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Those who believed that the unanimous, five-judge Supreme Court judgment on the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute would also bring closure to other divisive temple-mosque controversies in India were rudely shaken by a district court in Varanasi. The ghosts of the subcontinent’s contentious medieval history aren’t buried so soon.

The court, headed by judge Ashutosh Tiwari, allowed a civil suit seeking an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) study of the Gyanvapi Mosque site to determine if it had been “superimposed” after demolishing the Kashi Vishwanath Temple that might have originally stood there. Immediately, this looked like a sequel to the Ayodhya story. This time, launched judicially.

To get disclosures out of the way, I’ve been among those optimists who thought Ayodhya was the last such dispute. Surely, it wasn’t settled to everybody’s full satisfaction, but the Supreme Court had made a case unanimously and all sides seemed to respect it. How does one interpret this latest turn now?

If you asked me to write, say, an editorial comment on it, I could simply reproduce a passage from that particularly well-written judgment.

The five Supreme Court judges took note of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991 that laid down that all shrines will be preserved as inherited by independent India on 15 August 1947. The law made an exception for Ayodhya as it was already an ongoing dispute. Nothing else was deserving of an exception, nor was it legally or constitutionally possible, the judges wrote.


Also read: Modi’s Hindutva 2.0 written on Varanasi walls: Temple restoration, not mosque demolition


Here is how our editorial on this would go if we were to simply plagiarise passages from the Supreme Court order. After references to the Places of Worship Act came the operative paragraphs, where the court laid down the law for the future. “Non-retrogression is a foundational feature of the fundamental principles of the Constitution, of which secularism is one,” the judges wrote.

“Non-retrogression is an essential feature of our secular values,” stated the judges, adding that our “Constitution speaks to our history and future of our nation…while we should be cognisant of the history, we need to confront it and move on”. The judges elaborated in that landmark order that independence, gained on 15 August 1947, was a great moment for healing the wounds.

The judges then went back to pick up the thread from the Places of Worship Act to emphasise the fact that “Parliament has mandated in no uncertain terms that history and its wrongs will not be used to oppress the present or the future”. We can summarise the essence of that judgment in three points.

1. All religious places must be protected as independent India inherited them on 15 August 1947 with the exception of the dispute over Ayodhya.

2. Even if a future Parliament in its wisdom decided to repeal or amend this law, this judgment would come in the way as the judges had placed the spirit of “non-retrogression” at the heart of our secular Constitution, as part of its basic features. A foundational feature of fundamental principles of the Constitution. Which, we know, can’t be amended.

3. It was a call to the nation, the government, political parties and religious groups to move on from the past.

It was on the assurance of these readings that many, including this writer, believed that the controversies over all other similar disputes were now buried and cremated. Two familiar slogans across decades of the Ayodhya agitation were, “yeh toh kewal jhaanki hai, Kashi-Mathura baaki hai”, and then, “teen nahin hain, teen hazaar”.

The first harked to the sites of the temples and mosques standing next to each other in Mathura, Lord Krishna’s birthplace, and Varanasi. The second said there was much more to come and that the campaign will be taken to any Muslim place of worship that “had been built by demolishing a temple”. That number, “conservatively”, was three thousand.

The Supreme Court judgment expected to provide closure to all these divisive ideas. It was also the language and spirit of the order. It made those like us who had lived through the divisive, violent nightmare of Ayodhya over three decades imagine that there will be no repeats. This Varanasi court order, unfortunately and with a questionable application of law, places a question mark on that optimism now. It is evident that judge Tiwari has either not read the Supreme Court order, or makes a radically different interpretation of its meaning.


Also read: Babri ruling is BJP’s golden goose. Mathura, Kashi signal to erase India’s Islamic history


Any reasonable judge in a higher court, especially a high court, would dismiss this Varanasi order. But some questions arise.

One, how did this spark suddenly light up? There was a suit filed over Mathura as well recently. So, are these actions taken in concert with a common intention? If so, does it have the blessings of the people at the top of the VHP-RSS and BJP? And, finally, if that is indeed the case, and if their intention is not to respect the essential spirit of the Supreme Court judgment, will they stop even if a higher court throws out this order?

There is nothing to stop it from following the course of the Ayodhya movement. And now that it’s been choreographed already, the next one might not take two centuries. In this case, majority can rule, and so what if it causes bloodshed and disruption for another decade or more? What price is too much to pay for “righting the wrongs of history”? This, a resumption of 16th and 17th century wars in 21st century India will be an invitation to disaster. It will hold the future of our coming generations to ransom.

History is never to be taken lightly. That is why it is taught so widely and the reason it is so politicised. But, basing decisions impacting your future on your understanding of history is like driving on an expressway by looking not across the windscreen, but at the rear-view mirror. You are bound to hit something nasty soon enough, hurting yourself and others.

