The Babri Verdict

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There was a time, in the early 90s that we believed, with a passion, that adding jhankar beats to a song was as important as adding salt to food, that Farheen (the heroine of Jaan Tere Naam) would become the next Madhuri Dixit, that Vinod Kambli would be a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar and tie-die, spandex, acid-wash jeans would be the future of clothing. Now we realize how utterly foolish all of it was. In the same way, I hope that when the Babri Masjid verdict comes out, we as a nation can treat it as yet another 90s folly (I personally found the whole spectacle of grown men dressed in costumes, brandishing arrows and moving on automobiles and calling them “raths” ridiculous even then and this is the person silly enough in the early 90s to detect potential in Avinash Wadhawan after seeing him in “Balma”). And, as a nation, display the maturity to move on with our lives, so that we may deal the follies of today—Trinamool Congress, Neetu Chandra and the recall of Sreesanth.

Of course there will be a section of people who will disagree: ” The wrongs of history need to be rectified, even though they may have occured hundreds of years ago.” To them I say—-So Babur knocked down a Hindu temple and built a mosque over it.  It happened a long time ago. Get over it. No one, save A K Hangal,  is around who remembers what went down. And he is not protesting.

And what about the wrongs taking place now, as we speak? Have we reached a stage that our present is so perfect that we need to look four hundred years back to correct something bad done then? Why worry whether Babur looted us in the middle ages when there are a gang of Commonwealth Master Gogos in Delhi, under the guise of organizing an international sporting event, pillaging the coffers of our country at this moment?

I do not buy this need to address generational hurt argument because it is most frequently used to perpetrate historical wrongs, justifying today’s hatred by citing events that happened long long ago—in essence saying “No matter what you do, I will hate you cause the cause for my hatred happened in the past, even though my grand-dad was not born then. And the past cannot be changed. Neither can I be. ” What a cop-out.

Lest people misunderstand, I am not saying we forget or not care for giving justice to those who died as a result of the riots that happened post-Babri mosque demolition. Those things aren’t history. We saw it. Families who lost a loved one are still alive. They remember and they deserve justice.  But whether a Ram temple stood there at the site of the Babri mosque when Babur came a-visiting—-that’s what I do not care about. And I hope none of us do, not enough at least to take to the streets and create yet another crisis, to add to the long list we already have.

There are some others who will say this is a matter of faith and if the Supreme Court does not show sensitivity to the “sentiments” of people, then there will be trouble. I wish I could tell them “It’s the Constitution stupid. What is being deliberated is not the divinity of Ram or whether he existed, but whether a temple stood there or not. And in any case, the law in a secular state is obliged to care two hoots for your sensibilities. There are laws. And you have to obey them. If your sentiments are hurt and the legal framework does not give you remedy for your “hurt”, go suck your thumb.”

I wish I could say that with this aggressiveness but I cannot. Because too many times have our political masters, manipulated the legal framework to respect “sentiments” of those assertive and unified enough to retaliate violently as a group to any “hurt”. This has of course incentivized every group in India to react aggressively to every perceived “insult”, knowing full well that their ability to get “respect” is proportional to the amount of violence they can generate.  Too many times have bad precedents like banning books to not arresting personalities been set, and they have happened so fresh in our memory that I may not even ask people to “forget it”.

In this respect, our constitution is also to blame since it says free speech is fine as long as it does not hurt people’s sensibilities. But as I have seen before in this blogspace many times, “free speech” that actually needs to be protected by law is by definition hurtful of someone’s sentiments. This is why India really has no concept of protected speech, unlike say what US citizens have under the First Amendment. Which is why even in any case that can be determined on the basis of the law, “sentiments” will be considered, even though what may come out might well be a travesty of justice.

It will be interesting to see what the political strategies of the Congress and the BJP will be in the upcoming weeks. The Congress will try to play the old game of “delaying justice” on contentious issues, which is what they have been doing with the Parliament attackers and Kasab, since its principal electoral plank is being agreeable to all. The BJP will face the conundrum—-should it try to reprise the old formula like “Dabangg” with a few new twists and hope for a mega “itne ched kar denge” revival? Or will it let the matter slide, maturely, and expend its energies on winning back its relevance in 2010 through a forward-looking agenda based on policies as opposed to costumes and fancy-dress parades?

Now what should be done at the Babri site—I honestly believe (and I am sure I am not the only one) that, in order to please everyone, we should construct a gigantic shopping mall- multiplex complex. Why? Because  a mall is the temple of modern India (not dams as Nehru said) as it is constructed in the name of the one God that unites us all—- Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Chetan-Bhagatites. The Capitalist God, the most secular of them all. Vulgar and ostentatious He may be but at least when He peddles false hopes of salvation by making you sacrifice your money, He discriminates against no one.

And that perhaps is not a bad thing after all.

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350 thoughts on “The Babri Verdict

  1. ” I honestly believe (and I am sure I am not the only one) that, in order to please everyone, we should construct a gigantic shopping mall- multiplex complex. Why? Because a mall is the temple of modern India (not dams as Nehru said) as it is constructed in the name of the one God that unites us all—- Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Chetan-Bhagatites. The Capitalist God, the most secular of them all. Vulgar and ostentatious He may be but at least when He peddles false hopes of salvation by making you sacrifice your money, He discriminates against no one.”

    – absolute masterclass

  2. Your post is self-contradictory. You seem to say “lets selectively decide which parts of history matters and what does not”. For person who was born in 1995, babri masjid demolition and babur invasion both happened in the past before he/she was born. why worry about it? A few months from now – we can comfortably say common wealth games happened in the past as well.

    The real cop-out is the “but its a few hundred years ago” argument. Caste system happened a few hundred years ago. Why fight against it? Live with it?

  3. Hawkeye,

    No not selectively. I do not forget what happened in 2002 and ask you to remember what happened in 1992. That’s a cop out. I am saying forget what happened in the 1520s because no one is alive now who feels any of the pain. As a matter of fact, no one knows whose his ancestors were in the 1520s. Remembering these non-existing memories however has the potential of creating “immediate pain”.

    Giving you another example, since you have problems in getting this, in 2011, our government will tell us they do not have money for so-and-so vital project because of budgetary constraints. And that’s when the “history” of Commonwealth Games becomes relevant. But in 2411, of course if someone tries to use the Commonwealth Games….I hope you get the point now.

    And the caste system. In many places it is still very much alive.

  4. As usual the modern state is confronted with solving issues which are social, historical and religious in nature AND Not constitutional in nature.

    The modern state from France to India has constitutions and laws which deal with issues such as criminal law, corporate law, family law, banking law etc.

    To expect a court to deal fairly with a issue like Babri Mosque or the Burqa ban is actually quite not possible.

    The court is only dealing with the symptom of the issue. Not the issue itself. AND The issue is communal tension and hatred between two groups.

    This can only be dealt with at the social level. Not the state or court level.

    The Indian court should have dismissed the hearing of this case on the basis of jurisdiction. This is some thing the executive should deal with.

    The courts should strictly deal with the murders of the people in the riots and the instigators of the riots.

    Kind Regards

    Junaid

  5. We belong to a country where Religion is politicized, politics is criminalized and crime is nationalized.. I wish I could be optimistic about the verdict, GB.. but I am very cynical :(( and sadly so.. lets hope the Babri verdict doesnt give rise to barbaric acts

  6. No I am not saying it did not come out cleary in your post. It did. I should I have commented more clearly.

    Feeling of Pain in a ‘current affairs’ type event is subjective. Perception of RIght/wrong is probably more objective than peception of pain. Which is why I used the ‘caste system’ analogy. By whatever sytem of logic/axioms we use today to distinguish things that are right and things that are wrong – we are able to identify that caste system/untouchability is just plain wrong. This system was started many hundred years ago. But we choose to correct it now because our right/wrong compass compels us to.

    Brutal Prevention of ‘freedom of religion’ regardless of when it happened is wrong as well. Doesn’t matter when Babur did it. Doesn’t matter if no one who was alive then will ever get to see the wrong getting redressed today (an untouchable in 1500s is not going to get the benefit of reservation that a creamy layer backward class guy gets toay but we still implement equal opportunity practices). If you truly think something is right or wrong then advocating redressal should not be based on other factors such as ‘popularity’ or ‘perception of pain’ or even ‘relevance’.

    I sincerely feel that ‘but its in the history argument’ is a stand that lacks courage and is more populist/common denominator. The right thing will always piss off a lot of people. But its the right thing.

  7. Arnab,
    We can only hope and pray that the verdict won’t lead to more communal riots.
    And, till then, I’m waiting to see the comments on this one… I’m sure you’ll get lot of those comments saying you are a shameless book-peddler!!!

  8. Hawkeye,

    But then why stop with Babur? I might now claim that there is Jayadrata’s tomb right below your house in Chennai. People in Sri Lanka may take India to international court for the sacking of Lanka during Ramayanas. India may need to prove that it was Ravana who provoked them. Really. Where do you think things should stop? 1400s? 1300s? I can go as far back as I want.

  9. Agree. Its been long overdue.

    Should have been solved in 1947, when people of this land took charge of their own destiny.

    Sardar Patel took care of Somnath, Nehru could have taken care of this.

  10. /* Giving you another example, since you have problems in getting this, in 2011, our government will tell us they do not have money for so-and-so vital project because of budgetary constraints. And that’s when the “history” of Commonwealth Games becomes relevant */

    This is exactly what I am arguing against. That something is wrong should be evident within itself. It should be guided based on the principles/ethics we set for ourselves as a society. It should not be judged in relation to the gravity of another mistake. To reply to your example: erros in conducting common wealth games should be evident in a vaccum without an existence of another vital project that went unfunded. And vice versa

  11. /* But then why stop with Babur? I might now claim that there is Jayadrata’s tomb right below your house in Chennai. People in Sri Lanka may take India to international court for the sacking of Lanka during Ramayanas. India may need to prove that it was Ravana who provoked them. Really. Where do you think things should stop? 1400s? 1300s? I can go as far back as I want. */

    You are now getting into construction of verifiable history vs Mythology vs claims. If there is a good process around what is considered fact vs generic claims, the merits of the case should take of themselves. To counter Jayadrata’s tomb remark – ASI has relocated houses (for a compensation ofcourse) when it has found burial grounds underneath houses in some villages/towns. Its like offering compensation to you to move to another house if your house needs to be demolished for highway construction.

  12. nicely written and i agree about moving on, in many ways people already have. Considering the bludgeon that went on in Mumbai after the demolition, i thnk ppl have learnt a lot and moved on. Its only the politicos who have not moved on and will not, some of them have nothing but these acts of cowardice to infuse into the people, sensitize it and make it an issue, it is only when these scumbags move on will the issue be seen rationally, till then it will remain a religious,separatist and biased one

  13. “verifiable history vs Mythology vs claims”

    The whole “sentiment” argument is based on the premise that Ayodhya (the very precise spot) is the birth-place of Rama. Which of these 2 (verifiable history vs mythology) do you think that is? If you say Rama is verifiable history so is his battle against Lanka and so is Sri Lanka’s claim of reparations.

  14. Not having read much about the Babri issue, I thought the reason was something else (which you’ve omitted): apparently some Hindus believe that the site is the birthplace of Rama and want a place to pray there. While I’m not convinced this desire deserves to be satisfied given the circumstances, this reason is about the future and not the past.

  15. That babur invaded India is considered verified history. The way histrians recreate the past is by comparing inscriptions on hostorical structures and identifying repeated cross-references to the same event in a diverse literary sources. For example Malik Kafur’s attack on Srirangam is mentioned in Babarnama, Akbarnama, and in Koil Ozhugu and messages greek ambassadors carried back to their country and recorded there.

    It does not matter if Ramayana happened or not. Or if Rama was ever born. Per Babur’s own admission and as written in his own “autobiography” he seems to have rejoiced in beheading people and destroying temples and replacing it with mosques. A place of worship of religion A was destroyed and replaced by another religion B. If you consider this event to have never happened. And our process of retracing history as flawed, we don’t have an argument. If you do then right/wrong should come into the picture.

  16. Very well put, GB.

    The truth is that at the core, hardly anyones gives an eff to what happened there. The whole thing is about current agendas, biases and aspirations and political opportunity – the religious/historical aspects are just a convenient ruse to further these motives.

    I wish someone would devise some sort of a failsafe test for determining/establishing the true motives – I cannot imagine any of those siding with this cause or that would honestly pass one.

  17. Hawkeye,

    There are many temples which were destroyed by Islamic invaders. Why dont we now spend national time and resources deliberating on all of them? The reason why this is “important” is because it is the birth-place of someone who is not part of verifiable history.

    “It does not matter if Ramayana happened or not. Or if Rama was ever born”

    To every person doing Sila-nyas, this is the *only* thing that matters.

  18. Whatever be the verdict it will be common people like us who have to fear for life in places like Mumbai,Delhi etc…..Someone sneezes in Ayodhya and Mumbai’s locals burn…..This is the burden of being a common man…..

  19. @greatbong, yes there were many temples that were destroyed, but not all of them had the same significance to Hindus. The site has great religious significance to Hindus, but not so much for Muslims. I don’t think an average muslim gives a rat’s ass to babar. It’s not like Temple Mount in Jerusalem where both the parties claim equal history. Babri masjid was one among the thousands of temples he destroyed and built a masjid over. There ends the importance of the matter for muslims. Now the only reason it becomes such a issue for Muslims is because Hindus are claiming historical/religious significance to the same site. It’s like, I really don’t care for this place, but since it’s important to you, I won’t part with it. No muslim ever prayed in that place since 40’s. If some rich industrialist wanted to build a mall there (like you suggested) and wanted to buy the land for a good price, it probably would have gone in a flash. Now since it’s religion, it becomes such an issue.

  20. If it were left to you Great Bong, even the Somnath Temple would have been forgotten and we would not have got it rebuilt, because it had been destroyed in the past, nobody was around to see it getting destroyed, nobody would be pained if it were not rebuilt, its site was being used as a mosque. Thankfully, we had the gutsy Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel then and not you as India’s Home Minister.

    As for the current issue, I would go with Junaid’s comment at 3:55 am on Sep 21. This is absolutely not an issue for the judiciary, more for the executive, and some clues for how to solve this issue lie in the resolution of the issue of the Somnath Temple.

    I expected a blogger of your stature to also question the need for questioning the existence of the Ram temple and the redundant exercise for people looking for evidence of the temple. When has any mosque or church been built after proving existence? Ok, lets leave them aside, but has any jain derasara, parsee agiyaari, jewish synagogue or sikh gurdwara been built after proving existence of a prior structure there? But no, writing a pacifier post was your objective today.

  21. I have two questions.

    1) By the same logic as your “long long ago” logic, can we say “Holocaust is a history and we should move on or Hiroshima/Nagasaki is history and we should move on”. By extension, would you say genocide in Armenia is ok to be forgotten but Serbia-Bosnia war shouldnt be forgotten? Lets say Rodovan Karadzic is not convicted and punished till, lets say, mid of this century. Would you then say, aahh ok, now we can say what Karadzic did was long ago, so lets forget about it and move on?

    2) You say “I am not saying we forget or not care for giving justice to those who died as a result of the riots that happened post-Babri mosque demolition”. So, who decides what is “long long ago”? Is it decided by when you were born and when you die or is it some one else’s life time. Or should we place it as the time of ruler, a dynasty/generation, type of rule, a millennium, or may be a point where tectonic plates moved a few kilometers? What is the yardstick and who decides it? Who decides as to who is the right person/organization to decide it? Would you leave it on supreme court? Whats the guarantee that SC gives out the right answers given the issue huge dependence on everything other than Penal Code?

    Your argument that since the temple was brought down long long ago, we do not need to worry about it now but since Babri demolition happened 2 decaded ago, we must be very much worried about it doesnt fly. 2 or 3 more decades later, would you be saying that ok, now that its 4 decades since it happened lets forget about it? No, you wouldnt. Justice is a matter of undoing the wrong. When the wrong was done is not the most important question. Yes delayed justice means that the system is not effective, but that doesnt mean system should ignore wrongs done in the past, however long the past may be. Again, it doesnt matter if the system has been in existence when the wrong happened. It is only a question of undoing the wrong or punishing the one who did something irreversible.

  22. Vivek,

    I made it quite clear in my piece. The limit of history is when you have people who have directly felt the impact of the act. Nagasarki/Holocaust did not happen four hundred years ago. Neither did Serbia-Bosnia war. I mentioned it again and again. If by some chance you can get Babur to stand trial, please do so. Would fully endorse. But trying to correct historical wrongs (especially archaeological ones) is ultimately an exercise in futility. I can go back as far in time as I want.

    As an example, the entire US was taken over from native Indians by force by European settlers. So what should happen now? Every native Indian brings a case against every citizen in the US and gets all buildings razed down and all railroads torn up and make the US government (which would also have to kill itself by the court judgment) restore prairies and packs of wild buffalo?

  23. Hindus need not prove the existence of Lord Ram in order to make a case for the temple. After all, people of other religion are not expected to prove the existence of their favourite gods before they can construct their own places of worship.

    If a temple existed on the site –a site that is especially revered to the Hindus– and was destroyed to erect a Mosque, it is morally and ethically right to let the Hindus make a temple at the location.

  24. So, that means, if some how executive can delay justice for, lets say, a millennium, so that no one related *directly* to the incident is alive, we can ignore it and move on. As an extension, if a whole generation was killed a few centuries ago, we can say alright, lets move on. Is that so?

    If that is the case, then we should have already forgotten British Colonialism. We didnt, did we? Did Jews forget Holocaust. No. They will not forget it. Never.

    If I understand it right, that is what is happening in Australia now. Aboriginals are coming out strongly fighting for their rights. There is not one day that passes w/o someone calling the *white man’s* barbarity with Natives. Yes, there is genuine remorse in some places. There the society decided to move on. They did move on.

    It is said that Scotts teach their kids on how British treated them though it was centuries ago. Why? One reason – “It happened once. It should never happen again.” Same with Jews. They built museums to teach their kids that “Some ppl tried to exterminate us. We should never let it happen again.” One way to make sure it never happens again is to undo the wrong or punish the one who did the irreversible. In RJB’s case, the wrong must be undone. In the case of aboriginals or american natives, the wrongs must be undone. Thats what US as a democracy is doing. In case of Hungary, wrongs done by Communists must be undone since the ppl who did the wrongs are no more alive.

  25. Arnab,

    I would like to go slightly off the median here. It is irrelevant whether Rama was actually born on that spot. The fact is, as recorded in history including in Babur’s own memoirs Baburnama, there existed a temple of great significance for Hindus which was razed for a mosque to be built.

    As it is in the case of all Islamic conquests imposition of Islam (more as law than religion) was one of the top priorities of the invaders. Not converting to Islam was seen as defying the rule of the invaders. Destruction of significant places of worship of faiths other than Islam was hence, a top priority for them.

    However, the Subcontinent being a vast with a huge and deeply religious Hindu population couldn’t be converted into Islam. It was just not possible especially with stiff and continuous military resistance by the Hindus.

    History is evident as with the case of the Great Mosque of Cordoba, that it was a Christian cathedral which was turned into a mosque after the Islamic conquest and again reconverted into a church when Christianity ‘re-prevailed’ over Islam there.

    With over 900 million Hindus in India, restoring the temple to its original site will be respecting their sentiments. In any case, the structure that Babur built is of no religious significance to Islam.

    And, as for those Hindus who do not want a temple there, I have no reason to believe that they are more than a tiny and insignificant minority.

  26. Hawkeye probably expressed what I felt while reading this blog.

    @greatbong by your logic, the solution for 1984 riots, post-babri, godhra, all bomb blasts will ‘wait 100 years… no one will remain… we can then forget’.

  27. This is my first post.

    I really admire your style of writing and your stance on most of the issues and especially the way you marshall your arguements. But let me say, I was disappointed with this post. The reasons are as follows

    1. You are exhibiting your frustration at the nation’s fixation (Ok the political class’s) with the retrogressive temple/ masjid issue but such feeling of helplessness is like ‘avoiding’ to look at the issue squarely in the eye.
    2. Babri masjid / Ram janmabhoomi issue is like a test case to decide the balance of power between two communities; on the one side, the majority community with hundreds of years of servility under the islamic empires which even in 21st century sought to be perpetuated by its remnant i.e. Pakistan( if you want a taste of it, stay for a few days in old city of Hyderabad).On the other hand you have the much appeased minority community who do not want to be graceful about a masjid which they know was built after destroying a temple and no worship was done after 1940s. this is just symptomatic of the religion which does not tolerate any ‘comment’ on itself but does not reciprocate the sentiment.
    3. The issue is not a real estate title dispute. Though You may not have a strong faith in religion( as is the case with most of the modern indians who live in complete denial of religion), you cannot WISH AWAY the general feeling of ‘being wronged again’ among majority community and their simple belief that that was indeed the birth place of Lord Ram.
    4. It is a documented fact that Babar destroyed the temple and constructed a masjid. If you say we should forget what happened in 1520 AD and move on, can we say the same thing to Jews who formed Israel based on biblical legends evicting arabs. The whole middleeast problem is solved!
    5. Somebody posted that this issue is to be resolved by executive not judiciary, fair point. But since when executive (read the vote seeking, minority appeasing governments)really functioned in this country.
    6. finally, what is at stake for the minority in this country in the issue? Is it the so called ‘hurt’ at the demolition act itself? but imagine if they are graceful about the issue and allow construction of ram temple there, what it can do to the religious peace in this country where they are minority.
    7. India’s future prospects, according to me , depend hugely on peaceful coexistence of two communities, eradication of naxalism and minimising the rot of corruption. In this context, saying that we should move on is adopting ostrich approach and not being realistic.

    regards

  28. I’m Hindu (Vaishnavite) and my sentiments were not offended by its existence. Babri Masjid was very much part of our rich Indian history and so is Babar. Nobody has the right to claim Hindus feel this way or that. Have any of the demolishers apologized to the victims of the riots/blasts for putting them in harm’s way?

    @qwkslvr The site has great religious significance to Hindus, but not so much for Muslims. I don’t think an average muslim gives a rat’s ass to babar.

    Maybe so, but building a temple on it now will be of religious significance. After demolishing you’re justifying this to them?

    I would have definitely been in favour of Ram Temple(s) before demolition but not now, people shouldn’t get away with bad/thuggish behaviour.

  29. Why are people using the Israel-Palestine as an example? It’s not exactly a beacon for fairness and communal harmony. And Jewish people were in need of a homeland after being massacred, their situation is very different to that of Hindus in India. They need space to carve out their identity.

  30. @Parth and Hawkeye:
    that is exactly what GB is not trying to say. He is saying lets handle current problem, LIKE the CWG scams etc…not something that happenned 400 years ago.

