On the Eve of the Verdict…

So the Ramajanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid verdict has been postponed and it’s time yet again for doing what we’ve been known to do best: push problems as much as you can until they explode as they must. Meanwhile, the attitudes in the secular camp that prevailed in the ’90s remain unchanged. In some cases, they’ve gotten more strident. In the 90s the field was clearly marked: the secularists who supported the case of Muslims and the Hindus. Today, we have another voice that seems to have a considerable spread in the Web world at least. This is the liberal voice that comes in various garbs: liberal Hindu (I’m a Hindu but I’m a liberal), the humanist Hindu, the atheist Hindu, and so on.

Here’s one variant. Great Bong is a blog I immensely enjoy for its no-holds-barred-funny film reviews and some on-the-spot observations and commentary. But this one comes as a dampener.

His chief “contention is one cannot roll back history without incurring heavy costs in the present.” And I agree broadly but he posits this in the context of the Ayodhya issue but how he goes about to arrive at the conclusion presents several problems. The first of which occurs in this line:

So Babur knocked down a Hindu temple and built a mosque over it. It happened a long time ago. Get over it.

This isn’t a new or terribly original line and I wouldn’t have bothered responding had it not been for the flippant manner the rest of the post continues.

The Ayodhya issue is not a lover’s quarrel or separation to “get over it.” It concerns the history, civilization, and future of an entire subcontinent and a religion with a tradition that continues unbroken for 5000 years. If not resolved properly, the Ayodhya issue impacts the survival of that continuity. Indeed, the reason for the mess this has become is one of the indicators of such a potentially fatal impact.

Which is why it’s important not to get over it. To get over something, you must understand it inside out. In this case, it means developing a keen, insightful sense of history. And that can’t be developed without studying history and how it has and/or continues to shape the present. I’m all for getting over it and moving on but not at the cost of ignoring the past. And I see this frivolous attitude about history in a large number of otherwise well-read and educated Indians. If we lost the sense of history, we wouldn’t know why Pakistan has named its missiles Ghauri and Ghaznavi. This is one of the answers to Great Bong who elsewhere asks us to

…forget what happened in the 1520s because no one is alive now who feels any of the pain.

The symbolism behind these missile names is an open expression of intent to revisit upon India what those historical figures did. And by the same logic, we must also advocate closing down the Holocaust museum because hardly anyone is alive today who has undergone and/or witnessed that pain firsthand. Great Bong’s prescription hovers close to asking us to ignore history but not in so many words. Ignoring something won’t go make it away. As Emerson said, it’s better to pay your debt now than later because later would be too costly.

His other argument that it’s futile to try to right the wrongs of history also stands on weak ground. That makes us ask him why the US helped Japan’s rebuilding. This is not about righting historical wrongs but reconciliation as we shall see. And it’s all the more reason to sharpen the historical sense. Besides, Great Bong doesn’t care to tell us how the Ayodhya issue culminated in the majid destruction. The destruction happened because of wilful and fraudulent telling of history. The anti-Mandir camp spent years trying to “prove” that the Ram Mandir didn’t exist and that Babar was a peace-loving ruler. When they were proved wrong, they changed track and resorted to shrill personal attack and petty politics, which is what ultimately hastened religious polarisation. The secular historians who infiltrated the media and academia over the decades vocally asserted that the “goal” of history should be to ensure communal harmony but what they achieved was its exact opposite. Which meant suppressing unpleasant historical truths. Secular history writing dates back to when Nehru became the unquestioned champion. That is also history and that history is in a very large part responsible for the demolition of the Masjid. etc. The goal of history as in any human endeavour should be to tell the truth however unpalatable it is. To quote Dr. SL Bhyrappa, a robust and healthy society can’t be built on a foundation of untruth.

No sir, you cannot move on without knowing the complete truth. Babar was an alien invader who destroyed non-Islamic places of worship because that’s what his religion ordained him to do in order to obtain religious merit. And it is this religious commandment that continues to motivate the destruction of temples going on in today’s India, news that the media blocks. It’s the same commandment that motivated the Taliban to blow up the Bamiyan Buddha idols despite the fact that there’s not a single Buddhist in Afghanistan. It’s also the same commandment that motivates Pakistan to allot well-chosen names to their missiles, and send their gun-toting boys across the border from time to time to amuse themselves. It’s still the same commandment that motivates incidents like chopping off the poor Kerala lecturer’s hand. And this commandment was laid down sometime in the 7th Century A.D. And how do we know this? Because history informs us. So you see when something that was laid down in the 7th Century has ramifications even today, it’s kind of hard to simply move on. The danger of future Babars arising in the world is clear and present.

But let’s see how Great Bong frames history.

Lest people misunderstand, I am not saying we forget or not care for giving justice to those who died as a result of the riots that happened post-Babri mosque demolition. Those things aren’t history. We saw it. Families who lost a loved one are still alive. They remember and they deserve justice. But whether a Ram temple stood there at the site of the Babri mosque when Babur came a-visiting—-that’s what I do not care about.

So there. The here and now (give or take ten or twenty years) is what is important. Unfortunately, that’s a very skewed way of defining history. History is history whether it is five decades, or five centuries old. Even yesterday is history. I say this with utmost politeness, but it really doesn’t matter what you care. There is such a thing as shared cultural consciousness. Babar’s temple demolition is the open wound upon one of the most sacred symbols of this cultural consciousness. You may not care about it, but please refrain from speaking for the millions of those who do.

It is surprising that Great Bong omits mention of the rebuilt Somanath temple. Had it not been built back then, it’d have most certainly been Ayodhya Part 2 because here’s an important part in the story of Somanath reconstruction.

The ruins [of the mosque] were pulled down in October 1950 and the mosque was moved to a different location. In May 1951, Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, invited by K M Munshi, performed the installation ceremony for the temple…added “The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction”

In 1950, a mosque was pulled down–yes, demolished–and a replacement mosque was built on a different site. And it evoked not a whimper of protest or untoward incident. And in 1992, the Babri Masjid was forcibly demolished and large scale communal violence broke out in its wake and a similar threat looms what with the impending judgement. So what changed between 1951 and 1992? I leave the answer to your intelligence. Maybe Great Bong would like to answer why Patel et al were successful in demolishing that mosque, rebuilding the Somanath temple, and getting a replacement mosque while he, Great Bong, needs to write such a poorly-thought out post.

Great Bong further confounds the post by drawing irrelevant parallels.

And what about the wrongs taking place now, as we speak? Have we reached a stage that our present is so perfect that we need to look four hundred years back to correct something bad done then? Why worry whether Babur looted us in the middle ages when there are a gang of Commonwealth Master Gogos in Delhi, under the guise of organizing an international sporting event, pillaging the coffers of our country at this moment?

It takes quite a leap of logic to spot a symmetry with Babar and the CWG pillagers. People’s outrage over the CWG banditry has to do with the violation of ethics, decency, etc while Ayodhya is an emotive issue for a very different reason. And no, Babar didn’t merely loot. Like I said earlier, he deliberately destroyed the Ram Mandir because his faith commanded him to do that as a means to earn religious merit. Does Great Bong seriously contend that Hindus want to rebuild the Ram Mandir for the same reason that they want the CWG robbers to be brought to book, the money recovered, etc? Is he saying that Hindus want to recover all the money Babar had looted back then?

And further,

I do not buy this need to address generational hurt argument because it is most frequently used to perpetrate historical wrongs

Agree. But then doesn’t it ever occur to Great Bong that you know, maybe there’s something called “healing the wounds?” A little give and take will build the bridges and all that jazz. I’m consistently amazed that folks who always argue like Great Bong never fail to invoke only the negative side. The “generational hurt argument” helps actually because it enables us to trace the root of the problem and apply the balm that heals the hurt and try and apply our minds to ensure that it doesn’t open up avenues for abuse. Why insist on only looking at the potential for abuse?

And then he brings in the Constitution angle.

It’s the Constitution stupid. What is being deliberated is not the divinity of Ram or whether he existed, but whether a temple stood there or not.

Yes. And the temple did exist. Now what? He doesn’t answer that but inexplicably jumps to:

And in any case, the law in a secular state is obliged to care two hoots for your sensibilities. There are laws. And you have to obey them.

