September 23, 2010

Ayodhya deferred

As I write this, the Supreme Court has deferred the delivery of the judgement that's had the country in a tizzy for days and weeks. No Ayodhya judgement tomorrow, it will now be delivered a week from now. That's if the SC decides on a petition that pleads for a postponement of the ruling; it will hear arguments over that petition on September 28.

Given that this Ayodhya title case has dragged for decades, and the issue itself goes back centuries into our medieval history, postponing by a week is trivial. Right. But I'm worn out with this dispute dominating my country's politics, pitting Indian against Indian, for so long. Not that I believe a judgement will put an end to that, but at least it will be a small step towards some kind of closure. Now that's been put off by a week, and given my experience with the way our courts work, I suspect it will be put off some more.

I am uninterested in finger-pointing. Though I have always thought of December 6 1992 as a day of great crime and shame. Some great crimes have their day of redemption. This one, I believe, never will. I believe the same about the crimes of 1984, 1992-93 and 2002, among others.

There are many reasons for this pessimism, but if I had to choose one fundamental reason, it would be this: plenty of us Indians don't see those events as crimes at all. In fact, plenty of us see them as an expression of national honour. As long as there are these irreconcilable views of the same events, there is no hope of such things as justice and redemption.

Having said all that, please turn your TV to Headlines Today at 9pm tonight (September 23 2010). Anand Patwardhan's Ram ke Naam will be broadcast then. A fine documentary about the Babri Masjid issue, it will remind you of what hatred does to us.


Surya said...

Dilipji - the recent most classic example of hatred can be found in pictures at
Pictures and News that you do not get to see in mainstream SECULAR(that is white and green) newspapers
Namaskar - Surya

Dilip D'Souza said...

I've seen news reports about the violence in Deganga in various news outlets (Express, TOI, Hindu, for example). Whether they are white and green I have no idea.

When there were massacres across Gujarat in 2002, were there similar pictures taken -- of the killing, the destruction and of protests -- that you could point me to?


Surya said...

Dilipji - What was meant is if hatred in shown on Safforn, its swept under the carpet, even if a window of a roadside church is broken, it gets published with photos on, however not in the case of Deganga, how long was this hatred in news? what action has been taken against the MP who instigated violence? Did the mainstream dig deeper in the cause? NO..simple because the hatred was perpetuated by a so called minority community who apparently have no access to resources though they rules India for centuries..
Its this imbalance in reporting that is creating more hatred and communal tensions. As mentioned by you .the guilty who ever they are which ever community they belong to must be exposed and brought to justice.
Namaskar - Surya

Dilip D'Souza said...

I keep hoping that one of the lessons of this intractable and perpetual Ayodhya dispute is that we'll learn the truth about imbalance: that if you want to see it, you will, despite every bit of evidence to the contrary.

You say I "do not get to see" the Deganga news in "mainstream" newspapers. I mention three in which I've seen the news from the day it happened, and most days since. You say it is "swept under the carpet". On we go.

If you're determined to see imbalance, you will.

The MP not being punished is hardly surprising. After all, who has been punished for the massacres in Gujarat in '02? for the massacres in Bom in '92-93? for the massacres in Delhi in '84?

Finally, if you want to claim that some community "ruled India for centuries", please remember that I can say exactly the same, with the same justification, about whatever community you think you belong to.


B said...

You have described the sinking feeling you had after court ruling on the Narmada dam; now, were you really looking forward to the court ruling on the Ayodhya issue? Do you think there can be a small step towards closure with a court ruling, irrespective of what the judgement is?

Dilip D'Souza said...

B, well what can I say, you're right. I suppose what I'm saying is that I'm weary of this wrangle, and with this deferment it seems like it will just go on and on. I mean, this petitioner is saying the SC should now try to facilitate an amicable negotiated settlement! What prevented that process from happening all these years, and if it had been happening, what's the prospect of it finding success now? I'm suspicious of this kind of move (not least, and possibly unfairly, also because of who his lawyer is).

Nikhil said...

