A Harsh Mander reader – Try it, makes lots of sense

Feedback from friends made me think about adding a pre-script –

Please read my post, paragraph by paragraph with Harsh Mander’s article. You will see how whilst Mander is articulating the secular-liberal stance, the exact opposite of his stance is the one that Hindu nationalists would want to adopt and in fact, should articulate. I have tried to articulate this contra position in my post in light of Mander’s article.


This was an experiment to understand secular-liberal thought processes.

The Babri Masidi dispute was always a clash between Hindus and Muslims. It was also a clash between what Hindus wanted and did not get and what Hindus did not want and were forced to swallow. The recent judgment on Janmasthan has only tried to remedy matters a little.

On the 6th of Dec ’92, the Hindu Kar Sevaks who climbed atop and rained down blows on the three domes, collapsing them in a heap of dust and debris, were akin to Hindus who have fought Muslim invaders and usurpers through most of the last 1000 years. Unfortunately, the dispute in court was to decide title; and not honor the memory of those heroes who participated and lost their lives on that glorious day. If I, Harsh Mander wanted the courts to decide, in this case, how our heroes needed to be honored, then I was wrong.

In deciding 1/3 of the land as Muslim, the honorable Judges clearly erred. How can adversarial occupation be rewarded with any kind of token? The Judges reminded me of some bhakti saints who tried to bring about a rapprochement between the warring sides. And failed.

Again, the campaign demanding that a grand Shri Rama Devasthana be built on his Janmasthan in Ayodhya where the Babri Masidi stood is rightly understood as a clash between Hindus and Muslims. Indeed, it has always been such a clash that exemplified, in modern times, the dispute between two alternative visions of Hindusthan; the Hindu Dharmic and the Secular-Liberal; between a majority of Hindus who have realized they were duped by Secular-Liberals and a minority of the latter who do not relish losing their ill-gotten prestige and influence, not to speak of a stranglehold over very interested Muslims.

The vision of Hindusthan developed during the freedom struggle led by Gandhi was that of a country that was not to be free, safe, tolerant and egalitarian for Hindus. It would not be respectful of Hindus’ right to their religious convictions and would view with suspicion any sign that Hindus would dare propagate their beliefs. The State and all its institutions would be sensitive to Muslims and Christians and not be fair and just to persons especially if they were Hindus. A minority of liberal Hindus and a majority of Muslims and Christians have remained faithful to this idea in the six decades of freedom. This is reflected in the way they vote and in the Constitution Secular-Liberals have succeeded in subverting.

Interrogating the Constitution

But organizations and political parties which were opposed to this pervert vision rediscovered a powerful symbol with their campaign to build a Devasthana at the Janmasthan, where the Masidi stood in Ayodhya. This was a battle for the idea of Hindusthan itself. It prised open again the question about the terms on which people of the Rashtra would have to relate to cultural, psychological, political influence and domination of the religious Muslim and Christian minorities. It interrogated the lack of guarantees of the Constitution of Hindusthan with respect to Hindus, which otherwise pledged more than equal rights and more than equal protection of all minorities; with due regard to their Islamic and Christian religious persuasions.

The confirmed claim of Hindus to the land on which the Masidi stood is based starkly on two facts – one of presence and the other possession – and on the well attested faith of the Rashtra. For 500 years, Muslims had tried to worship routinely in the Babri Masidi, built in 1528 by Mir Baqi, a general of the invader Babar. Hindus worshipped at the Ram Chabootra in the open area adjacent to the Masidi, in a spirit of helplessness. In 1949, overnight, Murtis of Shri Rama lalla made their presence in the Masidi under its central dome. A furious Secular-Liberal Nehru directed the District Magistrate Nayyar and Chief Minister G.B. Pant to have these Murtis removed, but they both desisted. (Nayyar significantly later resigned from the ICS and became an MP of the Jana Sangha, predecessor to the BJP. However, it is not known if G.B. Pant too joined the Jana Sangha, he perhaps remained in the Congress)

It was then that Hindus resumed their worship within the Masidi building and Muslims stopped prayer in the liberated space because of court directions. Civil suits were filed, the gates locked, but Hindu worship continued (in full compliance of court orders). In 1988, Hindu organizations led by the RSS organized the largest mass campaign in post-Independence Hindusthan. Over 200,000 Rama Shilas from around villages, towns, country and world-wide were consecrated and transported, for building a grand Devasthana exactly where the Masidi had usurped the Janmasthan. Hindus believed that the Masidi stood at the precise site where Shri Rama was born, and that Babar had destroyed a Shri Rama Devasthana to build his Masidi there. Rashtriya swabhimana required the removal of the blight, to correct this historical affront.

