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Bhoomi pujan: Indian Muslims 'didn't like' conversion of Turkish museum into mosque

Prayers at Hagia Sophia, Turkey
By Adv Masood Peshimam*
Prime Minister Narendra Modi likened the Ram Mandir campaign to freedom struggle at the bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya. As he did this, he appeared to reveal his real worldview, failing to understand as why the two events are poles apart. Indeed, there cannot be any comparison between the two.
The freedom movement was aimed at emancipating the country from the shackles of the slavery of foreign rule in which people of all faiths suffered -- except perhaps those who have practiced and proliferated the divisive politics of hate. It was a pluralistic movement, and had no religious connotation.
Muslims in India deeply respect and revere Ram. Renowned poet Iqbal termed Ram as Imamul Hind, the great leader of Indians. Muslims welcome the creation of the Ram Mandir. There can be no objection whatsoever if scores of Ram Mandir come up. What they are not reconciled is shaping up of the scenario with the irrational and brutal demolition of the Babri Masjid.
The entire governmental machinery was put to play leading to the bhoomi pujan, causing serious setback to India’s secular values. This is the result of steep, exponential rise of communalism in the country, which has immensely benefited BJP politically.
There is a need to note here, however, that Indian Muslims haven’t liked the recent conversion of the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque in Turkey. Articles in the Indian Urdu media bear testimony to this.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha (1881-1938), the Turkish field marshal and revolutionary, who was the founding father (hence called Ata Turk) of the Republic of Turkey, undertook sweeping reforms, which modernized Turkey. Yet, his reforms couldn’t erase Islam from Turkey. Similarly, despite his repressive ways, Stalin also couldn’t erase Islam from the Russia.
Indeed, to be a believer in a faith or not is a matter of one's choice, which can't be dictated by those in power. Demolition of a place of worship can't erase a faith.
Against the backdrop of the bhoomi pujan, there were celebrity voices from the Congress, particularly that of Priyanka Gandhi, on the occasion of the bhoomi pujan, in favour of the construction of the Ram Temple.
It is all too well known what role the Congress has played in facilitating the environment for laying the foundation stone of the Ram Mandir. BJP furthered the whole process, culminating it into its political agenda.
No less significant is to recall the track record of the Congress in communal violence in India, which is not at all comfortable. Its behaviour in anti-Sikh riots is a testimony for this.
Muslims in India deeply respect and revere Ram. Renowned poet Iqbal termed Ram as Imamul Hind, the great leader of Indians
Ironically, however, those who blamed the Congress for the anti-Sikh riots also did not anything to restrain the street turbulence against Sikhs. They remained silent at that point of time. The anti-Congress political ammunition later was meant to reap political benefit.
While the Congress can't come out of the troubled waters by practicing soft Hindutva, the exponential rise of BJP can well be attributed to the Congress’ politics. There is already certain amount of unease within the party with its stance on the bhoomi pujan. The Muslim leadership in the party has given vent to its rumblings over the party's stance.
Former Rajya Sabha chairman Rehman Khan has expressed disappointment over the change seen in the Congress’ stance. He referred to the the Constituent Assembly debate on May 26, 1949 regarding the deletion of the provision of separate electorate for the minorities, quoting Frank Anthony, representing the Anglo Indian community, as stating that Congress men were “spiritually attached” to RSS and Hindu Mahasabha.
Amidst the current political turmoil around the Ram Mandir, one shouldn’t forget that the country is facing the enormous challenge of the pandemic. The Modi government has failed to tackle the grim situation arising out of Covid-19. The consequences of the failure reverberate, impacting lives and livelihoods of the people.
But would the government get serious with the main issue of the deadly virus leaving aside its obsession with communal agenda?
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*Advocate based in Kalyan, Maharashtra

Comments

Unknown said…
Ataturk didn't try to erase Islam from Turkey he tried to erase politicians who use and comprise ( trying to change Islamic facts and perspectives for their interest) Islam.

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