In Islam also, a mosque is Allah's property, and the
Waqf Board or the mutwalli are only caretakers, not
owners. But in Islam, this principle is extended to
secular matters also, like the state. The Caliph, who
according to Maulana Mohammed Ali was an Emperor and
Pope in one was merely the viceregent of the Dar-ul-
Islam, with Allah as the lawful ruler.
Organiser, 26/11/1989 ; also included in Hindu
Temples : What Happened to Them.
"Arey bhai, Masjid hai hi Kahaan ?" meant for
publication in Indian Express, but just then Shourie was
sacked as its editor. The reason was not so much the
article, but, apparently, his entire policy of including
columns by Hindu communalists like Ram Swarup and Sita
Ram Goel, and his own articles that debunked some of the
prevalent secularism, such as Hideaway Communalism.
Published in Sunday Observer, 30/12/1990.
For a real proof of the change in the atmosphere,
this is what Chandra Shekhar said in Parliament, two
weeks after the Ayodhya slaughter :"I am a Hindu... I am
proud of being a Hindu... and because of tolerance to all
other religions, I consider Hinduism superior."
(mentioned in a interview with him in Hindustan Times,
19/11/1990). The CPI has protested against this
statement, because it implies that religions are not
tolerant. Well, exactly.
Interview on 17/11/1990.
Reported in Sunday, 11/11/1990. We also get the
view of the Bangla Jammati Islami leader Maulana Abbas
Ali Khan: "There is no scope for communal harmony."
Northern India Patrika, 15/11/1990. Ershad was also
held up for praise by Blitz columnist P. Sainath.
Column in Sunday Observer, 25/11/1990.
Hindustan Times, 19/11/1990.
Northern India Patrika, 15/11/1990.
Sunday Observer, 25/11/1990.
Times of India, 2/11/1990.
Sunday Observer, 25/11/1990.
Quoted in Indian Express, 21/9/1990. And afterwards
often quoted by Hindus, perhaps too often for his
credibility among communally mobilized Muslims.
Hindustan Times, 31/10/1990.
Letter to the Pioneer, 28/11/1990.
Letter to the Pioneer, 28/11/1990.
Sunday Observer, 4/11/1990 ; emphasis mine.
Letter to Indian Express, 23/11/1990. Since this
is much to many Hindus' liking, some in the anti-Hindu
camp might suspect that this letter was not written by a
real Muslim : as if the phenomenon of pro-Babri Hindus
cannot have its Muslim counterpart. Nonetheless, about a
letter of similar content by one R. Naqvi (IE 29/11) Syed
Shahabuddin wrote back that he had contacted the address
mentioned but saw his letter undelivered, and concluded
that it must have been a psuedo-Naqvi. Maybe that
similarly those anti-Hindu Hindus are really pseudonmous
Letter to Indian Express, 9/11/1990.
Letter to the Statesman, 12/11/1990, and to Indian
Letter to the Hindustan Times, 6/11/90.
Letter by K.N. Seth, who quotes him, in Hindustan
Communalism and Communal Violence in India (Ajanta
Publ., Delhi 1989), p.320.
This was at a function in Himachal Bhavan, presided
over by Girilal Jain, where two books were presented to
the public and the press : Hindu Temples : What Happened
to Them, by Arun Shourie and others; and the present
writer's book Ram Janmabhoomi vs. babri Masjid, a Case
Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict.
His two speeches, in Hindi, have been published as a
booklet: Sri Rama Janma Mandir ke Navanirman ka Prashna,
by the Bharatiya Jan Sangh.
The point that politicians should not marginalize
the moderates within their own community by treating the
hardliners as its true representative, is made
compellingly by Arun Shourie in his Religion in Politics,
Roli Books, Delhi 1989 (1987).
Especially Sita Ram Goel : Perversion of India's
Political Parlance, Voice of India, Delhi 1983.
Indian Express, 13/12/1990. Emphasis added.
Sunday Observer, 4/11/1990, carried an article Diary
of a 'Kar sevak' : Journey to nowhere. But it is fake,
it is written by a reporter who at best put on the
apparel of a Kar Sevak, but made absolutely no effort to
understand the mind of the people he had spied on.
In its 10/12/1990 issue, even the American weekly
Newsweek took note of the unpalatably streamlined news
mores on Doordarshan, and explained why Indian viewers
increasingly watch News videos made by private studios.
Times of India, 14/11/1990.