By now you should know what type of headlines or events attract Dilip's attention. No mention of the Deganga incident let alone condemn it. But tak any stupid shennanigans of the Shiv Sena and it will feature on this blog.

Not that I believe a judgement will put an end to that, but at least it will be a small step towards some kind of closure.

What if the judgement goes in favor of proving that a temple existed and goes in favor of the Hindus (highly unlikely this will ever happens)will you still consider this a closure?

How about at least asking all parties to come and discuss at the table instead if going to the courts and the streets and coming to a settlement?
Why not go look at Sardar Patels handling of Somnath. But wait, we did not have the secularism industry then. See how things are done so much easily when jholawallahs and secularists are not in the picture.
What about mentioning the Shah Bano case the event that sparked of 'courts cannot interfere in matters of faith statements'. Apparently these do not feature on your secular radar.
Again no mention of 1990 - A shameful ethnic cleansing of the entire population of a particular religion of J & K. But when has any atrocity on Hindus mattered to you?
Ram ke naam to be considered gospel truth? By a self confessed marxist who has stated several times how he hates hinduism - Very objective source I must say.

Dilip D'Souza said...

You don't get tired repeating the same stuff, weeks or months apart so that you hope people who read it have forgotten the last time you repeated it? "No mention of X" "No condemnation of Y" "No mention of 1990"...

Your only hope in this debate/argument/call it what you will is to pull the wool over others' eyes in this fashion.

The proof of this is in your own comment, when you say "highly unlikely this will ever happens". Which shows that you yourself don't seem to believe "that a temple existed".

Have you seen Ram ke Naam? Nobody has to consider it gospel truth. But see it. Another sign of how little you believe in your own case is this antipathy to the film.

the dude who used many names said...

"country in a tizzy for days and weeks"

I don't know which country you refer to, but the one in which I live in, called India, almost no one has even heard of the verdict. That includes me too, until I read this post.

Dilip D'Souza said...


That includes me too, until I read this post.

Which is why you should be reading newspapers, or watching TV, or generally keeping your eyes open, instead of reading this post.

Chandru K said...

Is Anand Patwardhan himself a Moslem, a Hindu, a Christian, or something else? What is his position on Kashmir, on Indian nuclear test, the challenge of China, the Islamic invasions of India starting in the 11th, or 8th, century? We would need to know all this before making an assessment of him or his credibility.

Surya said...

Dilipji - I have not watched Ram Ke Nam - Can you throw some highlights on this? Appreciate it.
I was also wondering why its not called as Allah Ke Nam or something? CAn I assume that the author of that program wants to convey the hatred is shown in Ram's name? Does that Absolve Allah? In Mosques, spakers blare with voices calling upon muslims to take up arms, have you heard that from a temple?
Namaskar - Surya

Anonymous said...

i've seen ram ke naam. i have seen all of anand patwardhan's films. anand patwardhan makes propaganda films. the other side of the argument is never presented. instead, clever editing, putting quotes out of context, comical anti-americanism, very poorly argued points.

anand patwardhan responds to questions the same way dilipsaab does, which is to evade them. like dilipsaab, he also denies being leftist. probably dilipsaab and anandsaab were separated at birth.

Dilip D'Souza said...

The previous comment, left anonymously, is more or less what I meant when I wrote about Ram ke Naam: "it will remind you of what hatred does to us."

Please tell us "the other side of the argument" that AP does not present. Seriously. Please. You can even do it anonymously.

Dilip D'Souza said...


Please see it.

I'm not sure what the connection is to speakers blaring, or to absolving allah.

But please see it.

Surya said...

Mosques blaring -
Please see point 8 in this article

A noise is made when the two hands clap. Why is one hand always not held accountable? (example Kashmir)

Surya said...

Dilipji - Unfortunately I have no access to that channel. But will try google and get hold of it.

Surya said...

Ok - I can safely assume In the Name of GOD is BS from this-
"Since gaining independence in 1947, India has been a secular state. But now, as religious fundamentalism grips much of India's population, the greatest danger to the nation's extremely strained social fabric may come not from Sikh or Muslim separatists, but from Hindu fundamentalists who are appealing to the 83% Hindu majority "
- Mosques blaring ISLAM IN DANGER is the singular reason Indis is unsafe. PERIOD.
Namaskar Surya

Dilip D'Souza said...

