There is an age-old saying, “Nothing succeeds like success.” Indeed, the Hindu Right tasted its greatest success centuries after the reclamation of the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, nearly three decades after the demolition of Babri Masjid. It was on this day on the 5th of August, 2020 that the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony for the Bhavya Ram Mandir was performed.
Ever since independence, Babri Masjid was the symbol of Indian secularism. It was the monument every Indian secularist and liberal had to pay tribute to, and it commanded their unswerving loyalty. That monument of tyranny came crumbling down on the 6th of December, 1992 and thus began another chapter in the glorious history of the great Hindu Civilization.
The seeming permanence of the existence of the Babri Masjid was the cornerstone of their confidence in their ideology for liberals in India. That the Babri Masjid continued to dominate public discourse and Indian polity even after the structure was forcibly removed was the reason for them to believe that their ideology would continue to reign over the country.
It gave them the confidence to lie blatantly in court to ensure that the myth of the illegal structure, called Babri Masjid, is maintained through the ages. It served a purpose too. The story of the Babri Masjid demolition by Kar Sevaks was used to paint Hindus in the worst light possible. They claimed that Hindus were intolerant and had no right to reclaim their place of worship, that, they had no right over it. They drummed up the Muslim sentiment claiming that Babri Masjid held religious significance for Muslims and therefore, the Hindus should simply swallow the bitter pill and give up claim on the Ram Mandir. In fact, they even went as far as to say that Bhagwan Ram did not exist and therefore, there was no significance in claiming the religiosity of ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’. They tried to claim that there was no temple beneath the illegal structure called Babri Masjid at all.
Their faith was dealt a severe blow when the Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of the Hindu community but still, they clung to the belief that the illegal structure – Babri Masjid – could still rise from the ruins. Post the verdict, Hindus were forced to walk on eggshells and not celebrate the triumph of a 500-year-old struggle that ended with Hindus reclaiming Ram Janmabhoomi. ‘There might be violence’, they said. ‘Respect the Muslim sentiment’, they said.
When Hindus are told that their victory, one they have fought tooth and nail for over a span of 500 years, is not something that they must celebrate, it is essentially a practice in inducing paralysing guilt. The Ayodhya struggle was a traumatic one for both sides, especially for Hindus. Hindus first lost their temple to invading, barbaric hoards. Then, Indian Muslims refused to recognise that Hindus had a rightful claim over what they lost. When Hindus struggled to get it back, they were called bigots, criminals. They were shot at, killed, maimed. They were branded as terrorists. A neighbouring Islamic country destroyed tens of temples after the Babri demolition. There were widespread riots where Hindus and Muslims both died. On the part of Muslims, they were confronted with a civilisational battle that their indoctrination had rendered them incapable of understanding or handling. And after the centuries of struggle, even after the victory, “liberals” tried to infuse paralysing guilt in the Hindu community. ‘There might be violence’, they said. ‘Respect the Muslim sentiment’, they said.
It was only with the Bhoomi Pujan, performed by the Prime Minister of the country himself, that secularists realised the futility of their endeavours and their unbridled rage finally gave way to defeatism.
It was a huge psychological blow to liberals. For generations, the Babri Masjid had continued to serve as the beacon for their claims. In the darkest of times, the illegal structure provided a refuge for their lost souls. Even after the demolition, they did not lose hope and fervently believed that one day, it would be possible to weld it into existence once more.
It provided them with the inspiration to fight and struggle. That was what was robbed of them on the 5th of August, 2020. The Prime Minister performed the Bhoomi Pujan and the whole country rejoiced in its wake. Hindus in 2020 had succeeded where countless generations before had failed.
Generation 2 Zero had built upon the successes of their predecessors and took one step further to secure the victory where the Class of 92 had failed. It was truly a monumental achievement and the significance of it could not ever be overestimated.
Watching Gen 2 Zero revel in their successes crippled the faith that liberals and secularists placed in their own ideology. The gloom and doom that pervaded every essence of their existence could not be missed. Entire lives’ work of their ideological predecessors had come to nought. Despite their best efforts, Hindus had succeeded in reclaiming the Janmabhoomi for Rama.
The visual imagery of the Bhoomi Pujan reflected everything they sorely hate. It reminded one of the royal rituals of times gone by. Prime Minister Modi appeared regal that day. Dressed in regal attire and surrounded by Hindu priests and the most prominent Mahant of the Nath Sampradaya, Yogi Adityanath, Narendra Modi performed the ceremony with the incantation of Vedic chants, under the pious auspices of Agni.
Liberals had lied, invented stories, wove figments of the imagination to deny the Hindu claim to Janmabhoomi. Generations of liberals had laboured and toiled in defence of the Babri, spent immense political capital on its sustenance, endured the hatred of the entire country, with sufficient compensation of course, but what had it come to in the end anyway?
A Prime Minister performing the Hindu ritual before the initiation of the construction of the Bhavya Ram Mandir. That is what everything had boiled down to. Decades of hard work had been ruined by one day of Hindu celebration. The Hindu Right had shat over their dreams and ambition and made merry over the corpses of their legacy. That is far too devastating a psychological blow to ever recover from.
It is not that they have gone down quietly. But with every passing day, their outrage appears more and more like the cacophony of a thousand drowning voices. They lashed out, they tried to hurt their countrymen, they sought to damage the country’s reputation. But time and again, they were forced to contend with defeat.
The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act that culminated with the riots in Delhi were certainly motivated significantly by the defeat they had to endure over Ram Janmabhoomi. The protests were littered with imagery designed to hurt Hindu sentiments. The charade went on for months and ultimately, the eve of then US President Donald Trump’s visit was chosen as the opportune moment to strike at the heart of India.
Unfortunately for them, things did not turn out exactly as they hoped they would. Now, in their desperation, they have aided the resurgence of the Khalistan bogey through the protests against the newly implemented farm laws. While they might be under the impression that they are winning the battle, it is infinitely more likely that it will end in the same fashion as the War for Rama did.
Now, liberals have accepted defeat but still, they wait with fear and trepidation for the day when the construction of the Ram Mandir will be completed and the Temple will be opened for devotees. With every passing day, we get closer to it and the inevitability of it all still gnaws at the heart of every liberal and secularist in the country.