Ram Janambhoomi Mandir at Ayodhya – Let it be an Abode of Peace and Harmony
The time has come full circle on August 5. After a long standoff of five centuries and seven decades of legal battle, Shilanyas (Foundation laying ceremony) and Bhoomi Pujan (Earth breaking ceremony) of Ram Janambhoomi Mandir at Ayodhaya was performed by PM Narendra Modi on August 5, 2020 at a carefully crafted solemn ceremony. I have no mind and intension to go to the troubled history of the matter which was settled by the Supreme Court judgment of November 9, 2019 clearing the way for the construction of Ram Janambhoomi Mandir at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid. The fact remains that, one may or may notagree, the dispute between the proponents of Ram Janambhoomi and the stakeholders in the Babri Masjid, generated much to be avoided heat and animosity and soiled the social fabric of the society. The scars of this divide among the Hindu majority and Muslim minority will remain in the years to come, unfortunately. It seems, Muslims might have accepted the fact of Ram Janambhoomi at the site in Ayodhya but may not forget the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. Turning the wheel of history and disregarding the secular edifice of the country, the matter has been settled, to my mind, succumbing to the dictates of ‘majoritarian’ approach represented by the demographically majority Hindus and politically thumping majority of the current BJP government of PM Narendra Modi. It will remain a matter of regret that both the parties i.e. the Hindus and the Muslims could not resolve the matter with understanding and accommodation. It would take time to heal the wounded psyche of the Muslim minority in the years to come. Obviously, BJP has registered this as a great success in fulfilling its promises made in their electoral manifesto. But much remains to be done in the larger interests of the composite culture of India. Hopefully, the issue should be out of the way of harmony and
I ventured to write on this sensitive subject not as an expert analyst’ or an historian but as a layman and a humble citizen of India. The issue has been debated and analyzed thoroughly in depth by the stakeholders, religious Gurus, civic society, political parties and above all the judiciary of the country. Forgetting all differences, in the larger interests of the country, we all should accept the ground reality. It will be much appreciated if the Hindu majority shows magnanimity and try its very best to heal the hurt feelings of the Muslim minority in accordance with the cultural ethos of the often proclaimed Ram Raj, constitutional and legal stipulations, secular values and multiethnic edifice of the country. The majority Hindus must reconcile with the history that Babar came, conquered, ruled and assimilated in the main stream of the society. Neither Hindus nor Muslims are to be blamed for what happened. We should cherish the fact that India remained and it shall remain. I am sorry to add that I don’t agree with the former part of PM Narendra Modi’s assertion in his speech at Ayodhaya on August 5 when he said, “Despite efforts to eradicate Lord Ram's existence, he lives in our hearts and is the basis of our culture.” Who can erase Bhagwan Ram’s existence? I don’t understand. Is there any confidence deficit in this regard? I believe in the poetic assertion:
Yūnān o-Miṣr o-Rūmā, sab miṭ ga'e jahāṉ se
Ab tak magar hai bāqī, nām o-nis̱ẖaṉ hamārā
Kuch bāt hai kih hastī, miṭtī nahīṉ hamārī
Ṣadiyoṉ rahā hai dus̱ẖman daur-i zamāṉ hamārā
In a world in which ancient Greece, Egypt,
and Rome have all vanished
Our own attributes (name and sign) live on today.
There is something about our existence for it doesn't get
Even though, for centuries, the time-cycle of the world has been our enemy.
On the other hand, it is an undeniable fact that history cannot be erased. It is history that Aryans (Hindus) came from Eurasia and made India as their home by step-siding of Dravids and Nagas said to be the Moolniwasis of India. Hinduism superseded Buddhism. Some sites like temples, Budh Viharas and other important remnants of the Moolniwasis and Buddhists must have been looted, demolished, occupied and converted into the sites of the occupying forces. There is no dearth of such examples in the history of mankind. Retaining the civilizational values, we must take these aspects in our stride and learn to live in harmony and peace. If this harmony and peace is achieved in our society and polity, one can tend to say that “Ram Rajya” has been established. The message of the Ram Janam Bhoomi Mandir - let us say Ramalaya should be the meaningful poetic expression of Allama Iqbal:
AA GHAIRIYAT KE PARDEY IK BAAR PHIR UTHAA DEIN
BICHDON KO PHIR MILAA DEIN, NAQSH-E-DUI MITAA DEIN
Come, let's, once again, remove the curtains of
let's help the separated beings meet again [and] remove the motif of duality.
SOONI PADI HUI HAI MUDDAT SE DIL KI BASTI
AA, IK NAYAA SHIWAALAA IS DES MEIN BANAA DEIN
The territory of heart is vacuous for a long time.
Come, let's make a new shrine in this land.
DUNYAA KE TEERATHON SE OONCHAA HO APNAA TEERATH
DAAMAAN-E-AASMAAN SE US KA KALAS MILAA DEIN
Our shrine should be taller than all the shrines of the
We should make its spire touch the edge of the sky.
HAR SUBH UTHH KE GAAYEIN MANTAR WO MEETHEY MEETHEY
SAAREY PUJAARIYON KO MAI PEET KI PILAA DEIN
We should sing, each morning, the amiable hymns
[and] make all the worshippers drink the wine of love!
SHAKTI BHI SHAANTI BHI BHAKTON KE GEET MEIN HAI
DHARTI KE WAASIYON KI MUKTI PREET MEIN HAI
[Both] power and peace are implied in the songs of the
The salvation of the people of the world lies in love!
The Hindu majority must provide a sense of security and belonging to the minorities. The minorities should desist from expecting endless magnanimity from the majority. PM Narendra Modi said that the construction of the Ram temple was an instrument to unite the country. It is a welcome statement. All of us should take it at its face value. There is no other way, if we really want that India shall remain India. The RSS, BJP and their field organizations like Bajrang Dal, VHP among others must understand that their dreams and aspirations have been fulfilled. They should desist from giving undue importance to their ‘creed’ over and above that of the nation. The same is also true of the Muslims and others who sometimes tend to ‘have the cake and eat it too’ to carry forward their agenda by playing a ‘victim card’, against the mainstream of the society. I am reminded of a warning of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, father of theIndian constitution, which he gave in a speech in the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949. He, referring to the fact as to how India lost its independence in the past, said “Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds.
Will Indian place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country?
I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.”
The Ram Janambhoomi Mandir will be completed in a couple years. It will usher us into “New India: as proclaimed by RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat in his speech at Ayodhaya. We should be back to business as usual to make India ready for the challenges of the 21st century with the slogan – Sab Ka Saath – Sab Ka Vikas and Sab Ka Vishwas. I conclude with a Shabad (Hymn) of Guru Ravidassji which is as relevant today as it was yesterday:
Keh Ravidass Khalas Chamara;
Jo Hum Sehri So Meet Hamara