Why is one hand always not held accountable?

As far as I know, pretty much nobody has been held accountable for the massacres of Indians in 1984, 1992-93 and 2002. IS that what you mean? I agree with you.

I can safely assume In the Name of GOD is BS ... Mosques blaring ISLAM IN DANGER is the singular reason Indis is unsafe. PERIOD.

Once again, sentiments like this are more or less what I meant when I wrote about Ram ke Naam: "it will remind you of what hatred does to us."

Surya said...

Dilipji - Are you asserting that Pointing out a fact = "hatred"?
or can you elaborate more on "it will remind you of what hatred does to us.".
Or were you also agreeing that mosques blaring as an outcome of hatred?

Namaskar - Surya

Surya said...

1984, 1992-93 and 2002 -
Sir I was too young to read what secular media like The Hindu wrote in those times. But for sure I have seen Media held Shri Modiji accountable for 2002 riots but none accountable for Godhra massacre of "Indian" women and kids.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Pointing out a fact...

What fact do you mean that you pointed out, Suryaji?

At the top of this page, you pointed out the "fact" that I "do not get to see" Deganga news in the "mainstream" newspapers. When I told you that I had seen the news in three named mainstream newspapers, again and again, you pointed out the "fact" that the news is "swept under the carpet".

Are those the "facts" you mean?

About 2002: can you name for me the people who have been arrested, prosecuted and punished for the murders across the state then, whether in Godhra or Dehlol or Ahmedabad? I'm interested in that kind of accountable. Please give me the names. Thank you and Namaskar.

Surya said...


Deganga riots - I call this swept under the carpet. I am not retracting.

What kid of coverage (is this) did this riots get? I did not see Barkha dutt or Mr. Rajdeep or Mr. N Ram coming at 9pm prime time and debating they excitedly DO otherwise for other "things".

Media has so much power that it had pronounced Mr Modi accountable/responsible for 2002, that he is equated with Hitler. And well we have on the other side People like Madani becoming state guests and having police protection.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Of course you're not retracting, Suryaji. Because evidence doesn't count for anything in the face of belief. Because you personally have not seen three particular journalists refer to an issue, naturally it means the entire press in India has swept that issue under the carpet.

Regarding being accountable for 2002, you did not answer my question, which I will repeat for your benefit: can you name for me the people who have been arrested, prosecuted and punished for the murders across the state then, whether in Godhra or Dehlol or Ahmedabad? I'm interested in that kind of accountable. Please give me the names. Thank you and Namaskar.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Also, Suryaji, please do endeavour to explain to me what any of your mentions of facts, accountability, Deganga, Rajdeep, Hitler, Madani etc have to do with my post and/or Ram ke Naam.

Thank you.


Surya said...

Dilipji - I did not see an answer to my question too. - Is Mosques blaring a sign of "what hatred does to us"? I ask this since I have not seen Ram Ke Nam(no access to it), but since you have seen it and want to know pointedly what does hatred do to us? Is Hatred developed only in the name of Ram?

All things you asked me your last post are interconnected, you may choose to connect them or not, your convenience.

Chandru L=K said...

""I can safely assume In the Name of GOD is BS ... Mosques blaring ISLAM IN DANGER is the singular reason Indis is unsafe. PERIOD.""

"Once again, sentiments like this are more or less what I meant when I wrote about Ram ke Naam: "it will remind you of what hatred does to us."

Surya is right. The Islam in danger preceded anything by the Hindu groups. Hindu temples were demolished in Kashmir in 1986, 6 years before the Ayodhya incident. Islamic violence and fanaticism is a much bigger danger to India and the world. The reason some people keep droning on about Hindu violence is because it is safer and easier to do that, than take on the Islamists. Also, it serves the purpose of showing off one's secular credentials. "Look at me, I'm criticising the Hindus, and that's really unusual" Good show.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Suryaji, your original question about blaring speakers was this: "In Mosques, spakers blare with voices calling upon muslims to take up arms, have you heard that from a temple?"

