The Bhoomi Pujan at Ram Janmabhoomi for the construction of the much awaited Bhavya Ram Mandir is all set to occur on the 5th of August, 2020. The event will be attended by various luminaries and the Puja will be performed by Prime Minister Modi himself. With days remaining for the auspicious event, it is being reported that certain ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ are on the way to Ayodhya in their bid to attend the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.
“Changing our religion, doesn’t change our ancestors.” Muslim Ram Bhakts on way to Ayodhya for celebrations. pic.twitter.com/a1hrypdpOh— Raj Shekhar Jha (@rajshekharTOI) July 27, 2020
Before we proceed any further, there is a need to take a moment to comprehend the monumental significance of the event. The Bhoomi Pujan at Ram Janmabhoomi is the successful culmination of a battle that lasted over five hundred centuries. It is the fulfilment of a dream that has been nurtured by Hindus generations after generation ever since the Temple that stood at the sacred site was demolished by Islamic invaders.
Hundreds and thousands of Hindus marched to their deaths with a smile on their lips so that Shri Rama could return to His Janmabhoomi again. For centuries, our ancestors lived under the hope that a Bhavya Ram Mandir will be constructed at that sacred land again, that the King of Ayodhya will make His return to claim what is His by right. This is the dream that our ancestors harboured. We are living it.
Under such circumstances, that some ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ are marching to Ayodhya to attend the Bhoomi Pujan event is a matter of grave concern. It is a matter of grave of concern because the significance of the day is threatened to be hijacked for the purpose of singing paeans to Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. The 5th of August 2020 is not about that. That day belongs to Rama and His devotees alone.
The concern is further aggravated by the fact that such ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ do not believe that Shri Rama is Bhagwan. They, instead, relegate Him to the status of an Imam. ‘Imam-e-Hind’ they call Shri Rama. And they wish to attend the event not to pay their respect to the Hindu God but to an Islamic cleric. It is also reported that one Faiz Khan is carrying bricks for the Temple from his home state of Chhatisgarh. And he is carrying those bricks for an Islamic cleric.
Words fail to describe the preposterous indecency of the whole affair. It is Hindus who sacrificed their lives in order to ensure the return of Shri Rama to His abode. It is Hindu men who forfeited their lives for the cause. It is Hindu women who bid goodbye to their husbands, their sons, their fathers when the men marched for battle knowing fully well that they might never be able to hold their loved ones in their embrace again.
And after centuries, when the Janmabhoomi has finally been reclaimed, the auspicious Bhoomi Pujan event is sought to be hijacked to further the narrative of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. It will be a mockery of the sacrifices the Hindu community has made over hundreds of years in the Battle for Rama if people who believe Rama to be an Islamic cleric are allowed to attend the event.
One such ‘Muslim Ram Bhakt’ says, “We Indian Muslims believe Ram was Imam-e-Hind and I will be in Ayodhya to celebrate the construction of the temple.” Another stated boldly, “We converted to Islam and embraced a system of prayer according to Islam, but changing our religion doesn’t change our ancestors. We believe Ram was our ancestor and we will celebrate with our Hindu brothers.”
All of this is fine but there is a time and place for everything. The Bhoomi Pujan event for construction of the historic Temple is not one of those times. The minimum requirement for any attendee of the event ought to be that he or she believes in the divinity of Rama. If they do not even recognise His divinity, what is even the point of attending the Bhoomi Pujan event?
The proper place to pay respect to an Islamic cleric is not a Hindu Temple, it is an Islamic shrine or a Mosque. If the ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ are so intent on paying their respect to Rama, then they would be better served by paying their respect to Him at a Mosque or an Islamic shrine dedicated to Rama. The Bhavya Ram Mandir at Janmabhoomi is not the place for it.
It needs to be emphasised here that they don’t really seem to be devotees of Shri Rama, they are devotees of a mythical image of Shri Rama they have created in their head. Shri Rama is not an Imam, He is not an Islamic cleric. ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ are bound by their religious faith to not worship Rama because ‘There is no God but Allah’ is the core doctrine of their religious identity.
