Let's Build the Nation.

About 482 years ago, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, Babar, demolished a Hindu temple in a small plot of land in Ayodhya, which was believed to be ‘Ramjanmabhoomi’, or ‘the birthplace of Ram’. Then, nearly 464 years later, an angry mob led by some ambitious politicians destroyed the temple and this led to riots. But the matter didn’t rest there. A decade after the demolition, 58 people were killed in Godhra, Gujarat, in an attack on a train believed to be carrying Hindu volunteers from Ayodhya. Riots followed in the state and over 1267 people were reported to have died in these. And that’s just the official record of the number of deaths. The number of people who went missing, who were harassed, those whose properties were destroyed or those who had to flee was probably forgotten.

This whole state of chaos boosted the BJP and RSS to their positions in politics, with BJP becoming the primary opposition party in the Parliament.No wonder a guy in face book commented: We have made enough of Mosques and Temples… Let’s build the nation now

Let’s leave the question as to why such religious issues should be so sensitive for later and talk about the verdict. Prior to the verdict the PM, Union Ministers, media, celebrities, etc. asked the people to maintain peace and we can see that they have done a pretty great job, though of course, the people really seemed to have moved on. The Allahabad High Court pronounced its verdict on four title suits relating to the Ayodhya dispute. Ayodhya land was to be divided into 3 parts. 1/3 goes to Ram Lalla, 1/3 to Muslims, 1/3 goes to Nirmohi Akhara [Nirmohi Alhara had filed a case in 1959 claiming to be the sect responsible for conducting puja inside the mosque which is now demolished]. The verdict is one of compromise, which is supposedly the best decision, given the circumstances and the sensitivity of the people.

What is disappointing about the verdict is that it took almost 20 years for the judiciary to come to such a decision. If the decision had been reached sooner, maybe the aftermath of the 1992 Babri-Masjid demolition could have been a lot lessened. But this is no time for talking about what could or should have been done. It’s time we thought about what should be done.

It is true that most of the Muslims in India arrived during the Mughal period and during the invasion of Turkish Sultans. And it is also true that Hindus were either the subjects or the victims of invasion. But that was about 500 years ago, before the arrival Akbar and other such secular rulers. Then the British colonization and the subsequent partition led to an era of unrest. What many people don’t realize is that it all took place before Independence and now we are one country. No invaders, subjects or rulers. We are all one people and religion should have been long pushed out of politics and governance.

No matter how many times you think about it, you can’t deny how secular India is. Have you ever heard of a Catholic [Sonia Gandhi] stepping down to let a Sikh [Manmohan Singh] become the Prime Minister of the country, who will be sworn in by a Muslim [Abdul Kalam] President? Well, it happened in India. And don’t forget that many Bollywood stars, the most famous ones, are Muslims and obviously, many Hindus love them. We can even get to know about secularism by just looking at the Indian National Flag – The color of Hinduism [saffrom] and the color of Islam [green], separated by the color of peace [white]. I guess that’s just a non-factual assumption, but what I’m trying to say is… If India isn’t secular, then the word secular has no meaning.

But amidst all the proud words, we shouldn’t forget that there are still many communal and religious problems in India. It wholly rests in the hands of the people of India to learn tolerance… because when it comes to religion, it’s completely insane to love God and hate his creations. And as far as religions go, they have one thing in common – none of them preach insanity [and thank God for that].


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