As for the Constitution, it might interest him to know that our Constitution is ill-advised, and not well thought-out. It’s pretty much a cut-and-paste job and it’s an alien Constitution not suited to Indian realities. If the Constitution took into account the Indian people’s aspirations, Ayodhya wouldn’t have been an issue at all. And that’s where we need to start. Did Great Bong ever stop to think about why despite so many safeguards, etc in the Constitution, every single rule, precept, prescription, and article is flouted with impunity and nobody has been punished for such flagrant violation in these 60+ years? Or the fact that every Constitutional body is today an enabler of corruption?

And that “secular state” remark is laughable to say the least. Is that wishful thinking on Great Bong’s part or does he actually mean the Indian state is secular? A truly secular state would’ve prevented such communal flashpoints, not created conditions that foment them.

There are laws. And you have to obey them. If your sentiments are hurt and the legal framework does not give you remedy for your “hurt”, go suck your thumb.”

This is an excellent argument if only our laws didn’t suck so badly. In other words, does he advocate obeying unjust laws? I’m reminded of the quote that says something like “in a country of crooks the only place for an honest man is the prison.” I’ll use an extreme example because I think it makes the case more effectively: does Great Bong advocate that we obey “laws” like say the one Indira Gandhi made, which put her above the law? Here again, I find the penchant for looking at only the negative side rather amusing and dangerous. Instead of making laws that prohibit the possibility of hurt sentiments, you want people to obey laws that have the potential to actually hurt sentiments. Most laws that lead to communal conflicts–not to mention the Indian state that encourages vote bank creation–are designed to lead to conflict. Good examples include state interference in Hindu temples while granting almost limitless freedom to minority institutions. There you have, the seed for communal conflict right within the law.

And then to be fair, he does diss the Constitution but for a different reason.

In this respect, our constitution is also to blame since it says free speech is fine as long as it does not hurt people’s sensibilities. But as I have seen before in this blogspace many times, “free speech” that actually needs to be protected by law is by definition hurtful of someone’s sentiments. This is why India really has no concept of protected speech, unlike say what US citizens have under the First Amendment. Which is why even in any case that can be determined on the basis of the law, “sentiments” will be considered, even though what may come out might well be a travesty of justice.

This bolsters my case for properly defining, redefining and revamping some of the most fundamental and vital principles that are currently governing this land.

I’ve seen Great Bong’s definition of free speech (underlined) in countless blogs, articles, etc. But the question here is not about free speech. The question, rather questions are: why didn’t the concept of free speech (as we know it today) exist in India until we adopted it from the West? And why does the West prize free speech so much? For that we need to go back to history again–the same history that Great Bong wants people to move on from. The West fought for centuries, at great cost, against the Church’s oppression of free expression and when they completely unshackled themselves, they realized that what they had earned had to be eternally, fiercely defended. In India however, since the Vedic times, we freely poked fun of our Gods and Goddesses and we continue to do so. This tradition of openness, tolerance and accepting differences with a smile continued to thrive even during an age when the Christian West was busy burning innocent people at the stake for blasphemy, a “crime” that’s as momentous as stepping on rat shit. It’s no coincidence that the West made rapid scientific and economic advancements only after its fight with the Church’s oppression gained momentum and mass. Similarly, during the same period, it’s also no coincidence that India continued to enjoy its status as the world’s most prosperous and sought-after trading destinations. Only a free country–in every sense of the word–makes this possible.

A cursory reading of Indian history would’ve made all this very clear to Great Bong. But he chooses to lament about the lack of a US-style First Amendment that protects free speech. This state of affairs is pretty tragic because it shows a paucity of Indians who can’t draw solutions from their own past but look to borrow stuff from elsewhere. More appropriately, they can’t draw solutions from our own past because they exhibit no interest in doing so. I have nothing against the First Amendent but then it’s probably good for America because it solves the problems unique to the people of America. I’m all for adopting it here but not before first delving into how we had solved similar problems on our own. There’s a reason Constitutions of two democracies are not alike. It’s ill-advised to prescribe the same medicine for all ailments.

Very briefly, India had solved the problem of guaranteeing free speech by raising it to a philosophical and spiritual level: when the same universal spirit lives in all of us–including animals and birds and insects–fighting over who or what is better is an insult to that spirit. This was ingrained in our cultural and/or national consciousness for millenia and is why we never needed Constitutional guarantees. You might argue that times have changed today but that makes the need for revamping he Constitution more urgent. As it stands today, the Indian Constitution does not represent the will of the Indian people.

As for Great Bong’s closing prescription that a mall should be built on the “disputed” site, it is entirely in keeping with the same flippancy that I mentioned earlier.

Here’s why I advocate that the Ram Mandir be built on the site: temples by themselves do not do anything. But they go a very long way in cultivating the spirit and fostering character. It was the historical temple culture in India that enabled it to withstand and repel sustained attacks from alien invaders without and barbarians within. Temples were centers where fine arts were further refined, where education thrived, and where the spirit of social harmony was nurtured. Oh yes, there was the dreaded caste system but which system could prevent a Kanaka and a host of such saints from entering a temple?

The Ram Mandir is not just a place for Hindus to go and worship their God. There are cultural symbols and heritages and monuments that we need to preserve even if they don’t yield any material benefit. What’s the bet that if a barbarian destroyed Mount Vernon or Westminster Abbey, the US and British folks wouldn’t spare all their energies to rebuild it? And will Great Bong agree to replace say–if it was destroyed–the Jallianwallah Bagh with a shopping mall? I do pray at the Jallianwallah Bagh just as scores of other Indians do. And the Ram Mandir is as much a symbol as is the Jallianwallah Bagh. But then a mindset that dubs every such symbol along the lines of “religious nonsense” and “waste of resources” or whatever, won’t really understand this. Which is why, with utmost respect, I say that Great Bong’s prescription to build a mall is deplorable to say the least.

As for Capitalism and malls as the Gods of today’s India, Great Bong needs to get on the streets and villages and ask the vast Indian masses what they really regard as God: the mall or Ram. Urban, mall-going India is not India. And even if malls were India’s Gods, we’ve seen how they’ve created a vast crowd of selfish, deracinated and barely-articulate zombies whose definition of worship is hopping into the next pair of Levis jeans. The Capitalist God may not discriminate against anybody but he fuels greater and greater hunger for material consumption, which is not advisable for the mental, spiritual and ethical health of the society. Capitalism is no guarantee against greed, which can be quenched in both ethical and unethical ways. The end result might be a society that may find it too late to realize the truth in Yayati’s realization that desire is never quenched by indulgence any more than fire is by pouring ghee in it but without his wisdom that he has to renounce it.

And no, Great Bong, Rama doesn’t discriminate whether or not you regard him as God. Ramayana has a gem of a verse that says, you make your God according to the food you eat. If unbridled capitalism is the food we eat, malls become our Gods. As for me, thinking about Rama–as God or human–may not yield riches but it’ll certainly make my life more valuable. Valuable, derived from value.

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96 comments for “On the Eve of the Verdict…

  1. jehan
    October 12, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    that was indeed a poor article. ill informed. and badly written. it would be torn apart in an amateur history-sociology class.
    i commend you for your rebuttal and request that you include bullet points in your posts. it helps for referencing and discussions.

  2. Demo-crazy
    October 2, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    The judges took a brave decision to give this verdict. They have been more than fair to Muslims also. While stating that the structure Babar built cannot be called a mosque, because it is against Islamic tenets, they clearly establish that the structure was built on a temple. They are indirectly hinting to the Muslim community to give up their right on that 1/3 portion they awarded in a sign of magnanimity rather than the judges themselves awarding the entire site to Hindus. An outright one sided order would have meant potential opportunity for rioters, arsonists. That has now been avoided skillfully, hopefully the police will ensure that there is no vitiating of the atmosphere.

