India Uncut

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Friday, July 08, 2005

The mistakes of Ayodhya

Sudheendra Kulkarni burns his bridges:
Many well-meaning people who fervently believe in communal harmony, and who were understandably horrified by the hooliganism of self-styled Ram Bhakts on December 6, tend to deny the wide-scale temple-demolition and idol-breaking binge of several Muslim rulers in the past. Nothing good will come out of this attitude of denial, this attempt to falsify history. At the same time, nothing good, and only unmitigated harm, will come out of the bigoted misadventurism of Hindu extremist elements who thought that they were correcting a historical wrong by pulling down the Babri Masjid. They didn’t correct a wrong; they committed a new one. That "Talibani" performance was the mirror image of the totally unacceptable act of religious hatred and iconoclasm of certain Muslim rulers, who created a bad impression among Hindus about the great faith of Islam. Therefore, both the construction of the Babri mosque at Ram Janmabhoomi and its demolition centuries later constitute an affront to the spiritual and cultural ethos of India, which has always upheld tolerance and respect for each other’s faith as one of the highest human ideals. [My emphasis.]
Well said. But by effectively comparing the Sangh Parivar to the Taliban, Kulkarni has either ensured that they will not allow him a way back into favour in the BJP, or asserted that they no longer matter so much as the BJP moves towards the centre. Which is it? My heart says the latter, but my head says that Mr Kulkarni's sung his swan song. Pity.

Update: Anand of Locana writes in:
The demolition of the masjid in December 1992 took place in front our eyes, and it's a fact that no one can deny. That's not the case with the construction of Babri Masjid. From the historical material available to us, archaeological or from literary-religious texts like Ramcharitmanas etc, it cannot be concluded that the Babri Masjid was built over a temple. The claim that it's built over a temple is a shaky one. I think that was a deliberate equating from Kulkarni's part, and I think it's of significance to distinguish this difference between events of 1528 and 1992.
Here's an earlier post by Anand on the subject. I don't enough about the subject of how the construction of the Babri Masjid came about, and am offering no comment on the issue.
amit varma, 11:38 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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