This may or may not be worth answering, but as I said right off the bat, I fail to see the connection between Ram ke Naam, which is what is under discussion, and speakers blaring.

I think Ram ke Naam shows what hatred does to us. I said nothing about mosques or temples or churches, because it applies to each of those as much as the others. That's all I have to say, until you see the film.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Suryaji, one more thing: I try to keep discussions to the subejct at hand, not get distracted by side issues. That applies here as well.


Anonymous said...

And while D^3 Sir keeps harping on Modi. Any tweets about Teesta Devi and her fake affidavits ?

Ketan said...

Demolition of Mosque was a crime because it was in contravention of the Constitution of India, and especially so, one of its pillars - the Judiciary. In this way, it is in the same category of crimes that Naxals & (homicidal) terrorists commit in that they go against the Indian state, the nature of their grievances & their redressal notwithstanding.

But for me, by no stretch of imagination was it a grave crime, considering nobody had died or got seriously injured during or as immediate result of the act.

Likewise, I wouldn't consider it a grave crime to see cartoons drawn of Mohammed or nude pictures of Parwati or burning of Bible/Quran/Geeta or demolition of several temples & mosques that had occurred as part of road-widening in Gujarat (as reported by the ToI a few years back).

Dilip must remember better than me that few years back Shiv Sena members had damaged the Singhania hospital in Thane, & perhaps killed a doctor(?). That for me was a much graver crime. Ayodhya demolition's nothing in comparison, yet so many people (including atheists, which surprises me most) remember it as some grave crime as if a baby was killed? ['killing baby' was idiomatic usage]

Okay, coming straight to the point, Dilip, why you "have always thought of December 6 1992 as a day of great crime and shame"? If possible, please be specific with your reasons.

Pandher's visa application got rejected, you felt no shame (nor did I). Why should you or I feel shame for what happened in Ayodhya in 1992? The gravity of a crime depends on intention & consequences or on how the transient law of the land views it?

Dilip D'Souza said...

nobody had died or got seriously injured during or as immediate result of the act.

No? What would you call the approx 1300 people who were killed in Bombay alone in the 3 months following Dec 6 1992?

Plenty of people say Dec 6 1992 is a day of great national honour and redemption. It makes no sense to me that when a mob of vandals cause destruction (and set off massacres), that's called honour. To me, that's called shame.

It's shameful that so many people find honour in the events of that day.

I don't see the connection to Pandher.

Dilip D'Souza said...

while D^3 Sir keeps harping on Modi.

I haven't mentioned that name on this page, that's done by someone else, yet somehow its me who "keeps harping" on him.

her fake affidavits.

Isn't it a fine thing, Ketan, that the same people who are so gung-ho about honour feel that they must support that by lying?

Ketan said...


So, grave crimes were what were committed in Bombay, not the one in Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992. And shame, if any, that is justified in its being felt, should be for what happened in faraway Bombay.

Those who feel that some sort of pride was restored by destruction of dilapidated building are silly, & their sense of what ought to be matter of pride is severely misplaced, if you might want my opinion.

Talk of redemption is also silly, depending on whether the unit of redemption is an individual or a community. But I also find the very idea of people bonding with each other just because of some birth-defined connection as silly as bacteria adhered to each other in a petri dish colony.

Mosque demolition was a crime in purview of law in vogue. To attach pride or shame to it are both equally overreactions.

Pandher issue is related in that I would like to know what criteria you feel must one apply to feel ashamed/proud of something that one does not do oneself. Of course, it's your choice whether to address it, or consider it irrelevant.

I don't know why you addressed me with connection to Teesta. I haven't mentioned anything related to Gujarat riots myself. I'm very skeptical of Teesta's intentions & methods, but isn't that irrelevant to this post as well?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ketan, I think I see what you're getting confused by. It's not that I personally feel ashamed of December 6 1992, in the same way as I would feel if I committed a crime.

It's just that to me, this was no redemption of national honour. In a similar way, to me, the CWGames are no symbol of national honour if they have been organized, as seems clear, on a foundation of brazen corruption. There is no honour in corruption and destruction. There is only shame.

