Today I’m sad’.

Today I’m outraged’.

Today I’m Angry’.

Today is a dark day in Indian History’.

Who would make such statements on the occasion of the

inauguration of the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ajodhya? For over 500 years Hindus (including Guru Govind Singh) fought to regain this one of the most revered monuments of the nation. Shree Ram and Sita-Mata have been the epitome of inspiration, devotion and faith of India. This is in a way a symbolic victory over the invaders who inflicted tremendous pain and humility in the hearts of a peaceful nation who never attacked or invaded another country.

Let’s review the list of people who are disappointed today.

ONE: ‘ I’m an Islamist. I was proud that the Babri mosque was there. I hate ‘shirk’ or ‘idolatry. This Hindutvabaadis have been major obstacle for establishing a new Islamic Caliph in India and also in making India an Islamic state. I take pride in Ghazi Babur’s heritage.’

According to Ottoman historian Ahmedi the meaning of Ghazi:

“A Ghazi is the instrument of the religion of Allah, a servant of God who purifies the earth from the filth of polytheism. The Ghazi is the sword of God, he is the protector and the refuge of the believers. If he becomes a martyr in the ways of God, do not believe that he has died, he lives in beatitude with Allah, he has eternal life.” [ Paul Wittek, (2013), The Rise of the Ottoman Empire: Studies in the History of Turkey, thirteenth–fifteenth Centuries Royal Asiatic Society Books, p. 44]

According to Islamic texts, Islamic Prophet Muhammad participated in 27 such Ghazwa or expeditions in his life time.

The invader and founder of Moghul dynasty in India Babur adopted this name: Padshah Ghazi, Zahiru’din Muhammad Babur. In his memoir called Babur-Nama he wrote:

“As the Bajauris were rebels and at enmity with the people of Islam, and as, by reason of the heathenish and hostile customs prevailing in their midst, the very name of Islam was rooted out from their tribe, they were put to general massacre and their wives and children were made captive. At a guess more than 3000 men went to their death; as the fight did not reach to the eastern side of the fort, a few got away there. The fort taken, we entered and inspected it. On the walls, in houses, streets and alleys, the dead lay, in what numbers! Comers and goers to and fro were passing over the bodies… With mind easy about the important affairs of the Bajaur fort, we marched, on Tuesday the 9th of Muharram, one kuroh (2m) down the dale of Bajaur and ordered that a tower of heads should be set up on the rising ground. On Wednesday the 10th of Muharram, we rode out to visit the Bajaur fort. There was a wine-party in Khawaja Kalan’s house, several goat-skins of wine having been brought.” [Babur-Nama, translated into English by A.S. Beveridge, New Delhi reprint, 1979, pp. 370-71.]

‘After this success, Ghazi (Victor in a Holy-war) was written amongst the royal titles. Below the titles (tughra) entered on the Fath-nama, I wrote the following quatrain:

‘For Islam’s sake,

I wandered in the wilds,

Prepared for war with pagans and Hindus,

Resolved myself to meet the martyr’s death,

Thanks be to Allah! a ghazi I became. ‘

[ Babur-Nama, translated into English by A.S. Beveridge, New Delhi reprint, 1979, pp. 574-75]

TWO: ‘ I’m a communist. We believe that ‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people’ – as stated by the Communist Prophet Karl Marx. Yet I support Islamism. This Hindutvabaadis have been major obstacle for establishing a communist raj in India. ‘

French philosopher and sociologist Raymond Claude Ferdinand Aron wrote his famous book ‘The Opium of the Intellectuals’ in 1955. In a chapter called “Intellectuals in Search of a Religion,” of his book he suggested the Soviet Communists found a replacement religion for Christianity in Marxism:

“[Marxism] provides true Communists with a global interpretation of the universe; it instills sentiments akin to those of the crusaders of all ages; it fixes the hierarchy of values and establishes the norms of good conduct. It fulfills, in the individual and in the collective soul, some of the functions which the sociologist normally ascribes to religions.” ( P. 265)

He continued that the new religion called Marxism as a church where ‘the people could be disciplined while ushering in the final cure for mankind’s misery (P. 266). It promised salvation through violence and revolution (P. 267) and demanded total submission to the Party (P. 268).’

