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LESSONS FROM AYODHYA

The news of the demolition of Babri Masjid struck the Islamic world like a thunderbolt. No Muslim could remain unaffected by this catastrophe. It rendered a few brains numb while others were ignited. Indisciplined youth madly came out on the street and fell a victim of the bullets of the demons in uniform. All this was but natural. On the other hand, the Muslim leadership stood astounded like a life-less statue. They had only a single programme for Muslim youth - Muslims should remain calm and patient. The fact is that this darkest period of partitioned - India demands a sincere analysis.

The foremost thing that surfaced was the collective fraud against the Muslim Ummah. The Muslim leadership blindly trusted the Indian government - that very Congress government, which threw open the gates of Babri Masjid, arranged for 'shilanyas' there, exempted the Babri Masjid from the law which demanded retainment of the 1947 status quo of places of worship. The Muslim Ummah childishly and foolishly trusted those very forces, which removed the impediments in the way of construction of Ram-Mandir. The reason could be either extreme simplicity or cowardice, which held back the Muslims from protecting their mosque.

The other thing is that people termed the Ayodhya event as the death of secularism, though the fact is that it is the exposition of the true nature of secularism. The demolition of Babri Masjid has laid bare secularism. The Hindus of this country have never given proofs of their religious tolerance, as is evident from the proportion of Muslims in government jobs. Even before the advent of Muslims, the history of Brahmins has been one of oppression and suppression - the demolition of Buddhist temples in thousands and the continuous massacre of Buddhists assumed a dimension dangerous enough to force a religion born at Gaya in Bihar to seek shelter in China and Japan. A section within the Hindu community itself, was segregated as "backward" and meted out a treatment worse than that of slaves, and all this was given religious sanction by formulating the 'sacred law' of Manusmriti. These are a few glorious chapters of ancient Indian history which would continue to guide Nazis and brutes in all ages and at all times.

The true colour Secularism began to unravel when the most lofty personality of the freedom movement, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was given a minor portfolio of education. The matter did not end here. His thirty pages too, were tampered with and more recently the true faces of the pioneers of secularism were revealed when the Bharat Ratna award was sent to his distant relative by post.

The third error being committed by people is that they say that with the Ayodhya catastrophe, democracy is shaken at its roots, though the fact is that it is a victory of democracy. What is democracy actually? It is the supremacy of the majority. Democracy implies that things should move, as the majority wants them to; take the case of reconstruction of Babri Mosque. According to a survey conducted by the Times of India MODE (DEC. 17), 64% of the masses do not want the reconstruction of Babri Mosque at it original site. If we keep on begging in the name of democracy for the reconstruction of Babri Mosque, it would mean nothing except attempting a synthesis of opposites through self - deceit.

The fourth factor is that the demolition of Babri Mosque, is in fact a unanimous war-cry against Islam and Muslims. The reality of Narasimha Roa's politics of consensus now stands exposed. Right from the meeting between Advani and Narasimha Rao two days before the demolition (whose details have not been revealed) to the police action on Muslims - everything is joined like a string to the chain of the politics of consensus.

In view of these bitter realities, what should be the right course of action for a frustrated and maimed Ummah. Normally four answers are given to this important question.

(1) Muslims should display restrain and patience and avoid confrontation. This prescription is quite stale now. Confrontation can be avoided only when there has not been one. Muslims avoided confrontation but with what result? They lost their mosque, and not only the mosque but also thousands of lives, hundreds of women were robbed of their chastity, property worth cores of rupees was reduced to ashes, thousands of Muslim youth were dumped into prison cells. We were mute spectators to the demolition of the mosque and patient and restrained onlookers to the genocide of Muslims.

(2) Muslims should engage themselves in constructive programmes and development schemes. This again is a totally misplaced suggestion. The Muslims of Surat and Bombay were, more than anybody else, engaged in this task. They were totally absorbed in proving their fruitfulness by their toil and moil for increasing national wealth. Such a struggle constitutes the very aim of the life of Aga Khani Muslims. They remain at a safe distance from religion and politics. Why, then, were they not spared of the calamity? The missionaries of education and development mean to say that Muslims should silently try to advance in the above fields. Never mind if their life-long earnings are gutted down by the enemy. You are supposed to shake off everything, rise up with renewed vigour and get engaged in construction only to be destroyed once again. And the cycle would continue.

