Saturday, Oct 25th, 2014

Indian Muslims await report on destruction of Babri Mosque

Even if this ilk somehow disappears from the scene, after the much-awaited verdict of the Liberhan Commission on September 24th, 2010, India will need decades to undo the destruction and violence unleashed by this fascist movement

By on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 - 812 words.

Babri Mosque, destroyed by Hindu nationalists in 1992

A renewed focus on the Hindu holy city of Ayodhya came in the 1990s. The violence that took place against Muslims was not just a spontaneous and boisterous show of faith organised by right wing Hindu nationalists; it was a political exercise which helped the BJP gain national prominence.

Under the guise of a symbolic Hindu ‘Puja’ (worshiping the deity), more than twenty thousand people used sledge hammers to knock down the three domes of the Babri mosque, and then smashed its bricks with their bare hands. In a matter of hours, amidst police encircling, the mosque was converted into a pulverized powder. After the event, more than 2,000 people died in communal riots.

Babri Mosque was regarded as an symbol of Muslim civilization in India. It’s grand Tughlaq architecture and natural ventilation by the use of acoustic sandstone was a marvel of Islamic art and skill. Many people believed that the well in the courtyard of mosque had water of special properties and folklore says that prayers offered there helped attain elevated spirituality.

In reality, Hindu Lord Rama was a hypothetical character, glorified in the writings of Valmiki in Ramayana, like millions of Hindu gods and goddess. RSS, a right wing Hindu nationalist organisation, have themselves testified that Lord Rama is a mythological deity. However, more proof supporting the Islamic argument can be traced in the chapters of Vishnu Smriti which list as many as fifty-two places of pilgrimage, including towns, lakes, rivers, mountains, but does not include Ayodhya as a holy place. Tulsidas, who wrote the Ramcharitmanas in 1574 at Ayodhya, does not mention it as a birthplace of Hindu Lord Rama. This strongly indicates that there was no significant Hindu temple at the site of the Babri Mosque.

Prof. B.B.Lal, former director general of the Archaeological Survey of India provided some clues on it, saying that this it’s baseless to say Babri Masjid was build on a Ram Temple and the lack of pillars or stones of Hindu sculpture on the Babri Masjid site indicates that a Ram Temple wasn’t there.

After the demolition of the mosque on December 6, 1992, Professor Ram Sharan Sharma along with  several other eminent historians wrote the Historian’s report to the nation, claiming that no such Hindu temple existed at the Babri Mosque site. His book is translated in as many as 27 languages.

It is a proven fact that Kar Sevaks (freelance ‘helpers’ of the Hindu faith and its organisations) destroyed this celebrated Mughal mosque in broad day light, just for the sake of attaining political mileage, by polarizing the two communities. The BJP’s aggressive gamble became a new theme in Indian politics, and Hindu nationalism won renewed faith and success.

Muslims were hunted down and it recalled the years of the partition era. This horrific strategy paid off: it not only accused Muslims of responsibility for all evils and failures, but also paved accomplishments for ultra-Hindu nationalists to gain power in the 1998 Indian national elections. Out of nowhere,   Hindu dominance and militant intolerance to minorities started dictating terms.

A justice commission called the Liberhan Commission was immediately set-up by the ruling administration, after the demolition. It is also regarded as the longest serving commission in the Indian political history. It has examined more than one hundred witnesses statements, including top bureaucrats and ministers. The commission has indicted the entire top brass of the Sangh Parivar,  accusing elite leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.

Running away from conviction, the former deputy Prime Minister, LK Advani has given several contradicting statements: once he claimed that the demolition was a harrowing moment in his life; in another statement, he said that the Ram Temple movement was a holy issue for Hindus. In yet another appearance, he confessed that the Babri demolition helped his party consolidate Hindu majority votes.

BJP members have grossly misused their platform to air their lies. They have made wild claims in stating the hand of Congress as silent spectators, to ISI’s role in the communal riots and instigating Kar Sevaks in demolishing the Babri structure. Not many know this but it was LK Advani who was seen airing happy statements on Hindu dominance after the demolition. His daughter-in-law, who is seeking divorce from his son, has herself testified and given a ten page solemn statement to the Liberhan Commission, stating that Advani and Vinay Kathiyar (former chief of Bajrang Dal) had wholly conspired in the Babri wipeout, just days before the Ratra Yatra started.

For us, there are lessons to learn from history. Just to fill their vote bank, political leaders in India roam freely even though they have gone against their legal framework. There should definitely be no pride and huge discourse internationally about India’s pluralism and religious harmony when people are waiting to sideline one community as traitors and trouble-makers, in the name of religion.

Even if this ilk somehow disappears from the scene, after the much-awaited verdict of the Liberhan Commission on September 24th, 2010, India will need decades to undo the destruction and violence unleashed by this fascist movement.

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Naveed Qazi
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