Not that the Ram Temple opens over the trampled Babri mosque in Ayodhya, the timing of its inauguration by Indian Prime Minister Modi has significance. He cunningly chose August 5, the day that completes one year of new Indian savagery in Kashmir. With the temple, 450 years’ history of the subcontinent has gone down the drain, courtesy fanatic Hindu India.
The verdict by the Indian Supreme Court, with a strange logic and mocking solution of dividing the site land into three parts and giving Hindus the actual covered area, speaks of the judges’ fright at the hands of Hindutva. The same court, under the British rule, had already given a verdict in favour of Muslims, contrary to the fact that the British Raj had a visible tilt towards Hindus.
India’s archaeological department may justify that the Babri mosque had been built over a Hindu temple that might have existed hundreds of years ago, but the logic is indigestible that Zahiruddin Babar or his generals had built a mosque after demolishing a temple or an already demolished temple, that too of the biggest Hindu god, whose birthplace was the same. Why didn’t Hindus, who were the only community there, let it be ruined? Why didn’t they protest against Babar or his cohorts? Why didn’t they get the issue solved during Mughal-e-Azam Akbar’s rule; after all Akbar was friendly to Hindus? Couldn’t they get justice from Emperor Jehangir or Aurangzeb Alamgir, whose system of justice was so transparent? On what basis the British court had ruled against the Hindus and gave a verdict in favour of Muslims? Were they blind or ignorant to archaeological history? Didn’t they check the evidence available to them? It is not believable that Hindus had deliberately ignored the birthplace of their god, for years and centuries.
The decision to build a temple for Lord Ram, and laying its foundation stone on August 5, is highly intriguing. Last year on August 5, the Modi regime had revoked Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, which was already flawed. The abrogation of the Articles 370 and 35A withdrew the special status of the State of J&K that allowed the Kashmiris to have their own flag and a separate system of governance. This is clearly meant to inflict more pain and inner wounds to Muslims, not only in India but across the world. Many may endorse the logic that Hindustan is meant for Hindus, but this is not true in the real sense. With it, Modi has fulfilled a long-term promise to its core electorate. The aggressive posturing over issues that have dominated BJP’s politics has raised concerns of Ayodhya-like campaigns in other places with shared Hindu-Muslim heritage and history as well.
On the other hand, the judgment is being widely criticized for lacking a sound legal basis as well as signalling a majoritarian push that compromised India’s democratic ethics. The legal trial in the Babri demolition case is yet to be completed, and justice has eluded those who suffered the loss of life and properties in the nationwide violence in the wake of the destruction of the mosque – often dubbed the darkest chapter of modern India. “The flawed judgment of the Indian SC paving the way for construction of the temple not only reflects the preponderance of faith over justice but also growing majoritarianism in today’s India where minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship, are increasingly under attack,” Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said while reacting to the intriguing inauguration. She condemned the construction and urged the international community to play its part in saving Islamic heritage from Hindutva and ensure protection and religious rights of minorities.
The temple will remain a blot on the fact of the so-called democracy for the times to come. The extreme haste in starting the construction amid the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, anti-Muslim Citizenship Act, the looming National Register of Citizens to disenfranchise Muslims, the targeted killings of Muslims with state complicity and other anti-Muslim measures point to the fact that how Muslims in India are being demonized, dispossessed, marginalized and subjected to targeted violence. India’s gross and systematic human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and Modi government’s sinister design to change the demography of the occupied territory, all reflect the rising tide of the divisive and extremist ideology in India, which poses a threat to religious harmony in India, and regional peace.
The monster of Hindutva has emerged from the rubble of the Babri mosque and spread its tentacles across India, smothering minorities, particularly Muslims, and recreating the country in the image of Sangh Parivar. Whether it is cow vigilantes lynching Muslims on suspicion of eating beef, the shock troops of Hindutva terrorizing Muslim men, women and children, or the Indian state introducing discriminatory legislation designed to disenfranchise the Muslim population, all indications are that hatred and majoritarian arrogance have now been mainstreamed in India. The ideologues of the Sangh have never accepted Pakistan and constantly seek to provoke the country, while internally they are meting out a treatment to Indian Muslims not too different to what the fascists of Europe did to Jews in the 20th century. There is great horror and revulsion over Nazi crimes — and rightly so. But though the Hindutva brigade is seeking to replicate what their ideological twins did in Europe during World War II, the world is mostly quiet, courting the “world’s largest democracy” that looks the other way as its Muslim citizens are beaten, harassed and murdered.
Modi-BJP’s anti-Muslim thirst is only a reminder to Muslims of the subcontinent and the world to join hands together and take a unified course against their demonization and persecution in India.