    Remember, the verdict is not about 1992 demolition, but whether Babur demolished a Temple or not…

    Let us assume he did…so what? what should we do about it?

    And forgetting Holocaust / Bombing of Hiroshima is perhaps wrong… (primarily because it is still recent in history…
    but if an Israeli Jew decides to kill a German / bomb a german embassy, that is silly.

  31. @Vivek, Ankit and others-so-hung-up-on-building-a-temple,

    If you really want to boil it down to examples – True, the Jews didn’t forget the holocaust. But instead demanding that the concentration camps be torn down, they focused their energies on creating the Jewish state of Israel for themselves. But we can go on and on and history provides enough arguments and counter-arguments to support both our points of view.

    However, it pisses me off to think that educated Indians (like yourselves) also fall for the same divide-and-rule bullcrap that our fore-fathers fell for when it was dished out by the British. Do you want to know the real problems of India are? Take a look at the stories here. These are the real issues that noone is interested in solving, leave alone bringing to attention.

    And that’s all that GB is pointing out. He isn’t justifying the tearing down of the temple (or the mosque for that matter). He seems pretty agnostic on that point, really. He’s just putting the rest of India’s problems in perspective.

    In my opinion – you may obviously differ (and of course have every right to) – this one doesn’t even make it to the top 10.

    PS- and @qwkslvr, if you must do wikipedia research before posting here, at least do it well because before the 1980s, noone gave a rat’s ass about Ayodhya either.

  32. “The limit of history is when you have people who have directly felt the impact of the act”

    People, entire families die in Bomb blasts and train accidents. To them, it does not not matter, those who have felt the direct impact of the act.To their neighbours, friends, loved ones – they did not directly feel the impact of the act, yet it matters to them. So your argument is slightly flawed here.

    In 1990, the Kashmiri Pandits were ethnically cleansed – 20 years down the line, will the act be forgotten once most of the victims are dead? Who decides the time-line of history? Even 2002 was eight years ago, why should we remember it then?

    “Nobody has the right to claim Hindus feel this way or that. Have any of the demolishers apologized to the victims of the riots/blasts for putting them in harm’s way?”

    Actually, nobody did. Those who said what Hindus feel, left out a group of people. You might be one of them. To you it might seem foolish, to everybody it might not. The demolishers are not the perfect example of civil society btw, and using them as an example might also bring in counter examples of AK-47 wielding terrorists

    “But instead demanding that the concentration camps be torn down, they focused their energies on creating the Jewish state of Israel for themselves” Silly example. Do you think Hindus of this country will start “carving out a land for themselves”? That was once already done once, at a great cost.

  33. I see some serious discussion going on in the comments thread, but if anyone feels the need for some comic relief, take a look at the Wikipedia entry on Avinash Wadhawan.

    “Avinash Madavan (or Abhinandan Madasinavthapudi, as he is lovingly referred to by his peers) is a well-known tennis phenom in his social circle. He is also a fantastic chess player, having beaten noted chess phenom Harsha Nukala. He has been known to eat fruits in his free time. He is also a professional clown, and a certified Garbanzo Agency kleptomaniac.”

  34. Wow striking comments, surprisingly quite a few not agreeing to GB’s thought process. And we are talking about people educated enough to access net and post comments !!

    And we thought we could believe that at least anyone even with the basic education would be convinced that the whole Ayodhya drama was an non-issue blown out of proportion by the then BJP leaders for their own political purposes.

    Fighting for a temple in Ayodhya and in the process ending and or risking lives of millions of innocents (READ innocents – irrespective of religion !) is as bizarre as people fighting on outsiders issue in Mumbai or a Godhra in Gujarat. Why don’t people see the logic that there are millions of Hindus, hundreds of temples outside Ayodhya that need your help & attention, pretty much in the same manner as there are crores of Marathi farmers dying of hunger & poverty outside Mumbai in the whole of Maharashtra.

    While Advanis, Thakreys, Modis of the world would continue to push and tilt these agendas to ignite public sentiments in their favor and Gandhis of the world would continue to bury and play down the justice to not displease the bigger vote banks,,, its we the common man who has to understand the plight of those who gets caught in the cross-fire.

    We can have all modern debates in the comfort of our Air Conditioned rooms seated in front of a computer or a camera but would never even come close to the pain of a family that looses the sole bread winner. A son gone, a brother lost, a mother dead or a sister raped is beyond any rationale or sense to push for any such agenda happened in past or present.

    My request for anyone who — supports or try’s to justify people who ignite such issues, or try to justify reasons to build or protect structures or any belief of kind, or believe that any measure is justified in protecting your culture, religion, regionalism or belief — is a simple 5 min thought exercise.

    Just imagine ur father being slapped, ur children being burnt ur mother being pushed or ur brother or sister being sodomized. May those things never ever happen to you but then these incidents do happen as an outcome of such issues. Just because they happen in third person for you and u read them as sensational headlines, as atrocities to someone who isn’t even a name for you does not make them any less appalling. While you would puke and cry seeing a charred body on road by your would still try and find reasons to see why this happened.

    Screw the reason. Screw the logic. Nothing, nothing justifies pushing issues that would endanger the life, honor or liberty or even a single living soul.

    Learn, understand and stop playing in hands of people who play these issues to straighten their own agendas.

    What govt can do and what we know they will not do is to ensure that the perpetrators of at least one such ghastly act irrespective of their position, be punished in manner that sets an example and fear in the minds on our political leaders that they are not outside the hands of law.

  35. Hey Kaushik,

    > “But instead demanding that the concentration camps be torn down, they
    > focused their energies on creating the Jewish state of Israel for
    > themselves” Silly example. Do you think Hindus of this country will start
    > “carving out a land for themselves”? That was once already done once, at a
    > great cost.

    Er. In case you missed the point, let me try and repeat it in simple words.

    1) First of all, it was a counter-argument to those that brought up the massacre of Jews as a silly analogy in the first place. What I said was not meant to be taken literally in this context. Carving out a Hindu state was not my point and is not a solution to the Babri masjid / Ayodhya issue.

    2) I was merely trying to point out that instead of harping on something that was symbolic in nature for one generation, the Jewish people went ahead and did something constructive for their future generations to come.

    Or maybe I can deconstruct that even further and make it simpler for you to understand.

    Sentence 1: Tearing down the concentration camps would’ve satisfied one generation of Jews (but not prevented another Holocaust).

    Sentence 2: Creating a state was a solution so that their subsequent generations will never have to face something like the Holocaust again.

    And please, can we retire this example ?

    And that’s all I’m trying to say. We need to strive for solutions to real problems faced by India. Not imaginary ones that noone will care about 20 years from now once this judgment has been passed.

  36. I think some of you are saying that no one cares about a temple in Ayodhya. I am not sure I agree.

    A few weeks ago, lakhs of people visited the temple in Mathura on the ocassion of Janmashtami. If a mosque would have usurped the temple in Mathura the way it has done so in Ayodya, maybe these followers would have been told by the learned people like you to stop caring and go to a mall instead.

    You maybe a person who does not care, and that is your right, but please do not project your own belief systems on others.

  37. @Ankit
    Whether some Hindus care about having a Ram Temple is immaterial. You simply can’t destroy some piece of Indian culture/history because your pride or devotion was violated and then expect to get your way in the end. If that were to happen then we would be declaring open season on every museum, art gallery, statue, temple, mosque, church etc. in our country.

  38. Even reservations are supposedly a tool to rectify historical wrongs – yet they continue, thrive and multiply, in name of setting right historical social ills.

  39. Some are saying no one cares about the temple. The other party is saying all hindus care for the temple.

    I think (and from what I could read from Arnab’s post) most of us (Indians) do not care enough about this issue. We want to move on with our lives. We are not willing to sacrifice our lives or those of our fellow citizens on this issue. We want good governance, we want “bijli, sadak aur paani” over temple / mosque at RJB. In a country where we still face farmer suicides, malnutrition, illiteracy, caste discrimination etc, spending significant energy on this RJB issue is foolish. Expending our meager law and order resources every year on this issue for a month is foolish. Right now, 3-4 states in India are facing the dangers of inundation and our political space is being occupied by RJB.

  40. Disneyland/multiplex/mall at Ayodhya! Solutions offered by typical rootless west-aping non resident indians devoid of nationalist indian identity. To me the issue is simple; who has a stronger case, Hindus who had a temple there earlier for far longer than a mosque which replaced it and remained there only for over 300 years or muslims who want to hold on to a masjid built by conquest / subjugation/ trampling upon another faith. It can be argued that the issue is like an oxygen for the politicians of both communities; but it has grown into a much larger issue and can be resolved only by a sagacious/graceful stand by any one of the communities. Yes BJP can apologise for the demolition of masjid (notwithstanding the fact that no worship took place for years) and moderate mustlims can go a long way in integrating into the indian identity by joining the construction of ram temple there (there is no other way of righting the wrong of Babur, is there any?). Pl. dont start slamming me by saying that do we need to right all historical wrongs? No we do not. But this being a major symbolic issue for the pan-indian identity, I think as a nation, we do not have any options. Definitely not malls, multiplexes and brushing under the carpet the major issue of growing animosity between communities.

  41. @Ankit

    >I think some of you are saying that no one cares about a temple in Ayodhya.
    > I am not sure I agree.

    Finally, you get the point. We don’t have to agree. We all value different issues differently and noone here is forcing their views upon you. But is only exercising the right to freely express it in a public forum.

    And that warrants a decent effort on behalf all participants to understand another’s point of view before finger-pointing and labeling it as right or wrong. And that is fundamental to holding any healthy debate.

    @Venkat
    Do I know you?

  42. At last some one who thinks in same way as I do, regarding Babri issue, lets live for future and let the past remain buried, where it has found peace. About people who were hurt, they should get justice.

  43. @Lakshmikanth,
    I apologize on behalf of GB and Venkat. Evidently their humor was lost on you 🙂
    Tell me something… why should a muslim today apologize for what Babur did? just because he happenned to be of the same religion?

    Are you ready to “sacrifice” for Ashoka’s invation of Kalinga?

  44. Though I am an Apolitical and Areligious person, considering everything constant (i.e. no post-verdict violence, protest, law-suit and more importantly, no political gains to any political party), I would want the court to favour a Ram temple to be built in Ayodhya given the religious significance of the place for a particular religion and put an end to this ever-going story.

  45. i guess some people just cant understand that resources (time money manpower) of the present have to be used judiciously. at some point we have to make a priority decision are problems of present mounting so bad that we have to forgo the old problem. people should ask themselves do i really care about that history or am i being instigated. make sure that you thoughts are your own.

  46. What about the wrong of us Hindus who must’ve trampled all over the earlier inhabitants beliefs and forms of worship ? Should the pre-Hindu era tribals ask us to vacate all temples, and in fact all the land so they can restore things to as they were in 7000 b.c. or whenever ?

    How long do you want to carry baggage ? How can you imagine to correctly judge events of a bygone era based on the geopolitical realities and sensibilities of today ? Should the Brits not be tended an apology by all of UP for the brutal killing of their women and children during 1857 ? Should the Buddhists too give up on all their monasteries, some of which must have come up on erstwhile temples or earlier shrines, at least in Ladakh and similar places, as it spread. What do we consider as a decent rollback point beyond which we will not try and “correct” history ?

    We really seem to deserve the politics/governance we have.

  47. So if a temple is rebuilt, what will we (fellow Indians) gain? If a mosque is rebuilt what will we gain? Some political leaders will get the mileage, some religious will get the mileage. More fights , more unrest.

    An educational institute, where the best of the minds teach children and mould them to create a better India , would be more apt than a temple, a mosque or a mall.

  48. For years, we have seen the Indian polity shamelessly appease the minority for the sake of a few votes.All this has happened at the expense of the majority .has the minority grabbed the opportunities that have come its way? No!They prefer wallowing in poverty and find it convenient to blame the government, the Hindus and everything else except their reluctance to move ahead in life for their pitiable state. For centuries and centuries India has been subjugated to Islam tyranny and humiliation.Why should nt the majority assert itself? Why is every person who calls himself a Hindu labelled a rabble rouser or a hardliner? Why is it that we have double standards while looking at Hindus and Muslims? People who say-” Terrorism does not have a religion” are leading a life of denial.Terrorism does have a religion and it is the same religion which wants a mosque built at Ayodhya. Generalising the entire community for the acts of a few might seem unacceptable.But the truth it is the voice of the “few” people which prevails over the voice of the broad minded Muslims. Islam is not a religion which believes in tolerance and harmonic co existence.Chechenya,Xianjiang,Kashmir,Palestine,Darfur.Why is it that Islam finds it difficult to co exist with other faiths? How can you call such a religion tolerant? I am an atheist but still call myself a Hindu because Hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life. Building a masjid at Ayodhya is akin to trampling down on the identity of India as a tolerant civilization.We’ve sacrificed enough for the sake of the minority.It is time we learnt to assert ourselves.If building a mandir at Ayodhya is what it takes to do so, so be it.

  49. Grown men acting illegally and shiner the law to break a historic or religious building as recognised by the government that they elected (or chose to elect by inaction) can not be condoned in any way possible.

    What happened an the aftermath of the riots remain something that we as a progressive nation(if at all, we consider ourselves to be that)should be ashamed of.

    BUT your argument that the past cannot be held accountable in the present is weak. The correct argument that convinces me personally is that in the 1500s there was no India. There were many different nation states that were combined under one idea of India much later(not 1947, the seeds of India were sown earlier, but not by the 1500s)
    We exist as a society that was envisaged to have religious tolerance and freedom, and a society which is not free to say whatever it wants (which I’m not a fan of, btw) for fear of ‘hurting sentiments’. For better or for worse this society, this country needs to create it’s own identity separate from the identity of the peoples. (not a typo) Nad that means not seeking reparations for something that happen before we existed as a nation, but did exist as a people. This also means that in 2110, my grand kids should be able to ask for justice based on THIS country’s laws and hard evidence.

  50. I really loved the last 3 – 4 lines of your post. Capitalism is by far the most secular and just of all gods. Vulgar and ostentatious it may be but so be it. I also think that an IIT kinda university would be nice there. That would be worthy gesture to all gods of all religions. I just wish anyone had the guts to do all that.

  51. If hindus really want to safegaurd their identity,the first step should be to restore the kashmiri pandits and sending back of bangladeshi intruders who have changed the demography of border villages.

  52. Building a temple on that site now means goons win. it will be a shocking precedent to set and a recipe for disaster. I hope the court takes this into account.

    Looking into 400 years of past to take decisions that will impact the future is stupid in my opinion. you need to do what is the right thing to do for the future, not just blindly re-do the past. So a ram temple existed on that location which was taken down by someone, is building it again just for that reason alone justified? clearly no, it is justified only if it will benefit the nation in future.
    This is the mistake kashmiris are making as well, seperatism from india mainly on the basis that we were never indians. Only if past was a good predictor of future.

  53. The best ever explanation I have heard of a computer is from my friend, Mr Ambuj Oberai’s father. He used to sell Wipro PC’s in the 80’s. He used to explain a computer, to his customers, by comparing it to Human Beings. He used to say that a computer comprises of two parts, Hardware and the Software. This is comparable to the body and soul/thought of a Human Being respectively. Software resides in the hardware and controls it, similarly our soul/thought controls the actions of our body. Hinduism has been the soul/thought of Indians since time immemorial.

    India has always been a prosperous land where nature itself supports development of Human Life. This is evident by the fact the sub-continent is home to about 22% of the world’s population with only 2.2% of the world’s land surface area. Thus, India has been a country which has attracted various softwares/thoughts from across the world, since time immemorial, and accommodated them. Indians always believed that accommodating these thoughts is a part of development of the society. But, Indians were deceived in 1947 when a part of their soul asked for its own land! A particular thought (Islam) that India had accommodated long ago wanted its own land. India was partitioned into two countries, one being for Muslims (remember that the remaining India still belongs to people of all faiths), while it was evolving into a modern nation state (I emphasize on the Modern Indian State Factor). India, then, paid the price for being liberal and accommodative and is still paying the price for the same.

    This is evident by a number of practises which are still prevalent in independent modern Indian State. Majority of Indians including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists etc consider cow to be a sacred animal. It has been given the status of “Mother” in Hinduism. Thus, Hindus pray cows. But, it is ironical that “Cow Slaughter” is legal in India which has a Hindu majority. The argument in favour of cow slaughter being, banning cow slaughter infringes upon the eating habits of some communities and hence, banning cow slaughter, is a non-democratic and non-secular move. Democratic value of secularism is only expected out of Hindus. Others have been exempted from practising it. Still, ironically, Hindu is called communal and India, anti Islamic!

    Another important observation that can be made is the absence of a common civil code. This means that Muslims in India have immunity to some of the laws which are applicable to the rest of the population. Muslim personal law board is the custodian is of these laws. If Pakistan was made for Muslims, then people who did not want to abide by “Common Law” should have moved to Pakistan. How can there be a separate set of rules for a Muslim and a separate set for the rest of the communities. Casteism and Sati Pratha can be banned by law but Polygamy, Triple Talaq etc cannot be banned by law because they are under the premise of the Muslim Personal Law. All this, despite the fact that India is a Hindu majority country. A Hindu is still advised to practise religious tolerance, Strange Indeed!

    Some people make a hue and cry about the proposition by some political parties to make religious conversion illegal in India. They consider that religious freedom is the soul of India. Soul is very discretionary for Muslims, it is only used to their personal advantage. No one wants to look at the fact that conversion also promotes “Religious Comparison” which is a basic reason for communal discord. A person will convert to another religion only when he finds one religion either better or lucrative (most of the times there are financial benefits attached to conversion) than his existing one. Why allow conversion when present day law has the provision of banning discriminatory practises in religion (Only Muslims are immune to law by means of personal law board). Still I hear voices(from well educated people) which say that Muslims feel that they are unwanted in India, only problem for Hindus is that there are 20 crore Muslims and such a large number can neither be killed nor driven out of the country. Thus, have to somehow adjust. What a ridiculous thought?

    There are many other discriminatory practises but, the final issue that I would like to take up in this blog is the biggest controversy that surrounds India for centuries, The Babri Masjid Issue. Can you imagine of a country in which there exists a mosque (which belongs to the minority community) at the birthplace of the most revered religious figure of the majority community? Leave apart the idea of having a place of worship. India had such a place! Babri Masjid was at a place where the most revered religious figure of Hindus, Sri Ram, was born. It was brought down after one of the biggest movement’s of independent India in 1992. Although, Hindus have not been able to make a temple at that spot till now, the issue has been blown out of proportion by Muslims. Many consider it to be the trigger for resentment of Muslims in India. Muslims still stake their claim on the site.

    I do not want to get into any of the legal aspects of the dispute and just want Muslims to compromise their stand on only this issue for the sake of mutual brotherhood. Hindus, as narrated in the article, have compromised on all issues which were offensive to self but were in the favour of Muslims. If Muslims consider India to be their motherland and value the sentiments of Hindus, I expect them to compromise on this issue. Today, Babri Masjid is only an issue of compromise for the sake of peace.

    Let us leave apart the history of creation of India. After taking into account all that is said above which takes place in present day independent India, it is high time that the so called educated and liberal Hindus take a stand on this and stop considering Babri Masjid, or any of the above mentioned issues, as religious issues. They should consider these issues as issues of understanding between two communities. Else, there will be a time when their liberal thought will cease to exist and Hindu will have no identity in the world. Identity of Hindu is completely dependent on India, if India exists Hindus exist and vice versa.

    Now, this might have confused all people who have read my earlier blogs, they must be thinking how come a person who speaks about liberal and modern thought has suddenly developed a fundamentalist tone! This has a reason and I am going to discuss it now.

    Almost, no Hindu will find a fault with my blog. Everyone will believe in what I have written because this blog has been written from their perspective. Many Muslims might contest the thought because they have been told about a different “Idea of India”. They will contest the fact about India being a single country since time immemorial. Many would say that India was always ruled by different rulers and was never a single country. In any case, it is only a matter of perspective on issues and the above arguments are enough to convince a Hindu that Hinduism is under threat. Thus, one has to agree to the importance of perspective and intent even while discussing facts.

    All the above mentioned Hindu resentment can be very easily contested by the logic of liberal and modern thought which most of the Indians want to follow. But, when issues like the one in Kashmir come up and the scale in which they come up, it gives a very strong reason for Hindus to believe in the above mentioned logic. This also gives an opportunity to Hindu Fundamentalists to exploit the Hindu sentiment. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of every one of us who believes in modern thought to start creating a positive opinion with the intent of making a progressive nation and society as a whole.

    This blog also intends to put forth the complexities that exist in the Kashmir issue from a larger Indian perspective. It is not as easy as autonomy or Plebiscite, there is a larger picture associated with it. I hope, as one of my senior says, good sense prevails after reading this piece of writing.

  54. Your solution is brilliant. May I suggest another? Set up a temple of Bollywood with idols of Farheen and a certain Ray.. oops Roy.. er Ronit Roy, and other worthies…

  55. Quite a divided house with the erudites taking the high ground and pounding the irrational hindus. I just wonder how many of these learned beings even know basics of the religion that they proclaim to represent or even actually live in India anymore. I am not a religious bigot and lighting lamps on Diwali is the farthest my religious actions go (have to state this else whatever I say will be branded as diatribe of an idol worshiper) . Having said that,if someone comes to my house, beats me up and laid claim to everything that was mine, should I just forget about it. Some may but I choose not to. Symbolism is a powerful tool. Though I may not agree with the means adopted by the car-sevaks; I have no qualms in saying that if SC decides in favor of a temple on the site, it will be first symbol in last 500 years that hindus are as free to follow their religion in India as anyone else is.
    Sometimes I just wonder why I have only heard the term minority appeasment, while in a democracy it is the majority that decides the outcome. Maybe therein lies a solution to this issue and many more.

  56. “Ankit
    September 21, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Hindus need not prove the existence of Lord Ram in order to make a case for the temple. After all, people of other religion are not expected to prove the existence of their favourite gods before they can construct their own places of worship.

    If a temple existed on the site –a site that is especially revered to the Hindus– and was destroyed to erect a Mosque, it is morally and ethically right to let the Hindus make a temple at the location.”

    I am with Ankit on this one. Yes, not just Babri. All temples that were destroyed and replaced by temples should be recovered. ASI investigation along with historic texts can be used for establishing the truth.
    Similarly, if a temple can be shown to have replaced a Budhist monastery, the same justice should be applied.

  57. Sabalil

    dont you think there exists jobs that demand more priority than undoing something that was done on an average 500 years back?
    whi

  58. “All temples that were destroyed and replaced by temples should be recovered. ASI investigation along with historic texts can be used for establishing the truth.”

    i meant,

    “All temples that were destroyed and replaced by mosques should be recovered. ASI investigation along with historic texts can be used for establishing the truth.”