One of the most quoted passages from columnist Tom Friedman’s 2005 book The World is Flat is about which countries, companies and organisations are likely to do well, given the relative balance of their dreams and memories. “I am glad you were great in the 14th century, but that was then and this is now,” he wrote. “In societies that have more memories than dreams, too many people are spending too much time looking backward. They see dignity and self-worth not by mining the present but chewing on the past…and that is usually not a real past but an imagined and adorned past…they cling to it, rather than imagining a better future and acting on that.”

The Supreme Court order on Ayodhya had cued us precisely in this direction, the future. The Varanasi court, and celebratory responses from the partisans, are tempting us to make an about-turn. The choice is ours.


Also read: Why Babri masjid demolition verdict is unlikely to end all temple-mosque disputes


 

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73 COMMENTS

  1. The Supreme Court of India gave the most disappointing judgement in favour of Hindus on Babri majid just because Hindus had “kabza” or “occupation” in the premises before 15th August 1947 instead of announcing exemplary punishment to Mughals and their progenies for destruction of Hindu place of worship to build mosque. All such mosques are nothing but illegal structures and we want revenge for past 1000 years from Turks. However compromise for a shared Hindu Muslim future is possible for which VHP and AIMPLB, Waqf board should find a mutually acceptable solution.

  2. Shekharji….I have been an admirer of yours, since i became politically conscious in 1975–77, since when i became a regular subscriber to The Indian Express Daily and India Today later…. and now i am subscriber to The Print too… i have in my own mind, always agreed with you on all the contentious issues covered by you… Here for the first time I have to disagree with you on the points raised by you in this article…… I believe we need some sort of a Truth & Reconciliation Commission in India, to lay to rest and at least bare the emotional issues, governing the relationship, between the Hindus and the minorities, especially the Muslims….. I believe, there will be no more destruction of any mosques or any other structures….1991 act or no act….. and surely this District Courts order will not be a spark to it….Hindus will not allow it to go that road…… BJP knows it as I am sure RSS knows it….. But yes, we need to know the truth on these contested histories…. what better than through the judicial route if not through the Truth & Reconciliation commission…..

    • Truth & Reconciliation commission…..is a good idea.

      But it will not happen. Because the RSS wants neither. Lies and nafrath form their engine for generating power.

  3. Why we look for future, looking in future is for country like China, USA, Japan, South Korea, Germany and even Bangladesh and others…for country like our and Russia, Turkey and Pakistan we need to go back in our past and live there because our past was better at least this what we been told. Modern science and technology and an innovative society entrepreneur culture these are a western philosophy we should not follow them.

    • This reverse mirror driving was introduced in 1990s by Advani with his slogan ‘garv say kaho hum Hindu hain’. Some nascent shoots of the Vedic philosophy were seen during Vajpayee’s govt. but he did not have a majority to go for complete reverse driving. Then we had an interlude of western philosophy under MMS, but now the ones with belief in reverse driving are completely in control. They see roadblocks driving forwards, it is safer for them, to drive backwards.

      I agree with you that India now is not a country in the futuristic list, and some Indians like Gupta realise it. India was billed as an emerging and exciting superpower – by Thomas Friedmann himself during the MMS years. But the passage Gupta quotes which was written by Friedmann in 2005 (with some Islamic countries in mind, where there were groups like Taliban that wanted to return to the 7th century caliphate to regain their vitality) is certainly applicable to the India of today. Friedmann will be the first to say India is now heading in the same direction.

      Countries that go in the direction of ‘progression through retrogression’ are failing or failed ones. They have opted for this route because they cannot see a way forward in present times. And people endorse such leaders because they have low self esteem and think leaders like Modi will bring them prestige.

      Among the countries you have cited for rear driving, Russia and Turkey, have aspects of the same syndrome. But they will not be as disastrous as India. The people in those two countries are not suffering malnutrition. Turkey look like Europe. The same with Russia. They did not have scenes like migrant labour walking 800 km barefoot due to Covid shut down. In India, the absolute poverty levels are sub_Saharan in places, and driving in reverse will take us to the edge quickly – which is what we see.

  4. Shekhar Gupta perhaps did not notice that Modi and his brain dead bhakts, Sangh parivar, cow vigilantes and rapists are specialised in driving in R gear at high speed. The rear view mirror is the most useful device for them as they journey to Vedic India.

    In other societies, they drive in the front direction going by what they see in the windscreen, and they only use the rear mirror occasionally.

  5. From Iran to Indonesia, from Tibet to Mauritius and the waters of Indian Ocean belonged to India, we should one day recaptute it all. We do have strong leaders and Rafale . Even in Jerusalem there was a temple!

  6. Unless you build a good base, plinth, paya, how can you build a tower? Unless you rectify past mistakes,(rear view mirror) how can you drive into the future? Get some driving lessons.

    • So much of attachment to buildings and beliefs from both Hindus and Muslims. If we were scientific and forgiving we would only look forward into the future and have better living standards. Understand what Renaissance and Science did to Europe in the fifteenth century. They came out of the clutches of the Church and moved onward into the Industrial Age. And here in India we are unable to shake off the priests on both sides even now.