    In spite of the generosity of the court, if they want to go in appeal, they expose themselves. Are they willing to be magnanimous and accept the fact some historical mistakes have happened, and that they can be corrected in a spirit of true brotherhood. For almost all of the Indian Muslims, their ancestors were the followers of the religion of this land. Islam was not a native religion. It came thru invaders who converted people here. There is no need for any one reconvert. As long as they believe in peaceful practice of their religion, and as we all believe, all prayers reach the same God, we will have more amity. Wounds can be healed if people make genuine attempts to understand why the wound happened, and what can be made to forgive and apply that healing touch.

    But some of the Indian media men and women are playing up the hurt psyche of the minority and looking to water the seeds of anger into some kind of unrest. This is pathetic journalism. They are working overtime bringing in more hawks and arguing the hurt sentiment, why the judges did not take cognizance of the 1992 demolition, why the judges did not rule that the structure that stood for over 400 years should be removed (they used the line that it was by default theirs, and namazs were going on, etc).

    Barkha Dutt, and others are making an attempt to seek apology, no claim on Kashi and Mathura, etc, at this hour, as if they are the lawyers for the other side and bargaining (with their profession granted mike and camera on). When the judges have looked into the title deed issue and passed verdict, where is the question of asking the judges to have considered ‘other factors’? I am glad that these “brilliant journalists” did not become Judges. But they are more dangerous with their irresponsible usage of the power of their mikes and cameras. They are almost trying to fan trouble at this hour by deliberately poking some old wounds.

    If Barkha Dutt (and others of her ilk) says “Muslims are feeling aggrieved”, then she should also remember that Hindus felt aggrieved for many centuries. How can she SELECTIVELY FORGET the struggles for the temple in Ayodhya over those four hundred years? How can she forget what happened in Somnath which was plundered and demolished by Mahmud of Ghazani? How can she forget the Mathura and Kashi mosques? If she does not mind asking BJP to apologise, why does she hesitate asking Muslim boards to apologize for the violence, destruction of temples, killing and converting millions, etc.? Some very blunt questions, but they never acknowledge them. It seems selective amnesia is one of the criteria for being a editor or reporter on these channels. There is competitive breast beating going on on some of these channels. They are almost fighting for same space as Lalu, Mulayam, Maya and Congress are! Why don’t they start their own political party? I wish the channels are banned from going anymore on this topic and speaking nonsense which has potential to incite unwanted things. They give a feeling that they are looking to see some trouble brewing and want to capitalize on it to brow beat the right wing groups. I wonder what are they representing and what agenda they have. It is time for the journalists to be only neutral reporters, rather than (pro-minority) analysts. If that is what they wish to do, let them get out of their profession, and get into the right arena.

    The RSS chief Mr. Bhagawat, and BJP leader Mr. LK Advani, and others spoke in a spirit of brotherhood with all. It is time to embrace rather than seek ways to continue on the path of suspicion, distrust and hate. I hope better sense prevails over all those (on both sides) who are contemplating appeal or “full or none” kind of ideas. Matters of faith can never be resolved in those manners. It is time to accept historical facts, and make compromises to have peaceful co-existence.

  3. S
    October 1, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    agusoke I remember Barkha Dutt saying that “a judicial verdict should not take the place of public sentiment” before I switched channels. Does she ever stop to think what drivel she is spouting ? As if the Hindus and the Muslims are not both part of this “public”.

  4. agusoke
    October 1, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Barkha Dath, Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep sardesai {representing ndtv,times now and cnn ibn respectively}were the most unhappy persons,when the Ayodhya judgement was out. They were more unhappy than the persons representing “Babri” side.So secularism means siding with” Babri “and accusing the Ram temple group,irrespective of the merit of the case.

  5. Mario
    October 1, 2010 at 3:59 PM
  6. Mario
    October 1, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Sri,
    Unfortunately, I dont use my Tatasky+ anymore. But, as a consolation prize, its lovely to see this fight between Jilani and chopstik lickers

  7. Sri
    October 1, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    This is Mulayam Singh’s response to verdict:

    http://sify.com/news/mulayam-hits-out-at-ayodhya-judgment-news-national-kkbnctjfdci.html

    And we all know about Mulayams commitment to law and constitution; do any thing to get the votes of minorities. Should we forget that he wanted and tried to change the holiday from sunday to friday so that Muslims can pray and go to mosques. Or did he ever speak against Jizya on Hindus of 1000 crores for Hajj subsidy. It is high time that Yadavs see the stupidity of this man. Now that he came in support of Muslims, one has to wait and see what will be the congress reaction.

    He made the statement that it has hurt the sentiments of Indian Muslims.

    How come these politicians never think others also have sentiments, not just Muslims. Don’t they feel that lies of Marxist-Leftist historians have hurt the sentiments of Hindus?

  8. Sri
    October 1, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    To Mario,

    “Sheriyat wont allow them to handover the land!”

    Actually he (Secular Islamic scholar) could have been more truthful: Islam abrogates all religions and does not allow others to construct any place of worship. In fact if they have not destroyed the existing ones, they will not even be allowed to repair.

    That is Sharia law. So much for Islamic pluralism.

    Have you recorded that interview? If, please put it on youtube. Or at least write a full one.

  9. Mario
    October 1, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    SANDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP
    Awaiting your interpretation of the verdict

  10. Mario
    October 1, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    I was in tears laughing when Arnob Goswamy went wordless, when Zafareb Jilani categorically said their Sheriyat wont allow them to handover the land! Here was a sickular orchestrator who was trying to steal the verdict’s essence by saying Hindus should magnanimously share the janmabhoomi with Muslims and was expecting Zafareb to toe his line of ‘India first’. He was expecting Zafareb to say something like ‘Muslims are new India, and they want peace and piece (of land), that’s all’. But, the chopstik thumped the sickular stright on his face, showcasing again that the desert culture wont tolerate anything else. You should have seen it!! Oh this appeasement culture!!
    On a separate note, I was following a discussion before the verdict on many channels. Every Muslim leader cameup was speaking as if its their birthright to get the judgement in their favour and be magnanimous! Whodda toolbox!!

  11. Malavika
    October 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Sid said:
    “It was not just secular folks, some people who stylishly call themselves “center of right” are in bandwagon too. I was shocked to see the tweet from the Swapan Dasgupta”

    For a while Swapan has been arguing against Hindu interests. He was echoing the Orvellian secular line that Hindu youth have forsaken BJP beacuse of ‘Hindutva’. That according to him is why BJP lost previous general election. His suggestion was to replace ‘Hindutva with Nationalism’, without actually telling if it was the perception of Hindutva that was wrong or the ideology of it was wrong. My argument is that if the perception is the problen then how would chaning name help. Infact that would cause more trouble.

    For some inexplicable reason EVM are sacrosact according Mr Swapan D. Gupta. He makes this claim without giving any logical reasons. Meanwhile there are serious issues with EVMs. Fact that no developed democracy is using EVMs is quietly glossed over.

    I am not really surprised at his tweet. God save Hindus from such ‘center of right’ wallas.

  12. Sid
    October 1, 2010 at 3:40 AM

    It was not just secular folks, some people who stylishly call themselves “center of right” are in bandwagon too. I was shocked to see the tweet from the Swapan Dasgupta:
    acknowledgement of ram janamsthan by court must b followed by a gesture of hindu generosity
    Get it? We got the acknowledgment of Ram Janmabhumi from court but now people sitting on the fence are advising us on how to show our generosity. Tomorrow this people would advise us to do the “Karseva” for the mosque while secular would make best effort to stop the temple.

  13. Demo-crazy
    October 1, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    I watched most of the channels English channels that reported the news – TimesNow, Headlines Today, NDTV, CNBC TV18, NewsX, apart from.Aajtak. On most channels there was a bit of sullenness on the verdict, and it really took them time to digest the news. This was typical of their previous similar situation when Narendra Modi won the last election. The initial reports indicated the fight being tough, and the channels went gaga over Modi finding it difficult and may not be able to form govt., etc., etc., But within next 90 minutes things turned so drastically, that the anchor persons were virtually trying to find ways of hiding themselves. Their crime was because they went beyond reporting. They were trying to influence or take a position on the verdict of the people. When they failed miserably, they found it tough. When I say this, I include all those so called top shot anchors of all the main English channels.

