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HVK Archives: On Ram Janmabhoomi (Part I of III)

On Ram Janmabhoomi (Part I of III) - The Hindustan Times

Amulya Ganguli ()
27 October 1997

Title: On Ram Janmabhoomi (Part I of III)
Author: Amulya Ganguli
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: October 27, 1997

Ayodhya aftermath

The BJP's explanations for the demolition of the Babri Masjid are becoming more and more convoluted. Its latest effort to justify the act which shocked the nation involves fishing out a virtually unknown certificate which Arnold Toynbee gave to the Poles for pulling down a church built by the occupying Russians in the heart of Warsaw in the last century to make the point that they were the rulers.

For all their diatribes against the supposedly alienated English-speaking elite for looking to the West for inspiration, the BJP leaders are evidently no less pleased in having been able to secure a seeming endorsement of their disgraceful act for a white man. However, in their haste, they have overlooked one vital point the Russians were not Poles. They invaded Poland not to settle down there. Nor has there been centuries of cohabitation between the Poles and Russians leading to the efflorescence of a di
tinctive composite culture as has happened in India as a result of the Hindu-Muslim interaction.

Nor is it possible for anyone to write about the Poles and Russians what Nirad Chaudhuri has done about the Hindus and Muslims, that "ethnically, the Hindus and the Muslims intermingled inseparably everywhere. To employ a very homely simile, they were as mixed as rice and dal are in the dish of Khichri. To try to put apart Hindus and Muslims would be as sensible as to try to eat rice and dal separately from that dish".

Contrary to Toynbee's example, the Muslims, one of whose mosques has been demolished and two others have been openly targeted by the Sangh Parivar, happen to be Indians. Unless, of course, the BJP and the extended Parivar including the Shiv Sena subscribe to Jinnah's two-nation theory. If so, a more relevant example than Toynbee's would be the burning down of black churches by white supremacists in the US. The motivation in these cases is to tell the blacks that they are not Americans, no matter how long
hey have lived there and what religion they follow. There is also evidently the element of intimidation in such acts of arson, intended to make it clear that if the blacks do stay, it will have to be as second class citizens

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