Marxism, while styling itself as a scientific theory of politics and economics, is little more than a religious cult. Like a sect, it denies all the evidence that counters its sacred truths. Like a cult, it is delusional and must rely upon on power rather than persuasion to perpetuate its existence. That it has captured the imaginations of Western intellectuals should alert us to the fact that the West has more than one type of opioid crisis.

On the other hand, American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, said this about the Bhagavad Gita:

“I owed—my friend and I owed—a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”

American essayist, poet, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, on the other hand would share his experience with the philosophy of India:

“In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down my book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Brahmin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.”

American writer Mark Twain who some call ‘the father of American literature’ said:

“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” And Will Durant would say: , “India was the mother of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. She was the mother of our philosophy, mother through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics, mother through Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity, mother through village communities of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.” The India he spoke of was mostly a Hindu India.

That is the universal essence of Indian civilization expressed by a person living thousands of miles away.

Marxists won’t find any meaning or purpose in Emerson’s transformation and grand expression and appreciation; they have more reverence for Volga or Hoang Ho than the Ganga! For many decades they influenced the education system, academics, media and polity of the country.

They would dismiss Thoreau and Emerson summarily because Karl Marx said so:

“…If we knew nothing of the past history of Hindostan, would there not be the one great and incontestable fact that even at this moment India is held in English thraldom ( the state of being a thrall; bondage; slavery; servitude ) by an Indian army maintained at the cost of India? India, then, could not escape the fate of being conquered, and the whole of her past history, if it be anything, is the history of the successive conquests she has undergone. Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history. What we call its history, is but the history of the successive intruders who founded their empires on the passive basis of that unresisting and unchanging society. The question, therefore, is not whether the English had a right to conquer India, but whether we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the Persian, by the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton.”

Do the Marxists really care about ‘Hinduism’ when they speak like a broken record – ‘Hindutva is different from Hinduism’? Hindu religious gurus and institutions, politicians and politics do have many things to fix in the society. But the Marxists’ game has been to use the weaknesses of the society, creating confusion among Hindus and then make the Hindus feel bad about their own traditions just like the British colonists did. The Marxists have no respect for Hinduism – the effort to show that Hindutva is narrow and Hinduism is great, is just a façade! They support Islamists because, ‘enemy’s enemy is my friend’.

So those who adore the statues of Lenin, Stalin and Marx who were responsible for brutal killing of millions of people through tremendous pain and torture – they have no issues to adorn structures in the name of enemies of India and humanity namely Babur and Aurangzeb!

THREE: ‘I’m an atheist and secularist. But I believe that whatever happened in the past, we must forgive and forget. I don’t mind a structure named after an invader Babur. It’s a distant past and let’s move on. Why more fight and bloodshed?’

But if I ask you would you have a monument in the name of Hitler? Your answer is deep silence!

I asked such an atheist if someone comes and forcefully occupies your house what would you do? ‘Call police and if needed go to the court’! That means you really value your personal home. Then what is your problem if millions of people think that this mandir belongs to them and they won’t allow anyone to destroy, occupy and usurp it? I know he belongs to himself only, neither for his community nor for nation and he takes no responsibility for even his neighbor – forget about his community or nation! Similarly, some people suggested ‘give Kashmir away – what is the problem’? I told one such person, Kashmir is not the property of your father and have no right to even talk about it! Blood flowed through his face and kept quiet!

FOUR: ‘I’m a politician and protector of law and order. And, I must ensure that my vote bank is not hurt by any means’.

Question is – why Mulayam Singh is not hanged or at least still not in jail? During the Kar-Seva and breaking of the Babri Structure innumerable people were killed by the forces deployed by him to ‘protect’ the structure. What was his motive? Why one had to protect a structure which was not even a real mosque and nobody went their the pray for years? I think current Government has a responsibility to do a full inquiry into those horrific events and punish the guilty according as law suggests.