    • Your base is composed of cow vigilantes, rapists, genocidists, progromists; and at the top, you have a fake encounter specialist and a an uneducated man with a forged degree.

      What kind of base and tower have you built ? Do you see these in the best countries or other rising countries ?

  7. Shekhar Gupta should exit the fake “secularist” echo chambers of Lutyens Delhi, go to the real world and read the koran and the hadish to get a true sense of what islam and jihad are. There can never be peace with islam. The wanton destruction of our temples is only one facet of the 1400 year old civilizational war that islam has been waging on us. The only way for Hindus to live in peace with islam is by vanquishing this toxic ideology. It may he fashionable for Lutyens liberals like you to close your eyes and pretend that islam is like any other ideology because your livelihood depends on deliberately pretending to be ignorant. Go to a masjid or madrasa in UP to understand the great pride the maulanas take and preach about how the invaders destroyed our temples, committed genocide of Hindus and sold our women and children in the bazaars of arabia. Remember, you are not immune to history. If we go down the path that Lutyenswallahs like you have been advocating, your own posterity in about a hundred years from now will face the stark choice of converting to islam or be killed. You may be ok with such an outcome, many of us are not.

  8. Don’t start your agenda again and try to influence mindsets of people with your biased articles. Print is well known for being propagating these agendas using soft tactics. Not only Varanasi, we want our Mathura temple too. These three temples are very precious to us and we shall take them.

  9. A fair article. At the moment we have more pressing problems. Society peace is an absolute pre requisite if we as an Economy have to grow and stand tall. There can be no further arguments on this, I hope.

  10. The mindless forcing of a western implant, secularism, which in India became nothing but a stick to brow beat Hindus and villify their religion by the deracinated (i.e. rootless, divorced from one’s cultural environment), Nehru and his gang of pseuds is thankfully beginning to unravel.

    Shekhar Gupta true to his Lutyens presstitute credentials, is once again displaying his loyalty to the left liberal deceitful, crooked establishment, by going to the foundational principles of the Big Lies espoused by their ringleader, Nehru. After all that is his watering hole and feeding trough. Where he fed and prospered. True to his salt!

  11. The article is a politico-legal criticism of the court order. The issue with that is that a temple is neither the domain of politics nor of legal discourse, it is the domain of the faithful. Millions believe in the holiness of these sites. If the Dome of the Rock gets taken over by some other faith, would not Muslims vow to take it back? Why should Hindus be denied their holy places just because a fanatic emperor constructed insignificant mosques on their holy sites just to denigrate them and their faith?

  12. The court’s order directing archaeological survey has caused panic because it is bound to disclose a temple foundation below the Gyanvapi Mosque. Truth hurts. Demolition of Vishwanath Mandir is chronicled by the Moghul courtiers themselves. It is not “belief” as you put it. It is a fact.

    In this proceeding, none is seeking retribution against the Muslims of present generation. Instead, the temple land which was wrongfuly appropriated by force is being claimed back. How is that anti-secular?

    Ideally, the Muslims of Varanasi and Mathura should wholeheartedly and graciously deliver the mosque sites to the Hindus.

    You can forget “teen nahin, teen hazar” won’t happen. Even Dr.Subramanian Swamy won’t support it.

  13. Why does the author think it otherwise,the particular monument is a blatant example of destroyed relic and a suuperimposed prayer place,and if the people of one community can’t do it unanimously why shud the audience are made to believe in your agenda …….don’t you know your agenda.mr rented sepoy.

  14. Without the truth of the past recognized how can we go into the future?
    The govt is also trying to modernise India in various ways.

  15. We need to make our choices, true. On principle, have decided not to pay obeisance at the new temple which will come up in Ayodhya.

  16. *****(corrected – please ignore earlier post, sorry for inconvenience)
    Disclaimer: I respect the view that every Indian should be free to practice which ever religion she chooses and pray to any God(s) of her choice. It is afforded in the constitution and upheld by the freedom that comes with existence.

    But is that the real problem? Are we just fooling ourselves with psychedelic views reflected from mirrors and prisms? The problem is not the view in the rearview mirror. The real problem is basic tenets of some religions which profess that “My view is the only view”. As good neighbours, if the occupants of these structures respect the existence of the inmates, if I may and recognize the driveway to each as fair ways to reach their respective abodes, we would have come a long way.

    Tailpiece: Respect is not a one way traffic it has to flow both ways.

  17. 1) The word ‘secular’ was added to the constitution during the emergency when the opposition was locked up and couldn’t cast their vote. This was done for the congress’ minority appeasement vote bank politics. The Drafting Committee of the Constitution, chaired by Dr. B.R Ambedkar widely discussed this word (along with socialist) and decided against putting them in the preamble and the framework of the constitution. The preamble CANNOT be amended, but Madam Indira was the queen so she did it anyway.
    2) The location of the birth of someone (in this case a ‘god’ loved by the majority of the indian population) cannot be changed. Similarly, the location of the jyothir lingas is mentioned in the scriptures that existed way before the mughals. And that cannot be changed as well. It is not just about righting the wrongs – the location cannot be changed. And these are most sacred temples of the majority.
    If the majority are side lined for the appeasement of the minority, there is bound to be friction. History books in schools were written during the nehru/gandhi time. “We should be cognisant of the history, we need to confront it and move on” – how do the majority move on when their identity that they are oldest surviving civilization is being ignored for politics?

