Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
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Three hundred and fifty-one witnesses, 600 documents, several video cassettes, and newspaper reports were not enough to get the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case — Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust president Nritya Gopal Das and Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan, among others — convicted.

Symbolism has a high place in politics, especially in India. What happened 28 years ago will decide the course of future actions now. Like they say, in business, earning the first million is the toughest. But once you are there, things become easier — a multiplier effect kicks in. Ayodhya and Babri were the political investments made three decades ago. Now the time has come for the political investors to dip into their interest earnings and make fresh investments — basically go on an expansion drive, inject fresh fuel in the business to keep it going. And since no one demolished Babri, the road to fresh investment — kashi and Mathura — appears clear. From two to 282 to 303 — that’s how it grows.


Also read: Babri demolition was planned, accused never denied proof — Justice Liberhan who headed enquiry


It gets easier from here

The ending of the Babri Masjid demolition case marks a new beginning — of an ominous plan set by the propagators of Hindutva.

Vinay Katiyar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who was also an accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, has stated that the party’s agenda is to remove the Gyanvapi Mosque in Kashi and Shahi Idgah in Mathura. The BJP has found its golden goose — reclaiming temples by breaking mosques — to get the Hindu majority of this nation to keep bringing them back to power on an emotive issue built on the foundation of aastha (faith) and badla (revenge) from the Muslim invaders, who now sit quietly in history books.

The narrative has been carefully woven. The targets chosen subtly follow the hierarchy of Gods in northern India — the dominant electoral landscape of the BJP. The hierarchy is, of course, based on their popularity. Ram, Krishna, Shiva.

If seen in the context of the Supreme Court’s recognition — that the demolition of the mosque was an “egregious violation of the rule of law” — the acquittal of the 32 accused has not only ‘legitimised’ the demolition, but also vindicated a faceless mob that can get away with anything.


Also read: My camera had ‘evidence’ of Babri Masjid demolition, but it was consigned to bin of history


1992, a template

The year 1992 did not just witness one of the bloodiest riots (2,000 people were killed) that India had seen since Independence. It was also the year that marked the beginning of instilling a feeling of victimisation within the Hindu community that had been dealt unfairly at the hands of the Muslim minority, first by the Mughals and now by the Congress, which did anything to appease them.

This victim complex, instilled about three decades ago, has now culminated into a superiority complex within a cross-section of the majority community that wants to assert its identity. The 2019 Ayodhya verdict and now the acquittal of all accused in the Babri case have come as fuel for this project. For Hindutva, the symbol of assertion is the demolition of mosques and “reclaiming” of temples. But it has just one faith — power.


Also read: Yogi Adityanath’s anti-Mughal stand has reasons. Akbar identified himself as a ghazi


Krishna after Ram

PIL filed on behalf of child deity Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman has asked for the removal of the Shahi Idgah Masjid at Mathura, claiming that the mosque is built at the birthplace of lord Krishna. In 1989, a civil suit was filed on behalf of Ram Lalla Virajman. We all know what happened after that.

The free pass to repeat an Ayodhya, now that all those accused in the Babri demolition case have been acquitted, seems likely. In August, an FIR was registered against Acharya Dev Murari Bapu, the national chairman of Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Nirman Nyas — an organisation recently set up — for making communal and inflammatory speeches. According to a senior police officer, Bapu had said, “the mosque adjacent to the Krishna Janmabhoomi will be razed and the Janmabhoomi site will be extended into the area”.

This looks like a recap of 1992. Back then, when the Babri Masjid was brought down, the government had deployed policemen in large numbers at the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi to prevent a repeat of Ayodhya. Today, the mosque comes under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 — a legislation prohibiting the conversion of any place of worship. The writing is clear, for those who want to see, on the wall. The infamous slogan of the BJP— ‘Ayodhya toh bas jhaanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai (Ayodhya is just a preview, Kashi and Mathura are next)’— reverberates even today.