I'll leave it there.

As for Teesta, I only wanted to draw your attention to people who will claim this honour redeemed, but see nothing wrong in lying about her.

Please be sceptical. Nothing wrong with that. But please also make an attempt to see lies for what they are.

Nikhil said...

highly unlikely this will ever happens". Which shows that you yourself don't seem to believe "that a temple existed".

To clarify, I have never said that. You are again twisting my statement. What i mean is that with the current ruling dispensation of minority politics being played, it is highly unlikely for a judgment in favor of a temple being allowed at the spot.
My stand is I am neutral about this as I have not done any detailed study of all the arguments put forward by all parties. My point has been that all parties have to negotiate this and there has to be mutual give and take and hence my allusion to the Somnath temple handling - Unfortunately we do not have stalwarts like Sardar Patel and KM Munshi who resolved this without resorting to gimmicks, politics, vote banks etc and are unfortunate to thave this secularism industry.
All parties have played their cards in this. Only Chandrashekhar, PVN and ABV were sincere about resolving this.

Regards Anand Patwardhan, the film synopsis you have quoted says it all.
the greatest danger to the nation's extremely strained social fabric may come not from Sikh or Muslim separatists, but from Hindu fundamentalists who are appealing to the 83% Hindu majority "

This is the standard line being quoted since independence and has resulted in the present mess.

Ketan said...


I'm surprised why you put up a binary here - 'shame' or 'honor'?

Why can't one be a detached observer & observe things like CWG as mere curiosities? But more important, when you paint the entire games as matter of shame because along with their organization corruption had also taken place (as it does in most such events in India), aren't you looking at it very narrowly? What about some ingenious ideas that engineers/architects might have come up with, or workers & contractors that might've met some difficult deadlines?

The folly of attaching (personal or otherwise) pride/shame to what others do, is not immediately apparent.

An example:

A.1 Sachin Tendulkar scored a century. It is a matter of pride 'cuz he's from Mumbai (just like me).

A.2 ST scored a century. Matter of pride 'cuz he's from Maharashtra.

A.3 ST scored a century. Matter of pride 'cuz he's from India.

Now, hardly anyone would find these sentiments anything but benign, especially so, the last one as nationalism is such a great virtue!

But look at the following:

B.1 A person from Pune hit a person from Mumbai. It's a matter of shame for me (as I'm from Mumbai). [Honor needs to be restored].

B.2 A person from Uttar Pradesh hit a person from Maharashtra. State's pride has to be restored.

B.3. A person from Pakistan hit a person from India. Nation's pride has to be restored. From perspective of defining a 'group', which of the above emotions are legitimate/illegitimate? My assumption is, something can be matter of shame only if that shame is to be felt by someone, not otherwise.

Many might approve of 'A' set of feelings, as they sound positive, but disapprove of 'B' because they sound 'negative' because of hostility involved. But the point I'm making is, each time we talk of shame/honor/pride for an entire group/country, we're inadvertently reinforcing their fallacious boundaries. We are making people invest their emotions/esteem in matters over which they've no control!

It is this narrow groupism that makes certain Hindus (whatever be the fraction) see Ayodhya Temple & demolition of Mosque as matter of pride. On other hand it's same groupism that makes certain Muslims see dishonor & persecution (which needs to be avenged) in demolition of a Mosque in Ayodhya. Both sentiments are equally fallacious & misplaced....

Ketan said...

...With regard to Teesta, it would've been technically more appropriate to qualify 'false affidavits' with "have been alleged to be". I don't think we know for sure if her affidavits are fake (false) or not, but Zahedra had turned hooptile, is in jail, so additional reason for me to be skeptical of Teesta's motives & methods in addition to the generalized skepticism I harbor for people I do not know personall, or wouldn't have interacted with for a prolonged period.

Anonymous said...

"....To attach pride or shame to it are both equally overreactions...."

simply disagree. surprising to see Dilip let this pass.

The demolition of the mosque at Ayodhya was a deeply shameful event, a saddening defeat for the "idea of India" as I have it.