    Even today, they were in a similar expectant mood. But when the verdict came, they started asking why the courts allowed the lawyers to speak (it was entirely the fault of the DM, who was supposed to have managed the show with the press), and that their views were initially mentioned as of the party, we need to review the verdict copy, etc. After sometime, they started again their old habits – that the party which gained more should be more magnanimous and reconcile and negotiate. What do they think they are? Demi gods? Judges? Dictators? This is utterly pathetic show of journalism, overstepping their line of responsibility. Ravi Shakar Prasad rightly pulled up a few in his interactions with these media men about the spin they were trying to give to the story today. In contract, Mr. Nik Gowing of BBC conducted a brief talk show with Satish Jacob, and ended without going on the hyperbole. Our media men need to learn what dispassionate reporting is. They have a long way to go. They need to realize that generating more decibels of rhetoric is not journalism.

  14. Archpagan
    September 30, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    The long awaited judgment has already come out. Some sickular Hindu rascals have already started wailing ‘secularism is in danger’ in the same manner he jihadis say ‘islam is in danger’ .

  15. Sri
    September 30, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    To Anand,

    I am not a scholar of Islam. I do not know a bit of Arabic.

    I have a personal opinion in this matter; it may not be enlightened one. History should not control us; it should advice us so that History will not be repeated. We should not get stuck in History like Muslims are of their false grandeur of conquests regardless of shameful violence associated with their religion, an invention of demented man.

    You are up to one point: Is it not shot in the arm for extremists? Actually there are no extremists, here. It is just system of Islam. And you are absolutely right. They will increase their efforts at Islamization making dangerous advancements. At the same time this advancing of Islamic interests is already in the process, this whole thing is a catalyst to further increase, either way.

    I fully understand how these Muslims react to Judgement if it is in their favor; they see this as victory over infidels which will be attributed to Allah, not to our secular institutions; they will shout from their tops that Allah has opened hearts of infidels. Much worse, their belief in violence increases because our media already made a connection to Mumbai shootings and so called discrimination against Muslims and Babri demolition. In their view it is these acts of Jihadists that have turned the judgement in their favor by saying Allah cast terror in to the hearts of infidels.

    At the same time, one should recognize that if the judgement is not in their favor they conclude that it is punishment from Allah because Muslims themselves are not adhering to true principles of Islam as they abandoned Islamic tenets like Jihad, which is dearest to Allah. The incitement to violence will increase, aided by the vicious propaganda of victimization of Muslims.

    As fatalistic as Islamic faith, that is, this is the way Muslims react to the verdict. Whatever be the verdict there will be remarkable increase in violence and their demands become more audacious and more outrageous. With the kind of state of politics in this country, they knew they can succeed in subjugating and humiliating infidels. It is the state of Hindu polity that is emboldening them further.

    So it is Hindus who are primarily and equally responsible for all this and it is Hindus unitedly have to face this evil cult. But when huge section of Hindus believe that Islamic extremism is a reactionary it becomes necessary that they be told the truth of Islam i.e. it is one political entity and it can never co-exist with others.

    But how does Hindus think? Oh! we have VHP and Bajrangdal. Even if they hate these organizations they think they can protect them. I myself loath VHP for some reasons, their hatred of Islam is not the reason; I welcome any force that hates Islam and wants to fight it, but equally I admit that with out VHP or Bajrangadal life for many Hindus in many places could be very tough. I am just telling this to make my point how pathetically Hindus are now, mostly the way upper castes think about issues.

    I already predicted this verdict. I have seen some recent High Courts observations in the matters related to Islam. When I read these, I felt we do not need enemies from Pakistan as we already have many dhimmis in this country who, like Mr Sachar and Mr Mishra, are accessory to Jihad. Every one is trying to be portrayed positively in the media and media is encouraging self abasement from Hindus and the view of upholding Islamic interests as proof of ones liberalism. When one does this, media hails him/she. They are not realizing that tolerating the intolerance is will be the end of tolerance. I read one report from Times of India; it reported that ASI has not found any evidence of temple. I felt that people at this ‘mosque in disguise’ has forgotten even basic reasoning.

    There will be more violence from Muslims and as the violence increases our Governments bow to them more. This is the state of quandary we are in.

    With this situation, I feel it is better to bring the awareness of Islam to Hindus, who are willing to see the light. I just have one message to all Non Muslims: unite against this evil of Islam and force the politicians to change their attitudes. Do not tell me Ayodhya unites all Hindus because I have not seen it.

    I am not telling you to give up this; I am saying that, if we are fighting for basic human values then lets not stoop to their (Muslims) level.

    I will not reply to you as I am going to take a huge break.

  16. cricfan
    September 30, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    The great bong looks at the funny side of issues. He is generally honest and calls it as he sees it. But humor works when the writer exposes the truth. In this particular instance, his glaring lack of research shows up uncomfortably and Sandeep has simply pointed that out. I do hope he presents a more well thought out argument soon.

    And if they do build the great bong mall in Ayodhya, then its only fair that we take this insane idea to its logical conclusion. A cricket ground in the middle of the Vatican, a casino in an appropriate place in Saudi Arabia, an MTR Dosa-Idli shop in the middle of Westminster Abbey, and a Bollywood multiplex at ground zero. Once the initial shock is overcome, I’m sure the world will get over it, just like many millions of Indians are going to have to in a couple of days.

  17. gajanan
    September 30, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    Ganapathy , you are from TN. Here is the miracle of Lord Shiva. This is run entirely by westerners. They have done yeomen service all over the world for the 20 million Hindu diaspora. They rely heavily on Tamil sources. They have been successful in explaining Sanatan Dharma in contemporary style. Their training is for the capable and competent and not those born by birth only Here is their web site.

    http://www.gurudeva.org

  18. Demo-crazy
    September 30, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    @A P Keshari,
    I agree. Given a chance our Barkha Dutts, Arnab Goswamis, Rajedeeps, will go to any length to prove that the fault is not of those who brought down those Bamiyan Buddha statues, but of those who built them there! Similar is the argument of the people who say Hindus should give up claim on these three temples also.

    I watched some part of Jafaryab Jilani speaking on Aajtak. He said it is nowhere mentioned in Babarnama that a temple was demolished to construct this mosque. They may have made similar arguments and possibly countered (hopefully, effectively) by the other side.

    I wanted to ask him, if he was in front of us directly, one single question. Why did Babar or Mir Baqi choose to build the Mosque in Ayodhya? Why not in another city nearby? Was he not having access to any land anywhere else? He had conquered all that region. There definitely is reason to believe they wanted to demolish something which ‘offended’ their belief. That must be a temple of people of the other faith (Hindu). Even a child can understand the logic.
    If not, here are the links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babur#Babri_Masjid
    http://web.archive.org/web/20050323101829/http://www.the-week.com/23sep07/events1.htm
    In this article from The Week, on 7th Sept’2003, the ASI is reported to inform the court that there was a Siva temple beneath the Masjid structure. Now, what made them conclude a Siva temple is a minor matter. The biggest punch in the argument of the Wakf board, will be the proof of the existence of a Hindu temple be it of Lord Shiva or Rama. Rama himself did worship Shiva. So, there should be no surprise, if he or any subsequent king got a temple of Shiva built there.

    We can see heart wrenching destruction of the Hampi temples by the Deccan Muslim kings (Bahamanis, Adilshahis, etc). Why are our rulers trying to tell us that this is not the case? That one must forget this gory past? Why can’t they ask the present Muslim generation to appreciate the wrongs and in a gesture of goodwill, graciously agree for Hindus to build their temples in these three places. That actually can open up a opportunity for a real brotherhood, if they demonstrate maturity to accept the historical facts. Is it a known fact that most of the Muslims of India were converts. They were not original imports. Very few of those originals are around. Why can’t they accept that their ancestors too were Hindus, and it is a gesture of honour for those souls who were forced to convert or threatened with dire consequences by the invading armies.

    Our politicians are the biggest stumbling block for any real heart-to-heart dialogue. They have not made any contribution for genuine compromise, and are always suggesting that the majority community should yield ground (remember the famous lines of MMS – the minorities have the first right on the riches of this country?. Cases being withdrawn on law breakers in Kashmir, and those who were killed in police action, being given compensation, as a healing touch speak a lot for themselves, show in its raw reality the skewed sense of justice by these politicians).

