Hey Ram! Those were the last words uttered by Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nation, when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, an ardent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist on Jan.30, 1948.
Godse and Gandhi, ironically, worshipped Ram, the Hindu deity on whom the entire country was hooked in a willing suspension of belief and disbelief a few days back. Gandhi was not a Muslim, not a non-believer of Hindu religion too, yet Godse and his ilk plotted against him. To them Gandhi was a traitor just because he stood for Hindu-Muslim unity when the country was partitioned along the lines of religion, a condition put forward by the British colonial powers in 1947 ending nearly two centuries of occupation.
Much before the shameful incident, Ram was a captive at the hands of Hindu fanatics. Isn’t it their hard belief in Ram helped the Hindu party BJP emerge as a major political party and even complete the five-year term at the pinnacle of power in Delhi?
The RSS and other major Hindu communal parties like Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad achieved this Hindutva mileage through the demolition of Babri Masjid on Dec.6, 1992 which gave them a space in the Indian secular political canvas.
Without Ram what would they have been now!
So in all respects, they are indebted to Ram. They are so keen to free him and place him on an adobe much suited to his historic credentials. Scriptures, epics helped them to project Ayodhya as his birthplace. Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata say Ram was born in Ayodhya. Even a little child knows this. But why the politicians placed the country in a fix for this silly matter. And now the three-member Allahabad High Court toiled day and night, to pronounce a verdict and that too with much apprehension and little evidence. When politicians secretly anticipated for an outburst from the common man, they seemed less interested in this fracas of politics mixed with religion. Still most of them glued to TV sets, curious to have an end to the whole drama.
Killing the anxiety of millions in the country and other nations keenly watching the entire trial and tribulations, the court pronounced an all-pleasing verdict splitting the disputed site among Hindus and Muslims. Thereby coming up with a ruling none could challenge with full throat that they are sidelined purposefully. The court was sure about one thing, the place belongs to both. Out of context, let me say, I am relieved so much with the verdict:Even if our Hindu neighbours, from whom my father bought properties 60 years ago, claim the land, I will get a judicial justice.
The verdict gave two third of the disputed land to Hindus and one third to Muslims. If the verdict was just the reverse, no doubt, the country would have witnessed a riot like those that happened in Mumbai and Godhra. Muslims welcomed the verdict with full patience and stood by the country in a crucial decision. And the Muslims in India set an example to the West, where Islam is considered as a religion which propagates fundamentalism. It is not the religion anywhere that creates problems, but those followers who misuse religion for their own mean ends. That’s what Ayodhya verdict simply states.
The three-bench court without any doubt found out Ram was born in the disputed Ayodhya site, exactly where Babri Masjid was built by Babar, the Mughal ruler in 1527. How did they find out that? No scientific evidence were produced. Still, the people accepted the verdict signalling a new chapter in the course of history demanding the politicians to put their hidden agendas in shelves. If the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition ended in a communal riots killing hundreds and resulted in a second partition-like situation, the keenly watched Babri verdict was welcomed with much restraint.
When Justice Lieberhan commission’s report on Ayodhya was leaked to the media, it was received well by the political parties trying to make an advantage out of the “mischief.”
A similar mischievous deed of placing Ram idols in Babri Masjid on Dec.23, 1949 opened the issue in independent India. But timely intervention of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Uttar Pradesh chief minister GB Pant, avoided a greater mishap which would have happened soon after the independence. And years later, Nehru’s grandchild Rajiv Gandhi, out of his political immaturity opened the Pandora’s Box much to the benefit of saffron parties. And now with his widow Sonia Gandhi ruling Congress, the grand old party in India, once again opened it.
Unlike her husband, she did it with a farsighted target of crushing down Congress’ main rival opposition, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. With the Left parties becoming toothless and aimless, it was just BJP which remain as a block to Congress in the long run. Secondly, as a wife, she seems to exonerate her husband from his pitfalls and deconstruct whatever he had failed during his governance. The first move from her was to sanitise Rajiv’s name in Bofors scam. And now, one more stain lies in his name, the foolishness of opening the gates of Ayodhya temple in 1986.
Now with the Allahabad verdict, Congress is happy, Left parties indecisive and BJP forced to accept a pleasing verdict, let us think about Ram. Poor thing, running after all these centuries to have a birth place of his own, now just have to wait for a few months to get back into his home. But Ram is also waiting to know his date of birth? Anyone to take up his plea?