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Ayodhya: Abode of Ram or Allah
07/19/2010
By Ram Puniyani

On the tragic day of 6thDecember 1992 the Babri Mosque, a 450 years old archeological structure was demolished by the RSS combine, (RSS, BJP, VHP, Bajrang dal and other progeny of RSS). A make shift temple was hurriedly constructed at the site. The RSS combine has been pressing since then for the resumption of its efforts to build a Ram temple at the site since they claim that Babri mosque was built by demolishing Ram Temple. This claim is not backed up by Historical and archeological data. The argument put forward was that ‘Faith’ will decide the birth place of Lord Ram and Sangh Parivar will be guided by the mahants and sadhus about the future course of action.
 
Meanwhile four court cases have been going on in the Allahabad High Court Lucknow bench, about the issue of title of the land, where Masjid was located. Of these four the arguments in three of the four Ayodhya title suit cases have been completed. The arguments for fourth case will be over by the month end (July 2010). While one is waiting the result of these court cases, RSS combine has already planned to build pressure for constructing Ram Temple, irrespective of the outcome of the court cases. The cases pertain to ownership of the land where the mosque was located. VHP etc. are asserting that no mosque will be permitted in Ayodhya. As per VHP, mosque has to be outside the ‘Shastriya Seema’ (Boundary) as given in the Ramcharita manas (The Ram Legend, by Tulsidas) of Ayodhay. Meaning there by that Ayodhya is a holy place of Hindus only. Meanwhile, BJP and other associates have been instructed to step up the demand for building Ram temple at the precise spot where they had demolished the mosque on 6th December 1992.
 
It must be made clear that Ayodhya means (A+Yudhya: A no war zone). It is not only holy for Hindus. Ayodhya has been a focal point of many religions, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. From about fifth century BC fairly large Buddhist community was living in Ayodhya. Though this religion suffered a setback during first millennium AD, several remnants of its existence did survive. According to Jain tradition Ayodhya was the birthplace of the first and fourth Tirthankara. The early places of Hindu worship of Ayodhya were of Shaiva or Vishnu provenance. The specific worship of Rama even as an avatar of Vishnu is a much later development. References to the image of Rama appear only in sixth Century. Nawab of Awadh region, where Ayodhya is located had given land for the biggest temple in the area, Hanuman gadhi.
 
 
One of the arguments being put forward is that state should take up the building of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya the way Somnath temple was built by the state. Advani and many others have been claiming that the Somnath reconstruction was done as per the decision of the Nehru cabinet. This is a total lie. Since the public memory is too short anything propagated repeatedly starts sounding like being true, the way Hitler’s propaganda minister Gobbles used to do. Contrary to this a little peep into the recent history will show us that Indian Government had nothing to do with the reconstruction of Somnath temple. The lie that Nehru Government had reconstructed or supported Somnath reconstruction is a distortion of the fact that two ministers of Nehru cabinet were involved in the reconstruction in their personal capacity. As such when the idea of reconstructing temple at Somnath was mooted by Sardar Patel, Gandhi who was alive at that time opined that Hindus are themselves capable to build the temple and they don’t need Government money or assistance for reconstruction neither should Government give money for such a construction.
 
With the death of Sardar Patel, K.M.Munshi and N.V. Gadgil, who were ministers in Nehru’s Cabinet, took up reconstruction work at personal level. There was no question of reconstruction proposal being passed by the Cabinet as falsely being claimed by communal forces. After the completion of the temple for its inauguration, the then President of India Dr. Rajedra Prasad was invited. He accepted the invitation against the wishes of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru opined that public officials should never publicly associate with faiths and shrines.
 
This falsehood is being deliberately put forward to pressurize for temple construction, irrespective of the court ruling. Today nearly two decades after the demolition of the Babri Mosque, we have seen as to how much damage this Ram temple campaign has done to the political scene in the country. One also recalls that immediately after the Babri demolition, the then Prime minister Narsimha Rao had proclaimed that the Mosque will be rebuilt at the same spot. Accepting the outcome of demolition will be giving legitimacy to the criminal act perpetrated by RSS combine.
 
At the moment there are diverse opinions about what should be done at the site. Most of the Muslim groups have committed to respect the court verdict. The VHP etc. on the contrary are campaigning for temple irrespective of the outcome of court cases. Even before the demolition they had asserted that it is the ‘faith’ and not the law of the land which will guide their actions. In a democracy, it is the law of the land which should dictate the policies of the state and the actions of political groups. At this crucial juncture, what is needed is the utmost respect for law and promotion of communal amity and national integration. Since the demolition of the masjid the communal amity has been badly mauled. The suspicion about each other, the communal divides have widened and there is a set back to the concept of the rights of weaker sections of society and minorities.
 
The spreading of lies and emotive campaigns by political parties are not in accordance with the values of Indian Constitution. The elected representatives of people are duty bound to follow the Indian Constitution, so there is a need to appeal to all concerned to come to this basic understanding to uphold the values of freedom movement as enshrined in the Indian Constitution and let the court judgment be the decisive factor of future course of action.