  59. @alok

    It is not going to stop at symbolism. Sabalil in the next comment after yours wants to do it in all temples that were historically destroyed.

  60. Yesterday I was returning home from office with some colleagues and we were having a discussion on the same issue. After I had dropped off everybody else and was alone in the cab, the driver started expressing his views. Both of us agreed that it wouldn’t be worthwhile to die for a cause as old as Babri Masjid. I felt the urge to narrate the story in order to show that people of all profiles value their life and livelihood. What is the use of education if we waste our resources and energies on issues as worthless as this? How will it help us if we prove that this is a place of worship for the Hindus or for the Muslims? It will only go to satisfy some egos. Some are even going to the extent of saying that all such temples, which have been plundered and destroyed should be rebuilt! Does it mean that the Hindus are now trying to erase a part of their history? The Mughal period is a part of our history, plundering temples is a part of that history. It was of course an example of Islamic fanatisism, but we can’t or should not attempt to rewrite that history. As the blogger says, we have to move on.

  61. 1st of all this question is of faith , law and justice in India is secular, how can one decide the matter of faith on legal points? as it is, religion and politics mixed together is a dangerous concoction, also so much politics has been done in the name of lord ram, if he wants to stay in a tent at his birth place so be it. No judgment has the power to remove the idols. If it will there will be a massive uprising. Here’s wishing for Peace. No matter what the judgment is, the case will go to the supreme court and will take a substantial no. of benches (single!division!3judge,constitutional!!! and years and years!

  62. the name of the one God that unites us all—- Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Chetan-Bhagatites.

    This is the best part of the whole piece!

    On a serious note, though, I like the differing opinions. They’ve given me a lot to think about.

  63. Neetu Chandra….what’s your gripe with her?Vaddi soni kudi he……ki photoo nikale he.
    The last para was Vow….with a CAPITAL V

  64. I don’t agree with the historical relevance thing, but here is what I do agree. It is all political. Until some crappy politician mentioned that Babri Masjid site was where a ram temple which was razed down by Babr was, no one even gave it a second thought!

  65. So finally it boils down to the argument of one group of people (including GB):
    [A] the destruction of temple does not matter,
    [B] the mosque is a great icon of Indian culture (although nobody prayed in it for decades and it does not have the minarets required to be considered a mosque)
    [C] although certain people can not see their sensibilities hurt when an invader destroys a Hindu temple, they found it ok to call themselves Hindu
    [D] the mosque needs to be rebuilt because the freedom of religion was guaranteed by a constitution whose status is slightly better than a street dog beaten around every time it gets in the way of the politicians
    and
    [E] it is completely ok to forget/ignore certain proven historical facts (i.e. destruction of temple) while demanding apology from a certain community for certain proven historical fact (i.e. destruction of mosque)

    On the other hand, the other side argues:
    [A] The destruction of temple does matter because Ayodhya is a religious site of great significance to us (forgive me, I can not do the balancing act of calling Hindus when I am one of them)
    [B] Even if Ramayana can not be proven the proof of destruction comes from Baburnama
    [C] the issue can be solved following the examples of Somnath

    My own conclusions:
    [1] Selective amnesia is a great tool for a secular blogger and his secular followers
    [2] If old fragile structure of an abandoned mosque is considered icon of great Indian culture then Indian culture needs to be re-defined
    [3] No-one is forced to call himself a Hindu if he does not find himself sympathizing with a Hindu cause; we, Hindus, do not have a equivalent version of Reda law; neither we had a equivalent section of British common law where conversion to any other religion was punishable by death
    [4] the temple does matter and it would continue to matter to millions who had preserved their Dharma in the face of exceptional thuggery and barbarity of six centuries; for a few thousand who had long decided existence of Rama can be questioned (because freedom of expression is sacred) but questioning the existence of Mahammad is very much against secular ethos would continue to define their Dharma following secular ethos and write long blog posts declaring Rama to be a loser and the pedophile prophet to be a hero of the oppressed.

    Finally, kindly spare us your goody goody Hinduism; This version of “non-radical” Hinduism created a situation where violence and existential threats like Deganga and Barelli can happen and does not get mentioned in the media. There is a need to stand up, band together and question that if this is alright, then what is wrong? If you are not up to this task, kindly do not get in the way.

  66. @Siddharta,

    >the mosque needs to be rebuilt because the freedom of religion was guaranteed by a constitution

    Yes I am in awe of your overflowing Hindu-ness that swells over. Though you would do well to read, if indeed the saffron specs let you, that I NEVER said to build a mosque there. But don’t let such small things get in your way however, you powerful “baddy baddy” Hindu you. At least I wrote about existential threats like Deganga and generated some awareness. What did you do, o powerful soldier of Hinduism except comment on my “secular” blog and spew your outrage? Have your own blog, blog under your real name, be responsible for your opinions and at least show that courage.

    @Sabalil,

    I admire your consistency in logic. It is worth admiring. Everything that was destroyed should be rebuilt by destroying whats on top of it. This seems to be a worthwhile endeavor and I propose you and Kalmadi be in charge of it. But please not on our tax Rs.

    @Vivek,

    >Thats what US as a democracy is doing.

    No the US government is NOT rolling back history by destroying everything constructed on Indian land. History cannot be unrolled by destroying monuments.

    @Jayanta,

    >With over 900 million Hindus in India, restoring the temple to its original >site will be respecting their sentiments.

    Law doesnt work on sentiments. It shouldnt. If you think it should, change the constitution.

    >And, as for those Hindus who do not want a temple there, I have no reason >to believe that they are more than a tiny and insignificant minority.

    And you are the judge of that “insignificance”. Now take this sentence of yours and read this.

    “And, as for those Hindus who do not want an Islamic Sharia state in Kashmir, I have no reason to believe that they are more than a tiny and insignificant minority.”

    Same logic. But somehow I believe this is something you would not agree with. Why? Because it is not the law of India to establish Sharia.

  67. ... that I NEVER said to build a mosque there.
    First, you would do well to read the first line. I wrote a “group of people (Including GB)”. It was just not just your argument I was consolidating. If I had to take issue with your blog post alone, I would have quoted it and pointed it out.
    Second, you did not write about Deganga to inform the world about the atrocities. Let me remind you. You wrote a “balanced” post on how liberal media is irresponsible and how this irresponsibility is taking people towards “extreme right-wing” blogs. In other words, Deganga was not your focus, your discomfort about people reading extreme right wing blog was your subject.
    Third, I did what I could to inform people including requesting the police officers in that area. However, I did not see any need to write a “balanced” post about my discomfort with “extreme right wing” blogs. May be that was a secular thing to do.
    Fourth, I am Siddhartha, it is not a moniker, a real name. I do not need to call myself something similar to “greatbong”, I never needed a moniker like that because I am comfortable in what I believe and I do not fear to take sides.
    Law doesnt work on sentiments. It shouldnt. If you think it should, change the constitution.
    It was a response to Jayanta, but let me ask you this. If law is not for people, what it is for? If it is for people, then how are people’s actions and their sentiments were different? Constitution/law is not similar to ten commandments recorded in the stone, it must take care of changing times and situations.

  68. I agree with you Siddhartha…. the filthy water (as GB would put it ,“Beno Jol”) is percolating faster as we speak. It wouldn’t be long that it would be over our effing heads !

  69. This post does seem to be a cop-out and seems to imply that even historical wrongs – even if they are proved – should not be corrected simply because they can be hurtful to others. Wasn’t the point of the court case and the pending judgment whether a temple did exist in that place? If it did, what is the problem in rebuilding it?

    The law and logic seems to be selectively applied.
    >Law doesnt work on sentiments. It shouldnt. If you think it should, change the constitution.

    So, why not build temple there is the court says there did exist a temple? Why a Mall? Isn’t that simply not to hurt the sentiments of Muslims?

  70. hey siddhartha,

    a) when you said a ‘group of people (including GB)’ made a certain argument, that does mean GB made the certain argument.

    b) regarding greatbong moniker: please read FAQ

  71. @ GB
    Siddhartha is his real name.
    He did do more than just write messages on your blog w.r.t Deganga…and continues to do so.

    @ Siddhartha
    Its greatbong’s blog and its his opinion. From his perspective, and the standards of measurement, he has set up for his discourse, he is perfectly jsutified to his opinion.

    I personally feel that the Ayodhya movement is more than just about Ram Temple. It has helped a whole generation of people (myself included), question the self delusion and ignonrance that was peddled around in the name of “secularism” since independence.

    As a young teenager, it was Ayodhya’s Temple movement that first encouraged me to find out the historical facts about our part of the world. It was this movement that made me question the meekness of 1 billion plus people, that live in denial and have to keep injecting themselves with regular doses of moral equivalence so as to justify their meekness and cowardice and ofcourse ignorance to go with it.

    The IPL/IBN generation does not identify with that. That is why it is so easy for them to imagine having a “shopping mall” there.

  72. @GreatBong:

    Law doesnt work on sentiments. It shouldnt. If you think it should, change the constitution.

    Right, but laws are made by majority wishes, which sometimes is not reflected in electoral politics. History has a precedent in the form of the Cordoba cathedral.

    Another point I wish to make is that the site has been contested militarily in almost every century after it was built till the British took over the control of the Subcontinent. Even then, it was contested in a British court where the judge said the following while delivering the ‘verdict’:

    I visited the land in dispute yesterday in the presence of all parties. I found that the Masjid built by Emperor Babar stands on the border of Ayodhya, that is to say, to the west and south it is clear of habitations. It is most unfortunate that a Masjid should have been built on land specially held sacred by the Hindus, but as that event occurred 356 years ago, it is too late now to agree with the grievances. (Court verdict by Col. F.E.A. Chamier, District Judge, Faizabad (1886)

    The reference here from Sarvepalli Gopal’s Anatomy of a confrontation: the rise of communal politics in India, p.165.

    Since the destruction of the temple took place over 450 years ago, this doesn’t mean that people accepted the fact, forgot about it, and raked it up after independence to bake their bread of communal politics over the disputed structure. As I said, fierce battles were fought to regain the land from Muslim rulers in every century, some times many times over.

    Now the battlefield has shifted in the courts. That’s it.

    As far as Sharia in Kashmir is concerned, it is out of context here because we are talking law within law in the same country. Freedom for Kashmir is a different issue from this.

  73. @dark lord,
    a) It was an effort to collect all the arguments from one side; When I respond, I usually respond to people specifically (just like I mentioned your moniker above this response). All of us can see that he had not made that comment. But would it satisfy his bruised ego if I start putting what everyone on this side commented individually?

    b) It was he who came up with this moniker issue, not me. I certainly do not own copyright over any moniker or name, he can use whatever he wanted to.

  74. *o Babur knocked down a Hindu temple and built a mosque over it. It happened a long time ago. Get over it. *

    World war 2 happened a long time ago. I am not pretty sure if the Jews have gotten over it. Given all people who were involved in it are either dead or dying.

    I frankly do not have much of an opinion over the temple. I want a temple to be built there, and as per ASI’s findings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_of_Ayodhya#Some_results_of_the_2003_ASI_report) seem to suggest that there was a temple there.

    I am more interested in the 2010 CWG games as of now. They are this closed to being called off, I wish they are… a slap in the face of congress govt in delhi and center. All the king’s and his horses could not put humpty dumpty together again.
    Stupid congress

  75. @Tejaswy,

    Selectively quoting a sentence doesnt prove your point. My contention is one cannot roll back history without incurring heavy costs in the present. No mature nation does it. You can punish the guilty (no one would say Dr. Mengele should be spared should he be still alive) but you cannot physically undo what they did.

  76. I dont know if someone has already raised the point below cause I haven’t read all the comments

    I think one of contentions is that Babri is just ‘A” mosque while the temple is where Rama, the reincarnation of the(Hindu) supreme being was born. The importance of the temple is that of what the “Kaba” is to Muslims. Keeping this mind the relevance of the temple vis-a-vis the mosque multiplies. I disagree with you to forget about who was pained, dead, alive on this one. If Rama exist or not or who was the mid-wife that delivered him becomes irrelevant at this junction. Its the belief that sticks out like a sore thumb.

    I agree with you on not going back into history to analyse who was right or wrong cause we can argue about this being a Hindu Nation or the Aryan v/s Dravidian logic till the cows come home.

  77. Rishi,

    Many people have the name Siddhartha. And there is no last name.Which makes it unlikely to link to a specific person in search engines. The point is many people who put a veneer of bravery on themselves and fulminate in my post on my cowardice do not put their own real-full names, searchable by Google, here because perhaps they are afraid of being held accountable by their employers (present and future) for their opinions. Given that, dont you think this “you are a coward” stance is slightly hypocritical? Have your own forum. Show your bravery there.

  78. @ Greatbong
    I agree with you.
    Rishi Khujur is not my real name. So I have no right to be critical of anyone or for calling them a coward on that matter.

    But I can assure you, I have seen worse that just accountablity at my employment, for things I do using my real name.

    We all have our boundaries. All I wanted to do was to clarify tht Siddharth is his real name and that he has been actively working on D

  79. @ Greatbong
    I agree with you.
    Rishi Khujur is not my real name. So I have no right to be critical of anyone on that, or call them coward on that matter.

    But I can assure you, I have seen worse that just accountablity at my employment, for things I do using my real name.

    We all have our boundaries. All I wanted to do was to clarify that Siddharth is his real name and that he has been actively working on Deganga.

  80. GB,
    The last name is Chatterjee. And there are many who have the name Siddhartha Chatterjee. This name, as a computer science researcher you should know, is not a primary key. My employer has nothing to do with my political/religious views and I am not proposing here anything that is immoral or illegal. If you have such a big problem with people holding opposite views, then you can add a comment policy stating that people who do not agree with you should get their own blog and comment there. If you do, then I promise to follow it.

  81. “those who dont learn from history (not mythology) are doomed to repeat it. I am sure we havent. Whether that was the birthplace of Ram is not the point. There was a temple that was destroyed. It mattered then, it matters now and will matter in future too. You got it pretty wrong “greatbong”….

  82. @gb

    ” You can punish the guilty (no one would say Dr. Mengele should be spared should he be still alive)”

    Can you justify if just by creating a temple where it was earlier muslims are being punished ??

  83. Rishi,
    I know this is GB’s blog and his opinion. The very fact that he offers a comment space means that he is willing to listen to others who may or may not agree to his stance. I like his movie reviews. What I could not stand is his inability of facing the facts. Please note that he first disses the contemporary media what they richly deserve and then criticizes “radical Hindutva”. Well, if GB thinks that there is something wrong with Hindutva then he should make an effort to join the band and correct it. Criticism is all that he can offer.

  84. GB, I agree that the argument “correcting a historical wrong” must sound absurd in view of the fact that we are facing humungous problems in this date and age. But, it isn’t that in the 80s as Sanjana pointed out , Hindus suddenly woke up and wanted to claim RJB. The facts are that there was severe rioting in Ayodhya in as far back as 1885 because of the dispute. This has been a burning issue since long. It’s important to note that since the the 16th century when Babur demolished the temple and built Babri Masjid, Indians have been living in an oppressed society. The mughals ruled India till 1858 when the British took over. India gained independence in 1947 and a suit for this case for filed in 1949…So now maybe the Hindu side of story makes sense?

    Also, when someone suggests a mall or Disneyland should be made in place of the temple as an attempt to be either funny or contemptuous…wake up your sensitivity by thinking if you would be able to say to a jew or a Christian the same thing about Jerusalem or Vatican. Just because Hinduism has been under attack for centuries and Hindu temples have been cruelly demolished, does that mean that we shouldn’t have a right to give back the honour our sacred places deserve? We should just forget about it coz its impractical. Coz we have bigger problems right now.. so going by that logic maybe it’s suggested we should wait till India becomes developed and then we can think about this. And talking about sensitivity, please remember humans have “sentiments” and can’t be expected to behave like Robots(or the Chinese)

  85. Absolutely spot on, once again. And to back up some of those who have suggested this – while a mall would be more appropriate given the state of our society, I would prefer a school or college being set up there.
    Cheers for the post !!!

  86. The principle outlined by GB is sound – the govt should not allow historical wrongs to justify wrongs in the reverse direction.

    So, for instance, we shouldn’t be providing a discrimination in favour of those whose ancestors faced caste discrimination – except that we do. We shouldn’t create pro-women laws and concessions (in school fees for example) just because women have been the targets of discrimination earlier – yet we do. We shouldn’t give “a certain community” the first right on national resources because some committee report found they’re worse off than the rest – but we do.

    When we are ready to violate that principle left right and centre at every given opportunity, why exactly shouldn’t we violate it when it comes to the Babri Masjid? Is it because it isn’t politically correct to do so?

  87. Great take.. But I don’t necessarily agree with one thing. ‘not caring for a thing that happened so far in past that hardly any of our distant relatives that occupy some space in our memories of past were alive’. That would be be like saying, while sounding extremely outrageous, that, if this case was in court for next 200 years and none of us who lived through that time were alive, then it wouldn’t matter to people alive then in future because it is ‘history’ to them.
    However what I believe is that wrongs of history can’t be addressed or “rectified” by other wrongs and mistakes. And the judicial system doesn’t stand for rectifying the wrongs of the pasts. It stands for to deliver justice by appropriately punishing those who committed the wrongs.

  88. Sorry boss; as others have said, “its past, lets move on” does not cut it. In fact given your obvious intellect, clearly if you stop and look within, you wont be able to defend it yourself.

    So should ALL historical destruction be resurrected? No not all, only three are wanted.

    Remember at this time it is like Pandav’s asking Duryodhan for the Panch grams (or three one in this case)

  89. All those who are saying that it is imperative to sustain/abolish the the present situation if it helps to keep even a single human life out of danger must have bunked their history classes through out the enter 8 year period…A human idea has always been given a higher importance than a human life throughout history..The struggke to provide Sustenance to a human idea rather than to human lives has been THE STORY of the Human Civilization and it will be SO as long as human beings survive..Period…End of Discussion….Enshrine this REALITY in to your brain and then come up with your different perspectives

  90. Hi GB,

    First time commenting on you blog. Overall, I agree with your post. But perhaps you missed one point. Before the Ram Janmabhumi movement gathered momentum in the eighties, most Hindus had never heard of Babri Masjid, and didn’t care a hoot about the religious bigotry of medieval Muslim rulers. Furthermore, Hinduism is not a monolithic religion. There are thousands of gods in Hinduism and Ram is simply one of them. Ram isn’t a prominent deity in many parts of India. For example, Bengalis are not at all super-excited about the holiness of Rama, and many South Indians view the war between Rama and Ravana from a completely different perspective.

    The Ram Janmabhumi movement grew out of a reaction to the Muslim appeasement polices of the congress, as exemplified by the Shahbanu affair. I strongly believe we should have a uniform civil code and the constitution should be blind to every religion. It is a tragedy that the whole nation embarked on something as ridiculous as Ram Janmabhumi movement instead of fighting for uniform civil code.

    Finally, I would love to hear your opinion as to why the internet is dominated by extreme-right wing views (perhaps in a future blog post?). Clearly, these people are not a majority in today’s India, as was proved by the general election in 2009. However, if you scan the blogosphere even for half an hour, you get the impression that 90% of Indians are loonies. Isn’t this amazing?

    Best Wishes.
    Sayan

  91. Now you are acting like a self appointed intellectual. You have not presented any facts, history or anything, but used you own typical Hindu inclination towards pseudo secular footing as justice for this pronouncement. Please try to refute below points if you can:
    – The structure demolished was not a Mosque. There is an Islamic rule that if the prayer is not done on something for a period of time, it ceases to be a mosque.
    – It is also not a mosque because there is a cemetery near it which is also against the rule of Islam
    – While you are correct that we don’t need to try and correct historical wrongs which might do more damage now, the issue is not a thing of past. Still there are many people who pray to the structure and call it Sita Ki Rasoi which is what it’s original name was. Leaving it unattended will be leaving an open wound, waiting to explode.
    – The AIBMAC has said that if presence of a mosque is proved, they will give up claim of a mosque since it is against Islam.
    – Non-Muslims are not even allowed in the Muslim holy cities. They are fighting with stones for Jerusalem. While I don’t support moving our country to stone age to imitate it, I do appreciate the effort by Muslims to poreserve themselves as a community.
    It is due to Jaichands like you that India was in slavery for 1000 years. Self respect is most important for any community. My millions of ancestors shed their blood against savagery to protect these very things and I don’t think
    trying to relive their sacrifice counts to communalism. Recently Japanese apologised to China for the wrongs of past. Why??? May be
    they lack the (pseudo) intellect which you have in abundance.
    After knowing about millions of Hindus killed, thousands of grand temples demolished by Muslim rulers, Hindus are asking for just one temple in the location of a defunct mosque. Too much??? And it didn’t start as vote bank politics,
    it has been going on for years with only the Mullahs and Maulvis keeping the false honour of their community due to secularism being enjoyed in India contd

  92. This was a grand opportunity to forge unity between two communities. The site is holy to the Hindus, and for a defunct mosque all these
    tensions. The ideal solution was for the Muslim community to give away this mosque and disown and apologise for the anti-Hindu atrocity part of
    the Mughal heritage. In return they could have extracted promise that no other structure will be claimed by Hindu comminities. Along with that we could have
    Muslims appointed in RSS ahnd VHP and Hindus appointed in AIMPLB to ensure exchange of views and ideas. We have missed this opportinity and because of people like you
    the wounds of Kashi and Mathura are open forever, not to speak of the thousands other sites. The RSS has already created such a list
    with ample historical documents and we will keep paying the price for next one century the way we are paying for 1947.
    After one century, probably we can discuss what was costlier-Commonwealth games or the opportunity to forge Hindu Muslim unity.
    But alas! By then even the decision would have become history and the most intellectually simulating thing that can be done about it is to forget it!!

  93. Hi GB,

    One more question. Don’t you find it amusing when people, first accusing someone of being pseduo-secular, go on to propose an essentially communal argument? Shouldn’t the purpose of criticizing “psuedo-secularism” be to promote “real secularism”?

    @Siddhartha: The basic doctrine of any modern civilized nation is the separation between state and church. As a corollary, India is not a Hindu nation, neither is French a Christian nation. State should be BLIND to all religions and religious sentiments.

    “While I don’t support moving our country to stone age to imitate it, I do appreciate the effort by Muslims to poreserve themselves as a community.”

    It is exactly this trait of political Islam that has driven a large number of Muslim countries to the brink of destruction. I earnestly hope that people like you don’t succeed in making India some Hindu Pakistan.

    Best.
    Sayan

  94. India was and is a hindu state and sentiments of hindus must be respected.People of other religions, as they are minorities should be content with what they get as democratic privilege, but cannot demand things to have it their way. If someone steals some thing and is not immediately caught, but gets caught afetr 2 centuries, still the item should be returned to the original owner.

