time a new urgency and shrillness in the alarm calls. It seems it is no longer a put-up affair and the warners feel genuinely endangered. 
It also seems that this time the danger is not felt to be against the Muslims, their adopted ward, but against themselves. For what is beginning to be discussed is not Muslim fundamentalism, but pseudo-secularism itself. A great threat indeed to the secularist-communists in India after their showpiece in Europe is in ruins and their ideology and the very way of thinking are under great questioning. 

Though borrowed from the West, secularism in India served a different end. In the West secularism was creative; in India, it was' imitative. In the West it was directed against the clergy, tyrannical rulers, and had therefore a liberating role; in India it was designed and actually used by Macaulayites to keep down the Hindus, the victims of two successive imperialisms extending over a thousand years. 

In the West it opposed the church which claimed to be the sole custodian of truth, which took upon itself the responsibility of dictating science and ordering thought, which decided when the world was created, whether the earth is flat or round, whether the sun or the earth moves round the other, which gave definitive conclusion on all matters and punished any dissent. 

But in India secularism was directed against Hinduism, which made no such claims, which laid down no dogmas and punished no dissent, which fully accepted the role of reason and unhampered inquiry in all matters, spiritual and secular; which encouraged viewing things form multiple angles-Syadvada (for which there is no true English word) was only a part of this larger speculative and venturesome approach. 

There is yet another difference. In the West the struggle for secularism called for sacrifice and suffering; remember the imprisonments, the stakes, the Indix: remember the condemnation of Galileo, remember how Bruno, Luclio Vanini, Francis Kett, Bartholomew Legate, Wightman and others were burnt at the stake. But in India secularism has been a part of the establishment, first of the British and then of our own self-alienated rulers. It has been used against Hinduism, which has nourished a great spirit and culture of tolerance, free inquiry and intellectual and spiritual integrity. 

Such a culture deserves to be honoured and owned and cherished by its inheritors, but unfortunately under a great misconception it is held in odium and its is being denied and disowned by a self-forgetful nation. Secularism has become a name for showing one's distance from this great religion and culture. Macaulayites and Marxists also use it for Hindu-baiting. 

Religious harmony is a desirable thing. But it takes two to play the game. Unfortunately such a sentiment holds a low position in Islamic theology .The situation is made more complicated by certain historical factors into which we need not go here. 

The immediately preceding British period added its own difficulty. More than the policy of "divide and rule" they followed another favourite policy of creating privileged enclaves and ruling the masses with the help of those enclaves. 

Both these policies were embraced in their fullness by our new rulers- the rules of the game did not change simply because the British left. They have a vested interest in consolidated minorities and minorityism. Consolidated minorities can be used against a national majority, which can be further fragmented and rendered powerless a la Mandalisation and other such devices. 

In his book "My Eleven Years With Fakhruddin Ahmad" Mr. Fazle Ahmed Rehmany quotes an incident which throws interesting light on the psychology of secularism and its need to keep Muslims in isolation and in a sort of protective custody. During the Emergency some followers of the Jammat-e-Islami found themselves in the same jail as members of the RSS: here they began to discover that the latter were no monsters as described by the "nationalist" and secularist propaganda. Therefore they began to think better of the Hindus. 

This alarmed the secularists and the interested Maulvis. Some Maulvis belonging to the Jamaat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind met the President, Fakhruddin Ahmad, and reported to him about the growing rapport between the members of the two communities. This "stunned" the President and he said that this boded an "ominous future for Congress Muslim leaders," and he promised that "he would speak to Indiraji about this dangerous development and ensure that Muslims remain Muslims. 

Different political parties have a vested interest in Muslims retaining their Hindu-phobia. This phobia is a treasure trove of votes for them or, at least, this is what they believe. It is unfortunate that the Muslims have not thrown up leaders, which stop playing the anti-Hindu game of some Hindus. It can bring no religious amity . 

What Islam needs is an introspective leadership, a leadership that is prepared to have a fresh look at its traditional doctrines and approach. It must give up its 'religious arrogance and its fundamentalism, its basic categories of believers and infidels, its imperialist theories of Zimis and Jazia, its belief that it has appeared with a divine mission to replace all other religions and modes of worship. 
(Indian Express. 2.1.91). 

Import Of Bomb Blasts... - Francois Gautier 

(The author, a French Journalist, correspondent in South Asia of Le Journal de Geneve, and a resident of India for 24 years.) 

A while ago, when after centuries of having been at receiving end, a handful of Hindus dared to destroy a mosque, however mistaken this gesture was, they were treated ruthlessly. The whole Indian media and political world went into a frenzy: 'Nazis, monsters, Hitlers'... 'The end of secularism, the doom of democracy, the seed of India's splitting'... 'Hindu rabid fundamentalists, Hindu this, Hindu that'... 

