Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society

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Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society
Author Koenraad Elst
Country India
Language English
Publisher Voice of Dharma
Publication date
1991

Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society is a book by Koenraad Elst published in 1991 by Voice of India. The book is about the Ayodhya debate and also discusses Indian politics and communalism. Elst opines that reaching national integration "requires dropping the anti-Hindu separatist doctrines that have largely been created for the purposes of several imperialisms, and are now being kept afloat with a lot of distortive intellectual and propagandistic effort."

The book attempts to examine the polemics between 'communalists' and 'secularists' in India. He also writes about Indian secularism and Communalism, and alleges "that a clear majority of the riots are started by Muslims". In another chapter, the author discusses the banning of books like Ram Swarup's Understanding Islam through Hadis. In the 14th chapter he discusses the concept of "Hindu Fascism".

This book was his second book on the Ayodhya debate. It was followed by Ayodhya, The Finale and Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple.


The book is about the Ayodhya debate, but does also discuss Indian politics and communalism. Elst opines that reaching national integration "requires dropping the anti-Hindu separatist doctrines that have largely been created for the purposes of several imperialisms, and are now being kept afloat with a lot of distortive intellectual and propagandistic effort."

The book attempts to examine the polemics between 'communalists' and 'secularists' in India. He also writes about Indian secularism and Communalism, and alleges "that a clear majority of the riots are started by Muslims". In another chapter, the author discusses the banning of books like Ram Swarup's Understanding Islam through Hadis. In the 14th chapter he discusses the concept of "Hindu Fascism".

Other books about the debate by Elst include Ayodhya, The Finale and Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple.

The Ayodhya debate[edit]

Elst believes that "in keeping with the internationally accepted standards of methodology and inference in scientific history-writing, we may conclude ... that the Babri Masjid was built in replacement of a Hindu temple where Ram worship used to take place. In fact, this conclusion is merely a restatement of what was a matter of consensus until a few years ago."

But Elst does not believe in a forcible take-over of ancient temples. According to him, the Hindus should ask for a gesture of good will:

The Hindu leaders should say to the Muslim leaders : Look, we want these places back. For many centuries they have been our sacred places, and we have suffered the mosques built there only under duress. We do not believe in the forcible take-over of places of worship, we are not Babars and Aurangzebs. But we want from you a gesture of goodwill, a sign that you turn this infamous persecution page of history. We will not take any kind of revenge if you do not feel ready for this gesture, but we will expressly wait until you are ready.

In one chapter, the book describes the press reporting on the debate. Elst alleges that the media was controlled by the anti-Temple side, and that "the foreign press has not added any extra facts or perspective to the reporting on Ayodhya. It has mostly copied the bias of the Indian press."


Reception of his books on Ayodhya[edit]

Elst has written several books on the Ayodhya debate. His first was Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid, a Case Study in Hindu-Muslim conflict, while the book of the present article was his second.

Elst's book Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid, a Case Study in Hindu-Muslim conflict (1990) was the first book published by a non-Indian on the Ayodhya debate.[1] His opinion is that "until 1989, there was a complete consensus in all sources (Hindu, Muslim and European) which spoke out on the matter, viz. that the Babri Masjid had been built in forcible replacement of a Hindu temple."[2] He claimed that politically motivated academics have, through their grip on the media, manufactured doubts concerning this coherent and well-attested tradition.[1] Elst alleges that the anti-Temple group in the Ayodhya conflict have committed serious breaches of academic deontology and says that the "overruling of historical evidence with a high-handed use of academic and media power" in the Ayodhya controversy was the immediate reason to involve himself in the debate.[3]

K. Elst sent Goel a manuscript of his first book Ram Janmabhoomi Vs. Babri Masjid: A Case Study in Hindu Muslim Conflict. Goel was impressed with Elst's script: "I could not stop after I started reading it. I took it to Ram Swarup the same evening. He read it during the night and rang me up next morning. Koenraad Elst's book, he said, should be published immediately."[4] In August 1990, L. K. Advani released Koenraad Elst's book about the Ayodhya conflict at a public function presided over by Girilal Jain.[4][5]

According to Elst, the book was presented to the world by L.K. Advani and Girilal Jain, together with Sita Ram Goel’s Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them, and thereby appeared on the cover of most Indian newspapers. [6]

The book was reviewed by professor Ramesh Rao. [7]