  95. It would be interesting to see what the US makes of the WTC site. The whole symbolic mosque issue is going out of hand there… Chalo, atleast one thing we did before the US! Fight over a place to pray!

    In my opinion we should make a monument that can define India. A modern Taj.. An indication that we can take a site of destruction and failure and make something beautiful out of it.

    Have a prayer area that acknowledges the presence of a temple and a mosque there and an open invitation for all to pray. Dont all people merely talk to God when they prey? Why do it under a mosque or a temple. Why not collectively in an open garden or monument we decide to built there.

    Let politicians/ contractors.. peons and pigeons make money off it! But in the end for my grandchildren to see 100 years down the line… i want a world class structure.

    Thoughts?

  96. I have just one thing to say to those who very vehemently support building the temple, upholding their Hindu legacy etc. etc.

    I’m not denying the fact that a temple or a mosque was demolished. I’m merely stating that we have many more severe, immediate and urgent national issues to deal with. It’s called putting things in perspective.

    “When a member of a house is dying, the last thing that would occur to you is to go resurrect the holy tulsi plant that’s been burnt 5 years ago by a muslim neighbour”. So why do the same for your country? Is upholding your honour more important than the lives of so many million others that are suffering and dying because of trivial problems? And if it is, do you seriously hang your head in shame everytime you walk by a muslim just because there isn’t a temple in Ayodhya?

    If you have one minute, click on the link under my name. If you have ten, read an article or two.

    And then put yourself in their place and think if you would really care about the temple being built when your own home will be inundated by flood waters and destroy life as you know it once again this year?

    Maybe you will – because screw floods and famine, at least you have your honour intact.

  97. I am happy to see that at least in this forum people are not denying that Islamic invaders plundered our country, raped and killed with impunity, destroyed places of worship (and libraries, after verifying that it did not house a copy of the holy Koran) and converted native population to Islam through the sword. Denying these facts are like denying the fact that huge population of Hindus were subjected to the dehumanising practice of untouchability, that Jews were exterminated by a fanatic ideology, or that the African Americans were enslaved over many generations by a section that deemed itself racially superior.

    Denial of historical wrongs against Hindus has been a hallmark of the rarified world of Indian secularism; at least we seem to have crossed that threshhold here.

  98. Qutub Minar has been build after demolishing many Jain and Hindu temples ( more than twenty )

    Wonder why our history text books never told us so.

  99. @Sayan,
    I hope you had quote something from what I wrote before marking me as communal. In fact the suggestions I gave and the anguish I expressed at keeping the issues open and not using this opportunity to forge closer ties between two communities was to express that a mutually acceptable solution would have been better.
    When we(truly secular Hindus– yeah I am narcissist) spoke of immigration from B’desh, we are told that we are communal
    When we speak of common civil law – we are communal
    When we speak of integrating India with Kashmir – we are not showing enough compassion to the stone pelters
    When we are asking for one temple as a compromise for one mission destroyed – we are communal
    When we speak of demographic siege of India – We are communal
    When we speak of introducing science in Madrassas – we are communal
    When we speak of teaching correct history – we are rewriting it
    When we suggest Muslims to debate and redefine Shariat for modern times – we are communal.
    My indignation towards GB doesn’t mean I disown my gratitude for being able to read such great posts. Please read a couple of books from Arun Shourie, the case presented by VHP and some Islamic books along with some non JNU scholar’s history. After that read the government records which speak of all that, but keep them supressed but don’t forget to read the fatwa pronouncements and articles of famous Islamic scholars to get other side as well. I did the same to understand why India suffers.
    France is no Christian, but remains secular even after veil is banned. India looks at Mullah’s to seek suggestion on upliftment of our Muslims. I hope you wake up before a deganga happens in your backyard.

  100. @Siddhartha: In case you missed my point, I SUPPORT uniform civil code, abolition of Madrasas and many other things that you mentioned.

  101. have you seen muslims support Pak in an India-Pak cricket match openly….i am from a locality where hindus are majority and have seen that..wonder why and explain that?

  102. @ Rajesh
    Qutub Minar was actually part of the larger Qawwat-al-Islam Mosque (translates as “Victory tower of Islam”), and was built by Qutubuddin Aibak to honor the victory of his master Mohammed Ghauri over the Hindu leader Prithviraj Chohan, who was leading the Hindu fighback against waves of Islamic attacks during the 9th century.
    More than 20 temples were destroyed as part of this expression of “victory tower of Islam”.

    Thats Qutub Minar for you.

    @ Dhaval:
    Good suggestions. Lets begin at Mecca first.

  103. @Sayan & GB: I owe apology for harshness in my comments.
    @holycow: When Wasim and Waqar played, I used to support Pakistan too. 🙂 It would be totally unfair to blame it on Muslims. I had the experience of being in a police station with a minority friend of mine for a small incident and remember the inspector asking him again and again ‘Are you ***” and then staring at him. I was so embarrassed. Our treatment of minorities has been appeasement at policy level: Kashmir, ayodhya, Godhra, Sohrabuddin,Afzal, Civil law, Shah Bano… but utter disrespect in day to day life. Unless we reverse it, they are justified in supporting Pakistan.
    Religion is not a headache but an opportunity to celebrate democracy and brotherhood but the Mullahs and Mahants have hijacked it.

  104. @holycow: Have you seen Hindus killing thousands of people in Gujrat? Wonder why and explain that!

    Just to clarify once more, I support uniform civil code and abolition of every religious system of education. Religion makes an ugly cocktail with politics. We have seen that time and again, from the ShahBanu incident and Ram Janmabhumi movement, to Godhra and Gujrat riots.

    Enough of the debate. I am logging out. Enjoy your cow cola! Cheers.

  105. @ Sayan
    Have you seen a 10% minority cause 30% casualty in Gujarat riots and still get apologists like ypu call it a “pogrom”. Wonder why?

  106. I think we should create a fencing around the site and designate it as a “National Heritage Site” where people in year’s to come can learn about what happened here. Just set down the facts without taking sides and let it be !

  107. @holycow

    India was and is a hindu state

    Bull$h1t PAKISTANI propaganda.

    have you seen muslims support Pak in an India-Pak cricket match openly

    Are you Shoaib Malik in disguise?

  108. @Sameer

    What about the wrong of us Hindus who must’ve trampled all over the earlier inhabitants beliefs and forms of worship ? Should the pre-Hindu era tribals ask us to vacate all temples, and in fact all the land so they can restore things to as they were in 7000 b.c. or whenever ?

    Good one.

    Actually Humans came out of Africa stole much of this world from the neanderthals and the dinosaurs.

  109. @Sanjana

    I’m not denying the fact that a temple or a mosque was demolished. I’m merely stating that we have many more severe, immediate and urgent national issues to deal with. It’s called putting things in perspective.

    Great point. Except that nations never have a monomaniac focus on just one issue. If that were the case, we all would have been fighting on which one of free market economics, climate change, communalism etc is the “urgent national issue”

    Fortunately, nations can focus on more than one issue. So thinking about the RJB issue doesn’t necessarily mean we have to ignore the HDI indicators which put us in the esteemed league of Somalia and Sudan. So the US can discuss the “Ground Zero Victory Mosque” and at the same time work on fixing their economy. Pakistan can ask other countries for aid money for the floods and at the same time promote terrorism (probably with the same aid money) and maybe buy billion dollar defence equipment from the US.

    I agree that the priorities in the RJB case are screwed up, just as they were when churches were burnt by “members of a certain community” in response to the empty threat by an obscure pastor in backwater USA to burn an allegedly holy book. Priorities were screwed up when the govt decided to ban books because it offended the same community.

    The difference was, nobody bothered about wrong priorities then. Somehow, the fact that priorities are wrong is pointed out only when it happens to one religion and one community. Wonder why.

  110. Honour: last refuge of the scoundrel. Sentiment must be a close second!

    Clearly, from this blog post and its aftermath, there are two sets. One who’d rather derive their honour and create sentiment around whats needed to be done from hereon. And the other who care more about whats happened in the past, the skeletons in its myriad cupboards.

    I’d rather look forward. There’s work to be done. Else someone a couple of decades from now will have rather poor sentiments and little honour wrt their previous generation – thats us.

  111. I can’t believe somebody thought of this as an ideal solution -“The ideal solution was for the Muslim community to give away this mosque and disown and apologise for the anti-Hindu atrocity part of the Mughal heritage”.

    It’s really amusing to see all this make-temple-at-any-cost people claiming them selves as great patriots. I don’t know which school teaches patriotism in India is equivalent to your support for BJP/VHP causes. And let’s admit it for most of the people it’s not a matter of a faith, it’s more about Machismo ! Countless deaths and destruction of property don’t matter to them because they are either shielded in being is some secure locality in Indian cities or in most of the cases out of country living in some western country. I wish all these western countries where they live and make their living become religious state like Saudi Arabia and kick them out of their country in the name of respecting the sentiments of the majority. BTW I am a hindu as these kind of things matters in such debates

  112. GB, for once I completely oppose what you have said on the subject.

    I see a strong hypocrisy in saying that you should attempt to correct the wrongs of 1992 but not the wrongs of 1520. I may not have been around in 1520, but I do feel the pain of invaders raping our culture. You may call this ‘indirect’ but that is subjective. Time is irrelevant in addressing wrongs.

    The second hypocrisy is to say that ‘sentiment matters two hoots when it comes to constitution and rule of law’ and then go on to say that constitution itself is flawed in not protecting free speech enough. I think this free speech is an over-hyped concept: it has been misused more often than used, in random minions trying to get their 2 minutes of fame at the expense of people’s sentiments. I think we need tougher laws for restrictions on speech and defamation, not a further protection for incitement disguised as free speech.

    The suggestion of a mall there is even more outrageous. A pathetic attempt to impose western, capitalist culture on a nation that has thankfully resisted a lot of this nonsense so far. I would rather have a temple (or a mosque) there, than these atheistic crass displays of materialism.

    The last thing I want is for atheists to use the Hindu-Muslim divide on Ayodhya to further their own materialistic aims.

  113. @Sayan: “Finally, I would love to hear your opinion as to why the internet is dominated by extreme-right wing views (perhaps in a future blog post?). Clearly, these people are not a majority in today’s India, as was proved by the general election in 2009.”

    The internet is likely to be the view of the elite English educated Indians, not the aam aadmi. But your assumption that elections in 2009 are anti-right (or pro or anti anything for that matter) is flawed. Election results depend on a number of factors, too mixed with each other to be able to give a clear causality. Some issues are ideological – religion, left vs right, etc; but others are far more tactical – coalitions, anti imcumbencies in some states, etc. Finally, the seat picture itself may be very different from the popularity, thanks to our first-past-the-post rule.

    Do not attempt to draw simplistic conclusions from something as complex as the results of a general election.

  114. Sanjana, as someone pointed out earlier, nations have the privilege of concentrating on many issues at a time. We are talking about a nation of 1.2 billion people! People like u would argue why we are investing a billion dollars in Afghanistan when clearly our country needs it. The percentage of poor people in US has increased in the past year to 14%, so why does US bother to donate money all over the world when its own people are not getting proper employment, medical care etc.?When hundreds of hours of airtime is given to shoaib- sania marriage or the promotion of MNIK and other such serious issues of national importance, then maybe it is not hard for our collective society to think about this much long standing RJB issue.

    I don’t doubt your intentions and since you seem to be one of those who like to shiver at the thought of Hindutva, you clearly need to read some history. The problem is that the Hindu community has been engaged in fighting a losing battle for the past many centuries. Hindus have been forced/asked to give up at every step. But this is not to say that every wrong should be corrected. This issue had relevance in the PRESENT. There was a conflict going on between hindus and muslims over this when this case was filed in 1949 as I said earlier.

    And if you have 10 minutes, please click on the following links. You would learn why this issue is important.
    http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles/19921001.htm
    http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles/19901025.htm

  115. dear GB,
    Its interesting to see the number of dissenters on this site, when you’ve written a dove-ish let’s-move-on piece, as opposed to the rah-rah chest-thumpers who wear their approval on their sleeve when there are more hawkish posts.
    I personally agree with your sentiments, and wish we could get a move on with life and the everyday battle of life in rural/small town India (which is where Ayodhya and its environs are set, pretty much). I wish we could treat it with the tokenism it desrves, instead of having to wait on tenterhooks for the results of the wretched mosque/temple site and its outcomes. After all, there have been many other historic wrongs in Modern India, including the persecution of dravidian races by northern tribes, persecution of buddhists by Hindus, Hindus by jains, and of both of these guys by the Buddhists again.
    Not to mention the ongoing persecution of schoolchildren by Surdas’ unreadable verse, or the persecution of girl-bearing anemic women by their drunk husbands.
    Having travelled in the Ayodhya belt and studied the health situation in UP in class, I feel that the temple/mosque should be razed to the ground and a grand Saarvajanik Shauchalya should be built, with water supply and washrooms and safe drinking water.
    But of course, this would be either laughable or offensive to most people who have posted here. Its a telling commentary on a nation that spends 85 dollars on a roll of toilet paper to wipe a white man’s ass, but won’t fix toilets that are eventually going to benefit its own people.
    mera bharat mahaan.

  116. Ramgun bhai, don’t you feel this whole demolish-masjid-make-mandir is a bigger form of incitement than say free speech or defamation? and it’s really amusing to see you speaking for non-internet-Hindi-speaking Indians through internet and English.

  117. GB,
    1. Much may we like to wish/ think, this is not a mere property dispute that can be resolved by a court judgement.
    2. We might want to “move on” but, this issue can not be seen in isolation of the other instances where the two communities are pitted against one another. (I am myself amazed how politically correct the last statement sounds!)
    3. I agree with you that rolling back history is virtually impossible; if at all we want to roll back history, why stop at one temple? As a matter of fact, should we not expand our focus to include the pillage and loot that went on for ages? Should we not ask the British to return all they systematically looted from our country?
    Where do we stop?
    4. However, I do want to state that forgiving is okay; but forgetting is not. Because, when you forget history, when you do not draw appropriate lessons from history and know how it can revisit you if you are not careful, you will suffer. I acknowledge, as Rishi Khujur does, the importance of Ayodhya in making me curious of our past enough to want to read and connect the dots with the present.
    5. If some of the language of the folks commenting here in favour of the Mandir construction have been passionate, consider this- in the history of our nation, the “balance of destruction” has been heavily tilted to one side. One mosque destroyed, and so much outrage from the Muslims. How many temples have fallen before the comments that you see appear here?

  118. If people expect “India” to grow without the restoration of temples of immense importance to national psyche, thats like expecting an athlete to run with a broken leg. “So your leg was broken and not healed, why do you care, look forward, run”

  119. Would love to see those who suggest Sulabh Shauchalayas, Disneyland, Mall, Heritage site suggest something like this on minority shrines and get Van Gogh’ed…!!!

  120. GB,
    Not in very distant past, 1950, India was declared secular country. Not so in distant past India was declared country for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs etc.
    Not in very distant past mosque was demolished so why the question of neutral capitalist structure on the place of Mosque. Mosque has to be restored.
    So tomorrow destroy any place/property and for sake of harmony ppl will claim to build neutral things…

    Law is a law is law…

    BTW as it matters, for rest of you, I am a Hindu and for me, story of Ramayana matters more than place of Ram birth.
    Advanis/Modis/Thackerys/VHP/BJP/Shiv Sena guys were born much before mosque demolition did it make them less religious
    I understand when political parties trying to incite passion but why rest junta ?

  121. @all (if there will ever be one)

    As a voracious reader of this blog, (although not very quick on the draw to get the darn iPod); I can’t but amaze and marvel at the post and the comments and counter discussions; I usually do not get on to the comments section myself – but this takes my goat to the extent where I have ignored my inability to articulate or wite very well and decided to put my 2 paise worth of thoughts to all of you.

    The article on this topic is among the most crisp, logical and lucid I have ever read or heard till date. in order to make my point; do bear with the following points listed below as a preamble, these are not my orginal thoughts; but have read them in some newspaper recently

    1. Pizza delivers faster in India than a ambulances reaches you
    2. The cost of insuring a person or basic education is higher than your average costs to talk to people over mobile phone
    3. The cost of life insurance (premium) is more than your average movie ticket
    4. Women are still regularly raped on the streets of Downtown Delhi
    5. We all at some point in time have ignored, employed or encouraged child labour
    6. We do not find it necessary to eat healthy by buying and eating fruits everyday; but find it very important to invest in the latest of gizmos
    7. All of us (atleast the men!) have urinated on the streets; dug our noses and wiped the mess away beneath tables or seats, jumped traffic signals – atleast once (if not more) in our lives.
    8. All of us have NEVER tried pint 7 abroad with 100% compliance
    9. All of us (women included for this) have bribed or encouraged inefficiency atleast once (if not more) in our lives
    10. All of us have regularly avoided voting (not just lok sabha – there are 2 other elections which happens regularly)
    11. All of us are aware of postal ballot since we invaribly travel on voting day; but do not go the extra mile
    12. Our knowledge of the ‘case’ is linked to media reports; if we care so much – none of us have ever visited the court hearings or filed petitions to access the records and read them carefully
    13. Arundhati Roy still exists in India
    14. The list can go on……

    We are corrupt (yes – we are); our system is corrupt and the people governing us are corrupt but life goes on as the famous ‘chalta hai’, ‘jugaad’, ‘adjust karenge’, ‘india is growing, kia kare?’ lines are painted with nationalistic, emotional, we are indians overtones and things are taken into stride

    What gets me boiling is we dont seem to react with the same passion and intensity for the above anomolies in our life – (candlelight vigils, e-campaigns are a supreme waste of time) but the moment it comes to Kashmir, Pakistan, Religion – we are up in arms. I guess the point Arnab (@greatbong -do correct me if I am wrong)is trying to make is that why dont we just move on; as there are far more important things to resolve. I dont think he is being judgemental about the ‘act’ of who was right or wrong or trying to say that the events which happened post the demolition is not shameful.

    If there can be 101 earth shattering, relevant and immediate things in our life which can be brushed off with a ‘chalta hai’ attitude; why should this case get our goat and if it does – so should the others

    Lets be consistent – thats all I ask

  122. @sam and others who want to see India through US filter

    “1. Pizza delivers faster in India than a ambulances reaches you
    2. The cost of insuring a person or basic education is higher than your average costs to talk to people over mobile phone
    3. The cost of life insurance (premium) is more than your average movie ticket”

    I hope in US an ambulance will reach faster than a pizza…and US citizens dont stick booger under the tables…still 82% of US is against a ground zero mosque..why?

    may be because it does not makes sense !! why one should make a mosque at the same place only?what benefits it will bring to anyone except to one Mullah?

    why RJB is such a big issue in India? is it because of Hindus ? I dont think so …I am a Hindu Pundit..and it does not matters to me at all..what matters to me that this all does not make any sense…why muslims have to have that one place? whats so special about that place to them ? The only specialty it holds is that it is holiest of the holy place for Hindus…and thats not acceptable to them!!!

  123. I cannot accept ‘lets move on.I dont support building a temple there either .I dont accept ‘lets move on’ because if we let go of this oppurtunity now then we might not get one later to address a sensitive issue and one that will significantly alter hindu-muslim realtions for better or worse.I am against ‘rectifying old wrongs’ or a simplistic ‘build a cricket staduim’ (btw niraj why start match fixing in ayodhya)

    Ayodhya is pure naked politics clothed in a faith vs secular debate.An issue that was latent became popular because of the clumsy handling of shah bano affair by the congress.They played sikh vs hindu in punjab and it took a decade for the wounds to heal.They tried muslim vs hindu and the wounds are still fresh

    I would blame the congress and the muslim orthodoxy for the babri masjid issue.The rigid stance of the muslim conservatives forced the state to bend in the shah bano case.Explanation offered by them for their obdurate stance was that the shariat is above the indian constitution.Not surprisingly, for the sangh parivar building a temple does not require a legal framework.’A question of faith’,’rectyfying old wrongs’ seem to be method of conveying an ‘idea/mindset’ to seek a solution for a man made problem which is essentially political

    Riots have taken place in between 1958-1982 in post independence India.These were not organised by the bjp but took place in congress ruled states.India adopted a liberal attitude to the language issue in the south due to which the southern states have become the champions of federalsim.However the same issue in punjab and kashmir during the 80’s seem to have pushed the congress play some religious card to win hindu votes.They caved in to the muslim pressure for a seperate law and messed up further by opening the masjid in ayodhya to win hindu votes.

    The congress vote bank poltiics has damaged muslims more than the parivar’s concentrated and systematic campaign against them.The hindu groups got BJP”s support only in the 80’s.If it was indeed a ‘question of faith’, why did not they take it up in the 40’s,50’s,60’s & 70’s ?

    Given the post 9-11 climate,godhra & mumbai blast,any verdict is not going to make both parties happy.A healthy relation bereft of mistrust between hindus and muslims can be expected

    * If the conservative muslims accept that they accept the Indian Constitution as supreme and will live in a secular law

    * If the congress publicly apologises that it made a mistake of dividing both the communities by making a seperate law for muslims overriding the court and opening the masjid gates in ayodhya

    * If the BJP publicly apologises that the demolito was a mistake and would stop the negative campaign.

    Hindu feeling of persecution,muslim feeling of marginalisation would probably not stop.Ayodhya could be just a symptom a major malaise born out of a divided and bitter history.Atleast we will not have organised riots and bomb blasts to further deepen the animosity.We cannot stop people talking about aurangazeb,somnath,chitoor,jinnah,partition.However we can stop them becoming ‘national’issues.

    If the sikhs could come back to the main stream after operation blue star,why not the muslims ?

  124. Came late to the party 🙂

    A very basic question to those who call the demolition of the mandir and creation of a mosque as a “Historical Wrong” – Babur did not erase the structure under the cover of darkness and build a mosque overnight – did he? From what I have read and understood, Babur defeated the warring kings of the many states of the sub-continent, exploiting the divide and mutual unrest among these states. It was superior military tactics that Babar used to win his battles (He might have used the guise of religion to motivate his troops, but hey – no one was stopping our kings from doing the same!)

    He kicked our back sides and we were brought to our knees and this is a fact which cannot be undone! Since human rights and religious tolerance were not the order of the day, I don’t see how his decision to demolish a temple and build a mosque can be categorized as a “historical wrong”?

    Babur came into the picture much late in Indian history – long ago, Chanakya had predicted that if the warring states of the sub-continent cannot live in harmony, no force can stop the country from being enslaved again and again – his point was proved many times in Indian history – the Mughal invasion being just one such case. We have no one but ourselves to blame for the “oppression over centuries” because we could not forget our differences and stand united even in the face of the biggest threats. If not anything else, the mosque should remain at the site and constantly remind us of our spinelessness which we have inherited and remains with us till date!