    I hope the court atleast does not tread the same path as these politicians (I prefer using an alternate word (I coined) for them ‘polishitians’).

  19. kAlaharaNa suratrAna
    September 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    @ shrI Ganesh.R,

    Looking at your reply, I’m almost convinced that you must be the learned scholar shatAvadhAni R Ganesh. I would like to ask you a question on the topic being discussed currently here (if i may be allowed to do so in this forum).

    The Kannada author SatyakAma says that in his experiences with the tantrics, there was not even a trace of caste system. From some sources which I have read, I have known some facts like: many of the schools were open to all the varNas, some of the tantric schools used to play a vital role in lives of people; like construction of temples, town planning, advising the king etc.
    For the well being of the Hindus, do you see a larger role for Tantra in current scenario?

  20. A P Keshari
    September 29, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    @Demo-crazy: Yup, it indeed is amazing that after all that Hindus have gone through, they are asking for just 3 very holy and sacred places. In fact, just by acknowledging the evil deeds of Islamic marauders, the process of much needed reconciliation can begin — but the “eminent historians” (as Shourie aptly described them), bleeding hearts in media/elsewhere and leaders of muslim community wont have any of that.

    Dont be surprised if, after a few decades, the blowing-up of Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan (which happened a few years ago) will similarly be described as a ‘myth’ that never actually happened. Those asking for restoration of the statues there will be branded communal and hounded!

  21. Manish
    September 29, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    @S, @Ava, @Ganpathy,
    This is something I wrote almost five years ago about how priests can be appointed in temples. (And No, I am not trying to promote this website as I rarely get time to write nowadays, this is just to bring out the obvious fact that there are others who also have similar thinking).

  22. Ava
    September 29, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    “Me too have many evidences. But one thing of Ganapathy has to be accepted, i.e.,we Hindus must
    appoint qualified practicing Hindus, irrespective of caste or creed accept as our priests. This has been
    carried out by many already since two centuries(Arya samaj, Ramakrishna mutt, chimaya mission etc.,)”
    Thats true, also I would like to see less pot bellied ones, fat from eating too much sweets! Being fat to that extent signifies lack of discipline. I get disgusted when I see grotesque ones carried around in palanquins, they make the religion rewemble a circus. They should be educated overall and command respect and be community leaders, otherwise no one will give a farthing about what they say or do.

  23. Ava
    September 29, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    “Mr. Ganapathy should first read the works of master buddhist scholars like Ananda Koomaraswamy, Chandradhara sharma, Mr. and Mrs. R.Davids, Vidhushekhara bhattacharya, Baladeva upadhyaya and a host of others.”
    I would add to this list George Grimm and Julius Evola for superior content which cuts through straight to the essential.

  24. S
    September 29, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    “dear sandeep
    i am not indoctrinated with any ideology and have neither pride nor hatred on things which r by birth and one has no control. i will whole heartedly support the building of ram temple if the sangh promises that it will have dalit priests(the same quota as given by the govt of india nothing more nor less) and woman priests and will mark the beginning of a new phase of hinduism.in the same way i will join any mass conversion if a dalit is promised the next pope if crores of indians convert.i have no love for any religion.
    i was amused at the great thought process behind the naming of missiles and just pointed out on how it will depend on the rulers.
    thank you venkatesh on the twist sorry twin buddha history”

    Such noble thoughts about the so-called “Dalits”. Do you know when the word “Dalit” was made up ? Can you talk about some reform in the cult of Catholicism that does not allow women priests ? Can you talk about reforming the Muhammadans, who call their own as “Muhajirs” and “Kasais” (regarded very low by the Sayyads) ? I can go on and on, but I suppose I will be feeding the troll.

  25. Ganesh.R>
    September 29, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Mr. Ganapathy should first read the works of master buddhist scholars like Ananda Koomaraswamy, Chandradhara sharma, Mr. and Mrs. R.Davids, Vidhushekhara bhattacharya, Baladeva upadhyaya and a host of others. Ambedkar, in spite of his learning has many short comings and above all, he him self had known the true colours of Islam, Christianity and other such prophetic cults. That is why he embraced Buddhism. bhagavan Buddha him self has declared many times in the pitakas that he is only echoing the
    thoughts of the early Vedic masters. One can refer to Sutta nipaata, Kutadanta sutta. Metta sutta,
    Dhamma pada, Milinda Pannoh and many more. I have made a study of Buddhism in both the Pali and Sanskrit sources and if the interested are ready for a face-to-face debate i am always ready. I ave also studied all the basic texts of Sanaatana dharma in the originals and i am very sure that Buddhism is only an internal reaction or a correction factor to Sanaatana dharma. Therefore pitting social customs, of course they should not be ignored, against philosophy and Dharma(i don’t call it religion) is not a just way in this discussion. For that matter, varna, jaati, aashrama, mata etc., are not the essential features of Sanaatana dharma. They are all included in the vishesha dharmas. Even the karma siddhanta, rebirth,image worship etc are not the most basic features of it. It is only the oness of Conciousness(aikaatmya bhaava or the sat-chit- aanandaikya) that becomes the bed rock of our Dharma and culture. The rest have to be molded in this light alone. This has been our larger and the most scientific tradition also. Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramana mahasrshi, Naaraayana guru, Kabir,
    Allama prabhu, Jnaneswar, Samratha Ramdas and many more did the same thing. Even regarding the temple of Badari nath also Sri Sankaracharya is not the culprit. It is said in the medieval texts that
    Buddhists themselves had destroyed the Naaraayana temple there! The great Buddhist scholar and communist Rahul sankrityayana himself in his book Buddha charyaa says that no Sankaracharya or any
    other Hindu saint destroyed the Buddhist monuments and it is all the evil acts of Muslim invaders.
    He even goes to the extent of saying that the corrupt Buddhist monasteries also played a
    vital role!The great scholar P>V> Kane in his History of Dharma Sastra(vol 5) proves the same fact.
    Me too have many evidences. But one thing of Ganapathy has to be accepted, i.e.,we Hindus must
    appoint qualified practicing Hindus, irrespective of caste or creed accept as our priests. This has been
    carried out by many already since two centuries(Arya samaj, Ramakrishna mutt, chimaya mission etc.,)
    But this should become the major way. For that matter, Vedic culture was so.
    Ganesh.R.

  26. September 29, 2010 at 4:36 PM
  27. Manish
    September 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    One thing that Sandeep should have brought up in his rebuttal is the status quo. The fact is that currently, we have a Ram Mandir at the location where Puja is being performed. I see no reason if that would change in near future. What this translates to is that Mandir is there and already been built although it is not of the grand variety promised.

  28. Demo-crazy
    September 29, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    I posted a comment on 24/09, on IBNlive.com at this page: “http://ibnlive.in.com/conversations/thread/165983-0-1-1.html#1394056″ on the story: “SC stays Ayodhya title suit verdict by one week” . I am reproducing it below for the reference of readers here.

    I believe it is only a Hindu who can magnanimously say I will give my place of worship for you to build a school, hospital, etc. Has anyone who prays in a mosque, church, ever offered to convert his place of worship into some public property? Ever wondered why they don\’t do it?

    Remember, the question is not about the thousands of temples that were desecrated, demolished, and mosques built. It is only about three main places of worship. Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi. You can check out how in each of these places the Muslim rulers then built mosques. You can also check out the history of Somnath temple, and how Sardar Patel, Pandit K.M. Munshi, and Dr. Babu Rajendra Prasad (the first president of India) ensured the temple was built, that was plundered, desecrated by waves of attacks from the invading armies of Mahmud of Ghajni and others. Please read this wiki article to know more, and hope you will think twice on this matter to understand the designs of those who want these invaders signs to continue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somnath
    **********************************
    It is really ironic that many Hindus are ignorant of history, or, are too timid, and do not have any pride in their heritage, their history, their culture. We must always remember that we have no other place on earth to call as our own. We can be secular but at the same time we must have a consciousness of our cultural heritage.