  18. Destroying it will led to bloodbathe becoz polarization is already deepened.But not respecting the survevy report which will be clearly in favour of temple(actually u don’t even need survevy,anyone with pair of eyeball can tell it is built on ruin of temple) will not help either.
    One thing is sure it is win/win for parties who wants to use this dispute for political cause.

  19. Islam came to India in the 15th century . Many mosques were built on demolished temples. Islam’s done this in every country from North Africa to Indonesia. Why is it surprising to leftist liberals that gyanvapi was a temple simply because Hindus predate Islam by millennia.

  20. Thomas Friedmann’s quote is better than anything Shekhar Gupta writes !

    Friedmann’s statement is apt for India under Modi : we are in the category of ‘societies that have more memories than dreams, too many people are spending too much time looking backward. They see dignity and self-worth not by mining the present but chewing on the past…and that is usually not a real past but an imagined and adorned past…they cling to it, rather than imagining a better future and acting on that.”

    During MMS’s time, Thomas Friedmann was a champion of India, where he saw a nation with dreams of a better future. I am sure he will have changed his opinion on India.

    India has blown away the chances that MMS built for a better future with a growing economy. The economy is gone and Modi is incapable of creating growth, employment, education. All their election campaigns centre around polarisation.

    It is going to get worse as the RSS is Neanderthal and single minded. They must have Vedic India with Manusmriti.

  21. Dig any part of India deep; you are likely to end up with a link to a temple. It’s no brainer; as Bhakti movement caught on early on in the first millennium, temples came up across the breadth and width of the country . Whether it was the Ghaznavids, the Mughals, or the ones before, it’s an archaeological fact that Islamic structures were superimposed on the structures existing then. Digging deep via a court order at best provides a legal cover to achieve an obvious outcome.

    Whilst the world over the focus is on AI, blockchain technology, machine learning et al, the medieval mindsets can’t stop herding the country into a communal hole. But then it’s votes that matters these days; everything else can go for a toss.

  22. If the truth is that it was built on a temple, what is wrong in removing the structure and temple is put in place. Even in USA/UK they are removing all the past wrongs. Today why is the forward punished for the mistake of their ancestor and they are put to disadvantage why we are afraid to point out mistake of past of islamic rulers and correct them

  23. Is this same appeasement which has lead to polarization which Prashant Kishor explained today in clubhouse?

    I feel this is muslim appeasement.

  24. The Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya in November 2019 itself was mistake.You cannot argue that Non-retrogression from fundamental principles enshrined in the constitution like secularism is paramount and then make an exception for Ayodhya, simply to pander to a majoritarian government at the Centre.Once you open the sluice gates for fundamentalism and bigotry ,there is no stopping it and the learned judges should have known better. Ultimately, it is not about Ayodhya or Kashi, but about finding new ways of targeting a minority community and using them as fodder for election wins.The current ruling dispensation want a Hindu version of Pakistan.But, what has happened to Pakistan in the past 70 years should be a salutary reminder to all Indians.

    • Very well put. ‘Ultimately, it is not about Ayodhya or Kashi, but about finding new ways of targeting a minority community and using them as fodder for election wins.’

      That is the crux. The BJP has made Indians into sadists. They look to target minorities. It has become the obsession.

      At the start of Covid in India around Feb/March 2020, instead of tackling it like other countries, the govt. and its supporters in the media saw Covid as another golden opportunity to target Muslims. They said it was spread by Markaz Nizammudin and the Muslims were planning a ‘corona jihad’. Hence, ultimately it is not healthcare that they care about, but targeting minorities. The Modi govt. had been thwarted by the protests on CAA-NRC, so in Feb. 2020, they were too busy planning a pogrom in Delhi to take out their frustrations. There were honourable exceptions like Kerala where its health minister followed the news from China and planned preventive measures already by Jan. 2020.

      Now, Covid is respiking and they were holding Trump rallies, cricket matches in Modi stadium, and political rallies for chanting Modi, Modi – these are gatherings larger than Markaz. Markaz happened when the corona lockdown and rules were not understood , but where are the rules now ?

      Both the economy and Covid control have gone out of the BJP’s hands, but they will be still busy with minority bashing. A Covid resurgence will take the economy down further. They have to raise the stakes and divert to temple reclamation and mosques. There is nothing else left for them now.