Also read: RSS to go by what ‘samaaj’ thinks on Kashi & Mathura mosques, after seers’ call to remove them


Babar then, Aurangzeb now

Temples and mosques are mere symbols. They are all part of a grand effort to undermine India’s Islamic history. A recent newspaper advertisement of the tourism department of Uttar Pradesh on the occasion of World Tourism Day holds a small evidence of this grand effort. The advert listed 20 ‘must see’ places in the state. It mentioned Hindu and Buddhist sites but left out the Taj Mahal, the monument which generated over $13 million in revenues in 2018-19 and sees over six million tourists on an average every year. When Yogi Adityanath took over as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, he conspicuously dropped the Taj from the 2017 official tourism booklet.

If it was Babur then, it is the much-hated Aurangzeb now. The motive is clear. Monuments that remind the presence of Muslims ruling India must be destroyed. The message is also larger — demonisation of the Muslims. You can call them terrorists, anti-nationals, invaders or infiltrators, Islam and Indians are being seen incongruent to each other.

Although the Mughals cannot be equated with the Muslims of today, the PIL on the Krishna janmabhoomi shows how the two are inevitably considered the same. The litigation alleged “that it is matter of fact and history that Aurangzeb ruled over the country from 31.07.1658 to 3.03.1707 AD and he being staunch follower of Islam had issued orders for demolition of large number of Hindu religious places and temples including the temple standing at the birth place of Lord Shree Krishna at Katra Keshav Dev, Mathura in the year 1669-70 AD.” The expression “staunch followers of Islam” speaks much about the psyche of those who are looking to reclaim the temples.

Kashi and Mathura will inevitably turn into a replay of the Ayodhya playbook. What remains to be seen is if this assertion succeeds to completely destroy the pluralism of India.

The author is a political observer and writer. Views are personal.

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23 Comments Share Your Views

23 COMMENTS

  1. Islamabad has ZERO temples
    Total Number of Temples in Pakistan have fallen to 50 from 1500+ 200 years ago
    New Delhi has 4000 Mosques..

    Erasing Hindu History is ok. But its NOT ok to erase Islamic History.
    I read you loud and clear ThePRint

  2. Would recommend the writer to spare her time to read, Sita Ram Goel’s : ” Hindu Temples : What Happened to Them : The Islamic Evidence – Vol 2 “. I rest my case, Your Honour.

  3. The illegal and Unislamic community center is a blot in Indian history and these places of worship should be freed from these community centers and restored fully.

    If Saudi Arabia can raze community centers at will then these illegal and Unislamic community centers have no place in India.

    These structures are a grim reminder of centuries of rape plunder genocide of people of this land.

    And custodians of this land celebrate this mayhem in glorifying the builders of these community centers.

  4. Its a positive development indeed. The Gyanvapi mosque stands out like an eyesore near Kashi Vishwanath temple.
    Historical evidence is present to show that no such mosque existed at the earlier and the whole site belonged to the temple.
    Hindus would forever be thankful to the BJP/RSS if Gyanvapi mosque is removed from the site and the site itself is given back to Kashi Vishwanath temple.

  5. How biased can you be; look at your heading, “one faith – power” do you even know the history of this land.
    THE ONLY SURVIVING CULTURE; your fore fathers and you may try as much you want this culture can’ t be finished. your victim card is over.
    Although, you know but just to tell you since you are such hypocrate. there were hundreds of acres of conquered land available to your forefather , why did they choose to make these structures on the Location such pious to Sanatan dharm. Lastly, for fun sake ; who do you think your Idol Aurangzeb wanted to pray there, Hindus. and to your larger point – anyone who don’t want to belong to this land will not be tolerated anymore. your forefathers divided this country 70 years back, NO MORE.

  6. I’m not in support of any demolition but please don’t spread hatred in the society by bringing conspiracy theories without any evidence. Muslims like you are the biggest enemy of Islam.

  7. Fake propaganda by HINDU hating journalist and certain 24 hour NEWS CHANNELS with a PROSELYTIZING agenda have been spreading fake news that there was a CONSPIRACY.

    The COURT has said there was NO CONSPIRACY.

    It one again shows how DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM of free speech was misused by a political family with the active participation of rented journalist and undereducated jhollawallas to harass leaders who wanted to protect HINDUS.