    Those who have played minority wooing politics by playing up illegitimate, or illogical demands, have played with the nation’s destiny. We continue to pay a very heavy price in Kashmir, in North East, in Assam, in the Naxal menace, in Orissa, etc. In almost all parts of the country we have some fanatical group at work which makes a mockery of civilian rights, rule of law, and for most part of the time the government is utter failure. We have witnessed horrible events in Kerala, Kashmir, North-east, Orissa, etc. All this can be attributed to the acts of the so called secular establishment which prefers to look the other way when people from so called minority groups take up violent measures to enforce their view.
    Even then, a Hindu still wants to say ‘lets forget it’. What a shame!

    We gave 125 crores for flood relief in Pakistan, after they cribbed about the ‘measly’ 5 crore. After receiving that money, Pak people called us ‘Indian dogs’ in the context of their ‘pro-Kashmir strike’. On what basis should one deal with such ungrateful people? Why waste our money on them? The foreign minister of that country tried to humiliate our FM. They must be laughing about the extent our ruling politicians can bend to get a dialog process go on.

  29. Sid
    September 28, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    All,
    take a look here:
    http://www.dailypioneer.com/286298/SRK–icon-of-religious-unity.html
    This one is amazing quote:
    In “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” (K3G), Arno Krimmer sees many traits of Lord Rama or the ideal man. This similarity between K3G and the epic Ramayana deserves notice by critics, scholars and audiences alike, argues Krimmer, an Austrian filmmaker who is the first foreign Resident Faculty at Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India where he taught screenplay writing.
    I have began to understand where they have got the idea for films like Sawariya now-a-days.

  30. ganapathy
    September 28, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    dear sandeep
    i am not indoctrinated with any ideology and have neither pride nor hatred on things which r by birth and one has no control. i will whole heartedly support the building of ram temple if the sangh promises that it will have dalit priests(the same quota as given by the govt of india nothing more nor less) and woman priests and will mark the beginning of a new phase of hinduism.in the same way i will join any mass conversion if a dalit is promised the next pope if crores of indians convert.i have no love for any religion.
    i was amused at the great thought process behind the naming of missiles and just pointed out on how it will depend on the rulers.
    thank you venkatesh on the twist sorry twin buddha history

  31. Venkatesh
    September 28, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Ganapathy,
    It should be noted that Gautama Buddha (Sakya Simha Buddha) who was born in Kapilavastu, Nepal (563 BC) to Suddhodana and Mayavadi is not the one mentioned in Vedas and scriptures. The Buddha (Sugata Buddha) referred in here is the Vishnu avatara was born (1500 BC) in Bodhi-Gaya (Kikata) to Anjana. As both had same name it was a confusion to many scholars. Gautama Buddha went to Bodhi-Gaya to get enlightenment from the birth place of Vishnu-avatar-Buddha.

  32. AP Keshari
    September 28, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    There is enough evidence that a temple building with pillars used to stand on the Babri structure/masjid spot, although it’s unclear if that was demolished as late as 1528 (by Babur and his sidekick Mir Baqi) or as early as 12th century when Mohd Ghouri plundered his way around. Pillar-stones with Hindu temple ornamentation were used in the construction of the Babri structure/masjid, say some researchers (I have not gone and seen it myself). Establishing symbols of conquest has been an Islamic tradition — some even argue that the Ground Zero mosque in NYC is a continuance of that — and there is no doubt that countless temples were desecrated or destroyed by jihadists over centuries. Returning Ayodhya, Kashi, and Mathura to the Hindus will go a long way in healing still-open open wounds.

  33. Ava
    September 28, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    ganapaty,
    Mayawati is grotesque! Sad for dalits to have leaders like her. At least Ambedkar was educated and was something, and had some accomplishments.
    Buddha never says a word against Hinduism: HInduism is not about idol worship. Thats what Muslism and Christians say about it. Seems like you don’t know much about the religion, but thats O.K. many Hindus are themselves ignorant of their religion. Buddha was never against caste although he accepted everyone: he did not see himself as a caste reformer, but was interested to spread his ideas. Ambedkar has a peculiar understanding of Buddhism based on his experiences, does not mean that his understanding of Buddhism necessarily represents what the religion was. Rather than learn about Buddhism from non scholars, why don’t you read some Pali scholars on early Buddhism, of which there are first rate ones out there?

  34. Rashmi
    September 28, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Swami Vivekananda on buddha and Islam must read Arun shouries article on his web http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/. All the great spiritual figures are quoted by media and intelligentia in parts or on selective basis. His views on Islam and christian are clear. I quote from Myths of Swami Part II by Arun Shourie :
    Indeed, while these personages would find Swami Vivekananda’s exhortations to tolerance and broad-mindedness and love appropriate and quotable, the words in which he urges these, the activities of Christian missionaries and Muslim conquerors he contrasts these with will make the passages highly unquotable. Here is a typical exhortation:

    His entire life was premised on one conviction: that India had a message of inestimable worth to give to the world. He had the confidence of course that the ways and message of India – and not the Church or the Prophet, nor of Marx or Lenin – would in the end prevail:

    “All religions have struggled against one another for years. Those which were founded on a book, still stand. Why could not the Christians convert the Jews? Why could not they make the Persians Christians? Why cannot any impression be made upon China and Japan? Buddhism, the first missionary religion, numbers double the number of converts of any other religion, and they did not use the sword. The Mohammedans used the greatest violence. They number the least of the three great missionary religions. The Mohammedans have had their day. Every day you read of Christian nations acquiring land by bloodshed. What missionaries preach against this? Why should the most blood-thirsty nations exalt an alleged religion which is not the religion of Christ? The Jews and the Arabs were the fathers of Christianity, and how they have been persecuted by the Christians! The Christians have been weighed in the balance in India and have been found wanting. I do not mean to be unkind, but I want to show the Christians how they look in others’ eyes. The missionaries who preach the burning pit are regarded wit horror. The Mohammedans rolled wave after wave over India waving the sword, and today where are they?” (VIII. 217-8).

    Readers must read and understand every yogi has tried to show the truth to Human beings but we have closed our window. Whosoever sought them leaving sectarian distinction was elevated.

    In India we should read everything in full on our own to reach to truth

    “Therefore the world is waiting for this grand idea of universal toleration. It will be a great acquisition to civilisation. Nay, no civilisation can long exist unless this idea enters into it. No civilisation can grow unless fanaticism, bloodshed and brutality stop. No civilisation can begin to lift up its head until we look charitably upon one another; and the first step towards that much-needed charity is to look charitably and kindly upon the religious conviction of others. Nay more, to understand that not only should we be charitable, but also positively helpful to each other, however different our religious ideas and convictions may be. And that is exactly what we do in India as I have just related to you. It is here in India that Hindus have built and are still building churches for Christians and mosques for Mohammedans. That is the thing to do. In spite of their hatred, in spite of their brutality, in spite of their cruelty, in spite of their tyranny, and in spite of the vile language they’re given to uttering, we will and must go on building churches for the Christians and mosques for the Mohammedans until we conquer through love, until we have demonstrated to the world that love alone is the fittest thing to survive and not hatred, that it is gentleness that has the strength to live on and to fructify, and not mere brutality and physical force.” (III. 187-8).

    Further He was very clear about History of India and the fact Cast is not advocated in vedas, the message which india can give to world. I quote from same article
    And it is this trough of wretchedness out of which he endeavoured to life us. But not only was the goal to which he sought to turn us the exact opposite of what the communists and secularists have peddled, his method was the exact opposite too. These worthies have kept themselves aloof from our culture; they have sought to heckle it down as outsiders looking down at something rotten in a pit. Contrast their denunciations with this way:

    “Did India ever stand in want of reformers? Do you read the history of India? Who was Ramanuja? Who was Shankara? Who was Nanak? Who was Chaitanya? Who was Kabir? Who was Dadu? Who were all these great preachers, one following the other, and a galaxy of stars of the first magnitude? Did not Ramanuja feel for the lower classes? Did he not try all his life to admit even the Pariah to his community? Did he not try to admit even Mohammedans to his own fold? Did not Nanak confer with Hindus and Mohammedans, and try to bring about a new state of things? They all tried, and their work is still going on. The difference is this. They had not the fanfaronade of the reformers of today; they had no curses on their lips as modern reformers have; their lips pronounced only blessings. They never condemned. They said to the people that the race must always grow. They looked back and they said, ‘ O Hindus, what you have done is good, but, my brothers, let us do better’. They did not say, ‘You have been wicked, now, let us be good’. They said, ‘You have been good, but let us now be better’. That makes a whole world of difference. We must grow according to our nature. Vain is it to attempt the lines of action that foreign societies have engrafted upon us; it is impossible. Glory unto God, that it is impossible, that we cannot be twisted and tortured into the shape of other nations.” (III. 219).

