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File photo | Kar sevaks at the demolition 'rehearsal' on 5 December 1992, a day before the Babri Masjid was razed | Praveen Jain
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If Ram is the presiding deity of Ayodhya, then its political god is Lal Krishna Advani. Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are lining up for the bhoomi pujan on 5 August.

Actually, a lot of people can claim credit for bringing India to this penultimate step of bhoomi pujan before the grand Ram Mandir is built in Ayodhya — Advani, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishva Hindu Parishad, and the Congress. But, most importantly, Indian families.

Undoubtedly, L.K. Advani not only set the ball rolling but also introduced the new language of Hindutva pride in the early 1990s. He single-handedly dismantled the word ‘secularism’ from India’s aspirational pulpit, and gave it the adjective ‘pseudo’. In every stump speech from the rath, he spoke of the historical Hindu wound and made Babri Masjid a buzzword for hate in Indian living rooms.

But Indian family conversations should also be a big claimant for this credit. They kept chipping away at India’s founding ‘narrative template’. This is why scholars erred early on by locating the so-called ‘idea of India’ in saving the Babri Masjid. That idea wasn’t demolished at a religious site, it was taken apart brick by brick in our living rooms.


Also read: There are 3 claims to Ayodhya — law, memory & faith. It’s not a simple Hindu-Muslim dispute


Re-doing history

Many in the Indian liberal commentariat have said that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was the biggest blow to Nehruvian ideals. But to invest an old dilapidated mosque with the burden of secularism and an ‘idea of India’ was never going to fly. First, a religious structure can’t be and shouldn’t be a site to preserve secularism. Second, and more importantly, many Hindus, over generations, had been taught to view the mosque as a site of historical humiliation. They acted as ‘mnemonic communities’ (thick-memory communities) self-identifying as wounded.

And that wound, reminded Arun Shourie, was strewn across India, not just Ayodhya. According to a book that he co-wrote — Hindu TemplesWhat Happened to Them — which was published much before the demolition in 1990, there are 2,000 mosques that stand on top of demolished temples. The red book listed each of these mosques with name, village and some photographs, and gave intellectual fodder to the Vishva Hindu Parishad’s campaign in the 1990s that said Hindus are ready to give up their claims over these 2,000 mosques if Muslims would give them the Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura sites.

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I visited a handful of these 2,000 mosque sites back then but found no knowledge, folklore, collective memory, let alone wounds, about demolished temples among local villagers. People did not know or did not care or had just accepted what they had inherited by way of built heritage. Popular memory is constructed through deliberate acts of retelling, which were manifest in Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura, but not the 2,000 sites listed in Shourie’s book.

Here is another way collective memory is shaped. When I visited Ayodhya a few years after the mosque’s demolition, I saw street vendors selling little black-and-white flip-books with two dozen picture pages. When you flipped the pages fast, you could see in motion how the Babri Masjid was razed to the ground. The last flip-book I had seen in life was one that showed Kapil Dev’s bowling action in the early 1980s. The Babri flip-book was being sold alongside poster images of Ram, the warrior. There were also books extolling kar sevaks who helped bring the mosque down, sort of like a demolition hall-of-fame. This is how deliberate retelling works. It can keep both wounds and triumphalism alive.


Also read: Why Mathura or Varanasi temple disputes won’t go the Ayodhya way


Words to axes

The demolition, however, wasn’t the only, or first, or the last act of vandalism against the unique Indian pluralism that Indira Gandhi called a salad bowl. (Canadians say mosaic, Americans use melting pot to describe diversity). The salad bowl had been regularly chipped away long before 1992 — in deliberate family oral histories and conversations. In families, the idea of the Muslim as the eternal, unforgivable other was kept alive.

Many parents—even today—tell their children to marry anyone but a Muslim (or some version of that). My own father said this. The marigold flower was not allowed in family prayers because it was associated with Muslims. The flower even has a derogatory Tamil name that refers to it as a Turkish flower. The simple act of banishing a flower keeps the popular memory of Muslim invasion alive. In Tamil and Kannada families, you refer to Muslims not as Muslims but as Turks for the same reason. My father routinely talked about how Muslim neighbourhoods in Madurai were growing (‘from ten houses at the corner to the entire street now’), and how Muslim women no longer wore saris like they did in his generation but had moved on to black burqas.

Casual prejudiced observations and references like these are routinely made in many Hindu families about Muslims (to emphasise what Ashutosh Varshney called their ‘everlasting disloyalty’), Christians (over religious conversions) and Dalits (over hygiene). It works the other way too. Many Muslim families also warn their children against marrying a non-Muslim. A converted Pentecostal relative of mine once said to me ‘others won’t be saved’.


Also read: Ayodhya verdict & Babri demolition confirmed status of Muslims as second-class citizens


The 1992 demolition was no sudden act. All of our family conversations contributed to the pickaxes that hit the mosque in Ayodhya. It is easier to blame politicians for religious bigotry or go to Jantar Mantar with ‘Not In My Name’ placards, but more difficult to look in the mirror and speak up in our families.

There will be visible triumphalism in the bhoomi pujan event this week. First, history was undone and now it will be ‘corrected’. Liberal intelligentsia will mourn and blame politicians and courts. But they will choose to be oblivious to how public history and social memory is constructed. History isn’t just the sum of built heritage structures. It is also made up of intangible collective memories — the stuff that is not allowed to be ‘disremembered’.

A wiser approach for liberals would be to start investing their energies in family oral histories and conversations instead.

Views are personal.

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101 Comments Share Your Views

101 COMMENTS

  1. Rama Lakshmi in her article , hit absolutely the right chords on the string wood-board and as expected the sound coming out of it is of mournful despair and not celebratory music.For those , who are trying to find celebration and victory in what happened on 5th Aug 2020, this article comes as caustic sound of introspection and crimes conducted..but who wants to introspect ???

