Rama Setu: Rama is reality in Muslim tradition
Here is an exquisite account by Firoz Bakht Ahmed.
kalyanaraman (Sept. 20, 2007)
To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e-Hind
IANS || Firoz Bakht Ahmed
September 20, 2007
On behalf of all Muslims who believe in reason and sanity, I declare that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) affidavit (since withdrawn) questioning the existence of Hindu god Ram was vitriolic, scathing, unfortunate and blasphemous – not just to Hindus but to all those who cherish our pluralistic cultural heritage. How can a government decide the veracity of a figure like Ram?
He Ram ke wajood pe Hindostan ko naaz/Ahl-e-nazar samajhtey hein usko Imam-e-Hind!
Iqbal, the poet of the East, has written a wonderful and moving poem on the authenticity of the existence of Ram. Logic and science have their say but not in matters of faith. In a nation where religion percolates to all levels of culture, secularism and modernity, themes like Ram, Mohammed, Mary and Moses are all interwoven within the existence of the people. A denial can drive people into a frenzy.
As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar rightly puts it, one cannot dismiss Sri Ram as a mythological character just because a lot of miracles were reported in his life and there are no scientific evidences to prove them. There were unproven miracles in the lives of the religious figures of every faith. Just because we can’t prove the parting of the Red Sea, we can’t say that Moses was a fictitious figure. Just because there were miracles in the lives of Jesus, Moses and Mohammed, you cannot call them mythical figures.
Historical evidence of most of the eminent religious figures would be difficult to find. Nevertheless, the authenticity of Ram’s reality cannot be doubted, as most legends and myths have their roots in real incidents and actual happenings of religious figures. So far as Ram is concerned, there are numerous places in India and Sri Lanka closely linked to his life including Ayodhya, Janakpuri, Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram.
The whole debate about whether or not Lord Ram existed or not is redundant. Even if he did not exist, this is not going to diminish his importance because he actually exists in the hearts of not only Hindus but also Muslims. According to Islam, 120,000 messengers were sent to the earth. According to Muslim belief, Ram not only exists but also is part of the community’s religious legacy.
Nearly a billion Hindus believe that Ramayana happened and that Ram existed. If there is no archaeological evidence to this effect, it is something for ASI to keep in their records, not for a secular government to pronounce from rooftops.
To a Muslim it is a surprise that it is only the Hindu groups that have taken umbrage at this affidavit. The average Hindu is by and large silent. In contrast Muslims would have risen en masse in protest against such blasphemy.
Ram is entrenched deeply in the minds of a vast majority of people of all faiths, including Muslims of Indonesia. Ram is the Maryada Purushottam to all irrespective of caste, creed or faith.
Questioning a largely tolerant and pluralistic people to provide proof that their god actually exists is driving them to aggression. The weakness lies here with the Congress party, which time and again has failed to handle sensitive issues pertaining to faith.
However, the Congress was able to salvage some ground by withdrawing from the Supreme Court the offending affidavit questioning the existence of Ram. But the secular credentials of this government have been sacrificed.