    His entire life was premised on one conviction: that India had a message of inestimable worth to give to the world. He had the confidence of course that the ways and message of India – and not the Church or the Prophet, nor of Marx or Lenin – would in the end prevail:

    “All religions have struggled against one another for years. Those which were founded on a book, still stand. Why could not the Christians convert the Jews? Why could not they make the Persians Christians? Why cannot any impression be made upon China and Japan? Buddhism, the first missionary religion, numbers double the number of converts of any other religion, and they did not use the sword. The Mohammedans used the greatest violence. They number the least of the three great missionary religions. The Mohammedans have had their day. Every day you read of Christian nations acquiring land by bloodshed. What missionaries preach against this? Why should the most blood-thirsty nations exalt an alleged religion which is not the religion of Christ? The Jews and the Arabs were the fathers of Christianity, and how they have been persecuted by the Christians! The Christians have been weighed in the balance in India and have been found wanting. I do not mean to be unkind, but I want to show the Christians how they look in others’ eyes. The missionaries who preach the burning pit are regarded wit horror. The Mohammedans rolled wave after wave over India waving the sword, and today where are they?” (VIII. 217-8).

  35. Sandeep
    September 28, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Ganapathy,

    Your endless stream of indoctrinated bile is helping no one here nor contributing to the one-way-street “discussion” you seem to have initiated. If you want to know what Buddha was for or against, it’s YOUR responsibility to do the required research. You can’t expect folks out here to spoonfeed you.

    It’s pretty obvious you’re convinced that Sangh/Hindus/Hinduism/Hindutva is evil. You’re entitled to your views. Stop shoving it down others’ throats.

    Thank you.

  36. ganapathy
    September 28, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    is buddha part of the ten avatars of vishnu or an supplementary avatar. can anyone elucidate what all things buddha denounced.
    was he for idol worship.
    was he for caste system
    was he for vedas/glory of sanskrit
    was he for praising god
    i read buddha thru ambedkar and kindly keep this in mind of what ambedkar said(whatever the hindus may say hindu raj is a menace to equality and liberty and has to be stopped at all costs.ambedkar was ashamed of being born as a and called a hindu and promised to get converted before his death and kept his word.he was modern day buddha and has more statues than temples in india)why should anyone force prithvi and ram on me and usurp the hindu space when majority of quotawallahs have no love lost for prithvi or ram.almost all dalit leaders with some standing like mayawathi,paswan,athawale,thirumavalavan,uditraj,prakash ambedkar all r anti sangh and anti rjb agitators.kindly remember this when talking on behalf of hindus

  37. Ram
    September 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Sandeep, I wish your efforts should wake up the guilt-conscious (for what I don’t know) HIndus.
    I see Lord Ram invoking your intellect.

  38. Malavika
    September 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Also, Buddhism borrowed many core Hindu concepts like Karma, reincarnation, Yoga and Meditation. As such there are many similarities between Indic traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jaina, Sikh .

    All these traditions believe in Karma which negates the theology of Prophethood. In a Semitic tradition all one has to do is follow a Book/Prophet and heaven is theirs and for their own flock. But worshipping in a slightly different way(Goddess Worship) will make the God of Abraham very angry any punish the individual to eternal Hell. So much for the kind God.

  39. Malavika
    September 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    ganapthy said:
    “u may consider mohammed/jesus too as the avatars but fact is buddha was distinctly anti hindu and created an new religion.jesus may be a jew but created something distinct from judaism”

    Concepts of Prophet hood and Avatara are mutually exclusive and the twain can never meet.

    “Abrahamic religions believe that there is an infinite gap of knowledge between God and man, a sort of maya equivalent. But the vast majority of denominations believe that man can have access to the ultimate truth only when God sends a prophet with a message, and that man can never replace the role of the historical prophets. Without history, therefore, man is inherently lost in darkness.

    The Indic approach leads to the experimentation and cultivation of human initiated self-realization processes, of which yoga/meditation are prominent examples.

    The Abrahamic approach leads to intensive studies of historical prophets’ messages, because this knowledge can never be known by any other means.

    The Abrahamic religions (according to the interpretations of most institutions) deny the existence of any such infinite human potential that, in effect, could make every human a potential prophet. They say, only God sends a few prophets with the message containing such critical spiritual knowledge. ”

    http://rajivmalhotra.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41:myth-of-hindu-sameness&catid=24:unclassified&Itemid=33

  40. Anand
    September 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Hello Sri,

    I find ganpathy’s trolling boring, but your very — what shall we say, interesting? intriguing? nuanced? — position is original. Kudos. You are a scholar of Islamic fundamentalism. You know Islam’s doctrines. And you are saying that Hindus must give up their claim on RJBM site in order to win the larger battle against Muslim extremism. That seems counterintuitive. Can you elaborate?

    As a scholar of Islam, you ought to know that Islamists want Babar’s mosque back because they want to uphold the “spirit of Islam”. The spirit of Islam is iconoclastic, bordering on a phobia of “idolatry”. Mullah Omar, the Taliban honcho who supervised the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas, said of those opposed to the destruction that “they want to rob Islam of its spirit”. Babar too knew that the Ram temple — and the idols within — stood in the way of Islam’s spirit. Those in favor of the mosque today also know that a temple there robs Islam of its spirit. Ergo, I’m intrigued: why, as an accomplished scholar of Islam, are you in favor of something that’s a shot in the arm of Taliban?

  41. gajanan
    September 28, 2010 at 7:46 AM

    Buddhism rejected Vedas. It is just like classical mechanics and quantum mechanics in physics. Classical mechanics in simplistic terms is seeing is believing , which can be explained in Newtonian paradigms, which is what Buddhism stands for. Quantum mechanics is beyond seeing is believing, which is where Vedanta comes in. Going beyond frontiers like the Munis , Rishis & Siddhas Vedic is ritual , whereas Vedanta is the philosophical essence of Vedas. Here is the great Erwim Schrodingers book, What is Life where he has fully praised Vedanta. http://witsend.cc/stuff/books/Schrodinger-What-is-Life.pdf
    Extracts from the above web site.
    “The earliest records to my knowledge date back some 2,500 years or more. From the
    early great Upanishads the recognition ATHMAN = BRAHMAN upheld in (the
    personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian
    thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent the quintessence of deepest insight
    into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having
    learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all
    thoughts. Again, the mystics of many centuries, independently, yet in perfect harmony with each
    other (somewhat like the particles in an ideal gas) have described, each of them, the
    unique experience of his or her life in terms that can be condensed in the phrase: DEUS FACTUS
    SUM (I have become God). To Western ideology the thought has remained a stranger, in
    spite of Schopenhauer and others who stood for it and in spite of those true lovers who, as they
    look into each other’s eyes, become aware that their thought and their joy are numerically one -
    not merely similar or identical; but they, as a rule, are emotionally too busy to indulge in clear
    thinking, which respect they very much resemble the mystic. Allow me a few further comments.
    Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular. Even in the pathological
    cases of split consciousness or double personality the two persons alternate, they are
    never manifest simultaneously. In a dream we do perform several characters at the same time, but not indiscriminately: we are one of them; in him we act and speak directly, while we often
    eagerly await answer or response of another person, unaware of the fact that it is we who
    control his movements and his speech just as much as our own. How does the idea of plurality
    (so emphatically opposed by the Upanishad writers) arise at all? Consciousness finds itself
    intimately connected with, and dependent on, the physical state of a limited region of matter, the
    body. (Consider the changes of mind during the development of the body, at puberty, ageing,
    dotage, etc., or consider the effects of fever intoxication, narcosis, lesion of the brain and so
    on.) Now there is a great plurality of similar bodies. Hence the pluralization of
    consciousnesses or minds seems a very suggestive hypothesis. Probably all simple,
    ingenuous people, as well as the great majority of Western philosophers, have accepted it. It
    leads almost immediately to the invention of souls, as many as there are bodies, and to the
    question whether they are mortal as the body is or whether they are immortal and capable of
    existing by themselves. The former alternative is distasteful while the latter frankly forgets,
    ignores or disowns the fact upon which the plurality hypothesis rests. Much sillier questions
    have been asked: Do animals also have souls? It has even been questioned whether women, or
    only men, have souls. Such consequences, even if only tentative, must make us suspicious of the
    plurality hypothesis, which is common to all official Western creeds. Are we not inclining to
    much greater nonsense, if in discarding their gross superstitions we retain their naive idea of
    plurality of souls, but ‘remedy’ it by declaring the souls to be perishable, to be annihilated with the
    respective bodies? The only possible alternative is simply to keep to the immediate experience
    that consciousness is a singular of less is never which the plural is unknown; that there is only
    one thing and Even in the that what seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different
    personality aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian MAJA); the same
    illusion is produced in a gallery of mirrors, and in the same way Gaurisankar and Mt Everest
    turned out to be the same peak seen from different valleys” (MAJA is MaYa ).