Indologist Gerald James Larson called the book a good treatment of the Neo Hindu interpretation of the evidence. [8] K. D. Sethna, also known as Amal Kiran, he praised Elst's book on Babri Masjid as "absolutely the last word".[9]

Reflecting on a book review by Ayub Khan, Elst says that he was criticzed because his writings on the Ayodhya debate were quoted by BJP leaders like L.K. Advani. Ayub Khan wrote that "such is his importance in Hindutva circles that L.K. Advani quoted him at length while deposing before the Liberhan Commission investigation the demolition of Babri Masjid." [10]

Prof. Edwin Bryant notes that the third Ayodhya book is one of Elst's notable works. [11] The book is cited in numerous publications, like Thomas Gilly's The Ethics of Terrorism, D. Anands "Hindu nationalism in India", Rebecca Frey's "Fundamentalism", Edwin Bryants "Quest for the origins of Vedic culture", and many more.

  • Elst: "Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid, A Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict (Voice of India, 1990): Not a very good book, a typical first, but very necessary at the time. It showed that an unbiased Westerner, when relying on first-hand sources rather than on “secularist” intermediaries, could see for himself that the Ayodhya conflict resulted from one of the numerous temple destructions by Muslim conquerors. It restored the consensus view of only a few years earlier (abandoned only be “secularist” high-handedness), viz. that a Hindu temple had been forcibly replaced by a mosque. The book was presented to the world by L.K. Advani and Girilal Jain, together with Sita Ram Goel’s Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them, and thereby appeared on the cover of most Indian newspapers."
  • Elst: "Ayodhya and After. Issues before Hindu Society (Voice of India 1991): A first introduction to all the aspects of India’s religious conflicts. Critics might mention the author’s unfamiliarity with the sociological jargon that dominates the discourse on this subject. That is what makes this book so fresh and untainted. Most themes studied more thoroughly in later books are already treated here."

K.S. Lal (1999) writes: One of the best books on this topic is Koenraad Elst's Ram Janmabboomi vs. Babri Masjid.

  • In a review in the Calcutta Telegraph (ca. 30-1-1991), Manini Chatterjee of the Communist Party (Marxist) calls Hindu Temples, vol. 1, (along with my own book Ramjanmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid) a “very bad book”, but fails to even attempt a refutation. Elst 2002, chapter 1

Further reading[edit]

  • The Ayodhya demolition: an evaluation", in Dasgupta, S., et al.: The Ayodhya Reference, q.v., p. 123-154.
  • The Ayodhya debate in Pollet, G., ed.: Indian Epic Values. Râmâyana and Its Impact. Leuven: Peeters. 1995, q.v., p. 21-42. (adapted from a paper of the International Ramayana Conference and the October 1995 Annual South Asia Conference in Madison, Wisconsin)
  • The Ayodhya debate: focus on the "no temple" evidence, World Archaeological Congress, 1998

Extracts[edit]

