Yogendra Yadav [email protected]
While admitting that ‘temples were demolished, this is an injustice of the past’, the question before us is ‘what should be done today’, the dialogue is ..
For almost a month, since the temple-mosque dispute resumed, I have been reminded of our father. When I was in school my dad would actively encourage me not to participate in debating competitions. How active this encouragement is makes me argue against the party I am going to take – ‘If you do not understand the other side, how will your party be?’ While doing this prep with such an idea, he also raises other issues in front of me. Occasionally there was anger, but now I know my dad is thinking the whole way! Rajiv Bhargava, who teaches political philosophy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, urgently did what his father did. Bhargava taught. The same is true of the Indian tradition of ‘pre-party’.
Let us first look at the ‘courtyard’ of the controversy that began with the Gnanvapi Mosque. Why build temples instead of mosques? Let’s start with that ‘on the other hand’! Let’s start with the temple ‘not to build, but to restore’.
Our present is due to history. To forget history is to forget the unjust wounds inflicted on the identity of a society in the past. It is natural to take the opportunity to correct the injustices of history, so special benefits are still given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Then why not do the same justice to the injustice done to the Hindus? During the occupation of India, Muslim invaders destroyed Hindu temples and desecrated holy places, but the Hindus, who had lost their strength, had to endure this injustice for years. That is why manipulating the situation now is like correcting a historical mistake. If this happens, cultural self-confidence among Hindus will rise and the concept of Indianness without national interest will be further achieved. The ‘Religious Places Act-1991’ which is an obstacle to this goal should be set aside and the context should be repealed as it is basically a party political interference.
The above items were satisfactory to our dad, I did a lot of work. The next step is to decide which of the ‘honorable opponents’ is acceptable, as the father taught the negotiating competition. It is true that injustice in history cannot be covered up, it is also true that many Muslim rulers demolished or desecrated Hindu temples. It is not appropriate to destroy the sanctuary of any religion. Even then it is even more unjust to desecrate places of worship with the intention of insulting society with the force of political authority, because such an act would cause serious psychological trauma and psychological trauma to an unjust society.
Are there any problems left after such a preconceived notion? Yes. But they are just as important as the preconditions. However – (1) this is the only injustice in history that we must observe today, (2) those who committed that injustice, their heirs or those who deserve to be punished for their actions, (3) the ‘victimized’ society that still suffered because of the injustice that happened in the past, and ( 4) Planned action to address injustice (here temple restoration) heals the wounds of history and reunites society.
At these points, the noise of restoration fails. Let’s see how.
(1) In the history of India, the demolition of places of worship and the construction of places of other religions were not limited to temples and mosques. There have been rare instances where Hindu temples have been demolished by Hindu kings and Buddhist or Jain temples have been demolished or taken over by Hindus. Therefore, the argument for the restoration of the Dharmasthala is likely to be made by more than one religion.
(2) It is a completely unrealistic idea that today’s Muslims are being wronged because today’s Hindus are being wronged. It is more difficult to find out who did injustice than who did it, because it is impossible to know who is the heir or supporter of an unjust ruler. Throughout this history, there were Muslim tribes or sects fighting against the Mughals (e.g., the Mayo in Mewat), as well as people belonging to the Mughal-backed Rajputs or other Hindu communities. What should be done to those who were Hindus then and are now Muslims? So, how and by whom is injustice done?
(3) The demolition of the temple is a test of the credibility of the claims that the entire Hindu community was wronged by all members of the Muslim community and that the damage caused by it lasted for 500 or 300 years. Do you consider the period of the British colonies and its aftermath? Come to think of it, in those days, if a person of one religion as a community suffered more, it was the Muslims, it was the 2006 verdict. The Rajinder Sachchar Committee report clearly proved this point. Even today, the Muslim community lags far behind the Hindu community in terms of jobs, education, income and social status. Responding to this ‘Why caste wise reservation?’ The answer is that the need for reservation is the answer, not only because injustice was done at some point, but also because of the impact that injustice has had on a community today. Reservation for Dalits is not a retaliation against everyone, it is an opportunity to make up for the losses caused by Dalits or other backward classes.
(4) Demolition of sites belonging to one religion and replacement with places of another religion is not a ‘solution’ as there is no guarantee that it will solve the problem. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. So, we’ll definitely get Suda’s satisfaction, but the satisfaction of solving the problem is far from over. Basically, such an act in the present is another injustice to forget an injustice that happened in history (?). The Taj Mahal and the Qutub Minar are World Heritage Sites in India today. Whatever kind of carnage the Taliban commit, it is a crime against humanity.
In such a scenario, the only way for India to move forward is to set its own limits and decide ‘no more disputes, no more conflicts’. This restriction naturally falls on 15 August 1947 (the beginning of modern India’s journey as a nation declaring independence, sovereignty and justice-equality-fraternity). Prior to that date, the place of worship of the community should remain the same. The 1991 Act says the same. A law may or may not be legal, but it is acceptable because it reflects not only the ‘law of the place of religion’ we want to follow, but also our desire to live as a civilized society today.
Even after reading this, my father would have deliberately removed the ‘point of opposition’ – is history meant to be forgotten? My answer to this is: the mistakes of history cannot be forgotten, but remember that accepting it does not justify revenge today. No resentment, no quarrels and no arguments from those unrelated to the building. Culture and civility teach us to always live together – whether in conflict or skepticism – so recognize that it was demolished and accept the suffering behind it – not just because we are Hindus, but because it is wrong to demolish a sanctuary. Any religion ..
This acceptance requires some form. How is that? National Memorial or National Day? Who to go to .. Maybe all of us can get an answer from the Jnana Bavi (i.e. ‘Jnanvapi’)!
The author is the founder of ‘Jai Kisan Andolan’ and ‘Swaraj India’.