Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why should there be peace in Ayodhya?

It seems like there’s enough written on this much flogged issue of the Babri Masjid–Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. But, I wonder if the common person actually understands or even bothers with the case, except when the so-called peace of the country is altered by communal riots, which are regular enough to be marked on the calendar. This so-called peace of the country was brutally violated when bloody-thirsty, fascist Hindu mobs pulled down the majestic Babri masjid on 6 Dec 1992. It still is etched in my mind clearly; it was the first religious brutality that I saw (on TV) as a teenager. The memories of that day still send a shiver down my spine. For those who can ‘afford’ to be ignorant of this, here’s a short recap of the events that led up to 6 Dec 1992.

In 1527, the Mughal ruler Babur constructed a mosque in Ayodhya. It was one of the several mosques built by the Mughal rulers who also gave us many more such beautiful monuments and buildings. I am no expert on the architectural or the historical significance of the mosque, but I understand the importance of the structure by its sheer age (500 years!). This living piece of history was the site of innumerable of controversies, thanks to heresy and rumors of it being the birthplace of a mythical hero. And, of course since the mythical hero happened to be the hero of the dominant classes of this great democracy (where supposedly the rights of the minorities and their places of worship are protected), the mosque was brutally demolished on 6 Dec 1992; a good 500 years after it was built. The mobs weren’t satisfied with just the demolition; they bayed for blood and butchered several thousands of Muslims across the country.

Now, after almost a decade and a half, when it’s time for justice, people want peace; there are hundreds of columns written every day urging for an out-of-court settlement or even a verdict that will not hurt the sentiments of either community! How flippant, irresponsible, and convenient are these calls for peace? In the name of peace, what the fascists want is injustice. Nothing can be more pusillanimous than delivering a verdict that doesn’t ‘hurt’ either community.

What the Hindu mobs did before, after, and on 6 Dec 1992 are unpardonable crimes against humanity, democracy, and the notion of state. They have to be brought to the book at any cost and not let off to contest and win elections and create a fascist state. If a verdict that will bring the hooligans to the book will result in riots, what are anticipatory arrests for? Or, what are the armed forces for, if they can’t crush these hooligans. Well, it’s another story that they are busy killing teenagers in Kashmir and the Northeast.

Just some parting words for those who want to talk about the ‘original’ temple at the ‘disputed’ site. Firstly, there’s no conclusive archaeological evidence to prove that claim and secondly, if this argument must be accepted, the ‘originality’ of all brahminical temples across the country will have to be revisited. And, possibly, open the debate of brahminization of subaltern and tribal worship structures, which are as ancient as humanity itself!

If 'peace' is finally 'manufactured'(of course at the cost of justice), it would only be akin to marrying off a rape victim to the rapist in name of a peaceful future/justice, which incidentally is not exactly unheard of in this biggest democracy of the world!

Destination Sikkim - Till we meet again

On the third day, we went to the Sikkim Himalayan Zoo. It was day of little rain and much mist. The walk into the zoo was surreal because o...