Skip to main content

Hindutva 'transformed' Ram from man with exemplary virtues to aggressive warrior

By Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey* 
Ram has been described as Maryada Purushottam, the most virtuous among men. He left his kingdom merely because he didn't want to hurt the sentiments of his step mother and went on a 14 years exile. It was not in his character to enter into a dispute. He had to enter into a fight with Ravana only because his wife was abducted.
But even then before killing Ravana he asked Laxman to go and seek Ravana's blessings because he was an accomplished Brahmin scholar. Even though Ram is rightly criticised for having abandoned Sita on a hearsay, it shows that he avoided controversies.
It is a pity that in the name of such a Ram a political campaign was carried out by organisations subscribing to Hindutva ideology purely for political motive and a mosque was demolished for the purpose of building a temple. The country has witnessed how the Bhartiya Janata Party consolidated its mass support around this issue alone.
Had there been no Ram temple movement BJP would have never acquired political power in this country. Hence the temple going to be built at Ayodhya is a political temple not a religious one. But the BJP and Sangh Parivar, which all along has been claiming to be a cultural organisation, by conflating political and cultural (read religious) agenda have exploited the sentiments of gullible masses.
On December 6, 1992, Kalyan Singh, the then BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, during the day had given word to Supreme Court that he would protect the Constitution of this country, but felt elated when Babri mosque was demolished and claimed that he was a RSS worker first and a CM later.
The present CM Yogi Adityanath has brought an ordinance which enables the government to recover the cost of damage to public and private property from people who were allegedly involved in movment and ensuing violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests.
However, the demolition of Babri mosque, which has been described as a criminal act even by the SC judgement awarding the disputed land to Hindus for construction of temple, is obviously viewed differently by the Hindutva forces. Kalyan Singh says that had not the mosque been demolished it would not have paved the way for temple construction. How can one destruction and violence be legitimised and even glorified and another demonised?
At a time when the world is facing its most serious health crisis in the form of coronavirus it is ironical that the Prime Minister, instead of strengthening the public health care system, has decided to be part of the foundation laying ceremony of the temple. It is not clear how a temple at Ayodhya, except for benefitting the BJP politically, will further the welfare of general people, which should be government's top priority. The resources going to be spent on this grand temple could have been better utlised in the interest of common masses. 
Had there been no Ram temple movement BJP wouldn't have ever acquired political power. It is going to be political temple
The Ram temple movement has also damaged the liberal image of Hindu religion. The image of Ram himself was transformed from a family man possessing exemplary virtues to an aggressive warrior. A religious Hindu believes that God is omnipresent. In Ayodhya itself there are many temples which claim to be the birth place of Ram.
By pinpointing one particular location, at the site of a mosque with the purpose of extracting political mileage from it, the politics of Hindtuva has constricted the vision of Hindu religion. Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the world and is known for its inclusivity and diversity. But the assertive Hindtuva has pit Hindu religion in competition to a much newer religion, the Islam, because for the political aggrandisement project it was necessary to create an enemy.
This is the biggest irony. Hindu religion had no competition to begin with, it survived various challenges from different religions which came with outside conquorers as well as from the newborn indigenous religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, but the politics of Hindutva needed an enemy in the form of Muslims or Islam for its naked promotion. This fact should be sufficient to convince people that the Ram temple in Ayodhya is against the tenets of Hindu religion and as such cannot be acceptable either to Ram or to an ordinary Hindu.
The futuristic religious places would be where followers of every religion would be welcome. In the post coronavirus world human beings will have to evolve a culture of co-existence. In Ayodhya itself there is a Ram Janki temple which has a vision of converting itself into a multi-faith harmony centre.
A Sarva Dharm Sambhav Trust has been created to build such a futuristic religious place which will welcome followers of any religion under the Sun as well as atheists. This trust has the Mahant of this temple Acharya Yugal Kishore Shashtri, who is known for his steadfast opposition to communal politics,
Faisal Khan, who revived the historic Khudai Khidmatgar organisation, a Dalit scholar from Bihar Harinarayan Thakur, a transgender Reshma from Patna and one of the writers of this article as its Trustees. A langar, similar to the one run at Gurudwaras, has already begun at this temple where people of all religions and castes are welcome to come and partake the serving. The langar committee is headed by a Muslim Danish Ahmad and has a few Dalit members. 
The Sarva Dharm Sadbhav centre intends to be a symbol of syncretic culture.
---
*Arundhati is with National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM); Sandeep Pandey, a Magsaysay award winning social activist, is with Socialist Party (India)

Comments

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.