Recognizing relationships

I was serving in districts in Madhya Pradesh at that time, and witnessed first-hand the existing tenuous communal relations that this movement merely shone the torch on, by bringing Hindus the realization about the known truths of the other, foreign, aggressor loving community of Muslims, symbolized in their stubborn refusal to vacate Janmasthan. Each procession of the Rama Shilas was charged with devotion and prayer to Shri Rama; many of these processions were mercilessly attacked by Muslim goons with Hindus retaliating. BJP leader L.K. Advani journeyed on a Ratha Yatra across Hindusthan. Secular-Liberals have claimed that riots broke out on the trail of this Yatra; they forget to mention how this is at all possible. Hindus and Muslims never clash, remember? In 15 years, Hindusthan was transformed into a country where Hindus recognized the great injustice done unto them on grounds of their religion. They realized that their social structures which had fortified their samaja in dire circumstances were now being used against them, to divide them. The movement for Janmasthan witnessed the demolition of the Masidi in 1992 by a fearless band, applauded by Hindu leaders.

Eighteen years after the demolition, the Allahabad High Court has concluded that the Masidi was indeed located at the Janmasthan of Shri Rama, and that the Masidi was built at the site of a Devasthana which preceded it. Justice Agarwal ruled that the “area covered under the central dome of the disputed structure is the birthplace of Shri Rama as per faith and belief of Hindus”. Justice Sharma was even more categorical that “the disputed site is the birthplace of Shri Rama”.

It is extraordinary that the court, ignoring Secular-Liberal hysteria, which must have been very difficult, passed judgment confirming the belief of Hindus. They were told that there are literally hundreds of Devasthanas which claim to be the place where Shri Rama was born. They were told Tulsidas, author of Ramacharit Manas, was an adult at the time when the Babri Masidi was built, and he never mentioned that this was the site at which Shri Rama was born. In spite of such red-herrings, the honorable Judges went with the evidence of the Archeological Society of India which also coincided with traditional Hindu reverence for the site. Therefore the “faith and belief” referred to by the Judges is not merely of the Hindu organizations that subscribe to an alternate vision of Hindusthan, and which by implication are working to restore much needed balance in the Constitution, but of all Hindus who revere Shri Rama as one of their Gods and Avataras.

The Judges have relied on archeological evidence ranging from the emergency years of 1975 through 2003. This evidence has been contradicted by most “independent” historians who have also found moksha in their open alignment with Muslims and their organizations. Perhaps that is the reason why the plea is that the Devasthana’s existence in ancient times at that site was irrelevant while adjudicating a title suit according to modern law, and not medieval sentiment. Quite a side-step routine.

Sense of justice

I am not amazed by commentators who endorse the judgment as balanced and just. However, I do feel that they should have done Hindus complete justice by not allocating their land to Muslims. Even that 1/3. That would have helped Hindus “move on” to Kashi and Mathura. Not that they cannot now, though. Yes, it’s true that this case was not about absolving the heroes of Dec 6th of the taint of conspiracy, but it does endorse the implicit right of Hindus to re-claim their points of traditional worship in their own land, the right to reverse adverse possession derived by deceit and aggression, the Judges awarded title of the land under the central dome of the demolished Masidi to Hindus to construct Shri Rama’s Devasthana. The cry of the Janmasthan movement was “Mandir wahin banayenge!” With this judgment, a movement which challenged the Secular-Liberal throat-chock over our Constitution; that takes hundreds of lives by inciting unrealistic bravado in Muslims, fosters fear and hate when they fail against a much stronger Rashtra, has triumphed.

I believe we have won this battle with a war that is yet to be won. I celebrate that young people who were not yet born, or were children when this movement was at its peak, today are self composed and poised. They do not need to be mobilized. They are already mobilized. They remain mobilized. But this is not enough. There is too much at stake and much needs doing. They must ask again – and demand answers from Secular-Liberals – the questions with which those who fought for our freedom under Gandhi refused to grapple with.

Is this to be a Hindu Rashtra? Or are Hindus destined to remain children of lesser Gods?

– Namaste

White Paper on Ayodhya

Archaeology of Ayodhya

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