(3) All Muslims should unite under the banner of the Janata Dal: This too is a meek support to rely on. The first thing is that Janata Dal is comprised mainly of those leaders who have floor-crossed from the Congress and the possibility of their re-entry to Congress cannot be ruled out. Moreover Janata Dal is a weak party full of groupism and split ups. The credit of victory of BJP in U.P. goes to Mulayam Singh and V.P. Singh. Nowadays V.P. Singh's image is that of one who is anti-communalism and anti-corruption. It was exactly this image which Chandrashekher had a few years ago. Today, people have recognised him. Therefore, the migration towards Janata Dal denotes an uncertain future. It would be an exercise in futility.

(4) Muslims should unite under the Red flag: This suggestion too reveals an unhealthy thinking. To unite under the Red Flag which created a hell in Afghanistan, the Red Sun which set in the place where it rose, could be the suggestion of an intensely frustrated and totally vanquished brain. No right-thinking person can think in this manner. Overwhelmed by the official two days strike in West Bengal declared by Jyoti Basu, Muslims started speaking in terms of joining hands with them. Their memory is so weak that they can't possibly recall that it were the Marxists who organised a rally of their women clad in burkha against the Shariah of Islam, during the agitation over the Shah Bano case.

Now, lets go further ahead from this elementary talk towards devising a way to rescue the ship of the Ummah from the whirlwind it has been gripped into.

In this context, let us first have a look into the movement for the restoration of Babri Mosque, so that we probe into bitter realities and experiences, and do not repeat our mistakes.

On 1st February 1989, the door of the Babri Mosque was unlocked. A wave of anger and frustration ran throughout the Muslim Ummah, which reacted in its own way. At least, the Babri Masjid Co-ordination Committee was formed. The protest acquired discipline and at the Babri Masjid conference in Delhi, four major programmes were targeted (1) Bharat - Bandh, (2) A protest rally in Delhi, (3) Ayodhya march of Muslims for offering Namaz in Babri Mosque. These programmes were right in every aspect and reflected the sentiments of the Millat (community). The first two forms of protest took place according to plan and were immensely successful. The protest rally at Delhi was participated in by 5 lakh Muslims. In reaction to this the Hindu chauvinists organised a rally at Ram-lila maidan which was attended by a mere 25 thousand people. Till this time the Babri Masjid Movement carried considerable weightage. When it came to boycotting Republic day celebration, its secular leadership which revered the Indian constitution more than the mosque, fell a prey to the deceitful adulation and sugar-coated pills of Chandrashekhar and company and withdrew it's announcement of boycott of Republic Day Celebrations at a time when the Movement was about to reach its zenith. Temporal interest surpassed the demands of Islam. Fear of death substituted the fear of Allah. The Movement lost its vigour and there was no room left for the implementation of the fourth programme and the Movement got bifurcated. Either side lacked sincerity and were full of obstinacy. The inevitable results of this was that the morale of the mandir campaigners was raised, their agitation gained momentum, a confrontationist attitude was adopted. Dharma - Yuddha (Religious War) was declared (though it is Muslims who believe in Jihad which forms the basic tenet of Islam.) They even climbed atop the dome of Babri Masjid and those who died in the process were given the rank of martyrs Shaheed (this too, is a cent percent Islamic terminology), the Mandir issue was turned into an issue of faith (though it is Muslims alone who are people of Faith) they refused to accept the verdict of the supreme court (though Muslims had altered the supreme court verdict when it amounted to interference in Shariah). Thus, the Masjid movement which ought to have been carried foreword on Islamic principles fell an easy victim to the principles of the constitution, of democracy, and secularism, while the Mandir-Campaigners succeeded in attaining their goal exploiting for their purpose, the Islamic weapons of faith, Jihad and Shahadat (Martyrdom).