  125. Very interesting post – agree with a lot of it. Not with your final solution however.
    Your comment “So Babur knocked down a temple and built a mosque over it. It happened a long time ago. Get over it.” is quite fair. I quite agree with it. However, in a few years we are going to reach a situation where switch the temple and mosque and replace Babur with VHP and it will be quite acceptable. What then? in 2050 or 2070, should we just say forget about it- will that be acceptable…I don’t know

    I am an atheist. I don’t understand the religious fervour people have. The reality i see is that for 20 years there has been an empty plot of land, which at least for 40 years before has not been used for anything. There are rival claims on it and honestly, in my opinion, the Hindu claim is stronger- they believe one of their Gods was born there. That does, I believe, override most things in favour of the mosque.
    Whatever the supreme court comes out with, if it comes out in favour of the AIBMAC, I hope they say -“told you so, there was never anything there!!! But if you still find it so important to you, go ahead build your temple- first rebuild my mosque near by before you even lay the foundation stone for your temple”. Conversely, if it comes out in favour of the VHP they say – “we are sorry for having to take a drastic step 20 years ago. Let us first rebuild your mosque elsewhere and then build the temple”

    Incidentally, in 1995, I had visited the Krishnajanmbhoomi at Mathura. Trust me, there were no problems. There were gun toting policemen all right but no issues at all. There were both Muslim and Hindu pilgrims and they went in and out together. No controversy. If one just lets it be, things probably will be fine.

    Finally, on a slightly facetious note, i think the best solution i have heard to the issue is “Strike oil there!!!” If there are huge oil reserves discovered underneath, perhaps everyone would view as it a divine sign that the country would benefit more by building downwards rather than upwards…and both communities would, in the national interest, allow an oil rig. What it would be called, of course, would be a very controversial matter.

  126. @Thomas Mathew

    as per wikipedia

    “The modern conception of human rights developed in the aftermath of the Second World War, in part as a response to the Holocaust, culminating in its adoption by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. ”

    and

    “The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II ”

    so as per your logic Holocaust was nothing but a strategic win by nazis as it happened before modern definitions of human rights?

  127. @GB
    You are wrong when you say “least when He peddles false hopes of salvation by making you sacrifice your money, He discriminates against no one.”

    Money and corresponding false hopes are big discriminators. You are just switching the perspective from a socio-religious aspect to an economical aspect.

    No solution, whatsoever, can cater the masses to perfect satisfaction. Perceptions – on god, on the importance of a problem, on justice – vary hugely from person to person, as is evident from the previous comments. It is an exercise in futility to bring everyone under the same hood. Constitution does a commendable job on that but, nevertheless it is bound to fail. The key thing is education, as stressed by many great leaders in the past. Give everyone education and they will be able to figure out what is good what is bad for them.

    For immediate future, the state should follow the constitution as strongly as possible. The political leaders will continue fogging our view as long as we remain ignorant. If the constitution allows filing a case on the basis of hindu sentiments and then allows construction of a temple, if its proven to have existed there – then so be it.

    You are also wrong to say delayed justice is wrong. Justice based on history is perfectly valid if it brings repent in the mind of a perpetrator and peace in the mind of the oppressed, be it before a thousand years. Lots of hindu upper caste people are ashamed of what it did to the lower caste for generations. If someone is willing to make up for the sin of his/her ancestors, what is wrong with that ?

    To this particular issue of RJM/BM – I think we should erect two structures in the same place. Live and let live.

  128. @vijay dubey – I live in Bangalore and certainly the observations which were made was not thru a desi sitting yonder filter. I do not understand the co-relation of my comments with your example of ground zero. All I am asking is for us to be consistent and react for situations and issues which are in the moment and current. The past tradegies however unfortunate it is (and the past can go to any depth in terms of time) is unfortunately past. I used to live in Mumbai around the same time the tension started and have been a receipent of mob fury and have every right to be pissed (irrespective of which religion I belong too) since I felt my basic rights as an individual, mumbaikar and citizen of India were being abused by a bunch of people who were agitated about the unfortunate event. As I reflect today; on a daily basis – there are a zillion other things – connected to me or not; personally or not – which piss me off and I am sure others too face the same issue – the question I ask to myself and to all is that why are we not consistent in our reactions and approach? Either I should have a chaltha hai attitude for all or should be equally passionate – selective pickings does not help. It infact gives a lot of data points for the powers above me to now profile me as a individual and accordingly play to the gallery. Sample this – all the powers to be do not make corruption or reduced costs of daily essentials an issue and ensure that there is a closure – via peaceful or bloddy means as they know that these are issues which the average joe has reconciled in his chalta hai funda but DO know that the usual suspects – religion, across the border etc etc are issues which also gel with the aam janta – so let me only focus on them

  129. @yahoo,
    Which courageous person appointed you as the spokesperson for all of Indians so that you are referring to “all of us”? Indians and their varieties are too vast to fit in a stereotype nicely; apparently this is a problem for you who wanted to establish that the streets in downtown Delhi serves good purpose for rapists. Did you see one doing so? If you did, what did do you do to prevent it? You whiners are one of the long queues of Indians who derives sadistic pleasure in portraying your own in bad color. You are certainly not the first and certainly not the last. One of the reasons pizzas are delivered faster than ambulance because people like you did not do anything beyond whining about it.

  130. I have one doubt over your stance GB.

    WTC was destroyed by a group of Muslims – maybe not part of the mainstream, maybe lunatics – does not matter.

    Another group of Muslims want to build a mosque there – at the site where stood 2 buildings that employed several people many of whom were killed for no fault of their own. You support this movement.

    The Babri Mosque (though it was not technically one) was destroyed by a group of Hindus – again, maybe lunatics. Another group wants to build a Temple there. Then why do you oppose it?

    If you should oppose or support, shouldn’t you do the same for both. And please note, the major difference, as I said earlier – the 2 Towers provided a economic use, while the land at Ayodhya does not.

    Please explain your stance – maybe I am not able to comprehend it

  131. “Another group of Muslims want to build a mosque there – at the site where stood 2 buildings that employed several people many of whom were killed for no fault of their own. You support this movement.”

    Did I? I just said they have a constitutional right to do so. If someone wants to construct a temple within a 2 blocks radius on private land in Ayodha, they have every right to do so. I honestly dont see what you cannot comprehend.

  132. @ Kaushik saha
    Ayodhya temple site has 1400 years of continued history of temples dedicated to the deity “Vishnu” (rama being one of the avatars), on the same spot until Babur built a mosque in accordance with his religious inspiration on the site.

    Ground zero did not have a mosque there before it was destroyed.
    So plese rethink the parallel you are drawing here.

    The only possible parallel that people can draw (in a theoritical world), is if the Kaaba at Mecca is destroyed and a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva , and followers of Quran want to rebuild it, once they become politically free.

  133. @ Siddhartha
    “You whiners are one of the long queues of Indians who derives sadistic pleasure in portraying your own in bad color. You are certainly not the first and certainly not the last. One of the reasons pizzas are delivered faster than ambulance because people like you did not do anything beyond whining about it.”

    Here is a helpful tip- if you are interested in serious debate, you might consider getting off your moral high horse. While a ‘holier than thou ‘attitude is not uncommon among activists, you might want to take a cue from Rishi Khujur on how to make a point. He rarely flaunts his ‘social activist’ resume and makes his point through debate & discussion.

    And here is something you probably didn’t know about whining. Whining is a normal human reaction which releases irritation and can even be considered therapeutic. Usually the set of issues people truly care about is a tiny subset of the issues that people whine about…which means people are under no obligation, moral or otherwise , to take on the wind mills (literary reference to Don Quixote), whenever they have something to whine about.

  134. Rishi Khajur,

    Despite the similarity i think it was the sikh sectarian movement in the 80´s
    which might have pushed india to become more hindu.Then followed kashmir,meenashipuram,etc….

  135. As a person who has immediate roots in the land of ayodhya , I have the following comments :

    1) No one ever noticed Babri Masjid, until it was used as a political agenda. It was a non-issue until one fine day a troublemaker politician decided to use it since he lacked the guts to address/find a solution to the pressing problems of India – Poverty and lack of development.

    2) For those commenting about “building” a mandir in ayodhya, please go and look at the people living within limited means around that place, and then think about building….building something which makes their life happier….

    at the end of day don’t we have anything better than to discuss issues which don’t make any difference to our lives ?

  136. @ ss
    I disagree.
    The Hindu awakening started with the coagulation of Hindu spiritual leaders social leaders at Powai in 1964.

  137. @Ravi,

    Here is a helpful tip- if you are interested in serious debate, you might consider getting off your moral high horse. While a ‘holier than thou ‘attitude is not uncommon among activists, you might want to take a cue from Rishi Khujur on how to make a point. He rarely flaunts his ‘social activist’ resume and makes his point through debate & discussion.
    – The response was not to you, but may I ask where did I exactly ride the moral high horse? You do not even know me (assuming you are not someone I have debated earlier and now using a different alias); how do you know me to be a young activist? Of late, I work with Rishi’s group at times (but he does not know a lot about me), that does not certify me to be an “young activist” (or new activist if you will), does it? Since you offered to help me, I have a helpful tip for you – stop assuming people’s identity and history and stick to the subject matter under discussion.

    Kindly, spare me about the lecture on whining. The subject matter of this thread had nothing to do with the whining that I was addressing. The whining that the person with “yahoo” alias did was highly derogatory to my country and if a person has a right to whine, I too have the right to answer it. If standing up for an insult means riding moral horse to you then we need thousands such riders.

  138. I have not had time to read all the responses. but I wish everyone in our generation thought like you. We are so bothered with religion and sentiments that we never get over it. We are still discussing and wasting our precious productive time accodirng to IST discussing whether there was a ram mandir or mosque. How amny people ahve ever been to ayodhya ever or for that matter how many of the present population will ever visit it that it makes a minute difference to us.

  139. for those who misunderstood my point: i said that for many muslims their religion is above their nationality, thats why they support Pak in Ind_Pak cricket match…and also im a proud hindu who takes pride in hinduism not because it is my religion but it is one of the better religions that teach us tolerance and coexistence!

  140. Phew…

    Can you now write on how this verdict debate is delaying the release of a film, which has a leading hero of the day massacring ‘Disco Dancer’?

    Thanks.

  141. Somnath temple was destroyed 6-7 times by Islamic invader and each time it was rebuilt.

    From wiki

    “In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple.[citation needed] The Gurjara Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone.
    Somnath temple, 1869

    In 1024 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Mahmud Ghazni[citation needed] who raided the temple from across the Thar Desert. Ghazni was challenged by the king, Ghogha Rana, who at the ripe age of 90, sacrificed his own clan fighting against Ghazni.[citation needed] The temple was rebuilt by the Paramara King Bhoj of Malwa and the Solanki king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhilwara) or Patan between 1026 and 1042. The wooden structure was replaced by Kumarpal (r.1143-72), who built the temple of stone.[6]

    In 1296 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Sultan Allauddin Khilji’s army.[citation needed] According to Taj-ul-Ma’sir of Hasan Nizami, Raja Karan of Gujarat was defeated and forced to flee, “fifty thousand infidels were dispatched to hell by the sword” and “more than twenty thousand slaves, and cattle beyond all calculation fell into the hands of the victors”.[citation needed] The temple was rebuilt by Mahipala Deva, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308 A.D. and the Linga was installed by his son Khengar sometime between 1326 and 1351 A.D.

    In 1375 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Muzaffar Shah I, the Sultan of Gujarat.[citation needed] About 1400 A.D. it was reconstructed by the local public.[further explanation needed]

    In 1451 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Mahmud Begda, the Sultan of Gujarat.[citation needed] It was reconstructed again.[citation needed]

    In 1701 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.[citation needed] Aurangzeb built a mosque on the site of the Somnath temple, using some columns from the temple, whose Hindu sculptural motifs remained visible.[further explanation needed]

    Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore rebuilt the temple in 1783 A.D. at a site adjacent to the ruined temple which was already converted to a mosque”

  142. Whoaa! There goes all my hope this verdict going away without any untoward incidents… judging from the comments on your blog, I dont think everyone is ready to move on or even think that Vinod Kambli is not better than Sachin. Looks like we should get ready for some ugly scenes and like you mentioned all Indian communities get insulted very easily which would invariably lead to torching of public property and mayhem. But at least the state governments in most states seem to take this seriously and are taking proper measures for a change. We really dont need any more rioting in our country as we have more than enough calamities to deal with… *Fingers Crossed*

    PS: People who claim ‘undeniable proof’ about Ayodha and Ram JanmaBhoomi should show the proof in stead of harping on it. At least we saw the mosque before it was vandalized.

  143. My question is …how many people had ever heard of this ‘temple’ before bjp raked it up ? Noone living in any part of the world as of today would have ever prayed there. So where does the question of sentiments being hurt come from.. It is like a village beggar in India getting upset about the sluggish performance of technology stocks on NASDAQ…

  144. can anyone imagine how muslims would treat a temple or a churh in mecca ? Or how christians would treat a mosque or a temple in vatican city ? Isnt ayodhya as significant to hindus as mecca is to muslims ?

  145. @GB:

    I agree that the best solution is to either build a mall or maybe a theatre where people of all faiths go and can see their respective Gods on screen including Mithunda.
    But at the same time, I think the court is handling the case from a current perspective and not with respect to what happened during babar’s time. What I mean is once we got Independence and a proper constitution was framed, this particular site’s title rights are vague and hence court is to decide who has the legal right to claim this piece of land today. So the issue is atmost just 60 years old and should be considered like any other property dispute.

    Just curious : Do you think the British Government or the Queen must apologize to us Indians for the barbaric acts on us and also return the Kohinoor etc?

  146. @Ravi Ivaturi :

    Pizzas are delivered on two wheelers which is faster than a four wheeler and you cannot carry an injured person in a neat square cardboard box on a two wheeler.

  147. i enjoy your posts arnab, and you make valid arguments (mostly) but this one was just plain disappointing. to say that history should be ignored since it hasn’t directly affected those alive is one your weakest arguments ever. even though we may never know what really happened when babur attacked, we should take a decision based on whatever information we have.

  148. i said that for many muslims their religion is above their nationality, thats why they support Pak in Ind_Pak cricket match

    Pakistan is not the representative of subcontinent muslims, rather it’s their embarrassment. Even Pakistanis like to call themselves Indian. And Indian muslims don’t support Pak at all, that’s just Pakistani expansionist nonsense.

  149. shopping mall, disneyland, choli ke peeche and whatever bullshit ….. isnt it being dished out because if you are hindu it is presumed that you will tolerate anything ?

  150. Someone supposedly from BJP offers Mr. X, a renowned blogger, to become their spokesman. Mr. X thinks “Even though I’m vehemently centrist, why are people thinking that I’m pro-BJP? Should it not drive my ‘secular’ readers away from my blog? How should I become a centrist again?” Solution – churn out an absurd proposition of building a mall in RJB.

    Did you see how much intellectual and media space the left loonies have hijacked in India that centrist ideas like uniform civil code, removing article 370, building a temple thru constitutional process are called communal?

    Those who have read the history, saw the games played by Nehru family and express themselves on Internet are called right wing loony Internet Hindus.
    Those who are blissfully ignorant and push for the “Mall/Shauchalya/University/Disneyland at RJB” are centrists.
    Those who have read the history, twisted them to suit their communal agenda and peddled them as gospels of truth are liberals.

    Can it get more f**ked up than this?

  151. @GB:

    I think we should not be looking at this as a single incident that happened at the time of babar. I think this is a matter of a long sequence of events that originated from Babar’s time and each event which was somehow bringing fear and insults to the Hindus.
    This could even be one of the reason for the pundits exodus from Kashmir. ie. If no picture of muslim treachery and barbarism was projected until then by them, then a sudden call for militancy would not have triggered this mass exodus. The actual reason was this continuous insults, agressive nature of the muslims to destroy small temples in Kashmir, but later on claiming that it was a mosque since 1500’s and the pundits forcibly “forgetting” about it and “moving on”.

    If tomorrow some muslim burnt the Bhagavad Gita publicly and he claims that he wanted fire immediately to make himself warm, would you just forget it and move on since it is just your sentiments that is hurt (if it does hurt you) and no physical harm was done to you?
    In case, you say “Yes” and move on since you have many other priority things to take care of, what will you do if this becomes a regular feature and as years go by, Other Hindus (not you, lets say the peace loving “coward” hindus) are getting demoralized at this aggressive nature of muslims (mind you, the muslims are not causing any physical damage to you and are burning the Gitas just for their own pleasure) and these other hindus are just feeling bad and hurting their sentiments themselves.

  152. disappointing. I will give the post 2 stars for content, but 5 stars for popularity :). You do much much better on movies and lighter side of things Arnab. I read your blog to get me out of a dejected mood. I notice that you are trying your hands on more serious stuff, but, apart from passionate West Bengal politics, it doesnt seem to come out properly. I guess, its not fair on me to ask you to write on specific stuff, then you may be sterertyped.. confused.. might still post this…

  153. @ joyjit
    Your education level is reflected by your comment on the demand for “proof”

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/aug/25ayo1.htm
    http://www.hvk.org/articles/0903/189.html
    http://folks.co.in/2009/11/the-evidence-at-ayodhya/

    Some other excavated artifact photos


    Sahifah-i-Chihal Nasa’ih Bahadurshahi written in 1707 by a grand-daughter of the Moghul emperor Aurangazeb, and noted by Mirza Jan in his Urdu work Hadiqah-i Shuhada previously cited. Mirza Jan quotes several lines from it which tell us:

    … keeping the triumph of Islam in view, devout Muslim rulers should keep all idolaters in subjection to Islam, brook no laxity in realization of Jizyah, grant no exceptions to Hindu Rajahs from dancing attendance on ‘Id days and waiting on foot outside mosques till end of prayer … and ‘keep in constant use for Friday and congregational prayer the mosques built up after demolishing the temples of the idolatrous Hindus situated at Mathura, Banaras and Avadh … (Harsh Narain: pp 23-24; emphasis added.)

    In another work also known as Tarikh-i-Avadhi, by one Alama Muhammad Najamulghani Khan Rampuri (1909) tells us:

    Babar built a magnificent mosque at the spot where the temple of Janmasthan of Ramachandra was situated in Ayodhya, under the patronage of Saiyad Ashikhan, and Sita-ki-Rasoi is situated adjascent to it. The date of construction of the mosque is Khair Baqi (923 AH) [or 1528 AD with the correction]. Till date, it is known as Sita ki Rasoi. By its side stands that temple. It is said at the time of the conquest of Islam there were three temples, viz. Janmasthan, which was the birthplace of Ram Chanderji, Swargadwar alias Ram Darbar, and Treta ka Thakur. Babar built the mosque having demolished Janmasthan. (History versus Casuistry, p 17; emphasis added.)

    The evidence of Babur’s destruction of a temple is fully borne out by the inscriptions of Mir Baqi found fixed in the disputed structure from back in time, during the British days as is clear from the accounts given by Mrs. A. Beveridge in her translation of Babur-Nama published in 1926.

    But the light of knowledge cannot touch those who choose to walk with their eyes sewn closed by self delusion and dishonesty.

    And if you already knew about this, then a time will come though when the pain of conscience will eventually overcome your poisonous casuistry. And that will happen in your lifetime.

  154. “@ joyjit
    Your education level is reflected by your comment on the demand for “proof”

    Thus spake Hishi Lejur.

    Ravi Ivaturi:

    “While a ‘holier than thou ‘attitude is not uncommon among activists, you might want to take a cue from Rishi Khujur on how to make a point. He rarely flaunts his ‘social activist’ resume and makes his point through debate & discussion”

    Yes right. See how he makes a comment on someone’s level of education because he disagrees with him. First-rate debating and discussing technique. It’s time to get your mouth off whatever its wrapped around and read what your guru writes.

    I am always amused to note as someone who has spent four years doing voluntary work in MP and Maharashtra providing basic healthcare for farmers, how the Hishi Lejurs and the Siddharthas of the world do not care a flying fuck about Hindus dying of starvation, of young girls being forced to sell themselves for truckers so that their little brother can get medicine. Its only when they smell the opportunity to go up against Muslims that their tongues come rolling out and they suddenly become conscious of their honor !

    I am curious as to when did BJP approach GB to be their spokesman. There was a comment in a preceeding post asking GB to come back to India, join the BJP and a conjecture that he is so erudite that he could become BJP’s spokesman. Wonder when that became a full-fledge job offer? Did I miss something? Or has Mango-man been sucking off the same mango that Ravi Ivaturi has been enjoying?

  155. @ anonymous
    Joyjit is a old debater in this forum and we have discussed this before. Hence my comment.

    But you already knew that because you have been calling me names for years now.

  156. Yes Hishi. I have been in this forum before you came and your friends. Even if you have told him this exact thing fifty times before, you think that gives you the right to call into doubt his level of education? Do quote which passage from the Gita or the Upanishads has these lines. Do quote carefully and give attribution though; having been on this forum for a while I am sure you remember you and your friend’s proclivities for “lifting” stuff without attributing source. I am sure Ravi Haturi will applaud that.

  157. In my opinion, this whole “forget the history if the victims are dead and move on” is very short-sighted. As history shows us, those who don’t LEARN from it, get buried in it. So, no one is surprised that there aren’t many Hindus left in Afghanistan or Pakistan. I’d be surprised if there are any left in 500 years time in Kashmir, Kerala, Assam or Bengal. But hey, we won’t be here – so who cares? Lets build some shopping malls …

    And yes, there are more pressing issues in our country like poverty, hygiene, literacy or Mamata as compared to say building long range missiles or temples. But if that means we cannot be concerned (and take action) against anything else, then wouldn’t it be better to shut down everything that doesn’t directly deal with poverty elimination? Like shutting down movie theatres, radio stations, bars … and yes, high-end shopping malls too. I guess that’s what is already happening in our backyard to the north-west …

    Then the argument that “if you don’t like the laws, go suck your thumb” is also bull, because democracy demands that if you don’t like the laws, petition the lawmakers to change it to suit the society (as compared to thumb-sucking). Note that law, as compared to constitution, change constantly and are regularly struck down by nondescript judges. But it looks like (I could be mistaken here) the author uses the “constitution” and “law” quite interchangeably w/o understanding this fundamental difference.

    But, GB has one good point – if we keep going back, how far do we go? 10 yrs? 50 yrs? 100, 200? 1000? I honestly don’t have a good answer to that, except suggesting that it entirely depends on the the people. But, looking at the growth of the “internet Hindus” as well as the “madrassa Muslims”, it looks to me that the clash of civilizations will sadly continue.

    And yes, I’m new here grandpa Anonymous, so please don’t start throwing eggs or shoes yet!

