, by DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI
A too-loaded question is doing rounds in the cafes, conferences, talk-shows, drawing rooms and corridors of power. Each and every political party, particularly in the Hindi belt, is viewing it from the Muslim vote angle. What is noteworthy is that in these animated discussions everybody, perhaps deliberately, is avoiding to look at the issue from the angle of merit.
Was Emperor Babar unlettered enough to ignore the clear-cut Qur’ānic injunctions, further explained by the Holy Traditions, that no mosque or House of God can be built on a usurped land or upon a land encroached upon for the purpose or a land on which a temple existed earlier? Every student of history, in the light of his magnum opus, the Tuzk-e-Babri knows how well-versed rather enlightened he was.
Another point: were the qazis (justices) of Babar’s age coward enough to hide the said universal fact from the eyes of the Emperor? A Muslim child reads the Qur’ān and hadīth first. The specific verses and injunctions on the subject – we ask – did not strike the Muslim boys.
JAMAAT CHIEF POINTS OUT
The Scholar-President of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has, in an interview to this Viewsweekly, shed abundant light recently on the subject, and added: Why didn’t our Hindu brethren, if so, react against the palpable outrage? How did they stomach the alleged insult to their intelligence? The Jamaat Chief also, in his 700-word interview, wondered how the Saffronites of that age kept quiet during the 850-year rule of Muslims and 180-year rule of the British. The entire history, including the Ram Charit Manas, is silent on the silence referred to above. Would anybody care to explain the enigma inside the riddle?
One equally mind-boggling is the September 30 judgement of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, which, contrary to legal norms, bases the judgement rather judgements on aastha or faith, not on points of law or evidence.
This uninformed precedence, if not struck down by the Supreme Court, would set a bad example in the annals of judiciary. One really does not know whether their lordships understand or not the repercussions and far-reaching consequences of their verdicts. The proverbial Toms, Dicks and Harrys would approach courts with the arguments that “the dream I saw last week concerns my close neighbour. What I saw is that his drawing room is mine. Therefore, your lordship, give me my neighbour’s drawing room, so on and so forth.”
BUDDHIST AND JAIN TEMPLES
Only historians and archaeologists will tell how many temples have been built upon the debris of Buddhist and Jain shrines. The Bodh Gaya temple is one of the many.
Comes from South a sharp comment from Mr. K. Karunanidhi. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister held out the view that the Aryan culture “had succeeded in planting superstitions in people’s minds while even truthful aspects of Dravidian history remain unknown.... A court is able to accurately pinpoint the birthplace of Lord Ram who is said to have lived during the krita yuga, roughly 1728 lakh years ago, but nothing is known about the manner in which the great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola died or even where he is buried. We can only bemoan this state of affairs.
Would the Saffron wiseacres, who are agog with the verdict, are perhaps not prepared to open yet another chapter of communal discord. It is really strange that the Hindutva brethren do not hesitate in multiplying their enemies. What treatment their various brigades are meting out to Christians, one need not elaborate. In their lexicon, the Sikhs, who have a separate Personal Law, are originally Hindus, whom the Saffronites call keshdhari Hindus. The Dalits continue to be unhappy with them. In utter hate, the tribals are called vanvasis. Can these small hearts run larger kingdoms?
Their lordships have, in their own wisdom, blissfully ignored the surreptitious installation of idols in the night intervening between Dec. 22-23, 1949. Here started a sort of Machiavellian cooperation between the devotees of Rama and some bigots of the Congress and bureaucrats of Faizabad. Instead of removing of idols, the Masjid, having idols, particularly its sanctum sanctorum was locked from outside. The nadir was touched when the late lamented Mr. Rajiv Gandhi organised a shilanyas. December 6, 1992 saw what had to be inevitably seen, under the fatherly encouragement of Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao.
After Mr. Kalyan Singh’s resignation, the State of U.P. was under the control of the Centre. Mr. Rao could have easily arranged removal of the idols but he didn’t, as he wore khaki under his dhoti.
Mr. A.G. Noorani, an eminent journalist, in his The Babri Masjid says: The late Mr. Nehru expressed his distress at the 1949 idols-putting incident in a series of letters, among them to then Deputy Prime Minister Vallabhbhai Patel, to Governor-General C. Rajagopalachari, to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Govind Ballabh Pant and to close friend K.G. Mashruwala. In a Dec. 26, 1949 telegram to Pant, he presciently described the installation as a “dangerous example” that will have “bad consequences”. To Mashruwala (letter dated March 5, 1950) Nehru confessed that the District Officer in Faizabad “misbehaved”. Further that while Pant “condemned the act on several occasions,” he refrained from “taking definite action”. In a letter dated April 17, 1950, to the UP Chief Minister, the Prime Minister poured out his anguish: “... UP is becoming an almost a foreign land to me... I find that communalism has invaded the minds and hearts of those who were the pillars of the Congress in the past. It is a creeping paralysis and the patient does not even realise it.... It seems to me that for some reason or other or perhaps (for) mere political expediency, we have been far too lenient with the disease.”
Mr. Nehru’s writ was no more running. Decision-making had slipped into the hands of Mr. Patel due to Mr. Nehru’s poor health.
More often than not Saffron mindset is beyond an average person’s comprehension. At the cost of self esteem, self respect and dignity they are found prepared to do any questionable things. Now the Hindutva brethren want Muslims to gift the Babri Masjid site to them. They have also shown their willingness to purchase it. Noticeably, when they talk in these terms there is thunder in their voice. They want the entire land for a bhavya Mandir. Can’t they show a similar grand gesture to the Muslim minority? Their aastha also relates to their Masjid and its sanctum sanctorum. For the demonstration of fair-play, magnanimity and catholicity are Muslims alone? How large is our Hindu brethren’s heart can be imagined from their determination that if Muslims have to construct a mosque it should be off Ayodhya, preferably on the banks of River Saryu.
Our case is dismissed under the misleading assumption that we are fundamentalists and extremists in our views. Here is a paragraph from an article done by a paragon of moderation. The author, Mr. Faizur Rahman, is Secretary General of the Forum for the Promotion of Modern Thoughts Among Muslims. He, in his 200-word story in the Indian Express (Nov. 20, 2010), says: “The Hindutva ideologues are displaying a kind of majoritarian masculinity that seems to suggest that it is below their dignity to treat the Muslims as equal citizens of this country. The demolition of the Babri Masjid is being justified that it was not a mosque at all and the latest innuendo is that a mosque is less sacred than a temple and hence it may be demolished to make way for holier place, the Ram temple.”
Muslim leadership is expected to study the too-lengthy judgements patiently. The Muslim masses have to show total restraint. They should refuse to be provoked by any slogan, jibe, or shaft. They should collect money at massive level. Mutual criticism and mutual leg-pulling must be stopped forthwith. This is the case of the Ummah, the principal minority of plural Bharat.
The other side of the picture is that ours is a legal, legitimate battle related to land. Religion, at least Islam, as such is not involved in it. The Muslims are not seeking favours. They just aspire for even-handedness and justice.
As regards the post-Apex Court verdict, well, maintenance of law and order, communal amity is the job of the Government. The administration will have shown the majesty of law to the errant. Losers or victors do not implement verdicts. The Government does, and will do, it.