    Another aspect is Sanskrit which is the language of Vedas. Here is John Dobson , the creator of Dobsonian telescope http://www.sidewalkastronomers.us/id31.html
    in his masterpiece work ” Advaita Vedanta and modern science”

    http://roland.pri.ee/roland/HTML/tekstid/advaita/index.php

    ” Teaching in what we call the West, that is in America and Europe Swamiji had a special problem — how to present the map against the cultural background of his listeners. Westerners think science. In Europe and America people think and act against the background of science. Science is their map. They do not think and act against the background of philosophy as people do in India. For thousands of years the Indian mind has lived and thought philosophy. In India Swamiji found a language ready-made for handling philosophical ideas. There is no language on the face of the earth even comparable to Sanskrit in its competence to handle philosophical concepts. Swamiji found himself translating and re-translating from Sanskrit to English. In English there is no word for Vivartavada (the doctrine that the first cause is apparitional). Parinama (transformation) is understood but not Vivarta. There is no word for Brahman, for Atman, for Maya or for the Gunas. It is not just that the words are absent; the ideas are also absent.”

    Swami here is Swami Vivekananda.

    One must read and understanf the Upanishads all with a help of Guru. For example Sandilya Upanishad extols Ahimsa. Upanishads encompasses all Indian philosophies. You will find all aspects of founded religions from India in Upanishads.

    http://www.celextel.org/108upanishads/sandilya.html

    Under Yama (forbearance) are ten: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Daya, Arjava, Kshama, Dhriti, Mitahara and Saucha. Of these, Ahimsa is the not causing of any pain to any living being at any time through the actions of one’s mind, speech, or body.

    In fact if you read and understand Upanishads and Vedas , you will rediscover India as this blog is titled.

  42. Kaffir
    September 28, 2010 at 4:06 AM

    ganapathy, read ava’s comment. There’s much similarity between Buddha’s teachings and what Hinduism says. The difference is that Buddha rejected the authority of the Vedas, but other than that, the concepts of dukkha, nibbana, dhamma are exactly the same as in Hinduism.

    As for din-i-elahi, yes, Akbar – an illiterate Muslim – did realize that Islam was not perfect and came up with a new religion. No wonder that the Muslim clerics of that time were opposed to this new religion of Akbar and thought it heretical – since Islam is the final word of god. Also, ask any modern-day Indian Muslims what they think of Akbar and whether they are enamored of his din-i-elahi. For most Muslims today, the emperor they think highly of is not Akbar, but Aurangzeb – and for obvious reasons, because Aurangzeb showed those kaffir Hindus and Sikhs the true face of Islam and taught them a lesson.

  43. Sid
    September 27, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    Pure thoughtless and useless rhetoric
    Thank you . Why bother replying to it if it is such?

    In what sense this building of temple wakes up Hindus to the danger that awaits us from Islamic take over of West Bengal and Assam?
    Sri, would you know about Hindutva if this temple issue never come up? It is the temple issue that got Hindutva the wide awareness because it touched the nerve of the millions – the collective thinking of the unwashed millions who sought to protect their way of life from Islamic butchers. Yes, the temple is that important.

    Realize what is important. A mere temple or holding on to our land? – Not my land, it is Ayodhya. Do you know the place called Ayudhaya in Thailand? It is built on the basis of Ramayana and today it is a tourist spot in a Buddhism-majority nation. What did we do for Ayodhya?
    You know how divisive this issue this is among Hindus? – Do you? There are Hindus who have no idea why they call themselves Hindu. Ayodhya is a good point of testing their commitment.
    This so called new generation of so called technocrats live in false existence.
    I guess we “technocrats” are robots. You want to categorize us into one side, some other JNU types want to us to brand as Hindutva, people like GB thinks all we want to go to is a mall and nobody knows what we want. Face us, we are the new generation that came from the much hated middle class or even lower peasantry, not the martini-drinking intellectual elite. Many among us retain the teachings of our parents who did not find it shameful to call themselves Hindu. We have as much agreement and disagreement among the rest of India.
    Sandeep himself wrote a bit about bloggers and I like to add that they are distanced from reality and not interested in even trying to find out? Actually they are not interested in anything except themselves. Do you know that these idiots (bloggers) take Bakra Dutt as some role model just because she speaks good english and appears in media?
    Do you actually know what you are writing about? The only thing Burqa Futt care about is bashing the bloggers left and right. There exists both secular and Hindutva bloggers – in equal numbers. Look around and try to find about commenters in Sandeep’s blog. Many, like me will go to both temples and malls but would not confuse between two.

  44. Ava
    September 27, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    “buddha was distinctly anti hindu ”
    Will the Pali scholar show me the instances in which the Buddha was anti-HIndu in the Pali scriptures? The innermost circle of the first Buddhist monks were all Hindus who were drawn to Shakyamuni’s teachings. They helped to propagate his teachings, but they were not anti-HIndu. People like you should read a book or two on Buddhism before you make all kinds of spurious assertions. Buddha merely tried to restore the masculinity and austerity in the original religion, which were showing signs of decay in this respect in his times. The more carefully one studies Buddhism, the more closely it resembles Hinduism.
    Don’t compare Shakyamuni to Jesus. There is no evidence of the latter, but the archaeological evidence has even found the birth place of the Buddha. Buddhism is based on truth and logic and places emphasis on individual will and willing and is active in that it places responsibility on the individual, not upon miracles, faith, grace and superstition.

    As to why there are no religions, in the case of Hinduism there is no need for one. A few changes in its institutional structures, never damages the core teachings.
    I think you little realize how your comments display your ignorance.

  45. ganapathy
    September 27, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    dear keshari
    u may consider mohammed/jesus too as the avatars but fact is buddha was distinctly anti hindu and created an new religion.jesus may be a jew but created something distinct from judaism.
    i am really confused to know who r the descendants of ram/babur and will be more than happy if all the fanatics undergo genetic testing to know whether they stand on the correct team or playing for the opponents.if archaeological evidence is important so too the genetic evidence.poor common populations shifted religions according to their rulers. birbal became a follower of din illahi and the same would have been with crores of common man. if akbar had lived for 30 more years and had a son who was like what ashoka was for buddhism din illahi would have been an dominant religion.
    if peter and the other disciples had just quit or engels had not religiously noted down marx blabberings which interested lenin there would have been no christianity or communism.kindly ponder why there r no new religions with advancement in science and spread of knowledge across all classes. why the hindutva followers are not enamoured by the lastest avatar of lord vishnu the king of nepal unlike the previous avatars who existed some centuries back.ignorance is the backbone of religion.
    kindly go thru the history of badrinath shrine and u will know the truth.large parts of south was fully buddhist and the treatment of one king by a saivite converted the ruled to saivism.the religion of the king the religion of the subjects

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