FIVE: ‘I’m a goodie goodie Hindu. I don’t hate other religions. All religions are same. I do my puja at my home. There are hundreds of other temples. I can live without another one, especially when it is disputed.’

I know that his ancestors first died or fled Afghanistan, then Sind, then Kashmir, then Bangladesh. Yet he keeps on chanting ‘My religion is eternal. It will be there forever….’

SIX: ‘I’m an Indian Muslim. I know there are fundamentalists in my community and they misinterpret our religious texts. But what can I do? My voice does not count, and they may kill me if I speak out’.

My request to them would be speak out if you are pious and respect the sacred soil of India. Return other mandirs, at least Mathura and Kashi to the Hindus. Take a stand. And by the way stop 1000 years of insulting practice of cow-slaughter, cow is not an animal to the Hindu, Jain and Sikhs – she is Go-mata – mother!

Former President Late Shri APJ Kalam said this about the Ajodhya: “the divine land which enriched the faith of two religions”.

I wanted to share a very interesting legend relating to Shree Ram and there may not be any historical proof of it – a friend shared with me yesterday.

“There was a Ram-Ghat on the banks of Mandakini river near Chitrakut, Uttar Pradesh. A young Hindu frequented to the ghat. He observed that on the other side of the river a young man visited a ghat regularly as well and used to collect the soil and put on his head. One day the Hindu asked the Muslim why are you doing this? ( ‘Dhul dharato nij shish par kahao Rahim kahi kaj?). The Muslim youth replies: By just the very touch of this soil muni patni (Ahalya) was resurrected and rescued, I’m trying to feel the touch of that sacred soil (‘Jih roj muni patni tori so khojoto Maharaj’ ).

Who were these two people? The Hindu youth was none other than Sant Tulsidas who wrote the Ram Charit Manas. The man on the other side was Rahim Das Khanekhana, the son of the most violent Muslim commander Bairam Khan during the time of Jahangir and Akbar, whose sword said to have never been dry. Rahim was one of the nine ‘Jewels’ in the court of Akbar who being a son of a butcher transformed into a spiritual master, a Krishna and Ram devotee.

Today Swami Vivekananda’s stirring speech reverberates:

“Temple alter temple was broken down by the foreign conqueror, but no sooner had the wave passed than the spire of the temple rose up again. Some of these old temples of Southern India and those like Somnâth of Gujarat will teach you volumes of wisdom, will give you a keener insight into the history of the race than any amount of books. Mark how these temples bear the marks of a hundred attacks and a hundred regenerations, continually destroyed and continually springing up out of the ruins, rejuvenated and strong as ever! That is the national mind, that is the national life-current. Follow it and it leads to glory. Give it up and you die; death will be the only result, annihilation the only effect, the moment you step beyond that life-current. “

Over 60,000 Temples were destroyed in the Indian subcontinent during the invasions and Islamic rule of which over 25,000 are already documented.

Have you ever asked why very large Hindu temples are only in Southern India, and not in Northern India, and the largest Hindu temple is in Cambodia (Ankor Wat temple)? Because they miraculously escaped Islamic iconoclasm.

Today, as I bow down to the feet of Maryada Purosottam Shree Ram today, I want to remember few personalities on this occasion who have played very important role for this literally monumental milestone of Indian history today.

Shri Ashok Singhal (The late VHP leader who lead the movement from the front)

Shri Sudarshan (The late former RSS Chief who also created global awareness about the movement)

Veer Kothari Brothers (The hutatmas who sacrificed their lives while breaking the structure)

Smt. Anjlee Pandya (who created global awareness, especially in America about the importance of the mandir and the movement)

And of course, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, who never forgot the importance changing the course of history today.

And finally, I bow down my head with humility for all those hutatma’s who fought and went for veer-gatih for centuries to get the mandir back.

(Kanchan Banerjee, Boston)

Artist : Shirsha Acharya
Image Title ~ The god waiting with his devotees
Medium~water color

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