Had the Millat carried on with its 4 points programme, this situation would never have arisen. If the Ayodhya march had been organised after the boycott of Republic Day celebration, there was atleast 50% possibility of regaining the Babri Mosque with the sacrifice of a few thousand lives. Irrespective of whether the Babri Mosque could be saved or not, the Movement would indeed have become immortal, the Masjid-Campaigners would have gained in recognition and the demolition of the Mosque would indeed have become impossible.

Whenever a Movement sacrifices it's whole and soul for its cause, it does not die rather it becomes immortal. This is the lesson we learn from the letter of Karbala.

But, what happened here was just the opposite. Not only Babri Mosque but also many lives were lost. In the riots that took place in the wake of the Mandir-Masjid dispute since 1st February 1986, at least five thousand people attained martyrdom. Would somebody shake those who avoided confrontation out of their slumber and ask, could the confrontation be avoided ?

The other and most thought provoking factor is that the communal terror let loose after demolition of Babri Masjid should be a lesson for those who say : Why so much of a bloodshed for a mosque? Aren't they aware that after Babri Masjid, it is the turn of the Gyan Wapi Masjid at Kashi and the Eidgah of Mathura and the chain would continue never to end. Hindutva has tasted blood and as long as it lives it would not abandon its satanic activities. The mutual tie-up of Congress and Sangh Parivar apart, Dilip Padgaonkar, the chief editor of the "Times of India", the popular English daily advises the Indian Muslims in the issue of 13th December' 92 to "be realistic, be Indian, sever their relation with Muslim Personal Law and accept the Uniform Civil Code."

Thereby, Muslims need to understand without the slightest doubt, that the world has turned enemy to them. They are face to face with a disciplined, mighty, merciless and shrewd enemy. Whether they want it or not, war has been declared against them. They are destined to die and it is upto them what type of death they prefer -- whether in their homes like hens and goats or on the battlefield displaying feats of valour. It is not today rather years ago, that Vishnu Hari Dalmia of V.H.P. in a meeting with Babri Masjid Co-ordination Committee had said, "It is you people more than the Masjid that we cannot tolerate. The very existence of Muslims in India is intolerable to us".

We have to bear in mind that it is a cultural plus religious onslaught and not a mere political tug of war. If it would have been a mere political game, BJP would have retained the Mosque atleast till the next election. But this did not happen. Rather, BJP agreed to lose its government in order to demolish the Mosque. The only reason behind such a move was that it was a "Dharma Yuddha" (Religious war) in which each of the five : judiciary, legislature and parliament, the sangh family and Congress - were equal partners.

The other reality is that the Abu Lahabs of India are even more cruel, barbarous and shrewd than Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl. The pagan Arabs atleast followed some principles sincerely. They were loyal to their contracts, they preferred sacrificing their own lives to protect the one whom they forwarded refuge. They declared their enmity openly and if they established bonds of friendship, they did justice to it. Owing to their ignorance, they filled the Kaaba with idols but they never even thought of demolishing it. Rather, they were custodians of the Haram (though unlawful) and quenched the thirsts of pilgrims. When Abraha attacked the Kaaba with his forces they earnestly prayed to Allah forsaking all their false gods. The Mushriks (polytheists) of Arabia inflicted the worst type of punishment on Muslims, but never robbed Muslim women of their chastity. Here a video film was made of the scenes of gang rape of women - an act obnoxious enough to put satan to shame.

After the demolition of Babri Masjid, Narasimha Rao said that he was deceived. On the other hand, Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that it was a breach of trust against the President, Prime Minister and the judiciary. The fact is that all these together have deceived Muslims and violated the Indian constitution and law, and the substance of violation was the rule of might. It is obvious that there is no alternative left for Muslims except to express total disaccord and repudiate who have been guilty of the worst type of breach of truth and to declare India "Dar-ul-Harb", a land of strife.

The reconstruction of Babri Mosque is indeed possible, but only if we struggle on Islamic lines.