  158. “The congress vote bank poltiics has damaged muslims more than the parivar’s concentrated and systematic campaign against them.The hindu groups got BJP”s support only in the 80?s.If it was indeed a ‘question of faith’, why did not they take it up in the 40?s,50?s,60?s & 70?s ?”

    FYI, BJP came into existence only in the 80s – they were a 2-MP-strong party from 1984-1989

    “My question is …how many people had ever heard of this ‘temple’ before bjp raked it up ?”

    How many heard of the “mosque” too?

    @GB-da, here is the last line of “Ground-Zero Mosque”. If this is not “supporting” (whatever be the reason), I do not know what is:

    “However it still needs to be built because, if it is not, then the US and its culture of secular tolerance loses its high moral ground. And that would be a horrible thing to have to come to pass.”

    And as for “two blocks away”, or “the exact spot”, how much difference does it make?

  159. I worship water and lakes. I think its time for setting up an action-committee to go after all those apartments and offices that have come up on filled up lakebeds, natural drainage systems connecting those. I can very well prove the existence of these – and its not just my sentiments at stake.

    // If you have to fight, do it for a cause that makes a difference to our lives and those of the generations ahead. Stop living the the way-past.

  160. Author says: So what should happen now? Every native Indian brings a case against every citizen in the US and gets all buildings razed down and all railroads torn up and make the US government (which would also have to kill itself by the court judgment) restore prairies and packs of wild buffalo?

    Just responding to this rather illogical analogy.
    1. The natives are within their right to go to the court and demand justice.
    2. The court is authorized to give a judgement.

    A court exists to give a judgement. The logic of the case can and should be decided by the court. If I feel my sentiment is hurt, I have a right to go to the court. Why should you feel that is wrong or lame is beyond me.

  161. “The congress vote bank poltiics has damaged muslims more than the parivar’s concentrated and systematic campaign against them.The hindu groups got BJP”s support only in the 80?s.If it was indeed a ‘question of faith’, why did not they take it up in the 40?s,50?s,60?s & 70?s ?”

    FYI, BJP came into existence only in the 80s – they were a 2-MP-strong party from 1984-1989

    Why they need a ‘BJP’ to proclaim that it is a ‘matter of faith’? They could have done that when they were in jan sangh or in whatever name they were before.

  162. Jews got a country for themselves by never forgetting “what happened hundreds of years ago”. Renaissance inspired by the ancient Greeks pulled Europe out of the dark ages, Swami Vivekananda Inspired Indians by reminding them of their glorious past, Hitler played the “Aryan” card……so many times the remembrance of past has shaped events for better or for worse. I mean history cannot be wished away. It has been and will continue to be an instrument for mobilizing people along various lines and we all do look back before moving ahead.the only question is how far back ? personal wish is that people could look all the way back to the times when there was no religion. till that happens Arun Govil will remain a deity and many more temples and mosques will be broken.

  163. Jews got a country for themselves by never forgetting “what happened hundreds of years ago”. Renaissance inspired by the ancient Greeks pulled Europe out of the dark ages, Swami Vivekananda Inspired Indians by reminding them of their glorious past, Hitler played the “Aryan” card……so many times the remembrance of past has shaped events for better or for worse. I mean history cannot be wished away. It has been and will continue to be an instrument for mobilizing people along various lines and we all do look back before moving ahead.the only question is how far back ? personal wish is that people could look all the way back to the times when there was no religion. till that happens Arun Govil will remain a deity and many more temples and mosques will be broken.( sorry, forgot to add my name )

  164. Now if a temple is built in ayodhya, wouldnt people want temples to be built in all sites were barber or whoever were the invaders demolished temples to build mosques?

  165. @ shanti
    lets first find out who the invaders were and what they did, shall we?
    then you yourself can address your next point, maybe?

  166. “To them I say—-So Babur knocked down a Hindu temple and built a mosque over it. It happened a long time ago. Get over it. ”
    –dear great ray, i understand that you are yet to get over the fact that a plot of land that belongs to your family was occupied by the local CPM goons!!
    well,i am reminded of a certain word that starts with “hypo” and ends with “crisy”.

  167. Stingray, you are missing a point here. If someone occupied my land illegally it would definitely affects me and I would have tried best to recover it. But if I loose it then I don’t think my future generation will sweat hard for the land or go on lamenting on their fate. I would rather be happy to know that they are getting on to their own life forgetting the past.

  168. Isn’t it the congress party led by Rajiv Gandhi as much responsible for the demolition as BJP is?
    Quoting from wiki:
    The Passing of Muslim Women Protection Act allegedly sent a message of Muslim appeasement practised by the Congress party. To counter this charge Rajiv Gandhi began his election campaign in 1989 from Ram Janma Bhumi ( birth place of Lord Rama ) in Ayodhya. This led to revival of the Ram Janma Bhumi – Babari Masjid dispute which was lying in cold storage for about forty years which in turn led to bringing down of the Babari Masjid on 6 December 1992 and thereby causing bloody riots[1] all over India in which thousands of people mainly Muslims were killed and over dozen powerful bomb blasts in Mumbai ( Bombay ) on 12 March 1993 in which hundreds of people mainly Hindus[2] were killed and/or maimed.

  169. 1. Let us keep the historical facts aside for one instant (Agree with you here GB). The entire world will have to be reconstructed if we went back to what existed before X ruler invaded it.

    2. Was the destruction of the mosque and the subsequent riots wrong (as per EXISTING law) on the part of whoever (irrespective of religion) participated in it. Yes.

    3. Would a majority of the country (irrespective of religion) feel wronged if the mosque was reinstated in that place? @ Siddartha, the answer is no.

    4. Would a majority of another country (where there is a majority of Christians, Jews or Muslims) feel wronged if a minority religion’s place of worship was instated at their holiest place?

  170. Sting Ray,

    If you manage to read this very article, I said rolling back of what happened can be done if the people who are directly affected AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT still alive, otherwise it is an exercise in futility (and no sentiments of people 500 down the line dont count). Everyone who is affected by my story is still very much alive. Not being able to read what I write reminds me of a word that starts with “ill” and ends with “iterate.” Which of course leads me to doubt whether even this would be ever read and understood.

  171. @ Vishnugupt
    Loved your comment on parallel priorities.
    Long term Strategic thinking has always been a weak point of us Hindus (and by extension the country of India), barring a few exceptions ofcourse.

    And it is those few exceptions that have held the forts in every generation that didnt lose, and have moved forward by leaps and bounds in the generations, when their numbers reached a critical mass.

    Hope our generation is the one where we reach the critical mass.

  172. “I said justice can be done if the people who are directly affected AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT still alive”

    Most of the people directly affected were either dead in the riots, or have subsequently. There might be a lot of people living who were affected by the riots, but I don’t think you have carried out a survey to find out whether they would be happy if a Mosque was built or a Temple. So this is based out of your perception of the situation.

    Secondly, if you believe the affect was “on the religious senses”, there is nothing concrete to suggest that either.

    This verdict is not on the guilty- who started the riots etc. We have the report of the Liberhan Commission to see to that. This is regarding -“whose land is it”.

    I too would have made a sarcastic comment about comprehension and other issues (words starting with “comp”…), but since I have tremendous respect for you, I would not go down that alley

  173. greatbong,

    “I said justice can be done if the people who are directly affected AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT still alive.”–using the same analogy of your dear plot of land that’s now lost to CPM goondas, if the original family members who payed for the plot with their lifetime of savings have passed away eventually, would you forget the injustice?
    or, consider a suicide bombing where both the perpetrator and say, a couple of victims who are also orphans die,would you say that no further action is needed since the “the people who are directly affected AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT” are not alive?

    please feel free to prove me “illo”….”gical”

    • Yes I definitely would. If someone took away my great-great-great-great grandad’s (add a few here and there) plot of land I would let it go, even more when there is someone trying to take my land away as I speak and I would have to put my career on hold to address the injustice of four centuries ago.

      BTW I love the Hindu right-wing’s concept of “ownership” when it comes to the “Ram Janmabhoomi”. I say that because it mirrors the exact logic of Naxalites (read Charu Majumdar if you dont believe me) who say that all bourgeois land has been seized from the peasantry, if not now then hundreds of years before, which means they have the right to forcibly acquire any land they now deem fit. This is of course classical Maoist theory and it was implemented in Cambodia.

      With respect to your second example, if they have no kids, no living family then yes my answer would be the same, given that trying to get them justice might take me away from more pressing matters of today.

  174. Kaushik Saha,

    [Most of the people directly affected were either dead in the riots, or have subsequently. There might be a lot of people living who were affected by the riots, but I don’t think you have carried out a survey to find out whether they would be happy if a Mosque was built or a Temple. So this is based out of your perception of the situation.]

    Yeh kahaan se tapak para? The people who were affected by the riots need justice for the riots. My question was just because the riots happened in the 1990s doesnt mean we should ask people to get over it (in other words, it’s history and so get over with it is not an universally applicable justification). People still live with the direct losses accrued as a result of those riots. While the people directly affected by the destruction of the temple (the people who were killed by Babar while doing this and the people who owned the property damaged) are long dead and none of us even know whether our great-grandfathers were among them.

    And where did you get the Liberhans report in? All I said was that the court should rule on the facts and the government should take action based on them and not on the basis of respecting sentiments (which is what we always seem to be doing)

    Coming back to the WTC, there is a WORLD of difference as to where the construction is. I once again repeat, VHP has every right to legally acquire (by buying from the owner) any land in Ayodha and making a temple. The people behind the mosque did not break down the Burlington Factory store-room and make their mosque. THAT would be illegal. They bought it. This is what makes the fact that they are not making the mosque ON THE RUBBLE of the WTC, because that is an illegally demolished structure. If however the Port Authority (I am assuming they are the owners of WTC) decides to sell the land on which the WTC is (of course they will never do that) and some Arabs buy that land and build a mosque on it, they have every constitutional right to do so.

  175. GB put it in the right Bengali spirit, that if someone takes away our great-great-great-great grandad’s land, we will just let it go. Kudos to you, my friend !

    But, why go so far? Close to half of current Bengalis lost their (great?) grandad’s land and property about six decades back – and see how comfortably we have let it go? A large numbers of people who lost their land and became direct (1st generation) refugees are already dead or in death-bed and the horrors of losing land/property is almost gone from public memory. Our current generation is almost getting ready to let go of our current lands as well …

  176. @greatbong
    “If you manage to read this very article, I said rolling back of what happened can be done if the people who are directly affected AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT still alive, otherwise it is an exercise in futility (and no sentiments of people 500 down the line dont count)”

    You are overlooking the simple fact that Babar’s action did not affect just a group of people. It affected people of a certain faith (Hindu). As long as there are Hindus living there are are people that have been DIRECTLY AFFECTED

  177. “if they have no kids, no living family then yes my answer would be the same, given that trying to get them justice might take me away from more pressing matters of today.”
    –so,you mean to say that one can perpetrate any crime as long as he/she will kill all the victims?
    or may be you dont say that he/she can perpetrate the crime, but, all you say is that as long as crime doesnt affect you, you don’t care either way?
    another conclusion would be that you/perpetrator would be better off if the perpetrator of a crime that might affect you would kill you first.since, its absolutely unacceptable for you to face a situation that “might take you away from more pressing matters of today.”

  178. @Debadrita,

    But, why go so far? Close to half of current Bengalis lost their (great?) grandad’s land and property about six decades back

    ABSOLUTELY. I totally agree that the land taken by Bangladesh as enemy property needs to be dealt with. Because people still live under economic hardship imposed by their forced migration and then the Bangladeshi government seizing their land.

  179. The people who suffered are no more and to talk about giving justice to them by persecuting anyone living is of no use. But the ideology which encouraged such aggression has not changed a bit and its followers world over prove that all the time.We should treat the situation with wisdom. We should strike at the core points which will weaken the hold of the ideology and make it irrelevant. I am sure discussions like this are being read by many learned muslims …they must have realized the problems their faith have. More and more people will chose to come out and give up such ideology. we have to protect them. We also need to give incentives to muslims to study at normal schools instead of madarsas. (Though jaichand like laloo talks abt giving incentive to madarsas).Till now, I have not seen any aggresive or extreme response by BalalSangh Parivar or any muslim over here..and its a good sign. I hope such posts encourage introspection among muslims.

  180. @gb

    its interesting to see your robotic logic of right and wrong…

    a “one beegha jameen” taken away from your greatx100 or so grandfather and Babur’s planned mass killing of Hindus which changed the shape of Hinduism forever is same for you !!!

    RJB issue is not just about a piece of land or a mandir…Its surely more than that…ostrich attitude will not help Hindus for a long run…you can keep on making malls and keep on raising high-rises…but soon there will not be enough Hindus to enjoy these things(as it happened in Kashmir)

  181. @GB: Your one answer “land taken by Bangladesh as enemy property needs to be DEALT WITH” raises multiple questions. How do you want to deal with it? When do you want to deal with it? After the Hindu population goes down to zero percent? Why will the Muslims let you deal with it? Sk. Mujibur could have dealt with it in 5 yrs after their liberation, but he didn’t. Why? Probably because he and his followers knew all too well that Bengali Hindus would like to move on …

    Anyway, I fully understand your dilemma that if we want to avenge past mistakes then how far do we go back? 450 yrs is indeed a very long time and where do we stop? But one thing I can tell you is that Islam inches slowly and steadily (use the word Radical before Islam if it helps). With very few exceptions (like Spain), once a land or population is lost to Islam, it will NEVER, EVER come back. No matter what you do, no matter how you do or when you do it! If you don’t want to go back 450 years, fine by me. But, at least remember this fact by heart and make sure everyone else does! Because, if you don’t, you are only repeating your and my forefather’s mistakes.

  182. GB – is this the post with most comments? must be the one with most comments in such a short space of time?

    So much for saying – we’r over it, we dont care about babri masjid issue anymore.

  183. The verdict is deferred. For now by 4 days, after that, God knows how long. Whatever be the outcome, I smell fresh aggression boiling up thereafter. Sigh.

  184. The best way to test political ideologies is to take two random samples of similar people and subject them to the different contradicting ideologies.

    Capitalism was proved to be superior than communism when Culturally and ethnically homogeneous Koreans were segregated and after 50 years we could see the difference between North and South Korea.

    Similarly linguistically and ethnically similar people were segregated in 1947, one was tested with the ideology of having a theocratic state that will provide an atmosphere where people can feel they belong to a particular religion.
    The other was tested with secularism. We can see the difference after 60+ years between India’s despite its drawbacks aiming to be a superpower and Pakistan being proved time and again to be a failed state.
    So what do you want? Should India leave its secular ideology which has clearly been shown to be superior and adopt Pakistan’s ideology and make a nation where Hindus can feel as their own.
    Then we can enter a competition between our Hinduness and Pakistan’s Muslimness. Then we can say that although our economy still survives on foreign aid, we don’t care as long as we have a nation which Hindus can claim to be their just like the Christians claim Vatican, Jews claim Israel and all other shit mentioned in your comments.
    Can’t you that this can’t work. Is there a place in US which despite having a majority of Christian population doesn’t have a place as the right wing radicals demand in India, a place where the majority can claim as exclusively their, defying all laws and constitution.

    As said in Spiderman it is the choices that make us who we are. We can choose to continue a secular policy like US, or we can choose a policy of establish a theocratic state like Pakistan.

  185. @Khujur Rishi
    How is that a fallacy. If we follow Hinduism radically like Pakistan follows Islam, it is sure that we will soon meet their fate.

    One o the strangest justification was mentioned in the above comments justified the 1992 demolition by reminding how Taliban destroyed buddhist temples. So do you really want India or Indians to become something similar?

    We owe our well being to our constitution which is one of the most detailed in the world. India was bulit on a principle to look forward and to accomodate all, while what most

  186. @umang rungta:
    “1. Capitalism was proved…North and South Korea.

    2. We can see the difference after 60+ years between India’s despite its drawbacks aiming to be a superpower and Pakistan being proved time and again to be a failed state.”

    Both are extremely flawed conclusions; both on the outcome, and on the causality of the same. North and South Korea were puppets of CPSU and US respectively to further their own cold war. I would not attribute the differences to economic ideology. For every Hong kong or South Korea you quote, I can quote a welfare state like Sweden or Finland that is even more prosperous.

    I cant even remotely see India as a superpower. Every time we smirk at Pakistan’s problems, we have Naxalites butchering a few dozen of our people. And Pakistan’s minority elites too enjoy the kind of prosperity and freedom you and I do in India. Even if India does become one a century or so from today, the last thing I would attribute it to is secularism.

  187. I am sure of one thing – even if all of us are able to reach an ‘amicable’ agreement in the WWW, to me, it almost seems impossible in the real world. The simple reason being that this issue is not about just religion any more. RJB is a vote-bank issue for both sides of the issue, and that is why this will forever be a part of our ‘recent’ history.

  188. I agree, hands down, that there should be a mall or an entertainment zone created at the site of dispute. There has been enough of debates, fights and murders..
    Yeah kinda suggested a coffee shop, in my blog, but i guess the area must be pretty big, nahi? Mall indeed sounds good… Infact i also think a school should be good, but then again, who would study there? Hindus or Muslims? Let’s stick to the Mall idea…sounds great 🙂

    BTW, great post. Haven’t read much of yours, but sure I want to!! 🙂

    Keep me glued…ane keep it up 🙂

  189. @yamini

    search for a blog written by a muslim on this RJB issue and try giving this same suggestion there itself.You will be surprised to see how cruel and evil this world has gone while you were busy playing hide and seek with your dolls.

  190. Isnt ayodhya as significant to hindus as mecca is to muslims ?

    I don’t think so, but then I’m ignorant in such matters…

  191. Mall, cinema, cricket stadium… ah you tastless heathens! It can only be Prabhuji Studios with TLV Prasad running the show a la Louis B Mayer at MGM. Or Shree Venkatesh Films making delightful gems with Jeet / Dev. Sandip Ray too can shift his woeful Feluda movies from Ramoji studios. Secular nirvana!

  192. GB,
    Hindus and Muslims have been fighting with each other for centuries now over the matters of faith and religion. RJB issue is just another instance for them to lock horns with each other. I will bet anything that even if tomorrow all muslims allow building of temple at the disputed site, ‘Mandir wahi banaayenge’ people will not stop there. After a while, They will start again on uniform civil code. After that there is article 370 issue which will demand it’s share of blood. And these are just national level issues. Locally, there are many godharas and malegaons which will keep the fires burning.
    Any discussions on who is to blame for this enmity is pointless as there are enough culprits on both sides at present and in any case people are perfectly willing to go back centuries to point out the incident which caused them to butcher an innocent today.
    Sometimes I think…it’s not about even religion. Holy books of both the religions have ample unambiguous directives on mercy, generosity, morals, spirituality and only couple of vague, hazy lines on militant action against other faiths. But all these people with religious ferver concentrate on latter and interpret those as license to kill ‘in HIS name’.
    As for this issue…I am totally resigned to the fact that once again blood of the innocents will be spilled. Every commentator on this blog is aware of this on some level. Some are actually hoping for it. to them I will only say ‘Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it’. And those of us who are despondent over futility of all this; just fortress yourselves, hunker down and wait for the storm to blow over because reason sure as hell never stood a chance against faith in the course of human history

  193. nice article and interesting responses.i cannot trace my fore fathers before 1850 and they have shifted so many places in those period.in 21st century i am very confused with many of my relatives on whether he is a christian or hindu as he has a christian name at birth and has a hindu name for college and marries a different caste girl with brahmin priest and gets his childrens tonsuring at velankhanni shrine.this is the state of most of the dalit households and i am amazed that people r sure that they were from the same religious group 500 years back.if we trace a genetic background the togadias,singhals and advani may have babur genes(recently they have traced that hitler had jewish origin)tamilnadu was fully under buddhist influence and the treatment of a king made them saivites(so easy).badrinath the holy shrine was a buddhist shrine and the adishankara converted it into a hindu holy place.
    the role of the TV serial of ramayana in an era of doordarshan was mainly responsible for the ramjhanmabhoomi movement.the village gods r different for evry village and u r not supposed to attend the functions of gods not authorised to u.one follows the fathers side gods and the before the marriage of mothers side relatives they worship katteri or karuppu which is forbidden.
    just one curious question .was ram from the south where u can marry ur uncle/uncles daughter/son or from the north of vindhyas where u will be killed in 21st century for marrying in the same village/gothra.will ram or ram bhakts be able to solve this gothra trouble as its killing more than all terrorists activities by muslims.

  194. Sorry, It seems you have read the article and already responded. Anyway, although I disagree with many of your opinions in this article, so happy to know that you are becoming more mainstream ( in its truest sense) than all these MSM wallahs..

    Now please go and screw the the CWG gang. It seems the MSM guys are already turning aplogists for the Central and Delhi government

    — one of your greatest fan

  195. GB, you say “Or will it let the matter slide, maturely, and expend its energies on winning back its relevance in 2010 through a forward-looking agenda based on policies as opposed to costumes and fancy-dress parades?”

    Wishful thinking!

  196. I’ve spent quite sometime reading both your Blog and Sandeepweb (including comments ..yes..0 work for the past 2 days 😀 )

    Here’s my two cents:

    Constitution needs to be respected: True
    Constitution needs to be revamped: True
    Constitution is changed as per what needs to be changed: False
    Constitution is changed as per which vote bank requires what from it’s elected representative: True
    Bloggers like yourself and 90 % of the commentators above who have at least a basic idea of what should change in the constitution form an important part of the vote bank: False
    Most of the vote bank is easily swayed by religion, caste, sub caste and sub sub caste: True

    Leaves us with two choices:
    1. Continue cribbing about the constitution. Try participating in the process of defining constitution. Retreat disgusted. Continue ignoring ALL national problems such as the Babri Verdict, write blogs about them (or comment) at the most, and continue getting what we want through the parallel constitution called ‘jugaad’.

    2. Contribute heavily to our corporations, and steer India towards a truly capitalist corporatocracy, where your contribution to the country’s economy dictates how much of a say you have towards making the laws of the country.

    I will now resume my work.

  197. @ tejas
    We have discussed that in detail on this forum. Please read through past posts on that. I am sure you will be convinced otherwise (even from my point of view).

    @ Nanda kishore
    Parents with one child love their child more?… or do parents with many children love each of them as much?

  198. @Revathi : No, its not wishful thinking, but something they’ve been doing since 2004. Remember Sushma Swaraj’s statement that RJM is a “cashed cheque”?

    @Krishna : You are true on your observations regarding the constitution but your option 2 sounds worse than option 1 😛

    If shopping malls or crass consumerism/corporatocracy, etc could resist (radical) Islamism, then America would’ve won AfPak war, UK’s biggest threat wouldn’t have been its own Muslim population and France and Switzerland wouldn’t have to ban burkha or mosque construction in their own countries. THINK and try to understand what is the source of the problem and stop trying to douse a fire with ghee!