    • Probably you must look around the world. All the world is throwing symbols of historical oppression. All these mosque built on temple are the remanant of those aggressions

  25. There is a big difference between Ayodhya and Kashi issues and Shekhar know that well. After Ayodhya judgement, BJP in particular has declared that at the political level, there are no more such issues for them. The recent court order about Kashi temple is to undertake a fact finding mission and we will know the archeological position about existence or otherwise of Shiv Ling or temple. It is a dispute to be settled between the two private parties and no one should try to give it a different color. Courts are competent to settle it.

    But Shekhar seems to be drawing this issue in the political domain and creating atmosphere for the political parties to take sides. Shekhar should not follow this sickular method otherwise, if one party joins it, the other one will also be forced to join it and we will soon have the issue resonating the political discourse for next 20 years! Just think if Modi is back again with full majority in 2024, he may be forced to even repeal that law Shekhar is talking about. The thought that it will finally help BJP, as it happened in case of Ayodhya issue, should at least worry Shekhar and the Sickular gang.

    Hope good sense prevails, unless intetions are otherwise. Also at this point , no US President or Vice President is visiting India. So why create this issue now?!! At least wait for the right time !!

  26. Who are you guys to ask hindus to give their rightful claim on temples destroyed by plundering rulers. If you beleive in secualirsm work to settle hindus back in kashmir valley, You guys don;t even talk about it any forum. Hypocrites want to keep on appeasing minorities at the expense of hndus.

  27. Disclaimer: I respect the view that every Indian should be free to practice which ever religion she chooses and pray to any God of her choice. It is afforded in the constitution and upheld by the freedom that comes with existence.

    But is that the real problem? Are we just fooling ourselves with psychedelic views reflected from mirrors and prisms? The problem is not the view in the rearview mirror. The real problem is basic tenets of some religions which profess that “My view is the only view”. As good neighbours, if the occupants of these structures respect the existence of the other inmateDisclaimer: I respect the view that every Indian should be free to practice which ever religion she chooses and pray to any God of her choice. It is afforded in the constitution and upheld by the freedom that comes with existence.

    But is that the real problem? Are we just fooling ourselves with psychedelic views reflected from mirrors and prisms? The problem is not the view in the rearview mirror. The real problem is basic tenets of some religions which profess that “My view is the only view”. As good neighbours, if the occupants of these structures respect the existence of the inmates, if I may and recognize the driveway to each as fair ways to reach their respective abodes, we would have come a long way.

    Tailpiece: Respect is not a one way traffic it has to flow both ways.
    in neighbouring structures, Disclaimer: I respect the view that every Indian should be free to practice which ever religion she chooses and pray to any God of her choice. It is afforded in the constitution and upheld by the freedom that comes with existence.

    But is that the real problem? Are we just fooling ourselves with psychedelic views reflected from mirrors and prisms? The problem is not the view in the rearview mirror. The real problem is basic tenets of some religions which profess that “My view is the only view”. If the occupants of these structures acknowledge and respect the existence of the occupant in the neighbouring structure, and recognize the driveway to each as fair ways to reach their respective abodes, we would have come a long way.

    Tailpiece: Respect is not a one way traffic it has to flow both ways.

    • Your post is confusing as you are repeating yourself 3 times.

      The message appears to be in your Tailpiece: ‘Respect is not a one way traffic it has to flow both ways.’

      May I add to your tail piece, that respect is earned, it is not enforced with trishul wielding mobs attacking minorities. When it is done that way, it comes across as an inferiority complex. If Hindus feel entitled to violence, vigilante murders, pogroms and rapes against minorities, people are going to disrespect Hindus for that. It will not be just minorities that will disrepect Hindus, the world will as well – as you will have observed in the foreign media now.

      Gandhi, Nehru, Vivekanada, Tagore elicited natural respect from all – including non-Hindus. They did not have to demand respect for Hindus. Advani on the other hand made the slogan ‘garv say kaho hum Hindu hain’. That implies the problem was not that others disrespected Hindus, the problem was his low self esteem. His method of correction of his low self esteem was to encourage Hindus to feel the same way and organise Hindus for mob violence, to reclaim self esteem. Which unfortunately brings disrespect for Hindus.

      Hence, instead of demanding respect, it is better to act in ways that bring respect naturally.

      Finally, the crux is in what Thomas Friedmann wrote. It was not specifically about India, as we see this problem in several countries in the past (Nazi Germany) and present.

      “I am glad you were great in the 14th century, but that was then and this is now,” he wrote. “In societies that have more memories than dreams, too many people are spending too much time looking backward. They see dignity and self-worth not by mining the present but chewing on the past…and that is usually not a real past but an imagined and adorned past…they cling to it, rather than imagining a better future and acting on that.”

      You are seeing dignity and self-worth (self esteem), not in dreaming the present and future (like China does), but in demanding two-way respect, which for the BJP means that minorities accept Hindus are the overlords in India and the non-Hindus are living on sufferance.

  28. History indeed should not be taken lightly. So what should India learn from its violent past history? Shekar thoda bataayen please… The Muslims of the subcontinent have still not changed their ways. Let us see, if we forget the Destroyed temples, then we have a Partition that is fresh. If we forget that, then we have the Kashmiri Pandits, The Punjab insurgency. If we forget that, then we have Terrorism…. SO MY FRIEND… what should we learn?