    No agitation can become a movement if it does not affect discussions in middle class drawing rooms and through them , influence collective consciousness of the middle class.This is exactly what happened during our freedom struggle in early 20th century lead to the formation of our republic.

    The idea of India has always been that of a land of inclusiveness , inquisitiveness and mutual debate and that is the reason of this land being the birth place of so many religious theologies I.e. Buddhism , Jainism , Sikhism , Hinduism and Atheism and pls don’t forget the development of Sufism in India ( although it was not originated here ) . We , as people believe in tolerance and forgiveness throughout centuries and that is the reason of our retention of our cultural values despite being politically enslaved for a very long period of time .

    The conspiracy of poisoning our minds based on religious beliefs and identities is not new but yes ; it has seriously penetrated our homes in last 30 years . Not only Ms. Krishna but every logical minded individual in this country have seen her father , mother and families turning religious zealots from cynical liberals in last 30-35 years ( including mine ).Earlier in educated Indian families , dining table discussions were ranging from left to center left , now they were confined to “with us “or “against us “ kind of aggression and linguistic bigotry.History has very clearly answered the point that if our erstwhile medieval masters wanted forceful conversions of populace , then in the period of 700-750 years , entire northern India should have been converted , but are those indoctrinated fathers are ready to look at real and unbiased history ( other then social media originated perverted form of history ). How many of our Muslim brethren and they are around 200 million , can trace their roots in Turkey , Kandhar or Mesopotamia.How many of our Christians can trace them in Rome , Constantinople or Jerusalem. The fact is , their roots , family-histories, humiliations and wounds on account of brahminical caste system are truly and historically Indian , but can any daughter convince her mother on those injustices perpetrated on our own people for centuries.

    Now , if this problem / virus penetrated our homes , the solution also will come from our homes only. We should not be quite but confront and engage our family members , our parents in every discussion and at least show them the mirror.If they don’t want to see the reality , so be it …but that logical fight in our drawing rooms will definitely inspire the next generation to be more inquisitive and balanced , and then the chords on the string wood board will become musical and celebratory once again..

    Kudos to Rama Lakshmi ..

  2. Rama Laxmi in her article , hit absolutely the right chords on the string wood-board and as expected the sound coming out of it , is of mournful despair and not celebratory music.For those , who are trying to find celebration and victory in what happened on 5th Aug 2020, this article comes as caustic sound of introspection and crimes conducted..but who wants to introspect ???

    No agitation can become a movement if it does not affect discussions in middle class drawing rooms and through them , influence collective consciousness of the middle class.This is exactly what happened during our freedom struggle in early 20th century and finally lead to the formation of our republic.

    The idea of India has always been that of a land of inclusiveness , inquisitiveness and mutual debate and that is the reason of this land being the birth place of so many religious theologies I.e. Buddhism , Jainism , Sikhism , Hinduism and Atheism and pls don’t forget the development of Sufism in India ( although it was not originated here ) . We , as people believe in tolerance and forgiveness throughout centuries and that is the reason of our retention of our cultural values despite being politically enslaved for a very long period of time .

    The conspiracy of poisoning our minds based on religious beliefs and identities is not new but yes ; it has seriously penetrated our homes in last 30 years . Not only Ms. Krishna but every logical minded individual in this country have seen her father , mother and families turning religious zealots from cynical liberals in last 25-30 years ( including mine ).Earlier in educated Indian families , dining table discussions were ranging from left to center left politically , now they were confined to “with us “or “against us “ kind of aggression and linguistic bigotry.History has very clearly answered the point that if our erstwhile medieval masters wanted forceful conversions of populace , then in the period of 700-750 years , entire northern India should have been converted , but are those indoctrinated fathers are ready to look at real and unbiased history ( other then Whatsapp originated perversion of history ). How many of our Muslim brethren and they are around 200 million , can trace their roots in Turkey , Kandhar or Mesopotamia. Fact is , their roots , family histories, humiliations and wounds on account of brahminical caste system are truly and historically Indian , but can any daughter convince her mother on those injustices perpetrated on our own people for centuries.

    Now , if this problem / virus penetrated our homes , the solution also will come from our homes only. We should not be quite but confront and engage our family members , our parents in every discussion and at least show them the mirror.If they don’t want to see the reality , so be it …but that logical fight in our drawing rooms will definitely inspire the next generation to be more inquisitive and balanced , and then the chords on the string wood board will become musical and celebratory once again..

    Kudos to Rama Laxmi..

  3. Cry you liberals cry! Your dad was apt! Stop being a victim for propaganda and abuse your own faith. The sooner you realise this the better. Kudos to your dad.

  4. Distrust between Hindus and Muslims is not new .Partition doesnt change the basic nature of people.Muslims were invaders in most of our country.
    Those who converted were looked at with distrust, except in Kerala where they came as traders much earlier hence there is more harmony between the communities there. Hindus in India while trying to get their own house in order with respect to case based discrimination are caught between two Abrahamic religions , waiting to take advantage of this.

  5. Rama Lakshmi finds a catalogue of culpable entities that led to demolition of the Babri Masjid, notably Advani, RSS, VHP but more critically the average Hindu family! Everyone but the Muslim entities and actions that for centuries have been tolerated, accepted, even ignored by basically peaceful tolerant people that Hindus essentially are! Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in the 20th century was also overlooked by this liberal elite without demur! The notion that multiple injuries and humiliation going back centuries can ever be swept under the carpet can only be held by India’s (pseudo-) secular liberal elite! Only these Hindu intellectuals can come up with a version of secularism whereby they brutally critique any Hindu backlash even while they seemingly endorse the acts of Muslim invaders and subsequent residents (Moghuls). Of course it may be technically correct for Amish Tripathi to suggest that Indian Muslims (and Christians) should not be conflated with the original invaders. If only the former dissociated themselves from the crimes of the latter, which has never been forthcoming! In fact the notion that at its worst the” right wing Hindu fringe” is fascistic is an insult to the suffering of Jewish people ending in extermination of some 6 million of them. It is this kind of hyperbole, hypocrisy and self loathing by this liberal Hindu elite that has brought us to where we are today! After the departure of the British, this neo colonialist brown (largely Hindu) elite continued to treat the average Hindu with the same temerity and contempt as their masters did. Advani and Vajpeyi may have started the correction in this historical blot on Hindu history but it has needed a Modi to institutionalise it! Our elite represent this process to the world outside as emergence of Hindu fascism conforming with their own sense of self loathing! They no longer have any traction in India even if they find lucre and “shabashi” from their paymasters abroad! The fact that more Muslims are killed by fellow Muslims by a big multiple seems to escape their definition of fascism!

