NATIONS, nation-states, religions and civilisations in their entirety have been irretrievably wiped off the face of the earth by Islam and the Church; while there is no vestige of pre-Islamic and pre-Christian religions in Rome, Greece, America and Africa, the Hindu nation, even after the combined onslaught of Islam, the Church and Nehruvian secularism, has emerged with its civilisation, religion and culture intact. If anything, the surge in Hindu determination to preserve Hindu dharma and protect the Hindu nation from further predatory Abrahamic onslaught is only growing stronger.
Notwithstanding the yet floundering sense of nation and nationhood afflicting English-educated Hindus since 1885 when the Indian National Congress was created, and English-educated dark-white Hindus who considered serving in colonial administration and the Bar and Judiciary to be high honour, one Indian court while acknowledging that the Ramjanmabhoomi belongs to Hindus, however delivered a fork-tongued judgement on September 30, 2010. Even as they allowed the Janmabhoomi to be returned to the Hindus, two of the three judges, one Muslim and one Hindu, handed over one-third of ownership rights to Muslims, sure proof of the persistent floundering Hindu consciousness, palpable fear of standing up to Muslim violence and our propensity to grandstand to the international community, our commitment to secularism.
The territory of Ayodhya, land of the Ikshvakus and far older than Sri Ram, was not for the judges of Allahabad High Court to divide and distribute; juxtaposed against Hindu right to the Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, the Muslim claim to the site of ‘Babur’s mosque’ is bizarre to be polite. Just as surreal and untenable would be Christian claims to Al Aqsa, Muslim claims to Bethlehem and Jewish claims to the Kabah in Mecca. Our lawyers, judges and politicians who play God as a matter of right with the destiny of the Hindu nation, must travel to Rome, Greece and Egypt for a better understanding of their own responsibility to preserve the timeless Hindu religion and civilisation on its territory.
At the heart of Athens stands the Temple of Olympian Zeus. This majestic temple, which was repeatedly razed to the ground in numerous wars, was ordered to be rebuilt by Antiochos IV, the king of Syria in 2nd century BC. However, Antiochos died soon thereafter and the temple was completed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 131 AD. Of the 104 columns which adorned the temple, each one standing loftily at 17 meters, only 16 remain as ruins of an ancient religion and civilisation, now forever dead.
The Temple of Poseidon, the god of the seas, standing on a promontory in Sounion, the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula, has fared no better. The ruins of this once powerful temple and the remnants of a wall belonging to an ancient fort are all that remain of an important period in Athenian history. Aegeus, king of Athens (the Aegean Sea bears his name) threw himself from atop the Sounion cliff into the sea in despair when he saw the ship carrying his son Theseus returning from Crete with a black sail instead of white, which meant that his son Theseus had been killed in the battle with the Minotaur. The Temple of Poseidon was the beacon and sanctuary of Athens’ sea-faring warriors, fishermen, and traders alike.
Of the 42 magnificent marble columns in the temple, only 18 remain today. It is the same wretched story across Rome, Florence, Venice, Athens and Delphi. Temples to Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon, Saturn, Mars, Mercury and Venus, all made of Parian and Pentelic marble, have been reduced to rubble, to broken stones, desolate pillars and lonely columns, disfigured deities and empty prayer halls, all standing accusingly under the open sky. Of the once all-powerful Delphi Oracle, there is no sign.
The Propylaea, Parthenon, the Erectheion on the Acropolis, temples to Athena Nike and Apollo in Athens and Delphi, the Roman Forum, Caesar’s grave and the Roman Pantheon with its temples to several gods and goddesses, have been destroyed, plundered, looted, mutilated not only by Persians, Goths, Visigoths and Vandals but also by early Christians, medieval and post-medieval Popes and by Turkish Islamic hordes; and of course the accursed Lord Elgin. Now we know the etymology for ‘vandalism’. Beginning from the 3rd century AD and until the present day, the Church has planted the cross in temples, shrines and other monuments belonging to other faiths. Thus we can see the tragicomic cross in the Roman Pantheon, in the Roman Agora, in Hadrian’s Library, in a small pre-Christian shrine across the Loch Ness and of course in the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple in Santhome, Chennai.
Damiano, my guide who conducted me across the Roman Forum and the Pantheon is a student of History and History of Art. To a pointed question addressed to him privately about the tonnes of missing marbles and bronzes of his country’s history and religion, Damiano remarked bitingly, that if I had a discerning eye, I would see entire marble canopies, uprooted pillars, pediments, columns, marble and bronze sculptures in the churches across Italy, in the Vatican, in private collections put together from plunder and public auctions in the homes of the rich and infamous around the world. Of course, he added bitterly, if you travel to Paris and London, you will see most of the plundered history of Rome, Greece and Egypt in the Louvre and British Museum; which I did.
All of this has a bearing on the judgement on Ramjanmabhoomi and its significance for this nation. The passionate desire of the people of Rome and Greece to preserve the wretched ruins, their relentless battle to reclaim the priceless items of their pre-Christian heritage now housed in museums outside their countries and bring them home to where they belong, is rooted in the primordial need of man and nations to root their self-identities in an illustrious past, to root national self-identity to an ancient civilisation; more so when the past was a far superior civilisation which gave brilliant expression not only in the creative arts but also in systems of philosophy and law. The Roman and Greek civilisations, like the Hindu civilisation, were both sensuous and cerebral.
When Athens built its modern, contemporary Academy of Science, it placed towering statues of Athena and Apollo at either end. Sitting majestically at the entrance of the University of Athens are Socrates and Plato while the walls are adorned by stunningly beautiful friezes of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Hippocrates, Homer, Sophocles and Euripides with anthropomorphic figures of Rhetoric, Law, History, Philosophy and Poetics. Not a sign of Christianity or the Church anywhere. And yet, one of the first acts of Emperor Justine, soon after Greece became a Christian country, was to ban the teaching of Law and Philosophy in his Christian kingdom! The Church has always destroyed not only the body but also the mind of her victims.
The Greeks and Romans today are seeking to live in a past they have rendered illegitimate and soulless. The tragedy of the people of Rome and Greece is that they want to re-connect with the same gods whom they and the religion to which they owe allegiance today, have damned as ‘pagan’ and unfit for worship. They want the body without the soul; they want the temples to be reconstructed, but in museums; they want the gods to adorn their monuments but they do not want to place these gods inside the temples for worship. The Romans and Greeks want their past in disconnected pieces.
The lesson that our lawyers, judges and politicians need to learn from the tragedy of Rome, Greece and Egypt is that while pre-Islamic and pre-Christian kings destroyed the temples of their enemies in wars, the same temples would be re-built again and again and yet again and the gods re-installed for worship. But that which Islam and Christianity have destroyed over 2000 years has not been rebuilt and revived. The destruction is final and the past irretrievable. And that is why reclaiming Ayodhya is an important battle in the war of the Hindu nation. Reclaiming, not just the Ramjanmabhoomi but Ayodhya, will signal the beginning of the Hindu nation’s war to correct gross injustices perpetrated in the name of the Abrahamic religions. The judgement of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court is the first move in this battle.
Hindus not only want their gods and goddesses in their temples, they also want to get back those temples still in the custody of Islam and the Church. Hindus want their gods in temples, where they belong and not as statues in public spaces bereft of divinity, which is where they will soon be if Hindus lack the courage to protect the Hindu nation.
(The writer is the Editor, Vigil Online and author of the book Eclipse of the Hindu nation, Gandhi and his Freedom Struggle.)