  • In their well-known and oft-quoted statement on the Ayodhya controversy, the JNU historians have rejected the contention that there was a temple on the disputed spot before the Babri Masjid was built there. This is a wildly improbable contention. There is a general cultural pattern that would have made people build a temple there, a very important one. If you go to Ayodhya and walk to the Masjid/Janmabhoomi, you will find yourself walking uphill, even after passing the Hanuman Garhi which itself is on a little hill. Relative to the flatness of the entire Ganga basin, the disputed split is quite an elevated place, and it overlooks Ayodhya. Now, either prince Rama was a historical character, born in the castle of the local ruler, which would logically (i.e. strategically) have been built on this elevation, and then his birthplace temple would also have to be there. Or we do not assume Ram's historicity (without necessarily excluding it) and we also do not assume that he was born there, which is the JNU historians' position, and then the question is reduced to whether people would have refrained from building a temple on this hilltop. Ayodhya is a place of pilgrimage and temple city of long standing. The JNU historians themselves cite evidence that it housed important temples of the Buddhists, Shaivas and Jains. In such a temple city par excellence, it is virtually impossible that the geographical place of honour would have been left unused. The contention that there was no temple on the Babri Masjid site goes against all we know of ritual patterns in the lay-out of sacred places the world over: it violates the principle of coherence.
  • There is one architectural argument which has not been used in the VHP evidence bundle, though it seems quite pertinent to me. The central dome of the Masjid is slightly deformed, and it is supported by a front wall that forms a sort of screen before part of the dome. The reason seems to be that the builders had to adjust the upper part of the Masjid to the walls and pillars of the pre-existing Mandir, which they were incorporating rather than razing them flat and starting totally anew.
  • While the minority separatists have the guns, the enraged Hindus will have the numbers.
  • And that from historians who themselves have distorted evidence in order to satisfy certain political compulsions : apparently a case of what psychologists call projection.
  • The entire JNU argument is a patchwork of such untenable ad hoc constructions.
  • In the longer run, some education in comparative religion is the solution, or at least a central part of the solution.
  • Once Hindu society has shaken off these Hindu-baiting leeches, i.e. when it is no longer under their mental spell, it can concentrate on developing and actualizing the treasures it has to offer to mankind, and achieving genuine national integration. Actually, this national integration that every talking body in India talks about, is a very natural condition and needs no achieving. Rather, it requires dropping a few things. It requires dropping the anti-Hindu separatist doctrines that have largely been created for the purposes of several imperialisms, and are now being kept afloat with a lot of distortive intellectual and propagandistic effort. Just drop this effort, and this country will naturally find back its unity.
  • On the one hand, there is the society that has continued the age-old civilization of this country. It has been badly bruised by centuries of foreign rule and oppression, with the moral 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 cultures that have been overrun by the Muslim conquerors or the European colonizers. It has a real 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-old civilization. These people's ancestors were in may cases pulled out of Hindu society and made members of the Muslim community under duress. Now, they would automatically evolve back into Hindu society, were it not for some politicians and theologians who instill a separate communal identity in them. The Ayodhya movement... is at the same time an invitation to the Muslim Indians to reintegrate themselves into the society and the culture from which their ancestors were cut off by fanatical rulers and their thought police, the theologians. It is thus an exercise in national integration.
  • At the intellectual level, Hindus will son be able to breathe freely. They will be able to rediscover and reformulate the numerous valuable expressions of the one Sanatana Dharma. They will be able to affirm the unity and integrity of this Sanatana Dharma, without being falsely accused of assimilative communalism when they restate the scientific fact that Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are full members of the one Hindu commonwealth of schools and sects. They will be able to reaffirm the unity and integrity of Hindu society, and to debunk the casteist and regionalist separatisms that have been fostered by its enemies and equipped with a pseudo- historical basis. They will be able to put the evils of Hindu society into the correct historical perspective on the basis of the real facts, and judge them by universal standards rather than by the hostile ad hoc standards that have been applied to Hindu society by its enemies.
  • In Ayodhya, police killed sixteen, or one hundred and sixty- eight, or five hundred, or who knows, people who were unarmed and singing Ram Dhun.
