Let compassion flow on damned, disputed and desecrated land

Posting Date
    06-Dec-2017
 
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Darjeeling — 6th December 2017! The silver jubilee of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya the icon of Bharatiya Janata Party’s rise ot power. Crores of tax payers’ money has been wasted protecting that cursed land, past 25 years! Even today a three layer security bandobust is in place!

Ayodhya means a place that cannot be won with war (or conflict). Yet our Ayodhya has been rife with a perpetrated dispute that has meant nothing but ‘othering’ and bloodshed. Awadh, too means a land where there is no dispute. Today, all Indians would want this precious cultural space to become a symbol, not of hatred and conflict, but of understanding, dialogue and mutual co-operation.

“Close to three dozen Indians from across the country and from various walks of life, representing the vast voiceless millions who have been held hostage to the politics of ‘othering’, have intervened in the Supreme Court of India, with support from Citizens for Justice and Peace, (CJP) to pray that the Court restores to India and Ayodhya the precious Constitutional principles on which we were founded,” appeals CJP in its signature campaign for alternative solution to the ongoing dispute.

Both parties (sections of Hindus and Muslims) are determined to build a house for god (allah) on that damn, disputed and desecrated spot where on 6th December 1992, thousands of Kar Sevaks led by none other than India’s long time “prime minister in waiting” (L.K. Advaniji) tore down the Muslim hallowed spot calling on god Ram. In its wake they allegedly killed 17 Muslims in Ayodhya and burnt down some 450 shops, punishing Muslims for the sins of their forefathers.

It is blasphemous to build a house for which ever god… for no deity worth his name (Ram or Allah) will deign to preside on that cursed spot soaked in blood and where seeds of hatred have been sown over the years.

Instead, “we would like the land to be used for public good in a manner that highlights India’s commitment to secularism,” writes CJP President Anil Dharker and CJP Secretary Teesta Setalvad.

It is in this context that I am reminded of what Mother Teresa of Calcutta, as a concerned citizen of India, wanted to do when there was the post-demolition national consultation on what to do with that land!

She approached the then archbishop of Calcutta Dr Henry D’Souza (now late archbishop of Calcutta) to accompany her to New Delhi and make her proposal to then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to lease the disputed property to her so that she could serve the poorest of the poor of all communities from there.

Mother Teresa wanted to spread love and compassion where once blood and tears soaked the earth in which seeds of hatred were planted! After all she had the track record of doing the same from Kalighat Nirmal Hriday (Home for the Dying) from the sanctum sanctorum of Kolkata’s presiding deity Ma Kali, since 1952.

But the wise archbishop killed Mother’s enthusiasm considering it a folly stating it as inopportune proposal and refused to accompany Mother Teresa.

In 2008, in a conversation with me, the aging church leader recalled the ensuing bloodshed and said with certain regret: “How I could have changed the course of India’s history, if I had then heeded to Mother Teresa!”

All is not lost… still wisdom can prevail, if men and women of good will from both warring factions agree to spread love and compassion from a newly constructed facility on that disputed spot, call it what you may. Why not call it the Ram-Babri-Teresa Temple

Source: Matters India