    Ms Lakshmi pointedly decries the Hindu parent for being terrified at the prospect of their children marrying a Muslim given it is always the non-Muslim who must convert and all that it implies for generations to come? The Muslims do not show any consideration for the host culture, religion or values and refuse to integrate in a manner that requires some give and take. This phenomenon is not unique to India, it is also the case in Western Europe, North America and Australasia. In India they represent it as a Right Wing backlash but that is really an incorrect and a jaundiced analysis. This backlash is also happening in the West now and it arises in the working classes more than in the more refined elite segments of the indigenous community. This is not a Left-Right conversation.

    The worm in India has turned and the liberals would do well to recognise this! As more indigenously educated and rooted political leadership takes hold of the power structure, to quote Nehru , “a moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”! That did not happen in 1947 when we swapped a bunch of White Colonial rulers for a set of Brown Sahibs schooled in the Western mindset looking down on their own people and culture and tradition! This moment of change arrived in 2014 – a watershed moment in the history of India whose significance will not be tarnished by putdowns such as fascism, Hindutva demagoguery and so on! The nation has arisen and this will be a historic moment! The liberals have misread the mood music. They can play discordant tune to spoil the musical analogy or by drawing upon the traditional Hindu mindset ensure the change can be one of adjustment and accommodation on all sides, but not as defined by some distorted version of a foreign concept of secularism! Hindus do not need to be taught secularism but nor should they be expected to be seen as a timid people who will keep tolerating their continued subjugation and appeasement politics! Far from being fascistic this is an expression of “soul of a nation, long suppressed, finding utterance!”

  6. Ms.Rama Lakshmi and “intelligentia” in the society initially cried foul of The extreme right as a problem, then they blamed the entire center-right, now comes the googly: Indian households (including the author’s father) is the reason for Ram Temple.

    What next, existence of India is itself a scandal and problem for such “intelligenstia”? This just shows lack of touch with the common man as well as intellectual bankruptcy for such authors of western pedigree.

    • Truly said. These people will do evetything in the name of Secularism.

      Correcting the wrong is not wrong. If people hadn’t tried in the past they would never have achieved independence.

      Some people are used to these demotions by Mughals but we are not.

      Once again i would like to say correcting wrong is never treated as wrong

      • Really? Who told you there was a historical wrong? Not even the SC has said so. Please read the judgement and get your facts right before indulging in over interpretation.

    • Rama Lakshmi is reminding people like you who subscribe historical fiction written in Nagpur. And the absurdly low levels of introspection the upper caste middle class has developed. A 37% vote has gone to your heads. The short-sightedness of your silence to locking a large section of our population and lynching them at will, something that you want intellectuals to quietly stomach will return to haunt us. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are now firmly in Chinese camp. This should ring alarm bells not temple bells for a govt that has brought Indian economy on its knees.

  7. The ignorance of the author again. Madame, the term ‘TURK” is not a derogatory term originated by Indians and it does not apply to all muslims. It is a derogatory term originated in Muslim religion under the Arab Caliphate. Even though Prophet Mohammed clearly stated the rules of war and rules of engagement in his teachings and it was strictly followed by great Caliph warriors like Khalid known as the “SWORD OF ALLAH”, as the caliph started getting powerful and rich, they started hiring outside soldiers.
    Most of these outsiders are from the steppes Turkic tribes also called Turkmen. These include tribes from Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhistan etc. These tribes did not have or respect any such rules of war. They gradually gained power and after the Mongol invasions of Chenghiz which was even more cruel and destroyed the Caliph, the Arab & Mediterranean muslims started using TURK as a derogatory term for them.
    Later, Chenghiz’s descendants converted to Islam while Kublai Khan converted to a Buddhist but as far as war ethics were concerned, they stuck to their own traditions. Thus, were born the MAMELUKE & JANISSARY systems which gave rise to extremely cruel rulers like Khilji & Timur and was declared heroism in the name of Islam by the then Islamic religious leaders.
    It is those horrific incidents, not just destruction of temples but the associated massacres of civilian populations that is the irritating factor here.
    The term TURK is used more by muslims rather than Hindus and it is used all over Asia if you visit places like Indonesia etc. It is a racial epithet and has nothing to do with Muslim or Hindu
    I have seen my own Muslim colleagues and seniors use the term against other Muslims and when I enquired, this is the explanation I received and I have verified it with historical records.
    Because of this articles by authors like you are we convinced that you people are pseudo secular. You yourself put yourself and your kind on a high pedestal and are under the assumption that there is no one as intelligent as you. I am a physician. Do you think I am too dumb to learn the necessary facts?

    • Did she say it originated in India? She clearly stated the term is used as a derogatory word amongst a sub-group of India. Hope you are a Doctor of Scatology and not a Doctor of Islamic History, which would then help us explain your long, ill-informed, pointless rattling about Islam.

      • @Lord of Men He never even ranted about Islam, he was talking about Turks but your religious fanatic mind perceives any critic of medieval muslim warriors, kings or leaders as critic of Islam

    • Really? Who told you there was a historical wrong? Not even the SC has said so. Please read the judgement and get your facts right before indulging in over interpretation.

    • Why ask if you are dumb when you know if you are? I am also from the South, We know how the term Turk and Turkini (women) were used. You didn’t have to pick on the author on her usage which was appropriate. And there is no need to narrate the history of caliphate to show off your just born reading of history. No thanks to your hurrahs just because your ilk is temporarily in power.