  29. Nice but naive sentiment Shekhar, it would work had there been truth and reconciliation immediately after 1947 to acknowledge the truth about the atrocities of the islamic invasions. Instead, we got a perverted version of history by the islamists, their apologists, Marxists and their colluders (read – the Nehru family) who captured all institutions. They sought to deceive Hindus by portraying the islamic rule as a time of milk and honey and that Hindus were to be blamed for their fate. But you see, truth is a bitch, it has a way of coming back to bite you no matter what. You guys (yes, I am including you in the cabal that perpetrated the monumental history and culture genocide on Hindus) thought you could get away with your cutesy whitewashing of genocide of hindus and massive destruction of our temples and the “they became us” lies. You see, we Hindus, especially those who live in small villages, know the truth. We see it all around us in the form of desecrated temple ruins and imperial arrogance of many of our neighbors who are proud of the invaders who wounded our civilization. Again, all of this could have been settled once and for all by acknowledging the truth and resolving to reconciliate. But that train has left the station. We now have no choice but to correct the historical and civilizational injustices our own way. The Moors ruled Spain for 800 years, but not a trace of it can be found in Spain today – that’s what historical justice looks like. That’s what is going to happen in India as the slow arc of history unfolds. You see, history did not stop evolving in 1947. There is no immunity for crimes committed in the past. What we do in the present is also part of history. When the invaders had the upper hand, they brutalized our civilization. Now when we are in a position to undo those injustices, we will do so, one temple at a time and one law at a time. There is no force in the world that can stop this inevitability. That’s how the wheel of historical justice turn. Only fools and the wiked think they can control these monumental forces of history through an arbitrary legislation (read – the 1991 places of worship act) or bunch of woke judges who feel like gods after getting a harvard degree or a bunch of frauds who momentarily capture some Universities and media outlets. All of these are like twigs in a cyclone. Historical crimes will be avenged. Justice shall be done.

  30. Articles like these are just laughable.
    How hard these people try, the least we can do is commend their efforts!

  31. another article from a coward writer who belives in appeasevent of muslms and scared of confronting islamic wrongs, unless hindus are given justice there can not be peace. Denying justice to hindus by restoring their forcibly converted places of worship into mosques is not peace but borrowed peace based on denial of justice and cowardice. true peace and reconcilliation coVes only with PROPORTIONATE justice and remedial action to right the wrong, which includes restoring all the 40,0000 mosques back into temples, abolish muslm personal law in secular naitpn,

    1991 law, made by a weak govt,, can be reversed by another law by BJP. Seccularis can be deletemd from constitution or it can be aended mto be conditionalo that HINDUS HAVE PROTECTED RIGHT and no conversion is allowde of people or places of worship and it can be ame punishable to convert hindus or theor place of worshipo. so secularis can be altered in constmitution to say HINDUS and INDIC RELIGIONS HAVE PROTECTED STATUS and their past and present places of worship must be restored, Secularism can be defined in the law as that other nonIndic religion will be treated equal provided they do ot convert hindus or palces of worship and if they do so then punishment is life iprisonment. no need to be scared of another blood shed or 20yr court cases, turkey did it in one stroke, india can do it in one stroke by aking enw law and aending constitution including takign awya roight os SC to review or aend or intemmmrfer. we will take back all our temples.

  32. Shekhar Gupta is a victim of the ideology forcibly imposed by leftists. This ideology creates slave minds. These slave minds had come into power in 1947 and they thought that they represent the real India. Thanks to internet, social and mobile that enable the real India to woke up and fight for their Idea of India. Shekhar Gupta is still not ready to believe that India haters game is over. ‘

  33. Wrong Shekhar Gupta…… your view point is wrong and typical left oriented. If a settlement between tiny minority Muslim is reached on the lines of Ayodhaya settlement that they vacate this place but get another place to build a mosque than it is a good sign. You Lutyens never want a settlement, you want a dispute for you to exploit and make money selling fake news.

  34. जीर्ण शीर्ण का मोह,
    मृत्यु का ही द्योतक है….

  35. An excellent article. Nothing more to add except that Tom Friedman’s quote is worth pondering upon by we all Indians.

  36. I always wonder when Adivasis will take the cue from saviors of Hindus and ask us to return those land where their forests, stones and everything else they prayed to were standing atop this earth for millions of years and which was destroyed for temples, mosques, churches and everything else.
    If returned forests, mountains, rivers and all the deities Adivasis prayed to will do more good to our earth than all the others places of worship.

      • Adivasis may be classified as Hindus, but that does not mean they cannot press for rights of lands/places they consider theirs ( based on their version of history) when high castes can press for rights to recclamation of places they consider theirs historically. Should rules not be the same for every social group?

