UPA assaults Hindu Dharma
By Sunita Vakil
Ram Sethu is a unique and ancient formation that lies at the very core of our natural heritage. It is not only a bridge that connects two land masses but also acts as a thread joining our country in a unique spiritual milieu.
The ASI affidavit, that strives to question the characters and contents in Ramayana, which are central to Hindu ethos and Dharma, is nothing more than a shameful attempt of the Congress-led UPA government to negate India’s national heritage and cultural identity.
For many believers in India and abroad “Ramayana” is not just a television epic or a great work of art but living history that is central to culture and ethos of not only of our country but also Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali, Philippines, Cambodia and others. The epic that is deeply etched in the mind of every Indian right from infancy and is inextricably interwoven with our sacred culture and tradition still continues to inspire the faith of millions.
The legend of Ram, that has been told and retold in almost all languages of the world has a special significance for the beliefs and sentiments of practising Hindus.
The story is enacted every year in the form of “Ramlilas” not only in India but also across the whole of South and Southeast Asia Lord Rama is looked upon as a cultural icon, an ideal man and above all an incarnation of God by crores of people around the globe. The characters of Ramayana have caught the imagination of a whole multitude of masses who treasure India’s unique pluralistic cultural heritage. The epic has moved millions since the inception of civilisations and forms the bedrock of our rich cultural and historical diversity.
Maryada Purshotam Ram wields a great influence in our daily lives as he continues to like in the hearts and minds of the people around the world. In this context, the UPA’s exertion of questioning the very existence of Lord Ram and justifying a proposed destruction of Ram Sethu, a bridge built by Hanuman and his Vanaar sena allowing Ram to cross the sea and rescue Sita, are quite condemnable. The effort of the UPA government to masquerade blasphemy as modernity speaks volumes about its insensitivity towards the religious sentiments of Hindus. Indeed, this is reflective of the audacity and unconcern for Hindu beliefs synonymous with the Congress led UPA government. It is not for the elected representatives of the people to ridicule the religious sentiments or faith of any community. It is a most despicable testimony to the UPA’s crude and communal agenda of belittling Hinduism. By claiming that the immortal legend of Ram lacks scientific and historic veracity, the government has slighted not only the faith of the entire Hindu community but also of those who hold the pride of their rich natural heritage on their sleeve. It is quite saddening that the ruling party, by casting aspersions on the name of Ram, a strong symbol of Hindu faith, is trying to destruct India’s rich cultural heritage and all it stands for. By denying the existence of Lord Ram armed with a non descript affidavit in the apex court, the Congress leaders have dealt a heavy blow to the collective Hindu psyche besides reducing a sacred epic that defined Hindu identity and nationhood for ages, to a mere work of fiction. The Congress may be applauded by its drumbeaters in the UPA as well as its cohorts in the left parties for whose appeasement this whole charade is being played out. But surely this does not mean that majority of Indians, including those from other faiths also will be cheering them in this abominable act. Notwithstanding UPA’s effort of mocking at the faith of millions of Hindus, nobody can deny that it is only the name of Ram that has threaded the country in a unique religious and cultural milieu.
That matters of faith have a symbolic value and transcend all barriers of logic can only be explained by that old adage by Joseph Cook “There is a god in science, a god in history and a god in conscience and these three are one.” Similarly, a god who has lived in the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide since times immemorial does not need any archeological or historical proof to substantiate its existence. To expect evidence of the existence of Lord Ram and proof of Ram Sethu that it was man made in the form of bones and stones, would be too irrational and bizarre. Science or logic cannot dilute a belief that penetrates the very core and collective consciousness of the people of an entire nation.
It can also mean that the ASI’s modus operandi for unearthing evidence was not foolproof. Conversely speaking, what proof does the ASI have that the Sethu does not exist or Ram and Ramayan are imaginary? Thus to exclude from the ASI’s report that Ram does not exist and Ramayan is a religious myth would be absurd in the least. It has been established time and again that the existence of a particular individual or entity that could not be proved in the past due to the dearth of archaeological and historical evidence was proved later with the help of sophisticated technological innovations. Why can’t we apply the same logic to the Ram Sethu? Since we know that the places mentioned in Ramayan have been known to exist, how can we reach the conclusion that the Sethu is not man made. It is therefore baffling how the ASI made over reaching statements in a bid to go up in the esteem of the government?
All those bent upon assaulting Hindu faith by denying authenticity of the Ramayan are missing the point. They are totally disregarding the fact that the ASI’s far reaching conclusions about Ram Sethu not being man made may not be the last word on the issue.
Ramayan is a story that is ingrained in the minds of people and needs no corroboration on scientific basis. Similarly, Ram Sethu is a unique and ancient formation that lies at the very core of our natural heritage. It is not only a bridge that connects two land masses but also acts as a thread joining our country in a unique spiritual milieu. As such, these matters of faith have no use for any archaeological or historical evidence.
Take the case of Mount Kailash that is considered divine by both Hindus and Buddhists the world over. It is known to be a natural formation but this does not diminish its reverence for millions of believers. Having said that, it would be irrelevant to look for legal determination of an issue connected to faith. It would almost amount to trivalising the consciousness and ethos of millions across the world who have held these beliefs close to their heart through the ages.
The Congress led UPA’s toxic and diabolical agenda of demolishing a symbol of popular Hindu faith provides just one more instance of its crude end communal outlook. It militates against the very spirit of secular humanism and it is imperative upon all right thinking citizens to protect against this sinister move.
(The writer is a senior journalist.)