  8. And this is why commentary of this kind cannot be taken seriously. How very well the author explains how the ‘other’ communities are viewed in Hindu homes. Examples after examples are given which highlight how the secular fabric is steadily torn. Okay point noted. But then, alas, just one singular line on the commentary made by Muslim families about marrying non-muslims???! Please understand – religion is deeply personal. Know that when you elaborate upon how Hindus are unknowingly propagating phobias, it is painful to read even by someone who is on the verge of reckoning. If you must do this, have the COURAGE to write in detail about how other communities also perpetuate stereotypes and phobias related to hindus. Don’t gloss over the discrimination done by the ‘others’ simply by writing one line about it and rant on about the discrimination done by Hindus. You write this and then propagate equality and secularism??? Look into the mirror and reflect on your own biases. Then talk. Simple things such as these have huge psychological dimensions – but then you already know that which is what the purpose of your articles is, isn’t it?

  9. Dear author,

    I understand neither you nor your close relatives or friends have been abused by “the peacefuls” for being a kafir. Let that never happen to anyone.

    Based on your rant in this post, one can easily notice your lack of empathy for those who WERE abused because they didn’t believe in the religion of “peaceful rulers”. Your lack of appreciation for the carefully sculpted beautiful idols that were destroyed because the “peaceful religion” prohibits idol worship.

    Those are all lost. Coming to today’s issues, have you seen a libtard speaking against atrocities on women in the “peaceful community”?

    Noiseless Diwali in the name of dog safety, but nothing in the name of goats. Such a hypocrisy.

    You are calling “libtards” to enforce their stupidity on their family members. Sorry; most of such family members are mature enough to see the dogmatic behaviour of libtards. They know where to keep them.

    • Let it never happen to anyone that he is lynched beaten and forced to flee from his home as in Muzaffarnagar just because he is a Muslim or Melechhas as some call him.
      Let it never happen that a powerful person like Trump who eats cows meat for breakfast,cows meat for lunch and cows meat for dinner and cows meat for snacks is hugged,kissed and fawned upon by a prominent BJP stalwart like Narendra Modi while a poor person is beaten with a hammer by lesser members of the same party just on the suspicion of him intending to eat buffalo meat.
      The favorite food of Americans is cows meat and they as well as Europeans breed bullocks and cows just to slaughter and eat them as steak and other delicious dishes like pastrami,corned beef, beef roasts, rib steaks, rib chops etc .etc. May it never happen that hypocrites show eternal admiration for them while expressing concern about goats.
      May the exploiters who divert attention from real issues like Growth,GDP,Healthcare, Inequality and terrible injustice propagated in the name of caste system by raising emotive issues like temple,Article 370, Citizenship etc.etc may these exploiters be exposed and discredited for the betterment of the poor masses.

  10. The only good thing that I see from this article is just as this lady refused to get influenced by her father, we can hope that her children too will reject her ideas. We Hindus call it Karma.

  11. ‘Liberal’ homes knew that the story of a golden age of hindu-muslim brotherhood was a lie. So they taught the truth.
    When the writer denies that the Dar-ul-Islam and Dar-ul-Harb are living concept in Islamiic ideology, who shall pay attention to such nonsense?

  12. Quite right that a dilapidated mosque cannot be Indian secularism‘s icon. But then, india’s secularism itself is not truly secular, that is distanced from Religion. It is minority communalism, especially Muslim bigotry which passes for secularism.

    I fervently hope that the Muslims will voluntarily give up possession of land occupied by Gyan Vapi mosque in Varanasi and by another mosque in Mathura next to Krishna Janamasthami. That would restore religious harmony in India.

  13. “tell their children to marry anyone but a Muslim” this statement in itself exposes writer’s ‘Hindu-Phobia’. Can the writer kindly explain what Muslims parents, institutions, clergy and their Sharia law has to say on ‘Muslim’ girls marrying non-Muslims and legitimacy of child born if the partner did not convert to Islam? By the way so called ‘Nehrivian Secularism concept is an ‘Oxymoron’ in itself. A so called Leftist Secular state that sanctions, practice and legitimise medieval Islamic law – Sharia. Fact remains Indian Nehrivian Leftist Secular state in reality is a mini-Islamic state as it is officially governed by Sharia law and courts.

  14. If destruction of Hindu temples by Islamic invaders is history than demolition of illegal Babri masjid is also history, why create divide in the India society now? SC has settled this issue for once and all.

    • Exactly !!! To question very ancient history is considered useless or unsecular but to fight the recent history is questioned …???

  15. I have just one objection regarding this article. Should The Print even accept an article wherein the author is blatantly mistaken about why Muslims are called Turks in Kannada (or Pathan in Bengali) ?

    It just shows that you substandard 😞

  16. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. This whole “Idea of India” was an artificial construct shoved down ordinary people’s throats by the out-of-touch urban intelligentsia. The real idea of India was the one felt by crores of people like your father, and that came from centuries of painful historical memories.

    This whole “Secularism” concept was a cynical ploy to remain in power by appeasing to a vocal organised minority while keeping the majority divided. It eventually stopped working once BJP figured out the trick. They worked long and hard with conviction and faith, and have kept their promises.

    We all want to live in peace but societies cannot have infinite tolerance because that tolerance will be abused by intolerant groups. So a little narrow mindedness is not a bad thing. Otherwise it could be deadly for our freedom. Look at ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the almost daily kidnappings and forced conversions in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    And let’s not forget the stupid European nations who played the multiculturalism game and ended up with Charlie Hebdo, Nice, London and many other bombings. They are learning their lessons now. Do you know Switzerland of all places has banned minarets?

    All this is ultimately experienced not by the deracinated urban elites. The ordinary people have to put up with this. Their voices are getting heard. If you don’t like that, then tough luck.