  • I am not saying that they just should forget about these thousands of temples razed and replaced with mosques (and sometimes churches). Those thousands should not be ignored, to the extent that they can be useful in consciousness-raising. One level at which some evil- intentioned people try to rob Hindus of their consciousness, is history. History as an illustration of the intrinsic character of certain ideologies deserves to be highlighted. The time will come when closed theologies will bother humanity no longer, but for now, it is better to be aware of what they can do. In Europe, Nazi concentration camps are kept in their historical state, in order to teach future generations about what to avoid. In India too, monuments of intolerance should be preserved. School books, local guide books, even a signboard with an explanatory text in front of the building, should tell the history of every place of worship, truthfully.
  • If there are more such places (and the anti-Hindu crowd claims there are many), let these secularists put their evidence on the table. As a man of scientific temper, I will not forgive them if they repeat their allegation without substantiating it. You see, the case with allegations is simple : either you prove them, or you withdraw them and offer apologies. The secularists should not get away with doing neither one of these two.
  • What these people should realize, is that the society which has allowed ashrams to flourish, has only survived because it also had a martial component. Why are they not going to Afghanistan for yoga? because Hinduism in Afghanistan got militarily defeated and annihilated . Because Islam, which in their own woolly world-view is just as true as any other religion, has weeded out the kind of Pagan practices that they come to India for. If there is a part of the world left where the gurus can continue their traditional, it is because Hindus have fought. It is a non-violent part of the same martial tradition, that today Hindus are asserting themselves in Ayodhya. Chapter 7
  • The unacademic attitude of these JNU historians, who are stronger in character assassination than in historical method should make it clear to their critics that there is no reason to feel inhibited when it comes to exposing them. They really deserve to be shown up in public as the impostors they are.
  • But what to make of this misdirected allegation : is it utter dishonesty or utter ignorance? Either way, it is actively or passively part of a disinformation campaign concerning Hindu history, perversely calculated to make Hindus feel guilty for the kind of crimes Islam perpetrated against them, thus to paralyze and pre-empt criticism of Islam and similar ideologies.
  • So, the sweeping allegation of a common practice of temple destruction as a symbol of political self- assertion, is not based on the facts of history, and goes against abundant evidence to the contrary. A historian who proposes this theory, violates all standards of historical method, and must be deemed either incompetent or dishonest. But even if such a general rule had existed : the Muslim pattern of temple destruction does not conform to it... The far simpler explanation, corroborated by all the available documents, is that they had a theology of temple destruction, and that this led them to a behaviour pattern unknown in Pagan cultures : proportionate to their military might and to their fervour in the faith, they systematically destroyed Pagan temples. It didn't matter whether these temples had any riches in them or any political significance : in every case it was a scripturally ordained act of great merit to weed out Paganism by destroying Pagan temples and centres of learning, as well as by killing or forcibly converting the Pagans themselves.
  • The Indian Constitution is a mighty case of Hindu accommodation to some minorities' demands for privileges, but that hasn't stopped the Khalistanis from burning it, nor has it stopped the Babri Masjid movement from calling for a boycott of Republic Day 1987.
  • But the Marxists think that religion is an evil, because it is anti-reason ; while reason is a good in itself, which moreover emancipates man by equipping him with the intellectual as well as technological means to determine his own destiny. Now this notion of reason and religion stems from a specifically European situation, that conditioned Marx' thought about religion. The fact that Indian Marxists have simply transposed Marx' limited view to the Indian situation is just another example of how dogmatic Marxists generally are. It also shows how utterly ignorant the Indian Leftist (and generally secularist) intelligentsia is of India's home-grown religious culture.
  • Such superstitions which are in flagrant conflict with scientific universalism, should be dealt with by intellectuals, and the state will have done more than its share if it does not impede the broadcasting of their criticism of these superstitions. The state should just refrain from banning books eventhough they hurt the feelings of those steeped in the said superstitions. It should refrain from pressurizing or boycotting or prosecuting people who perform their legitimate task of educating people concerning such superstitions. It should refrain from imposing history-distortions on schoolbooks, i.e. from concealing the truth about the evil effects of such superstitions. (That the Indian state is so far not secular enough to refrain from this sabotage of the intellectual struggle against superstition, is shown in ch. 12)
  • A retired Indian Army commander has explained to me how an intervention force well within India's capacity, could have stopped the Chinese in Eastern Tibet. It would have been a war, but it would have been a genuine war of independence, and the number of casualties would have been far less than the lakhs of Tibetans that have by now been killed by the Chinese occupation force. Short, for such a noble cause, a prime minister with a kshatriya spirit would have gone in. And failing that, he could have opened a diplomatic offensive. But he chose to totally betray Tibet.... In his dealings with Pakistan too, he tried to "see their viewpoint also", and consequently made concessions of which millions of Hindus have suffered the consequences (handing over pieces of territory, stopping the reconquest of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir when it was succeeding, refraining from efforts to enforce the Pakistani part of the Nehru-Liaqat pact)... Some will not even grant him the essential Brahmin attribute: thought. All his writings are full of borrowed thought.
