Ayodhya Dispute: An unresolved symbolical confrontation
Like every four years, Olympic Games present a Grand Opening Ceremony to the spectators, the Indian General Elections that occur every five years present the voters with a unique game, the tug of war; the Ayodhya Manthan.
A game that has been played religiously for almost a century now. On one side pulling towards the left is the “secular green” team and on the other is the “saffron communal” team pushing towards the right. The voters along with the court of law play the role of spectators. Some voters as per their understanding cheer for either of the sides and the other voters along with the court of law choose to do nothing. It is to the credit of the court of law, who has kept this game alive for this long. Respecting their true nature, they postponed their hearing again, opening a window for an Ayodhya Manthan re-match.
This Manthan has already spawned a variety of things during the course of time and the only Ram knows what is waiting in the near future. It produced some good leaders, some not so good leaders, a different political style, political party, some poison and a lot of pain. The poison and pain were already there we just did not see them. You could have a look here:
Even before we go into the already proven legalities or technicalities implying Mosques not being an integral part of the religion or the archaeological excavations suggesting a temple-like structure at the site before the mosque, there were myriad of examples around the world to seek references to solve this issue. If only one wanted to solve the issue and not keep it alive and nourish it for decades for some gains.
The city of Istanbul, which was once the Ottoman Empire, the land of the Caliph, the Caliphate; converted a Mosque Hagia Sophia into a Museum for monetary gains ( hoping the touristic value of Istanbul to double). The then minister said, “Those who perform their prayers in Hagia Sophia can easily perform their religious duties in many other big or small mosques nearby.” During those times, Hagia Sophia was not the only mosque that was closed to prayers. Hundreds of mosques were closed or used for other purposes, demolished, or their lands were sold.
Moreover, to my surprise, Ramjanma Bhoomi in Ayodhya has more in common with Hagia Sofia. It turns out that Hagia Sofia was a grand Church before the Ottoman Empire. As per the Islamic law, all places of worship taken by war are the property of the ruler. Additionally, the Ottomans converted the biggest place of worship in the city into a mosque, when they conquer a city, as it was a religious duty to perform Friday worship.
This is not the only example where a Mosque was built over a non-Islamic place of worship. The Great Mosque of Damascus, Ummyad Mosque was built on the site of a Christian basilica dedicated to John the Baptist. The Great Mosque of Córdoba, according to a traditional account was built over a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins. In fact, there is a long list of places which were converted. As a matter of fact, a lot of Mosques like the Mosque of Cordoba and Hagia Sophia were reverted to the original place of worship or something other for the sake of the majority.
Now coming to the big question, why do we need to do Ayodhya Manthan every five years?
The saffron team since the 1850s or even before have been saying and asking for only one thing. Lord Ram was born there and we want a temple, the Mosque was built after destroying the temple. All these examples above along with the court orders so far suggest one thing, it has nothing to do with minority religion at all. The archaeological excavations were not sufficient to come to a conclusion. The secular side wanted something more. What is this “something“? In fact, the secular side took a lot of pain in keeping the issue alive. In 1934 the riots that were triggered because of cow slaughter lead to the demolition of the walls and the dome of the Mosque. The government then rebuilt the structure. Can you say for sure if the structure demolished in 1992 was built by Babur and not the government in 1934?
What is the secular green team fighting for?
The secular green team acquired its political acumen from the British. Their ruling tactics are an exact replica of what the British used during British Raj in India. While copying and pasting the British ruling styles they copied their mistakes as well.
British before World War I had friendly relations with the Ottoman Empire. The British convinced Indians that they work in accordance with the caliphate; the Ottoman Empire and “some” Indians should help British to exercise rule. And they succeeded. British had never envisioned a World War where Ottoman Empire(Turkey) would fight against them. It is after the war, when the Ottoman Empire was defeated, some Indians started seeing an enemy in the British. Gandhi Ji realized that some Indians will never fight for India but would definitely fight against the British in an attempt to preserve the caliphate. This was called as non-violent non-cooperation movement or satyagraha, although it did not achieve anything and the Khilafat movement collapsed in 1924 along with the caliphate. But it gave birth to an idea that the secular parties are successfully exercising it till this date.
The green team used the Mughal Empire exactly like the British used Ottoman Empire. The green team was able to convince some Indians that they see Mughal Emperors in a positive light and the green team rightfully deserve their support. The enemy was obvious. For the green team, the Babri Mosque is not an issue of religion, it is a symbol of Babur’s dominance over native Indians; his victory over non-believers. Moreover, Babri Masjid is one of the many tools which the green team uses to assert proclivity towards Mughul Emperors. They talk a lot about Taj Mahal, India’s one out of 35 different UNESCO World Heritage sites. Why? Does it have to do with the Mughals? The names of roads; the list is long.
The British did not anticipate the WWI and the secular green team did not see voters from outside their vote banks voting. Where did they come from? That “something” the green side is looking for is not an evidence proving the existence of the temple but it is another way around. The moment they are able to concoct something that goes in the direction where the temple did not exist, they would be satisfied. One of the major reasons for their current predicament is that they do not know any other way to rule. This is the gist of their politics. They simply cannot afford Mughalia Saltanat slipping away from their grips.
And it is left for the reader’s to decide as to who all form the green secular team and who all constitute the saffron communal team.
You can read my other posts at Infinite Sea Of Opportunities.
An FPGA/Embedded Systems Development Engineer working on ADAS / Autonomous Vehicles and interested in Indian Politics.