  17. I agree with the Author. The muslim invasion story will be alive and is factual. The destruction of temples is also factual. Growing up in Sri-Vaishnavite family, Malik Kafur and the tales of Ramanujacharya journeying to free the idol of his worship from the clutches of tyranny is factual and true. The tale of Hampi is a fact. It is really irrelevant to argue against the violence of Islam’s coming to India. Let us acknowledge it. Let us teach the true history. We should also acknowledge that there has been ample Hindu support in this destruction as well. Just as there was Indian support for British rule.

    The one aspect that the Author forgot was Partition. Had there been no Partition, I am not sure that these tales would be kept alive at the same manner it is today. The Muslims of the subcontinent did themselves a disservice by asking for a nation for themselves and going with the 2 nation theory. We wronged again by not going for a Uniform Civil Code. The liberal Indian Intelligentsia is so enamored by Nehru, they still mouth the words secularism without realizing that UCC is a primary requisite. The moment our constitution recognizes religion, it has made room for interference from religious entities in governance. This is a problem that our liberal media as well as Indian intellectuals seem to miss. Infact it calls to question their IQ.

    As for there not being a collective memory of 2000 temples, it really does not have to be 2000. All you need is 1 landmark. One place that is a cornerstone of he relition. Mathura, Varanasi and Ayodhya are too holy for Hindus to Forget. We Iyengars remember what happened at Srirangam. It is part of our being who we are.

  18. Well, the scar of Islamic aggression is deep rooted in the minds of Hindus, and unfortunately the muslims did nothing to assuage that. The Muslims could have amicably given the mosque to the Hindus and asked for another grand mosque in return, probably, that could have set a very good example and towards a long lasting peace among both the communities. Even today, I am 100% confident there are many many Muslims who will agree to this kind of peace deal, but unfortunately the religious leaders and the political leaders never wanted this to happen. Any wrong done in the past history can easily be corrected by a big warm heart. I know many progressive Indian Muslims have now moved on, but there is a larger threat not just to Hindus but to the whole world. The Islamic expansion in the world and caliphate movement which keeps taking out its head periodically, can be a possibility in future. Saudi Arabia with the new leadership (monarch) is trying to modernize their society, but they have lot of limitations. Radicalization, Extremism and Terrorism will keep coming in waves, the Umma will play important role in taping the minds of disgruntled and unhappy Muslims and unless the progressive among them don’t come out and try social reforms,, we will keep witnessing the Muslim – Anti-Muslim struggle all over the world. India is no exception. Hagia Sophia is the start of it and should ring alarm bells all over.

  19. that s not true about marigold… in south ( the place where the authors name is very common) is used in all festivals… this is cheating…. of converting a false into truth…

  20. can you talk about Marichajapi massacre.. on its anniversary . its high time we recognise cultural marxism as the 6th religion in india

  21. To keep it short when Demolition happened …BJP did not come to power except UP. In 90s where 35% votes nationwide would have ensured majority in parliament…BJP could not do it. Though the discussions may have started with Shah Bano but never affected voting and were rare. The real discussions happened after 2001…and world events and events in neighborhoods (your father is right about burqa) showed some common trends which secularists ignored and lost the wining edge of rationality and reason.

  22. What right Congress had to declare that on 15 August 1947, whatever structures are present will remain as such.
    Why??
    Kashi, Mathura and Ayodhya, mosques were built on razed temples and as India got freedom, hindus had all the right to correct this historical excess.
    Who is Congress to appropriate this right. We reject congress claim to represent Hindus and/or Indians.
    They are bunch of thieves, may be a glorified ones, nothing more. And they are dim witted as well, almost cretins.

  23. The writer claims that it is constant berating of Muslims at home for years that has brainwashed the next generation into internalizing this message and living it in their daily existence. She does not state the cause of such unforgettable long memories of Hindus. The partition of India, the violent aftermath and the genocide of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh have all contributed to the preservation, nay evergreening of these memories. The mollycoddling of Muslims in post 1947 India by every self anointed secular political party ably serenaded by the left liberal media and “intellectuals” pushed Hindus into sullen smouldering resentment. The fierce resistance of Nehru to Sardar Patel’s building of the ravaged Somnath Temple was the first shot across the bow that showed Hindu resentment. It took the rath yatra of Advani to stoke the dormant embers of Hindu resentment. The Congress had successfully kept Hindu society divided by pitting dalits and tribals against upper castes and OBCs; and by co-opting the supposedly “terrified” Muslims won elections for 40 years. Post Advani’s rath yatra, the BJP was seen as a viable political force by Hindus, gradually at first which gathered speed as Vajpayee gained recognition for his oratorical and political consensus building skills. It was however, the arrival of Modi post 2001 that made majority of Hindus move decisively towards the BJP as he not only bettered the oratorical skills of Vajpayee but was also recognized for his able stewardship of Gujarat for 12 long years, his incorruptibility and complete dedication to the political unification of Hindus across the caste divide.

    Grandmother’s tales of yore are fobbed off as fantasies when one grows up; but the narrative of subjugation of Hindus for 900 years is lived history even now. The ghettoization and fanaticism of India Muslims who seem to be more inspired by happenings in the supposed Muslim ummah but be eerily reticent in displaying their solidarity with Hindus while the nation faces threats from Pakistan and China only reinforces this memory.

  24. Invading & plundering & converting is legit, remembering it via “Oral history ” is a threat to SECULAR fabric.

    Jai ganga- jamuni.

  25. The oral narrative you so blatantly say is propagandized is based only on facts. Babar was an invader who deliberately demolished Hindu structures to proselytize Islam. If we were to teach your revisionist history then we’d certainly be doing kids a disservice.

    • Even Hindu Maratha Kings have destroyed Hindu temples like Sringeri Sharada temples etc. Do you share your hatred towards Maharashtrians??

