Hours before the Ram Temple Foundation Stone is going to be laid by the Indian Prime Minister, let us have some flashbacks to history.
In 1951, when Somnath Temple was being inaugurated, its organizers invited the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, too. At that time, the incumbent prime minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, did not want the state to involve in these communal, or dividing issues. So, he suggested the president not to participate in the inauguration.
Though the president did not accept his chief executive’s suggestion and took part in this program, he reiterated Gandhi’s ideology and stressed the need for secularism in the inauguration.
Many people are comparing the construction of Somnath Mandir with that of Ram Mandir (to be inaugurated on August 5). However, the comparison is not justified.
Firstly, this time the president is not the chief guest as he was in the Somnath Mandir case. Secondly, in 1951, the then PM Nehru was asking people to stay away from a communal issue, while the incumbent PM Modi is all set to lay foundation bricks at the inauguration ceremony.
Ayodhya is the birthplace of Hindu god, Ram. It is one of the most beautiful cities in India and had a rich history.
The Buddhists, who claim the site is actually the remains of the ancient Buddhist city, Saket. They had a hunger strike on July 15. They demanded that UNESCO excavate this place to unearth the cultural heritage of Buddhism.
Likewise, Jain and Sikhs also associate themselves with this place where Babri Mosque had been trumpeting the Mogul glory in India for the last 400 years.
In this way, this place has been the center of India’s cultural diversity, and had there been a political will, it would have been re-established in a reconciling way acceptable to each stakeholder. But Ayodhiya’s issue has been used to deepen the gulf between different religions for the sake of political gains.
Respect for all religions
Despite many years that have passed since the formation of the Liberhan Commission, the vandalism of the mosque in 1992 could not be brought to justice. The way December 6, 1992, had shaken the foundations of Democratic India, this foundation stone will change the shape and form of the “Democratic India”. Now one can only guess what future India will look like.
Professor Gyan Parkash is the writer of the famous book “The Emergency Chronicles”. He says that “The inauguration ceremony aimed at laying the brick stone for the Mandir is the direct attack on the constitutional principle of equal citizen rights. India’s secular system is no longer protected now. The BJP government, with the collusion of the judiciary, is founding a “sovereign Hindu state” in an organized way.
Here, the behavior of the Indian government appears entirely repugnant to the ideology of upholding the “equal respect for all religions.” It suggests that some people’s religious sentiments are more important than the religious feelings of others. During the discussion on the Babri Mosque issue, Muslims were asked to take back their claims over this piece of land.
Eventually, the foundation stone of Ram temple would coincide with the emergence of a “New India” that will judge its citizens on the basis of their religions. Ironically, all this is happening in the name of “Ram”. The Lord “Ram” is being reduced to a symbol of intolerance in India. Whether or not we name it a “New India,” but it is indeed a fatal blow on that India whose foundations Nehru laid, and that had incorporated all religions indiscriminately.
- What if Ramji would be alive today?
- An open letter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Babri Mosque verdict!
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