Ayodhya belongs to us all, like Sri Ram. Liberhan Commission report hasn’t made even an iota of a difference having made the nation wait for seventeen years. The only course left for the government now is to approach the Guinness Book of World Records to get an award for the longest procrastination to the commission and carry on with the national business. If the Congress, in its zeal to encash on its value for Muslim appeasement, wants to create a scene after it, it will be in for a shock. Ayodhya is a difficult issue for it—its hands are everywhere from opening the locks to laying the foundation stone and later the Rao era.
The fact is no power can now shift the temple built on Ramjanmabhoomi. Daily puja is going on uninterruptedly, notwithstanding a terrorist attack on it. The charge sheets and the case have lost their relevance. Those who took up the cause politically are a divided house, some converting to neo-‘secularism’ have lost all credibility in public eyes. Even if the temple was a long-distance call, they could have at least taken care of the Ayodhya city, its protectors and the carriers of an invaluable flow of traditions—the sadhus and mathadhipatis. They didn’t do anything.
Take care of Ayodhya
Ayodhya is a city of Sri Ram and India would be less than a nation if Sri Ram is taken away or left isolated like a post-Columbus American-Indian village.
Turn Ayodhya into an international city of grandeur like Thailand has done to its own Ayutthaya. It’s a city defining India, the heritage, the immortal literature woven around it, the dreams and aspirations of people sung keeping it in the centre, the river Sarayu and the dust turned holier because Sri Ram had played in it. It’s incredibly Indian and unbelievably divine. It will earn spiritual solace. Those who think in terms of euros and dollars, they too won’t be disappointed. That would also come with a political mileage for all times without ruffling any feathers or denting a vote bank.
After all, Rajiv Gandhi had started his election campaign from here promising Ramrajya. For a devout Sikh like Dr Manmohan Singh, the Guru Granth Saheb has the most adorable references to Sri Ram. And for others, Sri Ram is India, which has given them so much of respect and power without bothering about their religion or origin. Mohammad Iqbal, the famous poet, had said: Ram is Imam-e-Hind—the greatest icon of India. They all owe to a great extent to repay a debt to this land’s civilisational power, which has been soothing and compassionate to all coming from diverse backgrounds and having different ideas.
Don’t deny Ayodhya this time
Die unsung but be honest once to your conscience.
Ayodhya has been ditched immeasurably by her own small-time courtiers.
Ayodhya deserves to be developed as an international city of Sri Ram, the King of Ayodhya, who fought the devils and gave us reasons to celebrate Deepawali, now the global festival of lights. And his return to Ayodhya makes us enact Ramlilas and burn effigies of an unrepentant wicked. That’s why we have a Vijayadashami, the Dussehra. Ayodhya is unquestioningly intertwined into the lives of billions of Hindus who would prefer a Ram Ram or Jai Siyaram as a salutation to a namaste. The joy and sorrows of Sita—Janaki—the van-gaman, exile to the forest, the Luv and Kush episode, and the ultimate jal-samadhi, self-immersion by Sri Ram in the Sarayu—this all is Ayodhya. Later, Luv established Lahore and even Pakistan government feels proud of this fact in its travel literature and Kush established Bedi clan, to which belonged Guru Govind Singh Saheb as per his bani, the holy words.
That’s us put together. That’s Ayodhya’s legacy
Make Ayodhya a union territory. A city extraordinaire must be maintained under extraordinary dispensation—the central government. Let NRIs design and fund it. Reward the pujaris and sadhus who have been keeping the flame of dharma and city’s sanctity alive, living in penury, ignored and isolated. They deserve warmth of belongingness and we owe it to them. The bungalow-owners of metros and those who raise decibels in the Parliament for nothing never help in protecting the heritage. Those who do it must be recognised. Ayodhya is more than Angkor wat because from Korean princes to the builders of Angkor wat, they all took inspiration from this city on the banks of the Sarayu. It’s not just a parliamentary or assembly seat.
An international Sri Ram university, a Janaki international airport, a Shabari university for women, a Hanuman academy for warfare, a Valmiki think tank to study invasions on India and the resultant socio-political changes, a Luv-Kush panoramic garden of Indian culture and history on the Sarayu’s banks, with a Pakistani contribution too— the city must resonate with elements that define and sustain Bharat that is India.
Think about it. Liberhan reminds you of smallness. Ayodhya is universal.