There is another issue at hand here. At least some ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ have expressed the desire to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple. The sanctum sanctorum is the designated place within the Temple where the Puja is performed. It is mostly reserved for Purohitas and those performing the Puja. That some of them are expressing such a wish reveals that they have very little idea about Hindu traditions.
While the desire for communal harmony and better relations between the two communities is indeed desirable, it should not come at the expense of trampling upon the faith of one particular community. The objective of the establishment of the Temple is to worship Shri Rama and that alone. Towards that end, traditions should not be compromised in order to improve communal relations. There are a million other avenues where the latter objective can be effectively pursued.
And this is not all. One of the ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ is a devout Muslim who has even been on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Under such circumstances, should they be allowed to attend the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony? Will such blasphemy be tolerated on such an auspicious day? And how earth will such conduct improve relations between the two communities? It will cause an irreparable fissure between Hindus and Muslims, a divide that may be too big to heal.
It is important to understand the message that will be sent by the participation of these ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ at the Bhoomi Pujan event. Here we have some people who believe Rama is a servant of Allah, here we have people who follow the same ideology as the invaders who destroyed the original Ram Mandir in the first place. And they have not ever denied the same. In fact, some of them even undertook the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Permission for their attendance will only serve as reinforcement of the doctrine of Islamic supremacy. The ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ have shown no inclination at all to worship Bhagwan Rama. They have reduced Rama to an Islamic cleric, a servant of Allah and not only are they not apologetic about it, they are gloating and expect to receive praise from Hindus for it.
One could not blame Hindus if they come to believe that it is a cynical ploy to shame the Hindu community on the auspicious day. There is nothing wrong if ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ pay their respect in their own homes, as they have all this, while Hindus were busy trying to reclaim the land. The 5th of August is not just the appropriate time.
Truth be told, we could even respect their sentiments that they believe Rama is their ancestor. But believing that is simply not enough when they reduce Him to a servant of Allah. Denying the divinity of Shri Rama and still being insistent on attending the Bhoomi Pujan event could only ever be considered as an insult to the Hindu community. It is a naked display of Islamic supremacy and it is not palatable with the significance of the occasion.
Through the War for Rama, which lasted for over 500 centuries, Hindus battled Islamic Supremacy, British Colonialism and the Secular State of India to reclaim the sacred land. Hindus had to overcome concocted myths of ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ tpo earn themselves the right to construct a Temple at Janmabhoomi. Paying obeisance to the same ideology on the occasion of Bhoomi Pujan would only serve to leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the actual devotees of Shri Rama.
It also needs to be emphasised that barring the entry of non-Hindus at a Hindu Temple is not controversial. Even Sonia Gandhi, when she was the wife of the sitting Prime Minister, was not permitted to enter the Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal. The entry of non-Hindus is still barred at various Hindu Temples. It is for the simple reason that Temples are not tourist places and Hindus believe them to be the home of the Gods. Consequently, it is only natural for Hindus to not permit the entry of non-Hindus at the Bhoomi Pujan event of the Bhavya Ram Mandir.
We are standing at the precipice of history here. The construction of the Bhavya Ram Mandir at Janmabhoomi will mark the dawn of a new age. The BJP and the RSS must also be extremely cautious on how to proceed here. It is an indisputable fact that they earned great goodwill among Hindus for the stellar manner in which they organised and led the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement. And they rewarded the BJP and RSS by awarding them their votes at the ballot box.
The attendance of ‘Muslim Ram Bhakts’ on the 5th of August 2020 will resurrect the Ghost of the Babri at Janmabhoomi on the auspicious occasion of Bhoomi Pujan. If the BJP governments in the state and centre permit such a thing to occur, it will undeniably incredibly dent the goodwill they enjoy among people who have put their faith in them for their great work thus far in the reclamation of the Janmabhoomi.
It takes one moment of madness to destroy years of hard work and sacrifice. It is one of those moments. The sentiments of the Hindu community are far too great with regards to the Janmabhoomi for them to consent to the presence of those who wish to pay respect to Islamic cleric Rama at Janmabhoomi on the auspicious day. And respecting their sentiments is the bare minimum that the Indian State could do after delaying the construction of the Temple for so many years.