      • For the one temple the Marathas destroyed they saved Indic civilization from destruction,they destroyed the Mughals and saved Sanathan faith from forceful conversions,Can you deny the great works of Ghazni,Ghori,Tuglaq,Aurangazeb,etc etc these are just some of the Islamic Ghazis,please don’t indulge in whataboutry to defend the indefensible,Political Islam is a harbinger of violence and destruction that is a fact

      • in telangana and andhra . marigold flowers are used during festivals . esp dasara… the author is cheating by telling half truth or by converting false into truth

  26. How many Out of 2000 temple sites you went?
    You want us to forget history, but not willing to forget 1992 and 2002, jews haven’t forgot 1940s, why should we forget our history?
    If we can our give our daughters to Sikhs and Jains then why can’t we give to Muslims, think about it. Also think, why muslims won’t even give theirs to anyone, leave alone Hindus.
    So, keep your liberal lessons to yourself.
    Thanks.

  27. Proselytizers are finding it difficult to breath as HINDUS after 800 years of Islamic extremist rulers and Christian strong arm proselytizing efforts are finding their own identity, after it was sought to be destroyed by congrass education. Hindus DON’T believe in conversion , but will no longer accept fake narratives .

  28. Time has come to rebuild old Hindu glory and nobody can stop us.March on and if socialist and communist don’t like this then move out.

  29. The sense of Hindu victimhood has become an all weather raincoat to cover Hindu incompetence and inability to govern India.

    The Hindus impoverished India with demonetisation. With the CAA-NRC, the Hindus were creating anarchy; India was saved from civil war by Covid. The Hindu handling of Covid was so inept that India is on track to become the top country for Covid. Galwan showed Hindus are losing land without even a fight.

    Instead of wallowing in the past, I suggest Hindus to get a grip on themselves and show the ability to run India . Otherwise India will go back to the time before the Mughals and the British – a collection of states.

  30. Good article. Right in some places and wrong in others.
    Yes, the cradle for secularism dismantling ‘brick-by-brick’ as you write happens mostly in our households. That is difficult is circumspect, because in any reasonable debate, it is masked in some in-contextual metaphors, which apparently the viewer or listener has to decode themselves. We just can’t call a spade – a spade, without the usual death/rape/ threats and abuses. I suppose that’s how the ball rolls in the Indian subcontinent. People are too finicky and sensitive. But the matter of others is an issue not only in Hindus, but among Muslims, Christians and Jains for that matter as well.
    Most take it upon themselves to preserve their religious purity; by dissuading inter-faith marriages. I knew a Malabar christian family, who was dead opposed to have their daughter marry a person outside their faith. The same is true for neighborhoods too. They are very much homogeneous, communalized and the mascots of their identity can very much be felt when an outsider walks in it.
    But India was never truly secular. This is a peddled narrative, misused out-of-context. If it was secular– please justify the biggest turning point in the century of this sub-continent: The Partition of India.
    But look at the bright side, India didn’t have a civil war, well at least not a full blown ethnic one as most other commonwealth colonies faced. India also faced multi-dimensional poverty, but didn’t have to go through a renaissance of tyranny like Cambodia and China did, being India’s neighbor. But we faced persisting challenges of faith and ideology morphing into hardcore terrorism and widening fault lines. The RSS, Naxals, Islamist Jihad and Naga insurgency.

    • The traditional Hindu culture is society built on caste, according to dharma.

      This was over ruled by Muslims rulers, whose legitimacy is questioned as it was minority rule. However, that is using modern notions and applying it to a time when there are no concept of representative rule. The Muslims brought benefits : they forged the ambition and target to unify the whole peninsula under central rule from Delhi. This was not there before. Most of the Muslims are converts from Hindus, so they are essentially the same people.

      The British are even less legitimate because they were not converts from the people and they took the wealth and invested somewhere else. But still they brought modern education, legal system and governance. They played a pivotal role in making India ready for the modern age. I appreciate them greatly.

      I am not clear what is your point that Indians were not secular. The Europeans were also not secular either till 230 years ago. They were changed due to their intellectuals like Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, John Locke, Hobbes and Thomas Paine….Till then, European Christian groups indulged in mob violence and lynchings, based on denominational passions (within the same overall religion). But they produced intellectuals who transformed them and showed that good governance needs a secular approach separating religion from state. Otherwise denominational passions and mob rule preside, and countries end in civil war.

      Yes, Indians were not traditionally secular but that is no argument to say they should not be today. They did not produce intellectuals of the calibre of Voltaire – neither Hindu nor Muslim. Although, I would say Akbar the Great showed how a secular approach was successful for governance, long before Voltaire (however he did not write it down like the political philosophers as a system for his successors to follow). On an individual basis, Akbar had realised a secular approach was needed although he did not know the term.

      In the modern era, Nehru and Gandhi who had studied and understood the success of western governments realised that India with its multitude of religious beliefs could only be integrated into a nation through a secular democratic framework. It does not matter that India did not reach this understanding 230 years ago like the Europeans, the fact is some of us realised it by 1947. Just as Europe broke with its past due to its great intellectuals, India broke with its past due to Nehru.

      But now India has slid into ethno religious fascism led by RSS-BJP. Historical revanchism has taken over. Many Hindus are gripped with the feeling that they could not come up due to Muslims, so the solution is to fight them – as if that would make Hindus come up. The result will be civil war and also war with neighbours. Hindutva will take India back to a collection of states as it was before the Mughals – it is totally opposite to what they imagine. Today, the intellectuals in India are weak, and mob based politics brought by Advani and the angry Hindu have taken over. For anyone outside the mob, it is clear India is heading for break up. But for those in the mob, they think they are on the road to greatness.

      • Very well put. It’s beyond belief that about 84% of the population is petrified of being dominated by the remaining 16%. All major Industry houses are owned and lead by Hindus, in academics, in reserch institutions, in cultural bodies the Hindus are in leadership. The Muslims presence in Govt jobs is far less than their share of the population. Most mulims are either land less tillers or artisans/small vendors. Congress and v
        Assorted opposition parties are accused of appeasement. I don’t see what this so called appeasement has brought to the welfare of the Muslims, materially, culturally or Politically. Today their representation in the state and central legislative bodies are at the lowest since 1947. And still Muslims are a threat to this 84% . There is no mental asylum large enough in or outside India to accomodate such a huge number of mental wrecks.

