By Surendra Kelwala, MD
Livonia, MI: I read with interest the opinion — Judgment on Babri mosque-Ramjanma-bhoomi dispute is flawed — of. Kaleem Kawaja published in India Tribune dated October 16.
But is the judgment really flawed? His entire argument is based on a single point that since we have no factual evidence that Ram was born at that exact spot Hindus have no right against those who they believe are occupying it illegally. His contention that there is no legend or folklore or religious scriptures linking Ram with Ayodhya of course is outright erroneous. Ram as an Ayodhyavasi is something that the Hindu knows to the very core of his being and there are endless legends, folklore and different versions of the Ramayan attesting to it. And I will not dwell on it any further.
But Kawaja has a point about there being no real evidence that Ram was born in Ayodhya or even if any person like Ram existed and even if He existed if He is God. But his point loses much of its steam when one realizes that neither do we have any hard evidence that Jesus existed or if He is a God, or if the hair or tooth of Prophet Mohammad that exist in different shrines across the world, including the one in Hazratbal Kashmir, over which Kashmiri Muslims started riots a few decades ago, are really from the Prophet’s body.
These issues are matter of faith and sentiments of peoples. Ayodhya for Hindus is as holy as Mecca for Muslims. Imagine trying to build a Hindu temple in Mecca, and not even at the site of the Kaaba. Will Kwaja defend such an act? There will be far more bloody protests over that by Muslims than there ever was by Hindus over Ramjanambhumi. In fact, the latter have still graciously extended the olive branch of letting Muslims have one-third of the temple, and right where they believe that there most revered God was born. Such magnanimity only will be found in Hindus. Even the relatively tolerant Christians will balk at the idea of giving a third of Vatican for other faiths, if one would ask of them for such a thing for greater harmony between different belief systems.
Kawaja acknowledges that Indian judiciary has always upheld the secular ethos of the nation and has protected the minorities from injustice. And such appreciation of his part should be lauded. However, if he honestly searches in his heart he will have to acknowledge that Indian judiciary, and Hindu leaders like Gandhi and Nehru, in order to please the minorities have historically bent over backwards to compromise the interests of the Hindus, including depriving them of even the right to live in the areas of their ancestral land, which now goes under the rubric of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir. At last, Hindus have decided that enough is enough, and in the last couple of decades they have gotten bolder in demanding their fair share, and finally they are getting some modicum of justice. The Ramjanambhoomi judgment is one such first step.
Muslims should be happy that they did have one-third of the most holy land of the Hindus. What more do they want?