  • Then follow a number of explosions and acts of arson not specified as to community, which experienced readers tend to see as a strong pointer in a certain direction. [About press reporting on riots.]
  • Like so many times before, a secularist builds up this pre-riot crescendo, all the way up to the provocative slogans stage, and then disappoints the reader by hiding in a cloud of impersonal vagueness : Mayhem broke loose. What does he have to hide ?...
  • The application of this principle to the Indian situation is crystal-clear; the Muslim community should come out and recognize the atrocities which its earlier generations have inflicted on the Hindus, and make a gesture of goodwill to formally terminate that chapter in history... Leaving the Ram Janmabhoomi spot to the Hindus, to do with it as they please, would have been just such a gesture. A very easy one, for it cost nothing. The Muslim community was not even in control of the place, all they would have to do was not to interfere in what already was an internal Hindu affair. The fact that even this easy goodwill gesture was not made, at least by the externally recognized leadership of the Muslim community, is a very sad thing. On a world-wide scale, the time is ripe for such a recognition of past mistakes.
  • So, it is time to face the truth. Judging by the glasnost in the Soviet block and in the Catholic Church regarding past crimes, the time is ripe to finish the glossing-over which the secularists have been practicing and propagating. The rosy presentation of Islam which the secularist press is feeding the public, should be debunked.
  • In India, by contrast, the negationists who deny the existence of the centuries-long jihad, in which a systematic oppression and slaughter of Kafirs was pursued, are calling the shots...But in India, we find the unbelievable situation, that not only Muslim historians and public figures refuse to face the truth about Muslim history : neutral secular historians are also covering up and denying the crimes which Islam has systematically committed, and even many Hindus are denying the crimes committed against their own society.
  • That same thing which they call fascism when they wrongly attribute it to Hindu Rashtra, is effectively accepted in the case of a Muslim Rashtra, such as Pakistan. I at least have never heard any of them refer to Pakistan as fascist. Muslim Rashtra is not only not called fascism: Mr. Engineer even seems to take it for granted as a political framework, and therefore he tries to secure a place for the Hindus in it by declaring them people of the Book, rather than just Kafirs who could not be tolerated alive. Well how generous of him... The category people of the Book is an arch-communalist notion...
  • Ambedkar was a nationalist, and he saw through the anti-national, colonial inspiration of the Aryan Invasions theory (which the British called the furniture of Empire).
  • By now, the whole notion of Aryan invasions has come under fire. Western scholars start recognizing what many Indian scholars have since long pointed out : that there is not a single piece of proof for the whole theory, and that all the known relevant facts can just as well be explained with alternative and equally coherent theories.
  • Like the swastika, the term Arya, which is rather central in Hindu tradition and more so in Nazism, is in need of rehabilitation. ... When Buddha gives a short formulation of his teachings, he calls it the Arya Satyani, the four Noble Truths. While the term Arya is used only a few times in the Vedas, it was used a lot by the Buddhists and Jains. Today, everybody uses it all the time, though perhaps unknowingly : the honorific - ji, as in Gandhiji, is an evolved form, through Pali aya or aja and Apabhramsa aje, from Sanskrit arya.
  • Aryan and Semitic are shorthand for two radically differing approaches to religion... But the revealed monotheistic religions carry with them a typical fundamental doctrine that sets them apart from all other religions... Thus, the Semitic religions constitute a radical break with natural religiosity, which had always made nature share in the manifestation of the divine, and which had never thought of limiting the awareness of the divine to one community... In books written in a monotheistic cultural milieu, this revealed monotheism is always portrayed as a great step forwards in the march of humanity. However, in real terms I cannot see one genuine advantage that has accrued to humanity thanks to the is revelation-based monotheism.
  • Nazism itself, for all its anti-Semitic rhetoric, very much fitted into the Semitic tradition. As Girilal Jain has convincingly argued, Nazism was an extreme realization of the 19th century secular nationalism in Europe. This secular nationalism was in its general attitude towards mankind a direct heir to the Semitic legacy carried into Europe by Christianity. There is a straight lineage from Moses' Chosen People to Hitler's Herrenvolk (superior people). The radical division of mankind into the chosen insiders and the lost outsiders is very much present in this secular nationalism.... If we look at the basic points in the Nazi programme, we do not find anything there that can be traced to Germanic Paganism. ... Authoritarian political thought has nothing whatsoever to do with the Germanic tribal organization, which was largely democratic, with an elected king and a regular all-tribe assembly meeting. It had more to do with the secular organization of the Roman empire (which model had loomed large over the European polity all through the Christian period), which has also influenced the Church organization. ... The Nazi kind of nationalism was also of the Semitic kind. Rather than seeing the nation as one step on the ladder in the organizational hierarchy, below civilization and humanity, and above regional, tribal and family units, it denied this gradedness. Instead, it divided the world in outsiders and insiders, thus in principle opposing itself to the rest of the world, and imposed uniformity on the nation, discouraging all subnational groupings. Again, this exclusivistic and uniformist nationalism is opposed to the Pagan outlook...The dominance of monotheism has strongly promoted that single most essential trait of the monotheistic mind : simplistic crudeness. ... Their only concept of unity is to raze everything flat, then there will be no more difference and disunity, so that will be the realization of unity, equality etc.
