Building ‘Ram Mandir’ will bring back communal violence
Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple in the disputed site of Ayodhya, on August 5. The five-bench Supreme Court ruled, giving the disputed site to the Hindus and a five-acre land elsewhere to the Muslims last year. The courts then asked, "Sri Ram Krishna Jonmovoli,' to start preparations to build the temple 'Ram Mandir' as the Hindus believe the disputed site was the birthplace of their god, Rama.
For centuries, Muslims prayed in the 16th-century old grand mosque 'Babri Masjid' until a Hindu mob of about 150,000 people demolished the mosque in 1992. Tearing down the mosque sparked outrages in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and in some parts of the Middle East. Building a temple in the disputed site may repeat the communal clash between the Hindus and the Muslims as it did in December 1992. If we don't want history to be repeated, here is a reminder of what we have already forgotten.
The Hindu activists and its affiliate groups rallied on that wintry morning in December 1992. The BJP leaders, including L.K Advani and Uma Bharty, delivered speeches, and the crowd grew aggressive against the Muslims and the grand 'Babri' mosque. The police cordoned the area to stop the crowd from entering the site. But, the huge crowd couldn't be stopped. The crowd of the mad protestors, who advanced threw slogans. At first, one man from the crowd managed to climb on top of the great structure. Then the whole mob stormed into the site with hammers, hooks, and axes. They quickly demolished the entire structure. It was too late for the police; a hundred were arrested, including some influential political leaders.
The leveling of the holy site sparked Muslim outrages in several cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur, Surat, Bhupal, and more. According to NDTV, the Hindu- Muslim clash intensified, and it went into several months. They attacked each other, burning and looting houses, shops, and religious sites. The riots caused more than 2,000 deaths, mostly Muslims. Many Muslim families experienced Hindu mobs destroying their whole household composition compound, and raping the underage girls. It also brought about $3.6 billion in property losses in India. People saw the ashes and clouds of burning properties from miles away.
The demolition of the Babri Mosque provoked riots beyond the border. The DON reported citing in Pakistan, and angry Muslims destroying more than 30 Hindu temples in a day. They stormed into Air India in Lahore. The Muslim mob used fire and bulldozers to vandalize several other Hindu holy sites all across Pakistan. Pakistan summoned Indian Ambassador to lodge a complaint. The country threatened that it would take the issue of the demolition of the Babri Mosque to the UN and the OIC. A university in Islamabad called 'Jihad' against the Hindus.
According to the media sources in Bangladesh, the demolition of the mosque, the inter-communal violence occurred in Bangladesh, too, and it soon intensified. A Muslim mob of about 5,000 people stormed into the Bangubandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, the capital of the country. Bangladesh, therefore, had to postpone a popular cricket match. The mob also attacked Hindu houses, shops, and temples, destroying about 11 temples across the country. The Air India Office, Indian National Airline, was destroyed in the city of Dhaka on the day.
The destruction of the Babri Mosque in India outraged the Middle East too. CNN reported that the protesters threw stones at the Hindu temples and Indian consulates in the United Arab Emirates. Angry protesters fired into an Indian school in Al-Ain, UAE. Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the demolition of the Babri Mosque. Saudi Arabia severely condemned the act and asked India to protect Muslim rights in the country. Street protesters broke out in some other Arab countries all across the Middle East just after the demolition of the grand Muslim mosque, 'Babri Masjid.'
History repeats itself if we don't learn its lessons. We didn't learn any lesson from the Spanish Flue (1918-1920), and we are paying the high price now from Covid-19. We forget that faith is sensitive in India and the whole of the Sub-continent. India itself experienced hundreds of cast related violence, including the Hindu-Muslim clash. Nobody wants any more bloodsheds in the country, but many, including politicians, ignore the idea of freedom from religion. The Indian Supreme Courts, the government body, and lawmakers should think again before laying the foundation of the 'Ram Temple' in the disputed site in Ayodhya. It might bring back the 1992-style communal violence again, creating complete havoc not only in India but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Middle East.
The writer is a freelance