Ayodhya and the Liberal Left
In spite of being a conservative, most of the political commentary I read is that of the Liberal Left. Therefore it is only natural that one internalizes some of their arguments. In the build up to the Ayodhya verdict, after having read all the usual suspects from Vir Sanghvi to Vidya Subramaniam, I was bracing myself for the verdict to go against Hindus and then of course, a massive ‘secular’ orgy of how secularism has won despite the evil designs of the Parivar and ‘India’s fabric is secular’ and all that jazz.
Imagine my surprise then, when I first saw visuals of the Hindu Mahasabha lawyers walking out of the court with the ‘victory’ signs. As news reports started trickling in, it became clear that the Allahabad High Court has acknowledged the disputed site to be Ram Janmabhoomi. This fact alone was a moment of great vindication for the Sangh Parivar and its supporters. For 20 yrs, the Lib-Left has maligned the Parivar and Advani on this issue, portraying them as ‘saffron fanatics’ and what not. Now the courts had ruled in favor of the ‘Saffron fanatics’ and not the ‘rational progressive’ Nehruvians. This issue apart from being a religious one had also been a fierce ideological debate between the nationalists and lib-left. The Sangh Parivar could have taken a triumphant line after being abused for 20 yrs on this issue. Yet Mohan Bhagwat’s reaction was measured and statesman-like. While re-iterating the Sangh position of wanting to see a grand temple at the site, he refused to call it a victory (which it was) and called fr Hindu-Muslim unity. Yet there was no way the Lib-Left would acknowledge this, their pettiness could nt fathom seeing Sangh Parivar on the right side of the law. After all how could the courts rule in favor of saffron fanatics and not the ‘progressive legal and constitutional Nehruvians? Surely RSS had infiltrated the judiciary, so the Nehruvian Jholawallah Mandal was in full panic mode.
That night and the following day, Lib-Left pettiness and hypocrisy was on full display. Outlook carried a cover story describing the verdict as ‘faith over law’. Dileep Padgaonkar called it the outcome of a majoritarian mindset. Barkha Dutt didn’t want to forget the demolition and warned against celebrating when no one was. Vir Sanghvi , extra-ordinarily in 2 lengthy articles did not even mention the verdict and went on and on about how people had rejected Hindutva. Lib-Left was portraying it as over-reach by judiciary, majoritarianism prevailing and victory of the vandals.
As usual Swapan Dasgupta and Arun Jaitley were the few voices of reason on television. Swapan expertly dissected the verdict and Jaitley in his trademark style demolished the Lib-Left claims. Jaitey called Lib-Left position as that of ‘constitutional convenience’ where only their selective Marxist interpretation of constitution was right and the judiciary, general society, political parties and Sangh were all by default wrong!
Legally speaking, the judges based their verdict on the ASI report as obviously none of the judges were archeologists, historians or theologians. The ASI report, a credible and expert view of the disputed site had come out during NDA period even though the Court had ordered it. So now, the Lib-Left turned its attention to the ASI report and called it the handmaiden of Hindutva! ‘Eminent historians’ like Romila Thapar and Co. criticized the report.BTW wonderfully titled ‘Eminent Historians’ Is also the title of Arun Shourie’s wonderful book on Marxist historians and they way they operate but that is for some other time.
Coming back to the verdict, I felt a great sense of elevation. The last time I had been so happy with a public event was when Narendra Modi swept Gujarat assembly elections against all odds. Perhaps the next time I will feel this way will be if Narendra Modi manages to become the Prime Minister. Amen!
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