  • In Pakistan, family planning is a joke. The responsible ministry is at present headed by a fundamentalist Muslim, Saddar Niazi, who boasts of being one of fifteen children. He has declared that the pressure for family planning was a holdover from the liberal secularism of Benazir Bhutto, and that he did not intend to implement the policies of a woman charged with corruption and overwhelmingly voted out in the 1990 election.265 His stand is not exceptional, rather it is the rule among Muslim governments. At any rate, Pakistan's birth rate stands at 3.2%, almost the doubt of India's. Indian Express, 12/12/1990.
  • However, as a citizen of a fully secular state, I strongly object to Mr .Abrahams minorityist statement. I have never heard of minorityism either as a term or as a concept somehow functional in our secular system. We do not give religious minorities a veto against decisions enacted by a democratic majority... In a secular democracy, the veto right of a religious minority is limited scrupulously to those decisions that directly the exercise of their religious freedom.
  • But I have heard of ten or so more people killed (and an unknown number injured) in communal violence during the 29 hours under consideration, in a very well-known incident : the shooting of unarmed Kar Sevaks in Ayodhya by the infantry of the ruling secularist sect, around noon on 30 October. In spite of mr. Jha's attempt to conceal it, most victims on his chosen day were Hindus, not Muslims.
  • In the forties, they opposed Partition, together with the Hindu Mahasabha. Everyone else ended up agreeing to it. Yet, in articles written then and today, you find that they are being accused, without any proof, of "provoking" Partition by "frightening" the Muslims into support for the Muslim League. Unbelievable: the only innocent ones are being made the culprits by the united front of culprits.
  • When reading the press reports about communal riots, one should make a distinction between two stages of riot reporting. The day after a riot breaks out, the press will just write what happened, in some detail. The report will be a little bit blurred by the obligatory usage of non-definite terms for the communities involved : "As members of one community passed through an area dominated by another community, stones were thrown at them", etc. But the experienced reader can mostly understand who is who... However, the editorials devoted to these instances of communal carnage are not interested in the details of the matter, and in their effort to allot guilt and suggest remedies, they often implicitly start from a riot scenario which is totally unsupported by the factual details that appeared in the first report.
  • The causes of two other riots are stated in the well-known indeterminate terminology: "Alleged misbehavior with a girl of the other community". but the two remaining riot causes, the only ones clearly saying which community was attacked (and leaving little doubt as to which community attacked), are these : "Stoning of Holi procession passing a place of worship", and "Alleged murder of the president of VHP, Kheda District, by persons belonging to other community". One might of course start blaming any possible (I hasten to prefix alleged) provocative slogans uttered by the processionists and by that local VHP leader; but normally, people who start the violence, like throwing stones or committing murder, are held responsible for these acts, and at least partly responsible for the reactive violence which they may trigger. It is humanly quite feasible to listen to objectionable and insulting slogans without having a knee-jerk reaction of throwing bombs. It is a free human decision to react with violence. At worst, slogans can be a reason for violence ; given human freedom, they can never be the cause. This fake excuse of the provocative slogans leading mechanically to stone-throwing and worse, is used routinely by biased reporters. For another example, on October 30 there was a riot in Bijnor, with officially 14 people killed, others say 55. A procession with about 100 women members of Durga Vahini had gone out to the Ghanta Ghar area. "There they raised communal slogans, resulting in stone-pelting and bomb-throwing." This cheap excuse for a pre-planned bomb attack is even contradicted by other information in the same article.... This case proves that newspapers keep on blaming the slogan-shouters even when it is crystal-clear from their own information that the violence was premeditated and engineered by the other side.