    PS – The above statement assumes that UK, France and Switzerland are secular, liberal democracies and not communal Hindoo fundamentalist states.

  199. @ Umang Rungta
    It is a fallacy because, you assume that the fundamentals of Hindu Dharma and the religion of the Quran are the same.

    In reality, they are not.
    Just because Islam is called a “religion”, does not mean that it is the same as Hindu Dharma.

    Would be happy to discuss with you about why they are different outside this forum.

  200. Dear GB,
    I think the passion stirred by your post proves something: what exactly I am not sure to comment. The 80-odd commentators here are hardly representative of India, but the fact that they were moved enough to write something certainly points to the RJB issue being emotive for them on some personal level.
    That said, I think that looking at your sample (and the smaller, more voluble cohorts within it), it is fair to say that of the people who read and comment on your blog and are engaged in the discussion (displaying a tendency to respond to posts, itself another evidence of repeated perusal), that there is a definite right-wing/ conservative/ communal/ hindu-centric bias to this group.
    This, I think, is an instructive exercise for you: although you may see yourself as rational and balanced, giving a minority report on issues of national (sometimes international) context, you have unwittingly become a poster boy of the right-leaning blog-reading public. Arguably some of your more reckless posts (comparing India to Israel, advising tribals in central india to become more “mainstream”) have contributed to this, but overall, the tone of your blog has been what you have claimed it to be: a personal take on issues of national importance, with an attempt to seek out the truth, and with a pre-supposed suspicion of liberal media.
    However, judging from your readers (and commetors), it is instructive to see how (a section of) the Hindu Male segment in India is fast becoming like its counterpart in that other great democracy: just like a bunch of scared, paranoid, white tea partiers, chanting in time with Glenn Beck’s rants.
    Like those confused libertarians, these boys too have a garbled view of secularism, (a concept I feelis essential if the idea of India is to survive), choosing to view it as a system where the Government equally appeases every community, preferably choosing to keep a majority happy.
    I am a secular atheist, and couldn’t care less about Ram’s birthplace, but diarrheal diseases in Western UP/ Faizabad, are something I think everyone who professes to think about the birthplace of Ram should care about: it seems blasphemous to me that at least 4 political parties are toying with the idea of building a huge structure in Ayodhya, but not one of them has considered building a common community-owned toilet, which would not discriminate on the basis of religion or caste and be open to all, and benefit the community of 50000-odd people in a direct way.

  201. What is this fascination of certain “secular atheists” about building public toilets at the temple site in Ayodhya?

    I am sure that these people will do better if they convince their likeminded political representatives (the secular parties who have ruled India forever) to atleast maintain the toilets they build where they are supposed to be built.

    @ Nirvana demon
    Lets build a public toilet at your home to begin with.

  202. @deepak:
    Which part? Radical or Islamism?
    Depending on the blog, I try to prefix Islam with “radical” to keep the moderator in good humour – at least when the moderator clearly distinguishes between the two.

    I’m not criticizing GB for his belief – I’m simply complying to blog rules. Plus, its also good for “community cohesion” or “communal harmony” (depending if you are in UK or India) 😉

  203. I Have been a avid reader of your blog.This is the worst blog ever of yours.Ithink ram janmabhoomi is a sensitive issue for religious folks.Why is that a mosque should be build in ground zero which was a non existing before,but people should care less for a temple which already was there.I know it must be a million years old but lets change history for a change and let our kids read yes “Babur destroyed a temple and built a mosque ,but hindus were brave enough to rebuild the temple”.

  204. Hi GB, I am a frequent reader of your blog and like your center-right approach on almost all the issues (I actually admire that you speak up for the right/fair thing, without worrying about your “image”). Haven’t commented a lot but this writing of yours seems to have generated some interesting discussion. I must say I am surprized (in a positive way) to see the support among the online readers for building a temple as I always thought people in India are becoming more and more tolerant everyday and are ready to sacrifice everything for the benefit of the other community (including deploying an anti-hindu govt).
    As for myself, I personally don’t give a rats a** to whether a temple is built there or a mosque or a mall. Though, I do not exactly agree with your logic above for the following reasons.
    1) Since there was a temple there which was destroyed by Babur (more or less a verified fact) and people have been trying to restore it for quite a while, they should be given their due and the temple should be built there, even if it means destroying the existing stru. Please note that this does not make it right for the goons to destroy the mosque and that was still an illegal act and the justice should take it as a separate issue and punish the perpetrators.
    2) Based on your logic of not correcting the past because nothing good comes out of it, think about this scenario. What if the kar sevaks had been able to successfully do the shilanyas in 1993 and forefully make or declare it a temple. In that case you would have been fine with the temple there and would actually oppose the verdict by supreme court had it been about restoring the mosque? So what you say is that because hanging Kasab is not going to do any good (but might actually bring grief to his family members, he shouldn’t be hanged.
    3) In a Hindu Majority country, everybody else have been cut a lot of slack and I believe in this case, they should be given their die. If this also goes in favour of the other community (just like all the other previleges they have been enjoying, at the cost of majority in the world of congress), I will make peace with India being a sh**hole country, and being secular is the biggest hypocracy here.

  205. Be it a temple or a mosque that needs to get built at Ayodhya can I be in charge of the construction?

    One thing I can duly assure that if there is again a need to collapse the structure those features would be engineered into the structure itself so that the need of shoring up armies of karsevaks or mujaheeds would become redundant… Please give it a thought

    I have just been fired and I tried to commit suicide by hanging from the ceiling
    but the roof collapsed…This is my last chance

  206. @rishi vijay siddhartha & others … Hypothetical question … what would you do if the high court verdict as well as supreme courts verdict on a subsequent appeal goes in favour of babri masjid ?

  207. Better build a fking PVR or a Volkswagen manufacturing factory in that controversial fkd up site. If Ram had ever existed , he wudve come down now and spank at all the asses who are fighting each other. I wish we take those bunch of rednecks and fanatics , ekta kapoors, cynical de, all bunch of credulous creatures in India to get wiped off. Its seriously stupid issue. Watver the outcome, common man gonna lose his family and the love for the country. Both BJP and INC can suck donkey balls for worsening the country like this. Better make the site as ‘military shooting range site’ so that gun down all the mofos who come near to worship it. Sick !!

  208. @Prasun Banerjee: As far as I can see, Vijay has answered your question the way he feels a vague/hypothetical question should be answered, especially when the “straight” question involves second guessing the courts.

    Seems like you want it both ways, i.e. ask the question of your choice and demand an answer of your choice … are you, by any chance, a journalist in a leading mainstream media?

  209. @ Prasun
    “Hypothetical question … what would you do if the high court verdict as well as supreme courts verdict on a subsequent appeal goes in favour of babri masjid”

    I will ensure that 200 years down the road, I am not counted in the pages of history as one of those who we remember as lacking foresight, strategic thinking and havinga dimwitted abhorrence to learn from history.

    I refuse to be counted amongst the Jiachands of this generation.

  210. @ GB
    INDIAN ATHEIST wrote:
    “Better make the site as ‘military shooting range site’ so that gun down all the mofos who come near to worship it. Sick !!”

    rishi khujur

    I suggest we emascualte the guy who uses the name “Indian atheist”. Please allow my comment if you are going to let the abovwe comment from him stay.

  211. Dude,

    i really like to read your take on films and my sincere advise for you is to stay with it..political rationality is not the area you should comment on because you are just not good in it.

    Thanks,

    Sameer

  212. GB, love your blog-posts. They are really nice. And the good part of them is the reader comments section. It baffles me when I see people labelling you right-wing in certain posts and left-wing in the others! Truly, that could be the highest tribute to your non-partisanship. I understand that this is a blog of your views on subjects. And truth can never be completely black or white. So, neither can you be completely right-wing or left-wing.

    This post is really a logical one, and dare I say, economically and logically, the most feasible. I would have thousands of grievances against lots of people who didn’t do enough for me or my family in course of my life. So, I can either rave and rant about them or take them to courts (for tort or civil case or criminal case). But I do neither. What I do is get on with my life, and try to make the best out of it. Why waste my time on things where rewards are doubtful and uncertain? Yes, I might be making a cold, unemotional decision. But I know this is the most practical and efficacious one.

    If we start making our Constitution amenable to emotions/sentiments, NO decision on ANYTHING may ever be taken, as any decision taken will be naturally against someone’s emotions/sentiments.

    The political parties are surely not concerned with our religious sensivities. They are merely interested in doing what will garner them the most votes. That’s why Congress does things which guarantees them Muslim votes. The BJP portrays it is doing things which benefits the Hindus. But ask it to take a stand on Modi campaigning in Bihar elections, and you realise they too are here only for votes and power. No one in politics is better or worse than the other. Just that Congress, having ruled India for so long, is responsible for most of all the ills of India – especially the goddammed Pandit Nehru. Sardar Patel not being the leader of India was surely a Himalayan blunder for the country.

  213. What has happened has happened in Past . What next ? We all Hindu’s believe kan kan me base hai Raam …Almighty is every where ..Rama also must have felt sad to see so many killings for his birth place .

    Apart from what we feel its also important how a comman man in Ayodhya also feel ?
    Our thoughts and feelings are reflection of what we read and see ..ground reality me differ.Judgement day now . I urge to all my friends here to keep cool,what ever decesion comes we have to digest and move on.

  214. @ Santosh
    I am sure the Hindus of Kabul, Qetta, Kharosan, Karachi, Lahore, Shrinagar, Jakarta, Kumilla, Borobodur feel the same way too, that-

    Paramatman is in all beings, and the Atman is linked to the Paramatman by different Yogas and Maya(specific to Advaita)

    Oh wait!!! There are NO MORE HINDUS LEFT IN THESE PLACES and after conversion to Islam, these very same people want to destroy anything that doesnt follow Quran. What a turnaround.

    So Santosh…the question is whether you are willing to fight and promote the idea the we can see the deity of Ram (and Paramatman’s virtures that many believe he represents) in “kan kan”, including every “kan kan” of his revered birthplace in Ayodhya, or whether you will be looking for reasons to hide and escape in every “kan kan” that you can hide under, until you and and your progeny faces the ignominious misfortune of not having the last “kan” where Ram resides.

    I am sure if you could go back in time and ask that question to Raja Jaipal of Kabul, or Raja Dahir of Sindh, or Lakshman Sen of Bengal or Kota Rani of Kashmir, the answer would be very different from what you said.

    So next time you talk of “kan kan mein base hai Ram”, think of every kan kan of Kandahar or Kharosan, where he doesnt reside anymore.

  215. there is nothing more important than the temple to sri ram at ayodhya…shri ram is part of the heart and soul of our culture…funny i am an agnostic but even i can see the immense importance of that spot and that temple… another blast from the past …jai shri ram

  216. @Vishnugupt – Personally Journalism was an ambition at some point in time but no I am not a journalist. My hyperlinked name has the link to my blog which case you had bothered to see , you should have been able to deduce on whether I am a journalist or not.

    Sure the question is of my choice but the reason its a question is because I am open to an answer. I dont know personally who Rishi , Vijay , or you are and hence was trying to understand. If i had preconceived my answer I would have posted it as a rhetorical kind of accusation and not bothered coming back to read your responses. Vijay’s answer however has preconceived notions on what “others” would do and therefore he says confidently that he wouldnt do that. I genuinely dont know what the others are going to do as well. And more than anything else I am bothered about the aftermath from either side, couldnt care 2 hoots about the judgement , hence my question. And I am not being naive.

    Now considering what Rishi has replied to mine … let me state what I think … There are 2 ways to react if the verdict goes against you … Accept the judgement and move on to other issues and which as Rishi’s reasonably broad statement as well as his blogs say , there are many such issues which need to be addressed. The 2nd option is do whatever it takes to “not accept” the judgement.

    The problem is that when the losing party takes the 2nd option and the winning party takes the occasion to celebrate and make it a point to try and rub the losers noses in the ground , the corresponding meeting spot is very dangerous. And that affects me more than anything else. Not whether a Masjid is present there or a Temple.

  217. “Why worry whether Babur looted us in the middle ages when there are a gang of Commonwealth Master Gogos in Delhi, under the guise of organizing an international sporting event, pillaging the coffers of our country at this moment?”

    really? is that what the ayodhya issue is all about? that babur looted us in the middle ages? mate, why don’t you simply chillax watching some good old mithun movies and take it easy?

  218. Guys what are your thoughts on Verdict ? Will it favor Hindu or Muslims?

    My fear is it will more favor muslims ..simple reason ..congress is the ruling party .Any comments ?

  219. whatever may be the verdict, if it is going to be one sided then i am sure that there will be some unavoidable situation disturbing everyones day to day life.. 😦

    Instead government should build some atomic power station or some R&D center on the disputed area, which will empower Utter Pradesh and indirectly INDIA.

    I guess no temple or mosque is required for praying god, cause The GOD itself is in every human being …. 🙂

  220. I am not even a devote Hindu or anything. For me the spot is not even holiest of all holiness. But i get pissed when its always the Hindus have to give in so that we dont hurt anyone (read We dont get bombed). 100s of temples are removed/demolished/destroyed for widening the road near your house. From the engineer to residents to daily wage workers to the CM of state are likely to be Hindus. Then why is there sooo much resistance for the Babri Masjid which was closed in the 1930s. Who is affected if it was removed and a temple was built?

  221. @Prasun Banerjee: You got me wrong here – I’m least worried that you asked that question. But then someone answered it the way he chose appropriate and you didn’t seem to accept that. I may’ve be wrong, but your question “sounded” like the typical mischievous question to some angry, hot-headed Hindu activist on live TV.

    It is really not important to know who people are personally and what really matters is the logic and facts they present in debates. These issues (of Ram temple in specific and in general, destruction of temples and building mosques atop them upon conquest) is not something new and its quite natural for an informed person to read about them and come to a conclusion. In other words, its not really “preconceived” in the true sense of the word. If after centuries of Islamic history we don’t know what the “others” would do then we need to read a more of our history. What surprises me the most is how Bengalis (as your name suggest) don’t get this message after suffering so much just six decades back – sorry if this notion is preconceived.

    As for your options, there are many who’ve clearly espoused the dangers of your first option, i.e. moving on with history (both short term or long term). Rishi’s answer is a politically correct reply that such questions at this time deserves. As for your second option of not accepting the judgment, its fairly broad and could mean some very legitimate response like appealing in higher courts. That said, I do share your concerns about the victorious party celebrating and the losing party’s nose getting rubbed . That would inevitably lead to rioting on the streets and should be avoided at all costs.

  222. @Parth: Before you can analyze why why is there sooo much resistance for the Babri Masjid, you will have to first clearly understand, rather verify, your own assumption which preceded the above statement of yours, which is – From the engineer to residents to daily wage workers to the CM of state are likely to be Hindus

    Is that so? May be if you talk to each of these engineers, residents,CM of the state or the daily wage-working Hindus, they will say something you already said in your opening statement I am not even a devote Hindu or anything. It is merely my guess that those who are resisting the building of Ram temple understands this reality all too well whereas the rest don’t. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  223. By the extension of your argument, after the last Jewish grand-dad of the era is dead, the Holocaust becomes irrelevant? Let me be slightly more expansive… in a 100 years it doesn’t matter? Because not one man recalls it from personal memory and some Jewish descendants would’ve event converted to Prabhuism or Scientology any way?

    I am not denying your fundamental argument urging people to get over the temple affair. However, the premise it stands on, is rather weak.

  224. Rashmi

    25. September 2010 – 12:58 PM

    Great Bong please revise your history lessons, learn the brutal history of islamic invasion in india by Muslim Court Historians. You can do your own research. I am pasting a link on How Islam Conquered India – as told by records of muslim Historians http://agniveer.com/2086/how-islam-conquered-india/.

    You being a Bengali from West Bengal , i will only suggest see how communists have ruined your own state who gave to India and World great Dignitaries like Vivekananda, Lahiri Mahashya,Swami Yukteshwar Giri, Swami Paramhansa yogananda etc. See how Hindu women are being raped, dishonored in muslim majority murshidabad, Deo Ganga riots the news of which is subdued by CPI,Congress Secular media and great Indian Government. I must tell you How Two years back Head of Ramakrishna mission was tied to a tree and beaten black and blue by muslims, you can search and find out the full story on your own. I have kept track of all events. The condition of Hindus (This segregation of human beings is only recent ) is very bad in West bengal.

    Now the time has come to undo all historical wrongs taking in confidence all indians, else India will repeat its fate of last 2000 years(see the fate of former pakistan/bangladesh and all muslim/christian nation). Muslims should know true history of india and world which is not what our historians have painted. The foundation of peace is not laid on untruth.

  225. @ Rashmi on Sandeepweb

    Lahiri Mahashaya, Yukteshwar Giri, Paramhans Yoganand….nice

    These great aatmans hardly ever get mentioned in the list of luminaries from Bengal.

    Quite refreshing.

  226. Enough is enough. We want the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. We are not asking for much. Just one temple. It may not mean much to the folks here…. but it means a lot to those who care about hinduism.

  227. long ago Mulayam Singh Yadav had commented about building a public toilet at that place so that people of all faiths can use it.

    Though i find Yadav to be an idiot of the highest order, i dont really disagree with his advise.

  228. Great Bong; you think the holocaust in Bengal is important because people who have been affected by it are still alive?

    No problem — give it 50 more years, it will be like Quetta and Peshawar then. A very similar situation like Ayodhya.

    Its all past onleee, why worry…

  229. This is my first post here and I must say that I agree with the leitmotif of GB’s post, which is to look forward towards the future instead of wallowing in the past. It does not mean we should forget the past altogether but simply that we should focus more on what is the need of the hour instead of the sentiment of the hour.
    But I’m not as articulate as I’d like to be and would, perhaps be misconstrued, misquoted and mistreated generally over my comments. Quoting the following lines of Dwarika Prasad Maheshwari’s poem ‘Itne Unche Utho’ as the content and summary of my views on this topic:
    “?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??
    ?????-????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ?????? ??”

    -Thanks

  230. My bad, Hindi does not show up here, the quote was:
    “Lo ateet se utna hi jitna poshak hai,
    jeerna sheerna ka moh mrityu ka hi dyotak hai”

  231. The need of the hour is to create and sustain the Indian culture and leitmotifs based on those and inspire every Indian to be greater, because they are *Indians*.

    Muscular nationalism if you will.

  232. We need not get BACK in to history to take revenge but my simple question is when will we learn to protect Indians.Even to day kasmiri padits are scared to go back to their home land.May be they should keep on mooving when ever some one kicks them out.After a hundred years we can say kashmir was never theirs and they should forget about it.I think babri issue is not just about religion but a lesson to be learnt about survival.Yesterday it was babri ,today it is kashmir and tomorrow it will be whole of India- need not be muslims but the threat can be from china.

  233. Babri-Ayodhya is 100% an internal issue and there is nothing wrong for us to move on and simply agree to the court verdict.

    However, “Lets move on” attitude is something we Indians have been displaying even when external forces have been screwing our happiness (US, Pakistan, China etc..).. This is where we need to take a stand and protect our interests.

  234. @ Kalyan
    So we should move on once every external issue becomes an internal issue.

    So that way when “US Pakistan, China etc” (as you define external forces) are in control of us, then we move on.

    Good thought.

  235. I present a very simple solution

    -all mosques built by destroying temples should be replaced by a temple
    -all temples build by destroying mosque should be replaced by a mosque.

    I am an idealist !!

  236. This is a bit adrift from the debate on “going back in time”. But, I just found this link nicely summarizing the historicity of Ram temple reasonably well as well as the purpose of building mosque. Its good to listen things from horse’s mouth – of course, governments that publicly doubt the very existence of Lord Ram cannot care two hoots about.

    The last lines by William Durant are the best and mesmerizing to me We can never know from looking at India to-day, what grandeur and beauty she once possessed . Switzerland didn’t have to go back in history to stop further construction of minarets in their country

  237. @Prasun,
    what would you do if the high court verdict as well as supreme courts verdict on a subsequent appeal goes in favour of babri masjid ?
    Appeal to the supreme court. This court is deciding on multitude of issues and archeological reports already settled the points of existence of temple (someone already posted the link I believe). The land verdict can go either way and I am in favor of settling it the way Somnath was settled. Whatever be the decision of the supreme court we must agree to it because supreme court is not a kangaroo court in service of the “phemili” yet and as a Hindu I believe “Satayameva Jayate” (truth shall prevail).

  238. Objectively speaking, the answer to Prasunji’s question is incorrect. In his question, Prasunji clearly asks what will you do if the high court verdict as well as supreme courts verdict on a subsequent appeal goes in favor of babri masjid. So after that, appealing to the supreme court is not an option anymore (although technically one can go from a lower bench 1 or 3 member bench to a 7 member bench). Please read the question carefully before answering, otherwise you will end up labeled another “angry, hot-headed Hindu activist” by the likes of Prasunji.

  239. Why not make a school or a hospital there, or a cottage industry perhaps? Some institution that is inherently without religion but of use to all sects.
    The alarming rate at which population is increasing and land is running out leads one to think that there are other, more pertinent problems to be solved right now. The need of the hour, I would think is development.
    Besides, faith doesn’t reside in idols or temples or mosques. It resides in us. What is the good of following any religion if you cannot inculcate its virtues? I don’t know of any religion that teaches selfishness, bitterness or hatred unless its teachings be convoluted by power hungry fanatics, in which case, every religion could be viewed as inciting carnage.
    On a tangent, the reason there is so much debate on this post is that there is no single right or wrong. “One man’s food is another man’s poison”. Like each one of us trying to assert his/her own views as the final word, GB has the right to have his own opinion, even if it is not endorsed by all.

  240. Every square foot of land that we live on is built on the remains of some previous civilization. It is not humanly possible to retrieve every bit of civilizations gone by. True, we were a great nation once (although technically we weren’t India then), but do we want to keep clinging to that or do we want to evolve into one now? If we keep digging and delving into the past, pretty soon, we will end up in it.
    -Thanks

  241. @Vishnugupt,
    Yes, it was incorrect. Whatever supreme court decides will be the decision everybody would accept. We are common citizens of India, it is our duty to obey SC decision, we certainly are not certain secular Gandhi who would defy court order to appease a certain community. But you are missing the point, if our claim is correct, how would SC or HC can favour the mosque? After all, it is us, the hateful Hindutva people who believe in “Satyameva Jayate”.
    @Manasi,
    Every square foot of land that we live on is built on the remains of some previous civilization.
    Wow, that is a pretty sweeping generalisation. My land belonged to my ancestors and my civilisation is a mere continuity of theirs. You are trying to put forward an argument that Americans and Australians try hard to pass, but those lands are built by immigrants after destroying the aborigines, our case is not similar to theirs. The problem with people like you is your reductionism and your lack of empathy for followers of your own religion. But, then again, why not? If you agree that we have a point, you then have a moral responsibility of being politically incorrect. That is one action you are supposed to avoid at all cost, right?

