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Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid - A Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict
by Koenraad Elst      (Author ALERT)



This item is currently out of production. Information below is provided for reference only. To be informed when this item is back in production Contact Us

ProductID: 9789 - Paperback - 173 Pages (Year: 1990)
Voice of India ~ ISBN: N/A


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 Indiaclub.com Description

This book focuses on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid controversy and discusses whether Babar, or another Muslim ruler, really demolish a Hindu temple to build a mosque in its place, and if so, is it justified to right the wrongs of history by demolishing the existing structure.

There is a two fold discussion about this subject in this book: a/ Did Babar, or another Muslim ruler, really demolish a Hindu temple to build the mosque in its place? b/ If so, is it justified to right the wrongs of history by demolishing the existing structure and replacing it with a brand new Mandir?

The biggest problem for India's national unity and integrity in the twentieth century has no doubt been what Indians call 'Communalism', the political conflict between the religions, especially between Hindus and Muslims. The most conspicuous communal bone of contention in India in the years 1986-1990 has certainly been the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid issue. The material object of the controversy is quite small: an unimpressive mosque-structure on a hilltop in Ayodhya, the town traditionally considered as the birth place of the protohistorical hero Ram. This architecturally rather uninteresting building is known as the Babri Majid, Babar's mosque. As such, it has been named after Babar, the first Moghul emperor, implying it was built on his orders, or in honor, in 1528.

Many Hindus believe that Ram was born on the very spot where Babar's mosque is standing. Therefore they call it Ram Janamabhoomi, Ram's birth-ground. They also believe that Babar's men built the mosque after demolishing a temple which was standing on the same spot in commemoration of Ram. Some Hindu organizations want to rebuild this temple, which implies removing the present structure. The Hindus have already taken control of the building in 1949, when the mosque was not in regular use any more. They installed idols and converted the mosque into a temple.

By orders of the government, however, the worshippers could only after puja from outside. In 1986, a judge ruled that the temple be opened for unrestrained Hindu worship. Subsequently, the Vishwa Hindu Parihad started a nationwide campaign for the replacement of the existing mosque-turned temple with a proper temple structure.



 Table of Contents

Notes on Transcription
Some Indian-English Terminology
Bibliography
Introduction

I THE HISTORIANS’ DEBATE
1 A British hoax?
2 Hideaway communalism
3 More arguments
4 Political misuse of history
5 Date of Ram’s life
6 Valmiki’s Ayodhya and other religions
7 The Secular emperor Babar
8 Any evidence for the demolition?
9 Evidence for the Janmabhoomi Tradition
10The Larger Picture

II POLITICAL IMPLICATION N
1 The proposed solutions
2 Similar cases
3 Hinduism no better than Islam?
4 This isn’t really Hindu
5 The insecure minorities

III THE RAM JAMBHOOMI / BABRI MASJID’S RECENT HISTORY
1 History before 1857
2 The judicial debate
3 The Ram Janmabhoomi and Babri Masjid Campaigns
4 Ram Janmabhoomi and the elections

Index

 


 About the Author

Dr. Koenraad Elst grew up in a Catholic family in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. After a brief juvenile flirt with Marxism he was drawn to exploring the spiritual domain, especially through Asian philosophies and disciplines like Aikido, Taijiquan and Yoga.

While doing research in Indian philosophy at Benares Hindu University, he started taking an interest in the ongoing Rushdie and Ayodhya controversies and the larger debate on secularism. He published several books on the historical Ayodhya file. He earned his doctorate in 1998 at Catholic University Leuven with a dissertation on the Ideological development of Hindu nationalism.

A married man and father of four, he is currently working as a free-lance scholar and columnist.


 

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