(1) Turn Towards Allah : The Muslim Ummah should sever its ties from all false gods, all weak supports and all political parties. It should become Allah's exclusively and baptise itself with Allah. It should reject the Taghut of the day and seek help from Allah. Allah Ta'ala says in Suraah Al Baqarah, "Whoever rejects Taghoot and believes in Allah has caught a strong hand-hold that will never break".

(2) Deeds Confirming to Islamic Teachings : How can a pseudo - Muslim Ummah strive for the upkeep and revival of Islam ? Is it possible that the Movement for Babri Masjid be carried on successfully by those who do not offer even five times prayer ? It is indeed a sign of Imaan that we become sentimental on hearing the news of demolition of Babri Masjid, but this Imaan has got to assume a practical dimension. The observance of the basic tenets of Islam - Prayers, Fasts, Pilgrimage, Zakat and Jihad is obligatory on the Muslim Ummah, irrespective of external conditions.

(3) Islamic Unit : There are many sects and schools of thought among Muslims. But, in the recent tensed circumstances, we saw that the whole Ummah became one. The Ulema of the Bareilavi school of thought (whom the Jamaat-e-Islami considers Mushrik) raised its voice against the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (whom the Bareilevis consider "Kafir"). The reality of the accusations of "Kufr" and "Shirk" was now exposed. Now we wish this temporary unity become the starting point for a permanent Islamic unity. Babri Masjid is indeed the rallying point around which the whole Ummah can be made to stand like a solid cemented structure to combat the enemy.

(4) Agitational Politics : Muslims have got to break all relations with political parties, boycott the elections, not as a matter of protest but as a matter of principle. Elections serve as a medium to fool the masses. Those who get elected through Muslims' votes do not even represent the thinking of the people, not to speak of representing their sentiments. We have seen that no Muslim M.P. or M.L.A. resigned in protest over the demolition. The cabinet Minister, Jaffer Shareif shed tears like a widow over the demolition of Babri Mosque.

Similar is the situation in case of riots. A Muslim minister, in the eyes of the government does not count even as much as a municipal corporator of Shiv Sena, then why do we need such Muslim ministers and MLAs? These puppets do not have enough guts to have those innocents released who have been arrested. On the other hand, even if a ruffian of Shiv Sena is taken captive, he is released the next day. Muslim youth in thousands are suffering atrocities in police custody. After all, why are these puppets elected to the cabinet ? Perhaps, to secure Muslim votes. These puppets too remain glued to their chairs because of their vested interests.

Let us bear in mind that the reconstruction of Babri Masjid calls for sacrifices and a head - on confrontation with Baatil (falsehood). If we are ready to sacrifice everything for this Jihad, the day is not far away when Allah's aid comes to our rescue and we succeed in attaining our goal.

On the contrary these leaders serve Hindutva by performing puja (Hindu rituals), breaking coconuts, etc. By their deeds, they become missionaries of polytheism and hypocrisy, thereby reducing the degree of abhorrence for these acts of Shirk found in the Muslim community.

Therefore, Muslims should cut themselves off from electoral politics where we suffer more losses than benefit. As it is, secular democracy and the principles of Islam stand poles apart. In Islam, sovereignty rests not with the majority but with Allah.

Instead of electoral politics Muslims should take recourse to agitational politics. The Islamic leadership should start a disciplined mass Movement displaying an exemplary Islamic unity and should not rest content until and unless Babri Masjid is reconstructed.

The idea of mass movement has been a successful strategy. Our experience at the time of Shah Bano case shows this. We need to carry on a mass movement. Even more disciplined, powerful, lengthy and planned than the previous one so that once again, the government is forced to yield to the demands of a unified Millat.

In conclusion, let us bear in mind that the reconstruction of Babri Masjid calls for sacrifices and a head-on confrontation with Baatil (falsehood). If we are ready to sacrifice everything for this Jehad, the day is not far when Allah's aid comes to our rescue and we succeed in attaining our goal. This world is governed even today as in the days of Firaun (Pharaoh) and Namrood (Nimrod) by Almighty Allah, whose power encompasses all forces.