Even as the country found itself in the maelstrom of controversy surrounding Gyanvapi, the people feared the likely escalation of some more mosque-temple disputes along with it. Some people started flipping the disputed pages of history. The intelligentsia got worried about the path our country is taking and where it will lead us to? In such a charged environment, came the welcome relief from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwatji who stated that the Gyanvapi case should be resolved through mutual agreement or by respecting the court’s decision. The tendency to find Shivling in every mosque is not right. It should not happen.
This approach of the RSS chief has certainly raised hope that the attempts to stain the present by reviving the old wounds buried in history may be stopped! There is no doubt that a large section of Hindus treats the Sangh chief with respect and dignity and is influenced by his thoughts. For such people, every word spoken by him means a lot. Let us hope that his views will be respected by everyone and such controversies will not be raised anymore. However, from the legal point of view, under the Places of Worship Act 1991, all religious places across the country will maintain the status quo as it was on August 15, 1947. Therefore, as a rule, no dispute should arise.
But the matter of fact today is that a large section of Hindus is angry over the stories of atrocities buried in history. There is no doubt that in the seventh century, the army of the Caliphs started attacking India. They also started getting success in the early eighth century. After that, many cruel and oppressive rulers occupied many parts of India. Many stories of atrocities are chronicled in history. They committed atrocities not only in India but in other parts of the world too. Today, many people are angry over those atrocities. This outrage is natural. But the question is, what will be the result of this outrage? Do we want to take the ideology of development back to the same world of oppression? We suffered a lot at the time of the partition of India! But not anymore..!
Well-known poet Adam Gondvi wrote a meaningful ghazal before leaving this world:
Hum mein koi Hun, koi Shak, koi Mongol hain,
Dafn hain jo baat, ab us baat ko mat chhediye.
Gar galtiyan Babur ki thi, Jumman ka ghar fir kyon jale,
Aise naazuk wakt mein halaat ko mat chhediye.
Hain kahan Hitler, Hulagu, Tzar ya Changez Khan,
Mit gaye sab, qaum ki aukaat ko mat chhediye.
Chhediye ek jung, mil jul kar garibi ke khilaaf,
Dost, mere mazhabi nagmaat ko mat chhediye.
But history is witness to the hysteria of victory which results in the humiliation of the defeated society; sometimes by demolishing places of worship and sometimes by raping women! It has happened in every part of the world. What is happening in Ukraine today? Painful tales of rape are coming to the fore. Hungry wolves are waiting to trap the women fleeing from Ukraine into their net. What did the dreaded terrorist of Islamic State Abu Bakr, who had a megalomaniac dream of establishing Islamic Caliphate rule in the whole world, do? He handed over the girls from the areas he vanquished to the barbaric terrorists. Millions of girls were raped, killed and buried even before they could start their life. Those who survived were left as living corpses. So would the army that killed Abu Bakr behave in the same way? No! It had to apply a soothing balm. The dark pages of history are wiped clean with the ointment of peace. Until the page becomes clean, a new script cannot be written.
Unfortunately, in the present times, the winds of hatred have now started taking the form of a storm. Sparks of fire are erupting from both sides. I am not trying to scare you but showing the mirror. This storm of hatred will blow us all away. Today in the name of Islam, terrorism is being spread and most of its victims are Muslims! I know that no true Muslim can be sympathetic to terrorists but he must also raise his voice against the terrorists!
I would like to point out that India is second in terms of population of Muslims in the world. Undoubtedly every Muslim living in India is an Indian. His loyalty can never be doubted. The tendency to find Shivling in every mosque is not really going to do any good for India. Our Constitution considers everyone equal and the belief of our ancestors was no different. So let us create unwavering trust in each other once again. Only our unity can make India supreme in the world. Jai Hind!
The author is the chairman, Editorial Board of Lokmat Media and former member of Rajya Sabha.