It had more value than bricks and mortar. What got demolished there was more than a physical structure.


Ketan said...


"It had more value than bricks and mortar. What got demolished there was more than a physical structure."

Perhaps, those who demolished the Mosque felt exactly the same about that structure as you - only difference being, you seem to attach some positive value to the Mosque, and they must've attached some negative value to it. Had this exaggerated (positive/negative) value not been attached to an inanimate thing, perhaps, just perhaps, Mumbai riots might have not occurred.

One of the problems with India is everyone's "idea of India" is different, everyone seems to be sure their idea is the best one (nothing wrong with that, though; if one wouldn't consider one's own idea to be the best, why hold on to it anyway?), and some go on to assert & implement that idea in ways they deem appropriate.


Dilip D'Souza said...


You're right, everyone's idea of India is different.

The problem I have with what you're saying about these different ideas, though, is this: I think the idea of India which venerates destruction and hatred -- as demonstrated on Dec 6 92 -- is a perverted, weak and depraved idea.

I'll do anything I can to fight for a wiser, stronger, more compassionate India. I believe in that idea.

Ketan said...


Except that this (click) was government-sanctioned (and thus did not amount to going against the state/constitution) and Ayodhya demolition was not, what major difference is there between the two?

Did the destruction of over 90 structures, of which majority were Hindu temples as reported in the above link (and provisionally assuming the link is reporting the truth), venerate destruction and hatred? If so, why little hue and cry was created in wake of it?

How have you equated bringing down an inanimate building with lack of compassion? And that lack of compassion against whom/what?

In the past you had pointed out that there is a certain atmosphere that promotes violent movements like Naxalism (in which real people as against inanimate buildings are killed), and that that atmosphere was because of government policies. You had said something similar about terrorists, that lack/delay in justice dispensation becomes a cause for grievance and increases chances of more terrorist attacks. Do similar factors hold for those who demolished the Mosque? If not, what exactly led them to take that step? Is it because they claimed (which might indeed be an honest claim) to be worshippers of Ram that they turned violent? Or that they had insect-brains who could be brainwashed just like that?

Dilip D'Souza said...


Of course similar factors hold for those who pulled down that mosque. I'd be an idiot to imagine that 200,000 people suddenly got up on the morning of December 6 and said to themselves, let's go destroy that mosque.

Acknowledging that there are circumstances that gives rise to certain phenomena hardly means you support or agree with them. In my case that applies to terrorism and Naxalites as much as it applies to the destruction of that mosque.

When an event triggers the killing of 1300 people, and that event is nevertheless held up as a great national redemption, that seems perverse to me, and demonstrates a profound absence of compassion. I will fight as hard as I can for an India that rejects such perversity.

Anonymous said...

oho, i get it now, chandroo. we need a sliding scale of depravity. tho i know that you have already confessed on this blogs' comment space that the killings in gujarat were minor. So which is where you will slot them in the scale.

Anonymous said...

dilipsaab, here is an analysis to contrast with your own over-simplistic and dare i say, banal, takes

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sapathan, I'm content with banal. Make of that what you will.

Anonymous said...

it's not just banal. you are on the side of the intractable, not on the side of the 'good'.

if there is a certain direction towards peace and harmony, then you are applying a force that is in the other direction, notwithstanding your rhetoric.

listen dude, you are stuck in the frame of mind in which you question when somebody turns to religion. in your book. if this is a thing that shocks and disappoints you, how on earth will you understand the complexities of people who have emotional investments in religion and places of religion?

that is why leftists are so fucking useless in everything. because they are stuck in some peculiar mindset.

Chandru K said...

There is a lucid and intelligent article in the TOI( Sept 30) by Tarun Vijay, in which he quite directly states the real or major issue: Ram is us, India. Babur is not. That, boys and girls, is the essence of the Ayodhya problem.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sapathan, earlier you accused me again and again of using emotion. Now I don't "understand the complexities of people who have emotional investments in religion" (whatever that means, if anything).

More reason for me to remain content with banal, where it comes to you.

Remind me to take your stuff seriously when you find the guts to use your real name.