  • One phase of the 1990 Aligarh violence was the attack on a train on December 8. "Four passengers were killed when a 600-strong mob stopped the Gomti Express at Daud Khan near Aligarh, stoned the train and set on fire the Second Class bogey in which the passengers were traveling. Five passengers were also injured." The unofficial death toll was eleven. I have it from one of the passengers in that ill-fated train, that the attackers were a Muslim mob. Papers reported tellingly that an earlier attack on a train had been attempted "close to a Muslim locality". We may as well continue to read this report :"On December 4, the motorcade of the BJP MP, Uma Bharati, who was supposed to address a public meeting, was reportedly attacked from the house of Manawwar Hussein... Trouble started again on December 7 when some PAC men were attacked by a group of people belonging to the minority community while returning from a masjid in the Upper Court area. One of them snatched the rifle of a PAC jawan and stabbed him. The jawan's colleague who tried to save him, was also attacked. Bombs were reportedly thrown on the PAC men who retaliated by opening fire killing some of the assailants. The news spread like fire and clashes between the two communities began."
  • Indians may recall that such death sentences against people who have insulted the Prophet, have been carried out earlier this century: against Arya Samaj propagandists Swami Shraddhananda and Pandit Lekh Ram, and against Rajpal, the writer of the Rangila Rasool (more or less Playboy Mohammed). This was a book on the sex life of the Prophet and his wives, certainly insulting, and as a criticism of Islam rather beside the point, but understandable as a reaction against a similar vilifying Muslim pamphlet about Sita. These murders had the desired effect, for the Arya Samaj became less straightforward in its criticism of the Prophet.
  • There is in Chinese history one case of alleged religious persecution for purely economical reasons.So, the monasteries were abolished as a strictly institutional measure. The monks were not put to the sword, or forbidden to practice and teach Buddhism. It was simply not a case of religious persecution, which is a phenomenon quite alien to the entire Chinese civilization.
  • There is reason for suspicion against people who need to trample upon natural loyalties before they can establish their brotherhood. It is like a scorpion, who lifts his prey up from the ground and then stings. These natural social units are the ground under people's feet, and if you want to enlist them in your own power trip, you have to take them out of these natural units, and make them vulnerable to your claims on them, by isolating them.
  • It is quite possible to teach people universal values and awareness of the larger whole, without breaking open the existing divisions in society. Actually, calling clans and tribes a division conceals the fact that they are just as much units, levels of integration. Few buildings these days are built from one massive rock ; the normal thing to do is to integrate smaller units into bigger and yet bigger ones. The global civilization which we are building today, will not be made up of scattered individuals. Organizationally, it will be a hierarchy of intermediary levels of integration, a two- way combination of unity and diversity. The current revival of ethnicity throughout the world is just one example of man's natural resistance against atomization.
  • Moreover, on top of this undeniable political and legal discrimination, Hindus perceive a serious threat to the very existence of their culture and society, when they look across the borders and into the future. Their acute sensitivity to minorityism is strengthened by the perception that the minorities indulge in aggression against the Hindus wherever they get the chance, and that they are also growing stronger by the day.
  • When you consider the population trends in the Indian Subcontinent, it seems inevitable that Muslims will make up 50% of its population in less than eighty years. Extrapolating the trends within India, it will be less than fifty years until the Muslims are again 24% of the population, the percentage which in the forties was enough to enforce Partition. Add to that the millions- strong illegal Muslim immigration into India, which will only accelerate as population pressure increases in Pakistan and Bangla Desh. So, the majority status of the Hindus is by no means guaranteed. Moreover, the so- called minority is in fact the Indian department of a world-wide movement, from which it effectively gets moral and financial support.
  • In Bangla Desh the property of the Hindus has been threatened by the Enemy Property Act (the democratic caliber of Bangla Desh is poor, but it is quite certain that even otherwise, no majority would have come forward to prevent the enactment of this law).
  • The following is quoted as an example of distorted reporting in Pak papers : A wave of anti-Muslim riots has engulfed all corners of India these days and more than 50 cities are under curfew. Despite this, however, Muslims are being killed mercilessly...50 In India, this is something of a standard secularist column phrase on riots (see ch.11). And Aabha Dixit adds a comment on Pak reporting : The headlines only refer to the desecration of the Babri mosque. There is never a mention of the Hindus who fall to police bullets. Replace headlines with editorials, and this describes the situation in Indian secularist papers.
  • The foreign press has not added any extra facts or perspective to the reporting on Ayodhya. It has mostly copied the bias of the Indian press. Time Magazine gave a not too unbalanced report, but quoted two of the JNU historians without telling its readers that these are not neutral academics but highly involved parties in the controversy.
  • In his article "Why the riots always start with attack on Hindus" (Organiser, 13/1/1991), P.S. Yog builds a strong case for the assumption made in the title. He also quotes F.K. Khan Durrani (Meaning of Pakistan) saying : "The creation of Pakistan was necessary as a base for conquering the rest of India", and Jayaprakash Narayan remarking that the aim of communal riots seemed to be to secure a second partition of the country.
