Monday, January 4, 2010


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    • If we base our analysis on the faulty understanding that the Ram temple movement was no more than a communal, anti-Muslim upsurge, then everything else that follows not only prevents us from understanding the phenomenon in all its dimensions but also leads us to a wrong path for the future. Yes it did lead to the tragic and unacceptable demolition of the Babri Masjid. But, for most Hindus, was the movement really against mosques or Muslims? Absolutely not.
    • At another and more fundamental level, however, it was about values of governance.
    • Ram was the God whose name was always on the lips of Mahatma Gandhi. But no one can call him communal. Because for Gandhi, Ram represented a set of values to live by. That is what Ram has always meant to most Hindus too. That is one reason why, when Rajiv Gandhi gave Doordarshan the go ahead to telecast TV serial Ramayan in 1987, what followed was unprecedented and remains unsurpassed. The TV serial became so popular that the entire country used to come to a virtual halt on Sunday mornings as everyone who could gain access to a TV set stopped doing what they were to watch the story of Ram, even though they already knew much of it.
    • Ram represented a set of values to live by. That is what Ram has always meant to most Hindus too.
    • Arun Govil brought Ram in flesh and blood into the homes and hearts of Hindus across India like never before in India's history. It is due to this phenomenon, and not Advani's Rath Yatra or the Sangh Parivar's efforts, that the movement to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya gained the tremendous momentum that it did.
    • In the event, it was the BJP that reaped the benefit of the resurgence of Ram in Hindu homes and hearts. But where its leaders made a fundamental error was in believing that they could exploit the sentiments of people in name of Ram solely to get and keep political power. They clean forgot that Ram was really about values and ethics of governance.
    • Perhaps, there is still a belief that the practical and dirty craft of politics can somehow be married with Ram san His values. Perhaps the logic is that if the Congress can con, so can the BJP.
    • "Bagal mein chhuri, munh mein Ram Ram"

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