  31. Babur had nothing to do with India, he hated India. Period.

    A dilapidated structure built by his invading forces NEVER represented the idea of India.

  32. jai sri ram.
    may ram bless you with peace and strength to bear this shock that lie shaped by you siculars is slowly coming in public.

  33. Your daddy seems like a wise man. Don’t let your daddy issues stop you from seeing his wisdom. By the way, I grew up is small villages adjacent to destructed temples strewn with defaced statues. The stories of the destruction are still in the collective memories of the villages. You don’t get to tell us to forget our history. You may have sold your soul and started identifying with those who enslaved your ancestors, but we have not. Don’t forget, when they get the power again, you won’t be spared any more than me just because you sang their tune. You are who you are now because your ancestors refused to convert and fight on for their heritage. You better start worrying about the choice your posterity will face – convert or get killed.

  34. IDEA OF INDIA is not the rakhail of Librandus. Idea of India has to be formed collectively by all Indians. A handful of Librandus wish to force their Idea of India is no longer possible as Librandus are now out of power.

  35. Regret to State, the writer is wrong in crediting Arun Shourie with the book
    ” Hindu Temples : What Happened to Them – Vols 1 & 2 “. Arun Shourie has written an essay in Vol.1. The actual author of this masterpiece is Shri Sita Ram Goel, who founded the publishing house – ” Voice of India “, New Delhi.

  36. The writer laments the persisting memory of the Hindu/Indian civilizational trauma, that survived in people’s oral history, inspite of the decades long attempt at brain washing to the contrary by the leftist historians. The writer is advised to review her confirmation bias and read some of the scholarly work coming from the opposite camp (and NOT the superficial social media trash) to balance her lop-sided views that seem to persist against evidence to the contrary …but I guess that is why they call it as a confirmation bias! And dare to write at a later date, whether her views have changed after such a cognitive exercise at balancing one’s world view!

    • So when will your Hindu civilizational trauma end ?

      It is the Muslims and the British who created a country ruled centrally from India. Under their rule, India had a much larger territorial mass. if it were not for them, you would be burning women, and untouchability will be rife. They brought in fresh air to a stagnant civilisation.

      The core idea of the so called ‘Hindu civilisation’ is dharma. The dharma is the caste system. It is incompatible and uncompetitive with the modern world which runs on principles of liberty, equality and fraternity .

      Hindutva India will run on oppression, legalised inequality and Indians stratified by caste and community. It is a recipe for failure.

  37. The author would do well to balance the article by also discussing the Islamic conquest of India and the horrific attempts to exterminate Hindu culture by inflicting death and destruction on Hindus by a succession of Islamic invaders like Mahmud Ghazni and Muhammad Ghori. Devastating rapes and ravages were perpetrated on Hindus and Hindu society on a scale probably unprecedented in the history of mankind.
    The author conveniently ignores this. Surely something horrific in the past must have contributed to these “family conversations” which take place in Hindu families even today, after 500+ years?

  38. Typical pseudo. Makes same clichéd rants but does not answer any single accusation. Just glides past them .
    No depth and substance.

  39. The mutual distrust between the two communities has punctuated the affairs of both the communities for the last several centuries. Neither there was any golden age of tolerance and constitutional morality nor is it the case that we have now during the last decade or since Modi/BJP came to the power. The first perspective is misplaced filial obligation and the second is a simplistic understanding of social and cultural change.
    Our parents practised soft bigotry, one that did not require the loud proclamations that are the norm now. It was not a tolerant generation. Rather, it was a generation whose attitudes towards religion and caste were never really tested. The loud bigotry of our times is no great break from the past in terms of dramatic change in attitudes. It is rather a crumbling of the veneer of tolerance.
    They bequeathed an apparently tolerant-appearing, liberal India to their children. They embraced religious diversity, resisted various form of bigotry and promoted the values of constitutional morality. They instilled in their progeny the importance of imagining a post-colonial republic where differences of class, caste, religion and ethnicity would be unequivocally erased. The dream, however, upturned.
    The present period of intolerance is not simply an aberration and the nightmare may not be over in the future and return to the Utopia that we used to perceive in the past. It is not possible to return to the past that was never there. It will only lead to an even darker future. And, filial affection is no antidote for it. The nationalist fantasy that Muslims and Hindus used to live in harmony before the British is simply a deception.
    There is not a scintilla of untruth in the observation that Hindus and Muslims, the majority of them, will never cease to distrust each other. Aghast, some well-meaning individuals would resort to naming people, both Muslims and Hindus, who have been known to be truly liberal and large-hearted, very modern in outlook. The thing is that such persons have existed from the outset but have been a microscopic minority, always. To parade them as people whose Weltanschauung corresponds even remotely to that of the majority of their coreligionists is nothing but to throw dust in one’s own and others’ eyes.

  40. Babri masjid wasn’t the symbol of Indian secularism. It was a regular mosque at a religious Hindu site. Ram Temple is integral to Hinduism.

    What’s wrong in rebuilding temples at historic hindu sites like Ayodhya, Kashi & Mathura? As a non-Muslim, I wasn’t even allowed to enter Mecca.

    If there are sites where temples are build but integral to Islam, then mosques shall be rebuilt or vice versa. Europeans have restored many churches.

  41. This author does not feel the pain inflicted by invading Muslims on Hindus. She adds injury to the pain, by blaming Hindus.

  42. Wow. Generations of hindus struggled for their place in a SECULAR COUNTRY.
    Secularism didn’t fly bcz it wasn’t secular enough.

    Invaders did destroy Temples etc of natives…Hagia Sophia too in present day.

    Why whitewash that???

