Indian "Secularists" in a time warp
By Dr Jay Dubashi
What they do not realise is that India has changed and is no more the same country that exploded, or so we were told, when Babarís dome came down. Eighteen years is after all a long time for even the pea-brained secularist to realise that the world doesnít stand still, no matter how loud you shout, and how often. There is, after all, a great difference between the real world and a make-believe world fashioned by politicians and down-at-heel journalists.
THREE years after the Berlin Wall came down and barely a year after the Soviet empire collapsed in a heap, the so-called Babri mosque was pulled down in Ayodhya in a show of religious and nationalistic fervour that stunned the world. And in less than twenty years after that, the judiciary has said that what some people call the mosque was built upon a religious building and the land, at least two-thirds of it, belonged to Hindus, not only because they have been using it all these years but because their faith demanded it.
The judgment has received universal approbation except for the usual rag-tag contingent of secularists who simply cannot believe that their time is up. After a couple of op-ed articles in the usual papers, they have fallen silent. Even the TV debates led by the usual vocal gangs, hand-picked for their "secular" leanings, have lost their sting. And Congressmen who used to shout from rooftops every time somebody mentioned "Ram, Ram" do not know which way to turn and even Digvijay Singh has lost his tongue.
What they do not realise is that India has changed and is no more the same country that exploded, or so we were told, when Babarís dome came down. Eighteen years is after all a long time for even the pea-brained secularists to realise that the world doesnít stand still, no matter how loud you shout, and how often. There is, after all, a great difference between the real world and a make-believe world fashioned by politicians and down-at-heel journalists. The domes came down because they did not belong there, or they had been there too long. And the honourable judges in Lucknow have now declared that the world has changed and things cannot go on as before, just because the secularists think they ought to.
"China has stood up," said Mao Zedong when he addressed his first public meeting in Beijing after driving out the rival nationalists who fled to what was then known as Formosa. Similarly, I had said after the Ayodhya domes came down that the Hindus had stood up, and henceforth nobody would force them to go back. The world had now acknowledged the new reality - just as it did when Mao Zedong entered Beijing - and rejected all other claims.
Of course, there are still many more legal, if not political, hurdles to cross, as several parties are threatening to go to the Supreme Court and nobody knows what the court will do. But I have a feeling that the Supreme Court will go along with Lucknow, with, maybe a few reservations. After all, the Lucknow Court verdict has met with almost unanimous popular sanction, and the people want the land to be handed over to those to whom it belongs and there is no doubt at all that it belongs to Hindus.
How can it be otherwise? How can the land not belong to Hindus? Babar & Co have stolen it from us, but stolen property does not belong for all time to those who steal it. If so, the British would still be here. After all, it is they who stole our land without paying for it and built all kinds of property on it, from ornate railway stations to government houses, including a whole new capital in Delhi with a 300-room government house on Raisina Hill, which the father of the great secularist, Khushwant Singh, built for his masters.
The British could very well have demanded, as Babarís orphaned children-the so-called secularists- do, that all these properties, and the lands on which they stood, belonged to them. This is precisely what Babarís orphans are doing in Ayodhya. But why are they so particular about Ayodhya, and not, say, Victoria Terminus? Because Muslims have votes while the British donít. Babarís orphaned kids are playing a political game in the name of bogus secularism.
A few weeks after the Ayodhya domes came down in a flurry of ancient dust, I was in London for a conference-Chidambaram was with me though he did not then say that the act was criminal-and was interviewed on the BBC. The lady interviewer asked me why we- meaning presumably the Hindus- had done what we had done.
I asked her what they-meaning the British-would have done had Adolf Hitler invaded England during the last World War, as he often threatened to, and captured London, as he was bound to. He would presumably march on Trafalgar Square, close to Buckingham Palace, and ask his soldiers to climb up Nelsonís column and remove the statue.
After removing Nelsonís statue, he would almost certainly order his engineers to put up his own statue up there, with maybe a rifle in his hand. Hitler, who had served as a private in World War I, was very fond of rifles, not pistols.
"And what would you have done after Hitler was defeated and retreated to Germany?" I asked the young BBC lady, who sat there stunned by my unexpected question. What would they have done with Hitlerís statue? Would they have left it there?
"Certainly not", said the furious lady. "We would have it removed at once."
This is precisely what we did in Ayodhya, I told her, although we waited a little too long, I said. End of interview.
That Babar was a Muslim is neither here nor there. The fact is that he was an invader, pure and simple had no business being in India. This is our country, not Babarís and we have every right to throw him out, along with his depredations. We Hindus have every right to get rid of foreign aggresson, whether they are British, Portuguese, French, or, for that matter, Moghuls. Their so-called properties are nothing but loot. These men were invaders as well as looters, and which law says that a robber can keep his loot?
I have a hunch that a great majority of my Muslim friends agree with me, though they cannot say so openly. They have unscrupulous Congressmen like Chidambaram to speak for them, but Congressmen have twisted the argument and given it a communal colour. They have also criminalised it, as Congressmen always do, because their thinking is criminal. See what they have done in Kashmir, a perfectly straightforward geo-political issue that Congressmen have communalised.
As long as the Congress is in power, and Congressmen with their twisted minds call the shots, we shall continue to have problems like Ayodhya and Kashmir. Actually, Ayodhya and Kashmir are two sides of the same coin. It is a pity that we do not have wiser people than Chidambaram to deal with them.