  8. Revengeful retribution for historical crimes committed by the Mughal rulers is neither justified nor necessary.The present day Muslim population can not be penalised for the past.Hinduism being essentially the most tolerant of all religions,should overlook the happenings in the ancient past.However the Indian Muslim needs to integrate with the mainstream of social life and focus less on their exclusivist Islamic identity.It will help inter-faith harmony if the Indian Muslim could openly empathise with the hostile conditions faced by the declining Hindu population in Pakistan,Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
    And the forced expulsion of the Kashmiri Pandits does not help the situation.Afterall,despite the occassional communal riots,the Indian Muslim population has substantially increased and enjoyed their Constitutional rights of a secular polity and fundamental rights of equality and freedom of speech and franchise,which very few Islamic countries practice.

  9. Nothing wrong in erasing a wrong done…. No need to make it seem dramatic. The Islamic history in India has not been pretty and needs a course correction.

  10. Kashi and mathura cases are taken up not to obliterate muslim history from india but to show the horrendous and bloody history of the islamic rule in india. The history needs to be acknowledged for what is , rather than being conveniently whitewashed as till now.
    By hanging on to vestiges of cruelty of the islamic rule and portraying them as symbols of muslim history, people like the writer are clinging more to the past rather than moving on.
    Is This the ganga-jamuna tehzeeb certain sections crow about? All this is smokescreen.
    This coming out of the closet of the latent angst of common hindus is not palatable to them. BJP govt is the reason for this , hence, they are vehemently against this govt leaving no occasion to make it difficult for the govt.
    These people should realise these are irreversible changes, they need to come to terms and move on.

  11. Why sould India celebrate the history of its humiliation and conquest? Not any more.
    Even after independence the way Muslims have lived in India is as if their maternal grand mother had died because of the creation of India. Congress regimes constantly appeased the Muslims. Muslims kept sitting in a corner with their cheeks puffed up in anger. Sorry. Enough is enough.
    This will not do any more. If Muslims are kin to the rest of us Indians then please live with everyone nicely. Stop demanding a special place for Muslims and Islam.

  12. No Rational society can be expected to celebrates the period of slavery and atrocities committed by foreign invaders . When ever it gets chance in future it will retaliate in way it can . Only those who think they are descendants of foreign invaders will be shedding tears when ever period of reparation starts.

  13. I think both extremes are not acceptable. However, considering the three most holy places of Hinduism had been destroyed by INVADERS..
    There are several Sakthi peethas also destroyed and lying under some other structures built by these invaders…. but i don’t think they are being claimed now.

  14. It is not a Muslim rule – it was always been a Turki rule – they happen to be Muslims – just like Robert Clive happens to be Christian.
    .
    Indian coverts were never empowered….and it is visible now… illiterate, uneducated…

  15. No point in chest beating – what has to happen will happen. As long as liberals and the exploited in India don’t team up but fight amongst themselves and undermine those voices, however feeble, speaking on their behalf, the situation cannot be retrieved. Witness journalists like Tavleen Singh or DK Singh ridiculing the Gandhis for speaking on behalf of the Hathras rape victims. Even worthies like yourself and Shivam Vij have from time to time indulged in liberal bashing. Now a perfect storm has been whipped up to which you journalists are also contributors. If this storm fells these mosques and monuments – what is the point in blaming the storm? It is the nature of storms after all to destroy everything that stands in its way. In any case, when humanity itself is lost, of what use are these appurtenances.

  16. “The Chauri Chaura incident took place at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the United Province, (modern Uttar Pradesh) in British India on 4 February 1922, when a large group of protesters, participating in the Non-cooperation movement, clashed with police, who opened fire. In retaliation the demonstrators attacked and set fire to a police station, killing all of its occupants. The incident led to the deaths of three civilians and 22 policemen. Mahatma Gandhi, who was strictly against violence, halted the non-co-operation movement on the national level on 12 February 1922, as a direct result of this incident.”

    Mahatma Gandhi did not want violence

  17. The Islamic Jihadi mindset will never change , like this author , it is the grave mistake done by Gandhi and Nehru to allow Muslims to live in India even after Muslims violently divided India and created two Islamic countries, in 1947, Time to reclaim India for Hindus

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