  • The secularists have been very unfair in their writings on the Hindutva movement, when they ascribed to it a grand design of a theocratic Hindu state. In bracketing theocratic with Hindu, they displayed their contemptuous willful ignorance about Hinduism; but the more important point is that they were wrong in ascribing any grand design to the Hindutva movement.
  • By placing the free choice of the individual above the duties or dogmas imposed by religion, secularism has done enough to emancipate man from religion. Man can choose a religious view or commitment rather than having it imposed on him. In that sense, secularism does not mean anti-religious activism. It only means subjecting religion to human choice, which was revolutionary enough in the European context of Church power trying to impose itself... So, secularism as a political term means : neutrality of the government in religious matters. That is all. Secularism does not mean that the state promotes one belief system, it means that the state limits itself to guaranteeing the individual's freedom to find out about these matters for himself. That at least is the correct meaning of the term "secularism" as it has historically developed in the West, in a period when individual freedom was considered the topmost value. If one chooses secularism as a component for a state system, it remains to be seen how this fundamental concept is worked out in the details of a secular Constitution, but that state neutrality and respect for the individual's intellectual and religious freedom should be the spirit of such a Constitution, is certain.
  • If in secular Europe, the pope speaks out against the Scorsese film on Jesus' temptations, without even trying to pressure governments to ban it, the European secularist press, as if to pre-empt any suggestion of a ban, makes it quite clear that there can be no question of anyhow restricting the public's access to the film. If people don't want to see it, let them not go see it. That is their freedom, like it is other people's freedom to go see it, unimpeded by papal or governmental bans... In Europe, we have come to protect our constitutional freedoms, and hardly any bigot will even think of either seriously campaigning for a ban or using violence to punish people who show interest in the material to which he objects. All right, there was a bomb attack on a movie theater showing the Temptation film. But the culprit was simply caught and put in jail. Nobody has suggested that we should ban the film in order to avert violence. If at all there is a threat of violence, then there are no two opinions about the duty of the state to uphold the constitutional freedoms, and to prevent terror-mongers from dictating who can see what.
  • Of course, it is only in the crassest propaganda literature that the Brahmins are dominant and therefore rich. According to a survey in Karnataka in the late seventies, Brahmins were the poorest community there. In a district in Andhra, 55% of the Brahmins lived below the poverty line, substantially more than the local as well as the national average.
  • It is again the secularists who, with their anti-Hindu propensities have laid the blame for Sikh separatism at the door of those Hindus who restate the demon- strable historical truth that Sikhs are nothing but a Hindu sect. Assimilative communalism, they call it. When Hindu historians point out the radical and irreducible difference between Hinduism and the closed monotheistic creeds like Islam, they are dubbed communalists; but when the same people point out the radical sameness of Sikhism and other varieties of Hinduism, then for that they are again dubbed communalists.
    • Elst, K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society, 1991. New Delhi: Voice of India.
  • The second damage that has been done, with full co- operation of the secularists, is that the status of Sikhism as a separate religion has become firmly established in the minds of many Sikhs. This separate status is entirely a British fabrication, later amplified by Sikh who, like many Hindus, had come to think that being a Hindu is a shameful thing. The Sikhs have always been one of Hinduism’s many panths (sects). The claim to being a separate religion, which is now being propped up in many anti-Hindu books, has been conclusively disposed of by Rajendra Singh Nirala, an ex-granthi who came to realize that what the Akalis told him was not the same as what he used to recite from the Granth.
    • Elst, K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society, 1991. New Delhi: Voice of India.
  • K.P. Agrawal took the trouble of counting how may hundreds of times Hindu names and concepts, like Parambrahma, Omkara, Veda, Hari, appear in the Guru Granth. "Ram" figures about 2400 times.
    • Elst, K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society, 1991. New Delhi: Voice of India.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  2. Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu? Chapter Nine
  3. Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu? Chapter Eleven
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sitam Ram Goel, How I became a Hindu. ch.9
  5. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991) Footnote 64
  6. Koenraad Elst (2014-01-28). "Koenraad Elst: What have I done?". Koenraadelst.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Dr Ramesh N Rao - Articles - History". Rameshnrao.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. India's Agony Over Religion By Gerald James Larson
  9. Mother India: Monthly Review of Culture, Volume 58. page 521
  10. K. Elst, The problem with secularism, ISBN 9788185990811, 2007
  11. The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History edited by Edwin Francis Bryant, Laurie L. Patton Among twenty published titles, most attention has been drawn by his Update on the Aryan Invasion ..... and Ayodhya, the Case against the Temple.