Shri Ram - No Longer a Myth

    05-Aug-2020   
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Immediate impact of the Supreme Court ruling directing the construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya and now the beginning of that process is the obvious argument that Bhagwan  Ram is 'not a myth' and Ramayana, not a mythology.

Ram not a myth_1 &nb 
 
One immediate impact of the Supreme Court ruling directing the construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya and now the beginning of that process is the obvious argument that God Ram is 'not a myth' and Ramayana - a mythology. The term 'mythology' is definitely a western concept and smacks of Christian overtone. The court verdicts - both the Allahabad High Court ruling in 2010 and the Supreme Court order of Nov 9, 2019, gives a legal stamp that God Ram is a 'historical character'.
 
In 2010 during my visit to Ayodhya during the historic verdict of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, I had interacted with some local citizens. One of them Rakesh Sahni (quoted in my book 'Ayodhya: Battle for Peace') had said - "The verdict has proved that Rama was born in flesh and blood and he is not a mere Kalpana (myth). This is our biggest satisfaction".
 
Notably, the same historians never counter Bible as a Christian mythology. In fact, a brief note in search engine Quora.com says "....in a sense, the Bible is Christian mythology, but that does not deprive it of either its significance, or of the truthfulness of its message".
 
Another dedicated Hindu to the cause, Keshavram Mishra, Chief Prabandhak of Sitaram Anna Shetra near Ram Lalla mandir premises, had said: "I am not sure of the legal matters, but it has reduced the stigma that Hindus had demolished a Masjid. Instead, the endorsement from a Muslim judge himself (2010) that Rama was born here has proved that Masjid if at all was constructed wrongly". There have been several political debates over the Temple movement in last three decades and more.
 
In his book, 'The Babri Masjid Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test for India's Constitution', Madhav Godbole had said:
 
"Rajiv Gandhi remained focused on pleasing the fundamentalists among the Muslims and the Hindus; the Muslims by getting the Muslim Women's Divorce Act enacted, and later, the Hindus, by getting the locks of the 'temple in the mosque' in Ayodhya opened, permitting shilanyas (foundation stone-laying) of the new temple, and even starting the Congress party's Lok Sabha election campaign from Ayodhya to usher in Ram Rajya,"
 
Godbole, who quit as Union home secretary after the demolition of the 16th century disputed structure, called Rajiv Gandhi the "second most prominent kar sevak" after K K Nair, the IAS officer and former Faizabad district magistrate - who "encouraged" the placement of the Ram Lalla idol in the Babri Masjid on December 22, 1949.
 
Congress role vis-a-vis Ayodhya development has been 'political' right from the word go. The commitment for the temple was hardly driven by sincerity and even faith. In this context, it could be relevant to talk about a blog piece written by M J Akbar, who was then not in the BJP. 
 
Akbar, senior journalist-turned-union minister (in Modi 1.0) had said rather acidly: "The game is old and evident. Congress policy on the dispute has rotated around one axis - how to get the temple built without losing the Muslim vote".
 
In fact, even Samajwadi leaders like Jay Shankar Pandey (a longtime lieutenant of Mulayam Singh Yadav) had told me in 2010: "It is no coincident that the verdict of the Allahabad High Court came (in favour of Hindus) when the Congress is in power in Delhi".
 
In 1989-90, the Rajiv Gandhi government played up Shilanyas politics to appease Hindus. Post-Shilanyas, Congress leaders were keen to garner Hindu votes. Rajiv Gandhi even kick-started his party’s election campaign from Ayodhya-Faizabad on November 3, 1989. The location was selected at the last moment. Later Congress admitted that permitting the Shilanyas was a mistake.
 
Some interesting takeaways
 
1) Raj Kumar (RK) Singh, who had arrested LK Advani in Samastipur on Oct 23, 1990, is now Union Power Minister under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Before joining the IAS, he served for a year as the Indian Police Service official.
 
2) In 2003 ASI begins a court-ordered survey to find out if a Ram temple existed. The survey revealed 'evidence' of a temple but Muslims contested the finding.
 
3) In 1949, Ram idol 'appears' inside the mosque. Muslims file suit. Hindus file counter-suit, leading the government to declare the site "disputed" and lock its gate.
 
4) On Oct 30, 1990 ---- There was violence in Ayodhya. First two people identified at the 'top' of the Babri Masjid were from two Kothari brothers from Kolkata - Ram and Sharad.
 
They were allegedly killed by police at the order of the then UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav. Their bodies were found on November 1, 1990 near the Hanuman Garhi temple, which is in the vicinity of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple site.
 
5) Two slogans became very popular during the peak of Ram Temple movement: RAM MANDIR BANANA HAE and the other 'Ab ki baari ATAL BIHARI'. The second slogan made Vajpayee an automatic choice as a prime ministerial candidate of the BJP and also of non-Congress and non-Third Front politics. Even regionalist from states like Nagaland - former Chief Minister Late Vamuzo - by 1996 endorsed Vajpayee as his 'choice' of India's Prime Minister.