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Ayodhya And After

Ayodhya And After

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Published by: ABID H on Sep 11, 2008
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Ayodhya And After
Issues Before Hindu Society
Koenraad ElstPublished By Voice of IndiaNew Delhi, India
I am not a Hindu. And I am certainly not a Muslim. So, when I started writing my earlier  book Ram Janmabhoomi vs Babri Masjid, a Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict, in thespring of 1990, I was an outsider to this conflict between Hindus and Muslims. But as Iventured deeper into the unique configuration of forces now existing in India, I saw thatthis was not a conflict between just any two communities. It is not just a struggle betweenone self-interest and another self-interest. It is a struggle between very unequalcontenders, with unequal motives for waging this struggle at all.On the one hand, there is the society that has continued the age-old civilization of thiscountry. It has been badly bruised by centuries of foreign rule and oppression, with themoral losses more serious than the territorial and cultural ones : it suffers of self-forgetfulness and lack of self-respect. But it is still far better off than most of the culturesthat have been overrun by the Muslim conquerors or the European colonizers. It has areal chance of coming through.On the other hand, there is a community, which is allowed to function within this larger society, but which has the roots of its separate identity outside this society's age-oldcivilization. These people's ancestors were in may cases pulled out of Hindu society andmade members of the Muslim community under duress. Now, they would automaticallyevolve back into Hindu society, were it not for some politicians and theologians whoinstill a separate communal identity in them.
The Ayodhya movement, which wants to reintegrate the sacred place of RamJanmabhoomi into the living Hindu tradition by building a Mandir on it, is at the sametime an invitation to the Muslim Indians to reintegrate themselves into the society and theculture from which their ancestors were cut off by fanatical rulers and their thought police, the theologians. It is thus an exercise in national integration.The struggle of Hindu society is not primarily with the Muslim community. The mostimportant opponents of Hindu society today are not the Islamic communal leaders, butthe interiorized colonial rulers of India, the alternated English-educated and mostly Left-leaning elite that noisily advertises its
. It is these people who impose anti-Hindu policies on Hindu society, and who keep Hinduism down and prevent it from proudly raising its head after a thousand years of oppression. The worst torment for Hindu society today is not the arrogant and often violent agitation from certain minoritygroups, nor the handful of privileges which the non-Hindu communities are getting. Theworst problem is this mental slavery, this sense of inferiority which Leftist intellectuals,through their power positions in education and the media, and their direct influence onthe public and political arena, keep on inflicting on the Hindu mind.These Leftist intellectuals work in a strange collusion with the Islamic fanatics. Normally,the atheist Left should be the sharpest opponent of religious obscurantism and dogmaticadherence to anti-universalist belief systems like Islam. But in India, the two work happily together for the destruction of their common enemy: Hindu Dharma. Of course,the Leftists are mistaken if they think they can use the Muslims for their own ends. It is aone-way collaboration, and increasingly so, as the Left is put on the defensive whileIslam is still on the offensive. So far, the Left has rendered some fine intellectual servicesto the cause of Islam. It has strongly supported the movement for the Partition of India onthe basis of the Islamic Two-Nation Theory. After Partition, it has used its increasing holdon the entire intellectual and educational scene in India to paralyze all criticism of thehistorical record and ideological character of Islam.Then again, the impression that this westernized elite is merely being used for Islamiccommunal designs, may be superficial. This elite itself is quite confident that it is in noway threatened by Islamic self-assertion. And rightfully so : Islam cannot seriouslychallenge modernity once it has really taken off and shaped the polity (as it has in India,far more than in the Shah's Iran). While Islamic resurgence may pose a physical threat toHindu society, the deeper challenge and the sharpest disdain are coming from the Left-leaning westernized (short : Nehruvian) establishment.So, one of the first tasks in the awakening of Hindu society is to scrutinize and expose the Nehruvian establishment, it its political and in, more fundamentally, its intellectualdimensions. Today, that is becoming easy. When in the fifties people like Ram Swarupand Sita Ram Goel were waging an intellectual struggle against Communism, they wereup against a dense fog of widespread fascination with this intrusive ideology. But in thenineties the sky is clearing up, and we witness the swan song of the once so arrogantLeftist intellectuals even in their last strongholds. It is a foregone conclusion that their 

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