To mr. Sardesai's collaboration with falsehood, I
prefer this commentary by Amit Agarwal, in Times India,
4/11/1990: "Governments, when they suppress information
in this manner, always say they do so in the national
interest, that they soften things so that riots don't
break out. Well, Doordarshan news itself is a riot."
Times of India, 23/12/1989.
But they have been learning. The text Evidence for
the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir, presented to the government
on December 23, was sent to all the press people and many
For another example: the story that Indians
understand nothing about sex, because,as a Dutch
correspondent wrote,"there is not even a Hindi word for
orgasm" (as in most languages before the sexologists took
over). Moreover, women don't enjoy it, for they call
love-making kaam karnaa, i.e.do work(as if this
terminology is specific to woman; and here kaam comes not
from karma, work, but from kama , erotic enjoyment, as
in Kama Sutra).
In the name of`History',published in Indian
Indian Express, 1/4/90.
Ayodhya Dispute: Tool for Political Mobilization, in
The Hindu, 1/11/90.
op. cit., p.4.
Indian Express, 25/2/1990.
Yet, on the flap of the book, it is said : "It is
not only violence which must be condemned but also
distortion of history and intellectual dishonesty." What
makes A.A. Engineer's own distorted selection more
objectionable, is that he realizes that "coming
generations will have the right to know what the
controversy was about".
Partha S. Ghosh ; Ram Temple Controversy : Time for
dispassionate Introspection, in the 17/11/90 issue.
Communalism and the Writing of Indian History
(People's Publishing House, Delhi 1987 (1967), p.15.
From Glimpses of World History, quoted in the words-
of-wisdom section Thus said Nehru, in National Herald,
Incidentally, Hsuen Tsang's statement that his
patron, king Harsha, worshipped both Buddha and the Hindu
goods, is always carefully kept out of secularists'
invocations of Hsuen Tsang's authority, as it is one more
blow to the myth of Hindu-Buddhist struggle.
In A.A. Engineer : op. cit., p.37-38.
Indian Express, 5/12/90, by prof. Romila Thapar,
prof. S. Gopal and prof. K. N. Panikkar.
Indian Express, 2/12/90.
Reported in Indian Express, 6/12/90.
Prof. Lal has re-summarized his findings in an
article in Manthan, 10/90. The JNU historians's reply
statement in Indian Express, 5/12/90 also takes on prof.
Reported in Indian Express, 5/12/90, which also
mentions that mr. K.V. Soundarajan of the ASI confirms
that the temple existed.
Letter to Indian Express, 15/12/1990. The same
issue contains the letters by JNU historians Romila
Thapar and K.N. Panikkar, and by a JNU sociologist, R.
Champakalakshmi, who go on hammering on the non-
mentioning of the pillar-bases in the first report.
Well, thanks to Muhammed K.K.'s testimony, their
insinuation that these pillar-bases are a recent
concoction, falls flat on its face.
Indian Express, 18/12/1990.
For some more high-handed overruling of evidence,
and medieval reasoning using sheer arguments of
authority, see the interview with prof. Romila Thapar in
Times of India, 9/12/90. The line cited by her from the
first archaeological report, that the entire late period
was devoid of any interest, in fact implies that the
report about that period would not be too detailed,
leaving ample room for so far unpublished new
revelations like that of the pillar-bases.
Times of India, 6/12/90.
On 7/12/90 also, Times of India gave to an article,
in which it was cursorily though only implicitly admitted
that there must have been a pre-Babri building on the
site, the entirely misleading title No pillar-bases at
Ayodhya ASI reports. As dr. Gupta had already explained,
the detailed report had not been published yet. The
article amply quotes B.B. Lal but takes care not to
mention his most recent statement on the issue. The same
undeontological invoking of prof. B.B. Lal's authority
for a theory just recently repudiated by himself occurs
in the Romila Thapar interview of 9/12/90.
Prof. Gupta wrote, in a letter published in Times
of India on 13/12/1990 : "In a conversation with me, he
has completely dissociated himself from this."
Emphasis mine ; date not given but quoted with
strong approval in Sunday, 11/11/90. The same thing is
said by S. Mulgaonkar, in India Express, 22/12/1990, and
Blitz, 11/8/90. On 25/9/1990, she filed a writ
petition in Lucknow High Court claiming the Buddhist
origin of the Babri Masjid.