  242. Nice post. Offtopic- there was not even a SINGLE protest or violent incident against the judgement. Possibly people are tired of the s*** politicians have been selling.

  243. I agree with great bong . We must move on. Whether a temple was demolished or not on that disputed piece of land some 600 yrs ago cannot fill our hungry stomachs.. it can only fill votebanks. HIgh court did a wonderful thing dividing that gun into 3 parts so that none of them would be able to shoot it. However from a rational point of view, it just legalized the babri masjid demolition.

  244. @Nishant,
    HIgh court did a wonderful thing dividing that gun into 3 parts so that none of them would be able to shoot it.
    Care to explain why is this such an “wonderful thing”? If the high court threw the title suit out, then Masjid committee does not have any rights to the land. The same judges however handed them a portion, … on what basis? If someone makes a false claim to your house, would you first deny his claim and then handover your spare bedroom to him so that he does not burn down your house in frustration? You may not agree to those who wants to build a temple, what right do you have to tell them to “move on”? They have not invited you to do donate money for their temple, did they?

  245. [what right do you have to tell them to “move on”? ]

    Sid, what right do you have to tell Nishant that it is not his right to tell them to move on. Hilarious !

    He has every right to say what he wants. Including to tell someone else to move on. If you cannot recognize his right, and that too not on your space, then there is someone who needs to move on. And guess who that is?

  246. Honestly GB, you have slipped a bit here. If we were to forget history then might as well stop having a national holiday on Gandhiji’s bithday. Also, why have holidays for festivals. Who was Netaji Bose and Gandhi and Nehru and Patel and what does it matter to the current generation. We got our freedom let’s move on. Does this sound right? The masjid issue rankles Hindus in much the same way Pearl Harbor bombing does Americans and Auschwitz does Israelis. They hunted down every single Nazi alive. Reconciliation is such a stupid word. It is getting into our national character. We are reconciled into driving over pot holes, accepting that politicians will be corrupt, big projects will mean big pay-outs for the party in power and soon we will start accepting that no balls are not so no-no any more. Acceptance of convenience? Nice to see a lot of bloggers actually reject this idea.

  247. @gb

    using same robotic logic..Sid is not forcing anyone
    he is merely stating that he does not think anyone
    can speak for everyone…if that person does not agrees
    with this statement,he can very well move on … Sid
    is enjoying same freedom of speech which you used for him..
    Isms itna gussa hone ki jarurat nahi hai bhai!!!!

  248. Ha ha… I found this gem in Vijay Dubey’s link!

    “In Pakistan, we have always raised our voice against any injustice with the minority communities, while in India, the state is not showing solidarity with the Muslims,” he [Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Kazmi] alleged.”

  249. Vijay Dubey,

    Not that I understood anything you said, my point is that *everyone* has the same right to say what they want and the minimum requirement to participate on my forum (I repeat “my” because I am responsible for what happens here) is that no one starts questioning someone else’s “right”. In other words, disagree if you want to but do not attack the other person’s “right” to disagree with you. Is this clear enough?

  250. @ Sid
    Bhai two wrongs never make a right thing… if Babar did a wrong thing by pulling down the temple and constructing a mosque ( as per ASI report which i am accepting with a pinch of salt considering the fact that they submitted their report in NDA rule) .. it was also grossly unfair to pull the mosque down.
    Now High Court verdict has tried to keep everyone happy. So lets accept it . Whether a temple or a mosque is constructed there, will it create employment ??? will it reduce the inflation.. no !!! Kalko say sum lunatic lays claim to Rashtrapati bhavan saying that it was forcefully built on his ancestral house by the britishers … and by your logic he should demolish RashtraPati bhavan. A 1000 years ago Since Mahmud Ghazni attacked India, plundered Somnath temple… we Indians should also attack Arabic countries , vandalise their mosques there and propogate hinduism. I never asked the VHPs and RSSs to move on because they will never move on. Atleast they wear their hearts in their sleeves. I meant we , the young brigade, should move on. This mandir masjid issue wont be giving us any jobs or a girl friend.

    @Great Bong
    Thanks Sir.

  251. @gb sir

    It was even clearer before you made your point of “MY FORUM”.You have a peculiar MK Gandhi policy “my way or no way”.

    anywho..i feel proud to be a Hindu…a religion great enough to allow such a
    “my forum” happening…i find in this forum people who can easily use “mofos” for people who want to worship

    “gun down all the mofos who come near to worship”

    people who dont even know where ayodhya is on India map

    “but i guess the area must be pretty big, nahi? ”

    people who dont know even iota of Indian history…still these people comment like experts on issues like RJB.

    I hope all these colours in this forum are because of Hindu religion only…

  252. @Nishant,

    Bhai, if you have time please read the judgement to understand what the judges think about the ASI report and the objections to ASI report. If you are inclined to read, please read vol 18 of Justice Agarwal’s judgement. Herein, the judge discusses the ASI report, the objection raised by witnesses who gave affidavits against the report and the cross examination of these witnesses in the court.

    I took away the following form this reading.
    1. ASI was not asked to do the study by GOI, the court asked it to do the study.
    2. The court appointed many observers to oversee ASI’s work. There was extensive video recording and photography of ASI’s work.
    3. When cross examined, witnesses that deposed agaisnt ASI could not substantiate the points that they raised against the report. All specific points that these witnesses raised to argue that a temple did not exist below the structure were proven false or inadequate during cross examination.

    I do not have the time or energy to put all of it here; Justice Agarwal had document his methodical analysis over hundreds of pages and I humbly suggest that you go over it before making up your mind.

  253. @ NISHANT
    “.. never asked the VHPs and RSSs to move on because they will never move on. Atleast they wear their hearts in their sleeves. I meant we , the young brigade, should move on.”

    Sorry to break your bubble, but many many in the “young brigade” identify with VHP and their ability to wear their hearts in their sleeves.

    Better than being heartless and mindless.

  254. babri masjid issue is a delicious item for the politicians of our country…..hope at least this time godhra kind of riot does’nt occur again……as we all know the babri masjid issue iz just being blown out of proportion just for muslim vote ……doing this kind of thing…dese politicians are basically creating a divider …..a kind of social barrier among the people of our country

  255. I shan’t get into the issue of the Supreme Court verdict. I do not support any organised religion. It should be irrelevant in a secular state.

    The real issue, imho, is that several thousand people defied the rule of law to break down a structure which was supposed to be off-limits and was supposed to be protected by the state. By doing so, the implicit message was that they did not believe in the legal process to decide on its ownership.
    So why is a legal pronouncement relevant now?
    And why is there no legal action against these people who defied the rule of law? Were they perhaps right in their view of our legal system?

    J.A.P.

  256. @ JAP

    “I do not support any organised religion.”

    Hindu Dharma is pretty unorganized. Hope we can count on your support 🙂

  257. @ Sue
    “Where does any of this end?”

    It depend on you and me, and most of us.
    The “other side’s” position has not and will not change…. ever, because it is doctrine driven.

    We on the other hand, can either hold our heads high for once, and start a begining of a end to this ideological aggression; or choose to bow down once again for the sake of a “good time” and wait for another “battle of Panipat”.
    That would be the fourth one, fyi.

  258. @JAP : Your comment The real issue, imho, is that several thousand people defied the rule of law to break down a structure which was supposed to be off-limits and was supposed to be protected by the state. is very, very interesting. Fair enough – but let me drop in one name into your sentence and see how it looks.

    The real issue, imho, is that several thousand people lead by one Mir Baki, Babur’s general, defied the rule of law to break down a structure which was supposed to be off-limits and was supposed to be protected by the state.

    See, when you point a finger to other people, four fingers point at you 😉 and please don’t tell me that history started in 1992, because it didn’t.

  259. Debadrita,

    Only small flaw in your very clever-gotcha comment is that at the point of time Mir Baki did what he supposedly did (and that too is disputed) there was no *law* that forbade it. This is in sharp contrast to what Baldkrishna Badvani did when the laws were already in place. In most places, people cannot be tried by laws that are put in place after the crime was committed. I am sure it is different in Ram Rajya (as per the definition of your master’s) but for now, this little thing will have to do.

    Better luck next time.

  260. @Anonymous : At least there is a small flaw in my argument. Your entire argument, if there is any other than name calling, is flawed. This matches well with your sense of history, which is non-existent.

    If you had them, then you’d know that civilization and laws are thousands of years old, at least in context of Indian civilization. But then we shouldn’t expect barbarians or their masters from deserts to know about *laws* either, do we?

  261. Laws are thousands of years old? Which laws specifically? Which part of “There were no codified laws prohibiting the destruction of temples at the time of Babur” did you not understand? At least your master Pracharak Hishi Lejur uses copy-pastes from Wikipedia well (though his friends sometimes pass pastes from “online sources” as their own but that’s all right) and makes some sort of sense, in his own pathogenic genocidal way. You still have some way to go to even reach that level. Now go back to reading fairy tales about talking monkeys and bridges across oceans and then, in a few years, come back to argue preferably once you know what “history” means. Till then I will prefer the Master Pracharak for my daily dose of funnies.

  262. Anonymous
    Thanks for calling me a Pracharak. I feel honored.
    I also feel happy to see “Prophet-eers” like yourself following my writings so sincerely. Trust me, what I write makes many times more sense than what you are accustomed to reading in your religious scriptures; although, I must say, the pedestrian nature of their content hardly helps my cause.

    I hope I can count on your physical participation of Mandir Nirman at Ayodhya Janmasthan.

    GB: my barb is in response to “anonymous” ad hominem directed against myself and Hindu Dharma.

  263. Darling Hishi,

    Is there no greater insult in your book than to call someone Muslim? Well my religious scriptures, since I was born a Hindu and am a Hindu, preaches tolerance and has no room for Hishi Lejurs. You perfectly belong to the Religion of Peace and I do not know if you will take that as a compliment !

    Now dont choke yourself on your first name dear when you applaud your own marvelous wikipediaed knowledge. Its endearing but after a while tiresome. There is only so-much one can do for someone from the same religion, since we are evidently both Muslims.

    Honestly, I wish the Hindu right wing would come up with some “bolishto” individuals.

  264. “There is only so-much one can do for someone from the same religion, since we are evidently both Muslims”

    I am sure Himmler said the same to allied soldiers when cornered- “You fought a war, I fought a war, so we are both Nazis”.

  265. @GB,
    as far as I understand anybody has right to say anything as long as it does not go past the sense of decency. Nobody however has any right to determine whether others need to move on or not.
    Nishant asked to move on, I asked about his right of commanding everyone about moving on and then you said that it is his right to tell everyone to move on. Well, may I remind you that it is within my right question his right …… and let this continue ad infinitum.

    @Nishant,
    Bhai two wrongs never make a right thing…
    None is looking for court to settle a historical wrong. The main point was that the title suit was thrown out. So why the land was given to them?
    if Babar did a wrong thing by pulling down the temple and constructing a mosque ( as per ASI report which i am accepting with a pinch of salt considering the fact that they submitted their report in NDA rule) ..
    So if NDA government has forced them to lie why do not your secular geniuses go there and prove that the report is biased? Courts are not supposed to take anything with a pinch of salt or sugar, they compare both sides of the argument and reach a decision. Your very lightly thrown allegation of bias confirms your own bias.
    Now High Court verdict has tried to keep everyone happy. So lets accept it .
    Allow me to point out that it is not court’s job to impact Human emotion (such as happiness or sorrow). Court is supposed to weigh in cold facts and observe under the light of the law & constitution and determine what is right and what is wrong. If tomorrow the case of breaking mosque comes out to be illegal, court is not supposed to worry about the emotion of Karsevaks, it should declare the verdict. So why worry about happiness now?
    Kalko say sum lunatic lays claim to Rashtrapati bhavan saying that it was forcefully built on his ancestral house by the britishers – If he can prove his claim in the court then why not? And if he can justify his claim in the court, he is not a lunatic, is he?
    A 1000 years ago Since Mahmud Ghazni attacked India, plundered Somnath temple… we Indians should also attack Arabic countries , vandalise their mosques there and propogate hinduism.
    Let me ask you something else. If Mahmud Ghazni burnt down your ancestral home and you have the resources to build it, would you build or would you move on? The destruction of a mosque was an unfortunate event but if Babri board has accepted the verdict, mosque would have to be broken anyway, right?
    I never asked the VHPs and RSSs to move on because they will never move on ... the young brigade, should move on.
    When you are writing on an open forum then you should address the young brigade to move on because who knows how many RSS/VHP people are reading it.
    This mandir masjid issue wont be giving us any jobs or a girl friend.
    Would you mind elaborating how sticking to the temple issue prevent anyone from getting job or girlfriend? I for one wished for a temple for a long time yet I never seemed to have more than average trouble in finding a job or getting married.

  266. Regardless of whether a Temple/Mosque/Mall needs to be built there .

    The one thing evident from this comment stream is how even the top 2-3% of Indians ( in terms of education and prosperity ; since only so many are fortunate enough to be on the web and blogosphere ) care so much about this
    entirely useless issue . How much of generation-x goes to places of worship in any case ? Then , is it any wonder that politicians focus on all the wrong things .

    What Great Bong is basically saying is : move on . Stop acting like a bunch of sentimental , emotion-driven fools . And stop wasting time on this . In a country where 8 states have more poor and malnourished people than 26 African countries combined , this is one case which can be put on an eternal hold ( which our judicial system does even to the most critical of things ) .
    It shouldn’t require an IQ more than room temperature to figure out this much .

  267. @ Prashant
    Its all a matter of perspective.
    I am sure we both will react differently when each of our houses are looted.

    But I hope you have understood that despite being some of the most “educated, prosperous and fortunate” people (to your use your words), most writers here showed sincere support towards RJM movement.

    Maybe that means something …right?
    So maybe you also re-examine your own perspective on issues…maybe read some history…know some facts.

    You know the generation “x” may afterall be not very different from generation “w” or “v” or “a” or “b” for that matter, when it comes to social empathy and concerns of civilizational nature.

  268. HOT NEWS. STRUCTURES UNDERNEATH THE GREAT BABRI MOSQUE NOT TEMPLE, BUT MOSQUE AND STUPA

    We have to accept the truth. And the truth is that the structure under the temple is not a temple at all, but a combination of ancient Buddhist stupas and mosques.

    This is based on the findings of expert historians representing the Waqf board, people of the stature of the great Shireen Ratnagar. A senior HC justice in the Babri case has studied the credibility of these experts, and has expressed amazement at the complete independence and integrity of their efforts, and the consistent conclusions their independently conducted research has compelled them to converge to.

    There is no option but for the fanatic Hindus to hand back the land to the Waqf Board, recreate the mosque, pay punitively exorbitant damages, and issue profuse apologies for desecration and destruction.

    Shame on the Hindus. Read more about this at http://publication.samachar.com/pub_article.php?id=10357416

    HOW ALLAHABAD HC EXPOSED ‘EXPERTS’ ESPOUSING MASJID CAUSE
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Abhinav Garg, TNN, Oct 9, 2010, 03.07am IST The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: The role played by “independent experts” — historians and archaeologists who appeared on behalf of the Waqf Board to support its claim — has come in for criticism by one of the Allahabad High Court judges in the Ayodhya verdict.

    While the special bench of three judges unanimously dismissed objections raised by the experts to the presence of a temple, it was Justice Sudhir Agarwal who put their claims to extended judicial scrutiny.

    Most of these experts deposed twice. Before the ASI excavations, they said there was no temple beneath the mosque and, after the site had been dug up, they claimed what was unearthed was a mosque or a stupa. During lengthy cross-examination spread over several pages and recorded by Justice Agarwal, the historians and experts were subjected to pointed queries about their expertise, background and basis for their opinions.

    To the court’s astonishment, some who had written signed articles and issued pamphlets, found themselves withering under scrutiny and the judge said they were displaying an “ostrich-like attitude” to facts.

    He also pointed out how the independent witnesses were all connected — one had done a PhD under the other, another had contributed an article to a book penned by a witness.

    Some instances underlined by the judge are: Suvira Jaiswal deposed “whatever knowledge I gained with respect to disputed site is based on newspaper reports or what others told” (other experts). She said she prepared a report on the Babri dispute “after reading newspaper reports and on basis of discussions with medieval history expert in my department.” Supriya Verma, another expert who challenged the ASI excavations, had not read the ground penetration radar survey report that led the court to order an excavation. She did her PhD under another expert Shireen F Ratnagar.

    Verma and Jaya Menon alleged that pillar bases at the excavated site had been planted but HC found they were not present at the time the actual excavation took place.

    Archaeologist Shereen F Ratnagar has written the “introduction” to the book of another expert who deposed, Professor Mandal. She admitted she had no field experience.

    “Normally, courts do not make adverse comments on the deposition of a witness and suffice it to consider whether it is credible or not, but we find it difficult to resist ourselves in this particular case considering the sensitivity and nature of dispute and also the reckless and irresponsible kind of statements…” the judge has noted.

    He said opinions had been offered without making a proper investigation, research or study in the subject. The judge said he was “startled and puzzled” by contradictory statements. When expert witness Suraj Bhan deposed on the Babri mosque, the weight of his evidence was contradicted by anotherexpert for Muslim parties, Shirin Musavi, who told the court that Bhan “is an archaeologist and not an expert on medieval history”.

    Justice Agarwal referred to signed statements issued by experts and noted that “instead of helping in making a cordial atmosphere it tends to create more complications, conflict and controversy.” He pointed out that experts carry weight with public opinion. “One cannot say that though I had made a statement but I am not responsible for its authenticity since it is not based on my study or research but what I have learnt from what others have uttered,” Justice Aggarwal has said, emphasising the need for thorough original research before concurring with what someone else has claimed

  269. To Great Bong @ Prashant
    So, you people want a shopping Mall at Ram Janambhumi and forget the issue. I think both of you are Bengalees and consider yourselves intellectuals. So, I would like to answer people of your ilk borrowing a couplet from Rabindra Nath Tagore:

    P(n)uthi- kata oei poka,
    Manush ke jane boka.
    Boi keno se je chibiye khai na,
    ei tar lage dh(n)onka.
    [The worm thinks it is strange and foolish, that man does not it his book.]

  270. For reasons relating to my personal life and profession, I can’t discuss politics and most current affairs on my blog. I used to think it’s a hindrance.

    After the “discussion” here, I think the hindrance is a blessing in disguise. You have my sympathies, Arnab. Why not stick to Prabhuji?

    J.A.P.

  271. If you were one of the victims of the riots outburst as a result of the whole Ayodhya saga , What would matter to you ? What will you be thinking of ? About the loss of your family members or will the same religious sentiments matter to you at that point of time?
    Would you still go to a temple/mosque/church to pray when your house is on fire?

    If the outcome of Ayodhya is resulting in a helpless mother losing her son/daughter , Would you prioritize the religious sentiment s over this incident?
    As somebody rightly pointed there are thousands of other temples in India which needs urgent attention. And people are not able to understand the resources being spent on this very own issue. If you guys need problems to decide and act up on , we don’t have any dearth in India.

  272. @ PJ
    You are very true.
    Now lets have a discussion on who started (and always start)the riots.
    Which city do you live in. Lets start from there. Or do you want to start by descending order of casualty figures?

    are you willing to face the facts?

  273. “As somebody rightly pointed there are thousands of other temples in India which needs urgent attention”

    PJ< you are right, let us pledge to make a start. Lets start from Northernmost part of India – Kashmir where thousands of temples have been vandalized by you-know-who. Let us start rebuilding the temples there. Of course, the Temples at Deganga would also rank high on the list of priorities. PJ, willing to lend a hand?

    And please realize this was a title suit to decide whom the land belongs to, not who were the criminals of the demolition / riots post the incident. We have the Liberhan Commission and other committee reports, other cases pending in several courts to take care of those issues, punish the criminals etc. Let us not, in our running emotions, mix the 2 issues.

  274. @Khujur rishi: are you willing to face the facts?

    Who exactly are you kidding? Face the facts? Please don’t confuse anyone with the facts … people want shopping malls and live in a dreamworld. Facts are ugly and disturbing and they don’t lead to shopping malls. 😛

  275. The role played by “independent experts” — historians and archaeologists who appeared on behalf of the Waqf Board to support its claim — has come in for criticism by one of the Allahabad High Court judges in the Ayodhya verdict.

    Read more: How Allahabad HC exposed ‘experts’ espousing Masjid cause – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/How-Allahabad-HC-exposed-experts-espousing-Masjid-cause/articleshow/6716643.cms#ixzz12tAXsg3H

  276. As some people have mentioned, it never fails to surprise me how the right wing loonies and crazy conspiracy theorists of a country somehow unite online. It’s not just an Indian phenomenon, either. They lob around “secular” and “liberal” as if those are disgusting swear words. Just like the rednecks down in Iowa.
    Oh and before someone calls me a “phoren western lackey”, let me clarify I live in New Delhi so yeah.

    Hindu temple! Muslim Mosque! Big yawn! What a horrible waste of money and time this is. And judging from reactions, I guess most of us just aren’t interested enough.
    The money wastage is a shame though. Life would’ve been a lot more peaceful if the chest thumping morons kept their overlarge noses down and worked on something productive, like writing software and running strip joints.
    Some of the comments are seriously funny though. Won’t name them.

    @GB: Bang on, mate! Agreed with most all of your points.

  277. It never fails to surprise me how the right wing loonies and crazy conspiracy theorists of a country somehow unite online. It’s not just an Indian phenomenon, either. They lob around “secular” and “liberal” as if those are disgusting swear words. Just like the rednecks down in Iowa.
    Oh and before someone calls me a “phoren western lackey”, let me clarify I live in New Delhi so yeah.

    Hindu temple! Muslim Mosque! Big yawn! What a horrible waste of money and time this is. And judging from reactions, I guess most of us just aren’t interested enough.
    The money wastage is a shame though. Life would’ve been a lot more peaceful if the chest thumping morons kept their overlarge noses down and worked on something productive, like writing software and running sleazy strip joints instead of writing propoganda and running sleazy political outfits.

    Some of the comments are seriously funny. Won’t name them.

    @GB: Bang on, mate! Agreed with most all of your points.

  278. @ Praveen Talwar
    You still have a long way to go.

    If you live in Delhi, Iowa is “up” from where you are, not “down” 🙂

  279. Aww thanks for the clarification. I had my directions totally mixed up.

    Long way to go? To be a hindutva fanatic? No thanks, I’m not willing to trudge that path at all.

  280. @ Praveen
    Well you may have mixed up your direction about Hindutva too…:)
    Open up your mind to knowledge and freethinking, try Hindtuva.

    Dont be a bigoted pseudosecular.

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