Pseudo-Secularism

Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ram Sethu and Ramjanmabhoomi - A study in obfuscation

The so-called expert panel set up by DMK leader T.R. Balu’s Ministry of Shipping has accomplished a command performance, if newspaper reports are to be believed. The committee, according to a report in The Sunday Express, has submitted a two-volume report running into 150 pages recommending that there is no evidence to prove the existence of any man-made structure where the Sethusamudram canal project is to be located.

The report staying clear of Sri Ram and his historicity dutifully submitted what the UPA mandarins wanted it to state: that there was no tangible evidence to prove any man-made structure at the project location and that the bridge or Ram Sethu is like several other geo-morphological features and that the government should go ahead with the Sethu project.

This finding is not surprising. When the committee was set up its composition conveyed the intention of the government. Independent experts and the people and organisations agitating to protect Ram Sethu had expressed doubts about its brief. The committee was indifferent, even dismissive of the well-documented submissions made by the other side. It was in an unseemly hurry to wind up its findings and extend a green signal to the Sethusamudram project without even considering alternative alignments. It has over-looked all the genuine concerns of the various streams of discipline who had made excellent studies on the adverse impact of the project. The committee is to submit its report to the apex court which is hearing a PIL on Ram Sethu and the court is likely to take it up on January 16.

The Ram Sethu Protection Samiti and several others have questioned the credibility and neutrality of the members of the official panel as many of them were confirmed Hindu-baiters and were actively associated with the project. Its members like R.S. Sharma who has made a name pamphleteering for the Left and distorting ancient Indian history goes to the extent of calling Sri Ram and Sri Krishna literary characters. In fact it was the hand of people like him that resulted in the controversial affidavit in the Supreme Court. The government and the pseudo-secular elements behave as if they go entirely by scientific evidence. But every time they are confronted with unquestionable evidence they look the other way and try everything possible to deny Hindus their history.

This cannot be more glaring than in their attitude to the famous Dwaraka Marine Archaeology Project and the Ramayana Project of the ASI. Both Dr S.R. Rao and Dr B.B. Lal have revealed how indifferent the government was about funding the two ambitious projects. Their findings comprise the most invaluable contributions in our understanding of the past.

Writing in India Today, in March, 2003, Prof. B.B. Lal, former director general of the Archaeological Survey of India, revealed, “In 1951-53 when I was in the ASI, I had initiated a project to establish that there was a historical basis for the Mahabharat. I followed that up much later with the Ramayana Project. …The work at Ayodhya was taken up in the late 1970s and early 1980s much before the eruption of the Mandir-Masjid debate as part of a much bigger project...

“In Ayodhya 14 different sites were excavated and the Ramjanmabhoomi was one of them. In a trench dug immediately to the south of the Babri Masjid, remains dating from 7th century BC to 15th century AD were found. Belonging to the upper most levels was a series of pillar bases some of which may be seen running into the section close to the outer wall of the Masjid complex. Affixed to piers of the Masjid were 14 pillars bearing figures of Hindu deities, originally part of a temple.”

Prof Lal further says that protagonists of the Babri structure objected to further excavations and made wild allegations. But according to him, after the demolition, a great deal of archaeological material from within the thickness of the walls of the mosque were brought to light and it included many sculptures, architectural parts of a temple and three inscriptions, one of which revealed that the temple was built in the 12th century AD.

Thus what we are emphasising here is that the Hindu claim is based on history, archaeological evidence and faith. The country has much to gain by accepting and promoting these facts. But the policy of appeasement adopted by the pseudo-secular parties stand as a roadblock.

Prof Lal says that unfortunately only one volume on the Shringaverapura findings could be published in 1993. After that the ASI withdrew all facilities and repeated requests to successive directors general fell on deaf ears making it impossible to bring out subsequent volumes. The same is the case with the Dwaraka Project.

Why is it that the central government always too eager only to disprove the Hindu faith? What does it gain by denying India its glorious past? Does it believe that de-Hinduising the majority in the country is the grand idea of nation building?

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