By Ajit Hari
The facts of the matter are irrelevant. True, the Babri Masjid was demolished. It was an act of vandalism. It was unlawful. Was the Babri Masjid built over the ruins of a temple? Was the temple demolished to build the mosque? Was the demolition of the temple an act of religious assertion by the Mughals? Was that part of a sustained policy of destruction of temples by Muslim invaders? Was the narrative entirely a story of Muslim aggression and Hindu victimhood? Have there not been religious violence by Hindus?
None of this matter. None of this should matter.
What should matter is the state of the country at this moment, and the projections for the immediate future and its prospects in the longer term. And this should be the concern of all its citizens. Of all religions, all regions, all linguistic units. All the men and all the women, even children – instilling the right values in them to grow up into responsible citizens.
The truth of the matter is that the country is in a terrible shape. It is not necessary to rattle out facts and figures. They don’t matter. Suffice to say that the country is at the lower reaches of human development indices on hunger, education, healthcare, freedom of expression, human rights… practically everything.
And what do people of this country want? They want Cow Protection Bill. And they have got it. You could well say that it is just the Hindus who want this. But then, out of a population of 1.3 billion, a billion of them are Hindus. You might well say that it is just the upper caste Hindus who want this, and you would be right. But then, the lower caste Hindus don’t count. After all, they are just – low caste Hindus.
That is the reality of Bharatiya Janata Party’s India. As it stands, BJP has a strangle hold on India. They are the only pan national political force. They set the agenda for the country. And their agenda is very simple. Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan.
Thirty years ago it was inconceivable that India could countenance such a regressive ideology. It was the domain of the lunatic fringe. India was a secular democracy, albeit an imperfect and impoverished one. BJP had one seat in the parliament. Today they are the single dominant presence in the parliament.
And, they have to thank Mr. Lal Krishna Advani for that. He had the brilliant idea that the issue of building a temple at the Ram Janambhoomi would resonate with the average Hindu. He would forget all about roti, kapada aur makan, and sadak, bijlee aur paani. He would be perfectly happy with a Ram Temple. Even if he was a low caste who was not allowed to step into it.
And Mr. Advani came up with the perfect strategy to mobilize the Hindus on the issue. That was the Rath Yatra. The moment the Rath moved, the Idea of India died. All that followed was a foregone conclusion. It had to come to this. There is much more to come. All of it terrible.
Now, none of this would have been possible without the active complicity of the Muslim community in India. Just as the temple was more important to the Hindus than development and a better standard of living, the Muslims were just as clear that the mosque was more important to them than all this and more – well, their very lives. The Muslims are very big on martyrdom. And that suits the Hindus and the BJP just fine. They are very happy to oblige.
It has been a veritable orgy of rape and murder from instant the Rath Yatra got under way. And the Muslims of India appear to be reveling in the joys of victimhood. Win-win all around. It never seem to have to occurred to them they could let go of the mosque and get on with their lives.
The Muslim community and BJP have got able assistance from another quarter in fulfilling the BJP’s agenda. And that is the liberals of India, mainly comprised of the moderate Hindus. In their eagerness to demonstrate their secular credentials, they have been willing accomplices in the worst impulses of the Muslim community. They have championed the right of the Indian Muslims to every regressive practice enjoined upon the ummah by orthodox Muslim establishment. In the process, they have alienated the average progressive Hindu from the debate.
And the moderate, modern, progressive Muslim. They are nowhere in the picture. They dare not open their mouths. Any attempt to say anything sane or sensible is shouted down by not just the extremists, but the average Indian Muslim. It is their lot to suffer in silence and get raped and killed when the next cycle of ritual massacre of the Muslim comes around.
It was expected to happen when the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya Issue was delivered on the 9th of November. There was a collective sense of relief that it did not come to pass. But that was because the verdict was in favour of the Hindus. If that was not the case, it could have been another story altogether.
This is the new reality of India. The New York Times described it succinctly in their report on the Ayodhya Verdict. According to NYT, the Muslims received the verdict with ‘sullen resignation’. That is what the progressive Hindus and Christians also did. There really was no other option.
So, this is where we are at this moment. An India where the Hindus lord it over the Muslims, and the upper caste Hindus lord it over the lower caste Hindus. And the 2% Christians? What about them? They don’t count.
Only the upper caste Hindus count. Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan.
This is Ram Rajya.
Ajit Hari is a filmmaker and social activist.