Fresh light on the events before the demolition of the old mosque built over the Ramjanmabhumi temple surfaced the other day in the then superintendent archaeologist KK Mohammad’s recent book, Me, the Bharatiyan, his autobiography in his native Malayalam. As yet I have seen only the news report on the release of the book brought out by the prestigious Kerala newspaper publishers of the Mathrubhumi. An English rendering of the book, I hope, will soon be brought out as it will have countrywide readers.
Mr Mohammad, who was incharge of the excavations at Ayodhya, has revealed two important things: one is that the Left historians of the day led by Prof Irfan Habib ensured that the proposal to hand over the site to the Hindu community did not succeed. They encouraged the extremist view among the Muslims against any agreed and peaceful transfer. Such an agreed transfer was one of the solutions being considered in the late 1989-91. The second revelation is the conclusion of the excavation team of the Archeological Survey of India that the disputed mosque at Ayodhya was indeed built over and with the parts of the temple that existed there by Mughal Emperor Babar’s commander Mir Baqi.
The conclusion was based on the evidence of, among other things, basalt stone pillars with the Hindu symbol of Poorna Kalasha in the construction of the mosque structure and underneath it. This matter has been discussed so often and in so detail that we need not go into it. What is evident in Mr Mohammad’s revelation is his intense devotion to facts and truth, a trait alien to most of the secularists. It is the Left historians’ role in distorting historic truth that should be a matter of public concern. Under successive Congress governments at the Centre, distortion of Indian history through the ancient technique of “suppressio vary, suggestio falsy,” had been turned into a fine art by the so-called academicians.
The distortions have been widespread. Sirajuddoula of Bengal was a cruel despot but he is projected as a patriot just because he fought against British colonialists. Tipu Sultan of Mysore has to be upheld as a patriot and his evident misdeeds against the Hindu majority and minority Christians is to be pushed under the carpet. The Congress government in Karnataka recently dug up the past to showcase Tipu with an obvious communal motive. The Left historians have done much damage to Indian history in many other ways. They have found apologies for Aurangzeb’s anti-Hindu and anti-Sikh guru massacres by picking up a few donations the emperor made to some temples. They have sought to obfuscate the terrible pain inflicted by successive Muslim invaders on the majority population of the country and the choice these invaders placed before the people: convert or be killed.
Nobody in his senses would even suggest that the present day followers of the religion should pay for the sins of their ancestors. But at least, a seeker of truth for its own sake would agree that what academicians should present is the fact and leave the interpretation of the past in the context of the present to the others. One readily agrees that present values should not be applied to a past generation. For the left movement, ideology is supreme, truth and facts secondary. Interpretation of ideology is obviously the prerogative of the leadership. Needless to say, the caucus of the day controlling the organization constitutes the leadership. So, everything — history, economics, human relations, international affairs — is subordinate to the whims of those at the helm at a point of time.
As a result, there is usually an ocean of difference between what the left preaches and practises. Communists claim to be fighters against imperialism. But during the Quit India movement of 1942, they abused national leaders such as Gandhiji and Netaji and worked as spies for the British Empire. After India became independent, they launched an armed war against free India.
However, the worst sin Communists committed was to work for the vivisection of India and join hands with Jinnah and the British for the creation of a theocratic Pakistan. And now, they claim to be flag bearers of secularism! While the Communist Party of India, both factions, have sought to win power through the parliamentary system, some starry-eyed academics continue to nurse the Marxist-Leninist dreams of violent overthrow of the state apparatus even in our country, giving the Naxalites an ideological justification for their armed insurrection against the democratic system.
Much the parallel situation prevails among some extremists among the worldwide Islamic community. The so-called Islamic State (IS) is an outgrowth of that. What leads some members of the followers of Islam in countries from India to Britain is this Middle Age hangover. Most of the victims of this Middle Age hangover are the Muslims themselves with mosques of one set of followers being attacked with bombs by the other set, civilian population under the constant threat of annihilation by rival claimants to being true followers of one religion.
American President Obama in his State of the Union message to the US Congress mentioned the need for the religious community to look inward and find out why the call for violence and the appeal of forcing their religion over the whole world through brutality are finding response within the community. He wanted an internal movement to scotch such beliefs.
The interior change cannot come and the attraction of thrusting your faith through the throats of resisting people cannot go away so long as the theology that nurses this sick mindset is not discussed and disowned by the faithful.
Those claiming to fight faith-inspired terror are shy of doing this unpleasant job. Look at the contradictions. Saudi Arabia has joined other nations in an international effort to eradicate the power and reach of organizations like the IS and al-Qaeda. But the same royalty is funding a vast network of religious schools among Muslims that exclusively plant and promote dreams of Islamic glory of the past, including in India.
Same is true of Pakistan. It’s a petri-dish of terror and it’s victim as well. Interestingly, both are close allies of the US in its fight against terror! The world can hardly hope to vanquish terror with such dishonesty. The Indian archeologist, a practising Muslim who proudly calls himself a “Bhartiya” in his autobiography, is a shining example of academic honesty, a trait anathema to the left. Wait for the Communist-Muslim communal pack’s reaction to Mohammad’s revelation on Ayodhya.
The author is a Delhi-based commentator on political and social issues. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org