The views expressed in this article might be controversial to some. It is not my idea or intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. I offer no quick-fix solutions. I’m only stating things the way I see them.
I was 7 years old on Dec 6th ’92. I remember school shutting down and we being rushed back home. I didn’t understand what really had happened. I was studying in a Hindu school and the general impression I got at the time was that something good had happened, that something was being set right after a long long time. There was some fear around. But generally there was some kind of pride building up inside all of us.
Since that day I became acutely aware of my Hindu identity. I started looking for religion in people’s names, dresses, habits. I was aware that I was buying my cricket ball from a Muslim shop and that the boy who I played cricket with was a Christian.
As years went by, I got even more radical. It didn’t help that we had moved to the Gulf where prejudice is a way of life. It had reached a state where I didn’t want to be friends with Christians or Muslims. I just didn’t trust them.
But as you grow up things get a little bit more complicated. You realize many things. It’s not only the Hindu guy who treats you well- it can be the ‘other guy’ too. It’s not only the ‘other guy’ who is insensitive and insensible- it can be the Hindu guy too. There are good people and bad people in every faith, caste or creed.
I realized that ‘they’ are not very different from ‘us’. They have the same questions about God and religion that come to our minds. They find it difficult to comprehend the complex web of spirituality and religion with the conflicting views on sexuality, morality, life, death, etc. just like we do.
Leaders manipulate people using religion, caste, nativity etc. The demagogues make you angry, they make you hate, and they control your emotions. When your blood is boiling it is very difficult to make rational decisions. Politicians thrive in this situation. They don’t want you to use your brains. They’re not good enough for it and they know it. The only way they’ll win is to use sentiment.
Looking back at that fateful day I feel ashamed of what happened. I feel cheated and abused. I feel stupid and small. Maybe I was just a child… but it still is very difficult to get over the false-pride I felt at that time.
It might be true that the particular spot is the birthplace of Lord Ram. But can any temple bring back the lives lost? Can any temple/masjid reverse the decades of suspicion and hatred? Ram and Allah stand for love and peace. Not hatred and war. And let’s be clear- the masjid/temple is not for God, it’s more a political statement.
I’m not an authority on history so I can’t say with certainty if there was a temple before the masjid was demolished. From what little I have read, it was not uncommon for Muslim conquerors to destroy places of worship and build masjids in its place. What we should learn from that- as Hindus, Muslims and primarily as Indians is when we belittle another faith, then the damage that is done lasts for centuries. The cycle of violence, hatred, prejudice is never-ending. We don’t need that. The after-effects of the short-sighted decisions of the erstwhile Muslim rulers of
are still being felt today. India
Today- You and I are the rulers of a New India. We have history to learn from. In principle, it is we who make the decisions for the future of this country. So do you want to move ahead or do you want to repeat history again?
/ Masjid- is it going to bring peace to our land? Can we try to forgive and forget- at least so that we are not manipulated by the scheming politicians? Please ask yourselves these questions. Temple