Ambedkar's contemporary, M.N. Roy, was perhaps the
first to link the myth of Buddhist social revolution with
the myth of Islam as a liberation movement welcomed by
the Indian masses, in his 1939 book Role of Islam in
Her claim has been conclusively laid to rest in a
reply by S.D. Thirumala Rao, in Blitz, 17/11/90. That
she nonetheless continues to take it very seriously, is
shown in her interview with Times of India, 11/12/1990.
Mainstream, 17/11/90. To the same effect, one can
quote Harbans Mukhia in Communalism and the Writing of
A ruler who has been more reliably accused of the
killing of 500 Buddhist monks by his army (which, he
pleaded, acted autonomously), was Ashok, the secularists'
darling. The affair is reported in the Vinaya Pitaka, in
the chronicle of the Buddhist Council, where the event
was discussed. These monks refused to accompany the
soldiers to Ashok's court, where the king wanted to
pronounce judgment on a dispute within the monk
community. The monks contended that a king should mind
his secular business, and were killed for it by the
soldiers of that one outstanding communalist in pre-
Muslim India, Ashok.
In fact, there is no real evidence of fully
Buddhist rulers in Indian history except for Ashok.
Incidentally, mr. Ghosh forgets to ask why there are
absolutely no Hindu temples of that period left in all of
Title in Sunday Observer, 4/3/90.
Indian Express, 25/2/90 and 1/4/90.
To my knowledge, in other papers than Indian
Express, the debate has been mentioned once, vaguely.
Harsh Sethi writes in Sunday Observer, 18/11/90 : "The
well-known exchange between the JNU historians and prof.
A.R. Khan of Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla,
reported in Indian Express earlier this year, gives a
flavour of how the best of our historians play with
Indian Express, 1/4/90.
The Week, 3/2/1991.
Communalism and the Writing of Indian History,
Communalism and the Writing of Indian history,
Communalism and the Writing of Indian History,
Marrying a widow (or more often, taking her as
concubine), in the war against the Infidels, often meant
effectively "killing the men and abducting the women".
This Belgian king was righfully criticized for his
harsh colonial policies. The example always given by his
critics was that plantation workers who couldn't deliver
the quota, had a hand chopped off. Recent research has
shown that the largely autonomous officials who meted out
this punishment, were Muslim Zanzibaris : they considered
non-delivery of the quota as theft, and applied the
Islamic punishment for theft, hand amputation.
Muslim apologists here often say that slavery just
happened to be around in Pagan Arabia. But as Maxime
Rodinson, the French Leftist historian sympathetic to
Mohammed's historic mission has pointed out, the tribal
society knew slavery only to a limited degree, if only
because it was hard to guard slaves for small communities
living in tents. Only when Mohammed formed a real state,
slavery could become a big institution.
According to the experts for the VHP side in the
evidence debate, on 24-25 January 1991, it was prof.
Sharma who demanded six extra weeks to study the evidence
presented by the VHP, thus making a mockery of this
debate. From someone who had just completed a book on
the matter and made several public statements, one would
have expected a fresh familiarity with the evidence.
Conversely, if he was so ignorant about the matter as to
need six more weeks, his statements should be weighed
Al-Hind : The Making of the Indo-Islamic World
(Oxford University Press 1990), p.219-223.
Indian Express, 18/9, 5/10 and 17/10/1990.
Not that an isolated occasion of saying the truth
automatically leads to the disappearance of falsehood.
Dharampal's famous book The Beautiful Tree completely
demolished the myth that the Brahmins kept all the
education for their own caste, and that Shudras were kept
in darkness and illiteracy. Yet, the myth is still
repeated, and the book has only reinforced the Leftist
rhetoric that the British (who destroyed this indigenous
education system) are to blame for everything. It is not
enough to unearth the truth, it also has to be broadcast,
and nobody should get away with pretending it isn't
If Buddha had wanted to reform society, he would
have remained a prince in his palace, because the seat of
power is the best place from which to organize reform.
The seat of power is the first target of people who want
to re-create society, such as the Communists, and it
was the first thing which Buddha renounced.
Indian Express, 9/12/90.
A week after issuing their new rules for
journalists, they effectively killed the Panjab AIR
director, R.K. Talib, apparently for hosting a talk about
the terrorist ultimatum. Five of the separatist groups
issued a joint statement claiming responsibility for the
murder. They opened up new horizons in cynicism by
declaring that they had nothing against the man
personally, and that "the murder was only symbolical".
Subsequently, their demand for more Panjabi and less
Hindi on the radio was obediently complied with.