Yet, the Hindu fundamentalists did not kill a single soul. In fact, during its long history, Hinduism has been one of the most peaceful creeds in the world. Never trying to impose itself upon others, accepting the reality of different beliefs, never trying to convert; submitting itself to numerous invasions. But what happened after the Bombay blasts which were coldly and meticulously planned, killing more than 350 innocent souls, in one of the most horrifying terrorist bombing of this century? Not a word about the religion to which belong the perpetrators of this ghastly murders. Mum, silent are our wonderful intellectuals, who not so long ago raved and ranted about the threat of Hindu extremists. Our 'secular' politicians have also lost their tongue suddenly, mouthing only cliches about 'the wonderful communal spirit of Bombay', or accusing conveniently 'the Pakitani ISI'. 

But it's not only a conspiracy of silence; it's an attempt to deceive a whole nation. The facts are, however, clear; the hand seems to be without doubt that of the Bombay underworld, whose majority is Muslim (who will ever explain to me why most of the smugglers in India are Muslims? Is it because their religion teaches them that there is nothing wrong in cheating a government which is non-Muslim, even though it is their own?) But the amount of explosives and the meticulous character of the operation shows another hand behind it. 

All right, all right, the Pakistanis are probably the ones; they're also Muslims and since they lost Bangladesh through (they think) the conniving of India, they are in a hurry to take their revenge; Kashmir and Punjab are part of their plan to get back at India and the financing of the Bombay blasts sounds like something they learnt from their old masters of the CIA. 

Why did not the Indian government ask the United States to put pressure on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan to hold the Memon brothers? The USA would have probably complied. It just suffered a similar ghastly bombing and is thus sympathetic to India's woes, without speaking of the fact that it does not hold Pakistan in the same esteem that Reagan and Bush did. Why did not India immediately and formally ask the Gulf countries to detain the Memon brothers? How scandalous, shameful at best and criminal and highly suspect at worst..... 

And indeed, India looks today like a humbled fool. It was kicked nicely in the 'arse' and all the world heard was a few worn-out statements about communal harmony and the usual 'foreign hand'. It is one thing to shoot unarmed kar sevaks in Ayodhya, or mobilise half the country's police and paramilitary forces to a harm- less meeting called by a democratically elected party. It is one thing to call its own religion, which is one of the greatest, most gentle, most tolerant creeds, the last living spiritualised religion in the world, fundamental and rabid. It is another thing to have the guts to call a spade a spade and stand up to an occult menance to one's own country: the conscious attempt by universal Muslim fundamentalism to implode India and finish it once for all. 
Are Hindus cowards then? Are they forever going to take things lying down? Have centuries of Muslim conquests, rape, looting, forced conversion, razing of thousands of temples, imprinted so much on India's psyche, that we can only endlessly produce Vijay Amritrajes; talented, nice, but unable to fight, to win, to defeat the opponent? 

But India has to stand up now. Its very existence is threatened. There are forces, which are actively working to disintegrate her. The fact that these forces happen to be Muslim - at the moment at least - does not mean that they cannot be fought. Whoever coached India to always appease Muslim whatever wrong they did, however much they demanded, even if it means the breaking up of India? Who instilled this terrible unconscious fear in Indians that Muslims should never be antagonised? Is it because there are 110 millions of them in India? But the Hindu are 500 million, theirs is an ancient culture which has been capable of sustaining numerous invasions, colonisations, blows, pitfalls. Theirs is one of the oldest and most wonderful civilisations of the world. 

COME ON INDIA: Don't listen to your intellectuals and your so-called secular politicians. It you do, they will lead you to doom, hasten the process of breaking up this wonderful country which once stretched from Cape Comorin to the Afghan frontiers. Or else theywil1 make it into a faithful Westernised copy. 

COME ON INDIA: Stand up and fight. There is no question of throwing out 110 million Muslims out of your country. They are part of your culture and your soul; they are only another element of the wonderful mosaic of Indian culture; they only have to be told clearly that their first loyalty is to India and then to Islam; and not vice versa. What is needed now is a firm hand, which as a clear vision of India's inner potential and pat greatness and not coteries of politicians who are more interested in preserving their perks, than protecting their own country against a dangerous, concerted attack. 

COME ON INDIA: Stand up now, show the world your inner strength and resolve, use your dharma, draw force from the million of tapasyas performed by your yogis, the courageous hearts of your women and the simple prayers of your people. Come on India, stand up and tell the truth. 
(Excerpts- The Ferangi's Column--Blitz. 10.4.1993)


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