  37. Hindus should just accept that their temples would be broken in India then I don’t want to live in this India let’s see how much this ham secular press hindus to please their Italian and Arab masters

  38. JUSTICE HAS NO RELIGION. A CRIME HAS NO STATUTE OF LIMITATION. This article is a bizarre attempt to justify misdeeds and pander to cheap audiences. This is the same as trivializing and normalizing Auschwitz or the Armenian genocide. ARE YOU AFRAID THE ASI WILL UNEARTH THE TRUTH? People deserve to know the truth even if it is bitter. Are you implying that Kashmiri Pandits should also give up their rights to their homeland which they lost during the exodus? SECULARISM FAILED BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO FAILED SECULARISM. Is the phrase “Separation of the STATE and RELIGION” so difficult to understand? India’s SECULARISM is akin to anti-blasphemy laws that favour one religion over the other simply for appeasement politics. The ones who shouted “teen nahin hain, teen hazaar” are today in power with the support of Congress. That shows the cliche that secularism has beocome.

  39. When did “Secularism” become the foundational and fundamental principle of our Constitution ? Everyone is aware the said word, now claimed as principle was introduced in the Constitution much much later after it was adopted. This very reason raises the question of relevance, need, intention and urgency for the said feature felt subsequently and not at the time of adopting the same. Hence one can say the it was not a pious step. Further developments in the country in applying the said “principle” selectively bare the hidden purpose therefor. Be it so. History can not mean the same for India and other countries. India had a glorious history and past unlike other countries of the world. Hence History is very sanctimonious and sacred for India guiding its future course. One can not understand why an ailment should not be cured instead of suffering throught the life, here of the country. Correcting the past mistakes might hurt somebody and one can not turn a blind eye to the fact such mistakes in the form of voluptuous atrocities in the past also hurt some others in the past, pains of which are still being experienced and witnessed. Indians dream of future by gaining and drawing strength from their glorious past. Hence it is necessary not to forget the history as one would be condemned to its repetition.

  40. There is a well coordinated attempt to subvert democracy through demographic changes as is evident in states like Assam , West BENGAL, Kerala is a witness too.

    If we want not to ” crash” but continue to develop we need drastic action as regards POPULATION CONTROL MEASURES. Any thing else is just fake narrative peddling by people who have lost relevance because of congrass not being in power.

    Population control should be a must for all religions.

  41. It is very much simplistic to assume that Resolution of SHRI RAM JANAMBHOOMI Babri masjid dispute would have put to end to claims of the Hindus to their most venerated place of worship by Hindus at Kashi , Mathura or at other places in India . Adoption of the Constitution of India subsequent to TRANSFER OF POWER to pro-minority Congress party in No Way should be construed to mean that The Hindus – the vast majority of Indian population have relinquished or surrendered their claim to their holy places which were vandalized by invading Muslim armies or India – settled Muslim rulers. The demolition of place of worship by invading armies or India-settled rulers was not for capturing 2-5 acres of land. That was to inflict insults to Hindus . So the battles to regain control over those pieces of land –mass went on and is still going on for centuries. It was , it is battle for restoration of the Hindu pride. So long as the world and its population are divided on the basis of Religion and as most of the countries on our planet are formed on the basis of Religious exclusivity – like having more than 55 countries declaring one particular religion as their basic foundation of the country —- , Religious Divide will remain and the victims of past religious hegemony will keep on to fight for regaining their lost religious pride. So that is happening in India. As for as 1993 legislation putting moratorium or freeze on claims that are made for Repossession of Disputed Place of worship as NOT MAINTAINABLE and treating that a Sacrosanct Declaration is meaning less as the legislation was put on statute books by Pro-minority . minority –appeasing Congress party . It had political message to be delivered to its Vote-Bank and has been en-cashed many times. Every historical legacy issue needs to be settled and such disputes are settled keeping view CURRENT POWER SHIFT.. The outcome of SHRI RAM JANAM BHOOMI -Babri Masjid dispute testifies that power shift. Ii is for dispute raising and resisting parties to ponder on how they intend to carry on their fight . Whether they adopt agitation methods or submitting their disputes for judicial reviews or SETTLE THE LEGACY ISSUES BY NEGOTIATION in the spirit of give and take and mutual accommodation. Disputes and dispute settlement can not be put under carpet for future settlement . It will harm every one . That should be avoided by every body..

  42. The genie of communal bigotry released by Modi/RSS, and on which Shekhar Gupta has generally been ambivalent on ground of ‘good governance’ by Modi, cannot be drawn back into the bottle where the much hated Nehru and others of his generation had managed to bottle it up. Take a bet, the genie will grow ever greater and gobble up the country, its peace and stability, all at the cost of the common man and for the benefit of the ‘Wealth Creator’ cronies of Modi who will be the only other beneficiaries apart from Hindutva bigots.