  43. Yes yes….a great evidence of how articulate you can be in English, writing a lot but saying very little, and being clever with words you choose to build your narrative, without making any valid point of it. Wish everyone out here had your job of penning yawn inducers like this, would make for a great way to check unemployment y’see !

  44. Demolition court case is going on for more than 25 years. Till it is decided, secular Hindus should keep away from the memorial of the illegal act of fanatics.

  45. It is important to understand the reason why 5 August has been chosen by Hindutva parties to build the Ram Mandir. Previously this date was chosen to abrogate Article 370. It is important to know why this date has been chosen so as to understand the philosophy of the party in power. It was in 1938 that the Muslim Conference (which later became the National Conference) headed by Sheikh Abdullah gave the call for observing 5th August 1938 as Responsible Government day. This was a revolutionary step for till then the National Conference was chiefly agitating for more jobs and other facilities for Muslims changed tack and started agitating for the change from feudal rule by a Hindu Maharajah to a responsible government in which all people of the State irrespective of caste,creed or religion would be stake holders. Some Hindus and Sikhs including Jia Lal Kilam, Kashyap Bandhu and Sardar Budh Singh supported this demand and took part in Drafting the National Demands Document.This led to a National Demands agitation which was supported by All India States People Conference led by Jawaharlal Nehru.
    The National Demands document was adopted first by the people of Rajkot and then by people of many other Princely States kick starting a struggle for responsible government in all Princely States. The movement against feudal rule and the anger against feudal rulers was according to Ian Copland used by Patel and Menon to persuade the rulers of Princely States ruled by Hindu Rulers to submit to the rule of a secular Congress. BJP considers the 5th August Responsible Government Day celebrated on 5th August 1938 in Kashmir as responsible for the ultimate replacement of Hindu Rule by a secular rule and hence its choice of 5th August for fragmenting and destroying the Jammu and Kashmir State. It may seem odd to many but there is a big group represented by the party in power which believes in Hindutva and would have preferred an India with Hindu Maharajahs i.e. a Hindu Rashtra. It considers the integration of States ruled by Hindu Maharajahs into a secular India by Nehru’s party as a great setback . The Babri Masjid demolition and the Malegaon episode shows that this viewpoint is very much alive. The Responsible Government Day celebrated on 5th August 1938 kick started the movement that led to the integration of States ruled by Hindu Maharajahs into a secular India .This is why Article 370 was abrogated on August 5 and this is why Ram temple is being built on August 5.

  46. Scholars usually write their pieces on Ayodhya Ram temple debate with a presumption that India was once secular; but it lost secularism with the demolition of babari mosquy. But none talk about the time, when India was secular! If India had been secular then partition wouldn’t have happened. When India was secular? The entire theory of Ganga-Jamuna tahzeeb is an invented idea. A forced fit.

    • Before the Muslims and British, there was no India in the modern sense. There was only an inexplicable collections of castes. You did not even have a name to call yourself. The word ‘Hindu’ that you bandy around so proudly today was given by outsiders.

      The Muslims and British left an indelible impact on India : from food, architecture, language, literature, dress, legal system, education, governance. These cannot be undone. If left to the Hindus, women will be going topless and would be burnt in the pyre, and you will be worshipping stones. You still do the latter.

  47. How did you get this land?
    I got it from my father.

    How did your father get this land?
    My father got it from his father.

    How did his father get it?
    He fought for it.

    So, NOW I will fight you for it!!

    If this logic of 200 years of Christian Rule, 800 years of Muslim Rule has takers, then 2500 years of Aryan Rule stands on the same footing. Let’s pack up and retreat beyond the Hindu Kush – leaving the land to the original Dravidians.
    History is to teach lessons. It can’t be undone except at the cost of friction, ill-will and waste.
    Remember the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha, destruction of Communist Icons after glassnost, destruction of anything semite across Europe?
    The Egyptians, Romans, Mongols, Mughals, Ottoman Turks, British Empire – each with distinct religious faith -nobody remembers the powers that were beyond a half a dozen generations.

    • Aryan invasion theory is debunked now.

      It’s out of India theory.

      Arya by definition means noblemen or brother which indilogist specifically max mueller used to derive the notion of a superior race.

      Trividya as used by adi shankaracharya to do shastrstha was deciphered as dravida by European indologist and a new conception called Dravidian race.

      If so called invasion happened then why this particular did not settle across Babylon, or Mesopotamia but travelled across from Europe to Middle East, fought local inhabitants, defeated them and then settled in norther India.

      Secondly if that is true the rituals practice of the path taken by this race would have been adopted or prevalent as they passed through but that is not the case.

      The sanatan influence on the contrary is visible in asean countries.

      Veda, Puranas, Ramayan Mahabharata predates this so called AIT which is nothing but appropriation of culture and rich heritage by the colonists.

      There is more similarity between bhartiya of south and north right from dal, rituals, worships, gods then to so-called European race or more specifically the Germans.

      Need to come out of this cocoon and identify as European descent.

    • you fool illiterate go sell this aryan invasion theories to your comrades and grandchildren …dont sell ur propaganda here…if you dont know about the research that busted this false theory created by your grand father or masters…you can leave ..

    • Aryans theory taught to you is fabricated one. But miseries of Hindus during Mugals and British rules are real. Hindu – Muslim divide is also real. What is not real is the Secularism of LIBRANDUS, the most crooked lot on this earth. LIBRANDUS preachings are only for Hindus. For Muslims their memory starts after partition of 1947.

      • ‘But miseries of Hindus during Mugals and British rules are real.’

        How long will Hindus continue to be miserable ? The incapable live on a sense of permanent victimhood. The Hindu obsession with revanchism comes across as an inferiority complex and points to incapability.

        The Hindu rule which started in 2014 after 1000 years of victimhood has only impoverished Hindus with demonetisation. The handling of Covid shows Hindus incapable of planning. Galwan shows the usual Hindu cowardice. CAA-NRC was leading to civil war, proving that Hindus are unable to unite the country and rule.

        So what is Hindu rule ?

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