  43. For once Shekhar babu you have shown no pusillanimity in your writing – even if you are reluctant to name the perpetrators. Retrogression is the name of the current govt – the entire RSS ecosystem, the writings of Guru Golwalkar which are sacrosanct to anyone with a RSS background, is regressive. What Indians fail to understand is that – yes we were great once, but that was when we had advantage of the best talent, best technology and lot of wealth. Over the course of time, first the Arabs and then the Europeans beat us with superior technology and talent. If we need to regain our lost glory, we need to be more modern, include women in more numbers in our workforce, source talent from the entirety of our vast lands – wherever it may be. Companies which source talent don’t look at religion, nationality, personal beliefs etc. We need to cultivate the same mindset. The RSS recipe, which this govt is serving up, of widening fault lines and trying to settle ancient scores in modern times runs the risk of ruining the economy and driving talent out of India.

  44. So sad the secular perversion has seeped in to blood of our fourth estate and shekar gupta as well. We have to understand that india was brutalized and demeaned repeatedly. There has been a partition and division of country based on one religion – the religion of invaders which brutalized and shamed the majority religion by converting temples on the tip of a sword. Forgetting will not heal the wounds instead it will let them fester and turn them in to gangrene. There has to be a truth and reconciliation committee just as in south africa to understand, mitigate and heal the still gaping wounds on the Indian psyche, a possible first step might be that the muslims voluntarily give back the plundered temples and issue an apology in the name of islam and the muslim ancestors just as british did with jamaica , only then the future might be able to forgive the brutal islamic past.

  45. You are a Mullah-loving cultural Marxist, not a practicing Hindu. You have no business commenting on religious icons that are dear to Hindus.

  46. Everyone remember Ghoua s statement India was never intended to become superpower it will always continue aspiring and dreaming of becoming one. Post Indira India was doomed to fail , a little hope which was there was crushed by Sonia Gandhi and vajpayee by bringing caste and religion in politics away from growth.

  47. Muslims broke hindu temples at will and wherever they are in majority they continue to do so. But when hindu take a peaceful and legal route to get something that was once their own he is seen as communal and intellectuals starts shouting. One of our most important temples were broken heartlessly and to make a point and replaced by mosques which has no such historical relevance and alas if somebody dares to question it he is bloody communal against law and order what not. If Muslims believe believe so much in brotherhood they should never had let the ram mandir issue go so long. Whereever they are in majority first thing they do is attack other one’s religion. History is guide and recent events are also guide. But hindus are asked to be secular everytime if he is tolerant he is taken for granted and muslims can do anything because they get in bad mood very soon. As in Bangladesh Don’t like modi(even after giving more than 1 crore vaccines) let’s go out break somr hindu temples for a kick.
    But indians and hindus should dare not even a approach a court because muslims will not like it. It will create law and order problem.

  48. Please tell Thomas Friedman’s advise to Muslims.
    Why are they hell bent upon keeping Kashi, Mathura Mosques as the display of symbol of Islam’s subjugation of Hindus in Middle ages.
    Why should not they voluntarily surrender the same to Hindus to build temples, thereby earning the gratitude of vast number of ordinary hindus, who ultimately would be the protectors of Muslim’s genuine economic and social interests in modern India.

  49. Author ominously glosses over historical facts with benign humility one would puke.

    Are we to treat community centers built on our places of worship to signify quwwat ul islam for us kafirs.

    If this is his definition of maintaining cordiality secularism then I am sorry you are in minority.

    My place of worship cannot be a community center of maskin mawali wahabi tribal fundamentalism.

    For centuries we have seen a nandi baiil outside shiv mandir and we don’t need any asi to prove it where the location of actual temple is.

    Next time you go to kasi do this first naman to nandi and then turn around…all your question will be answered.

  50. non-retrogression is a lot of hogwash so long as we are told on a daily basis how sad a life the Muslims leas in India.
    This is the quam which refuses to openly integrate with all Indians. This is a quam that insists on pushing its noisy rligion into everyon’e face. This is a religious nation which tells us that Modi is anti Muslim because he can’t prop up a winning Muslim csndidate. This is a religious people who are taught in their madrasas how unclean Hindus are.
    Please tell the supreme court to non-retrogress itself.

  51. I think Mr. Gupta has missed the woods for the trees. It is the lower judiciary that will hinder India’s progress as both as an egalitarian society and forward-looking nation and the lower judiciary will find resonance in the higher judiciary by the effect of time and cause.

  52. I think Mr. Gupta has missed the woods for the trees. It is the inefficiency and politically motivated lower judiciary driven by its own prejudices that will hinder India’s progress both as a society and as an egalitarian nation. And that lower judiciary will find more and more resonance in the higher judiciary by a simple time and cause effect.

  53. The fact that the makers of India and constitution writers recognized Ayodhya goes to say there was a problem expected, but was dealt with inadequately. There should’ve been a comprehensive religious places destruction (undoing) Act or the like, which should be the framework for dealing with such claims as will keep coming. Recognising just one kept a door open and in a vague manner which could always be prised open with claims as having existed but not “seen” by the exception etc. Maybe it is time a comprehensive constitutional amendment to deal with this is enacted once for all – and let interested parties be dealt with separately from courts.

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