A nearly four-century-old dispute came to an end in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with the historic announcement in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of building a trust for the construction of Lord Ram’s temple in Ayodhya. The historical significance of this declaration is due to three reasons – first, it reflects the tradition of secularism in India, in which the dispute does not result in division, but in harmony. This dispute continued from Babar-period to modern India. There was a continuous debate in this from the struggle on the streets to the court. In this sequence, nationalism along with culture, civilization, secularism continued to be part of the discourse. And finally it was decided by the Supreme Court of the country. Despite this journey filled with many kinds of acrimony in the long struggle, the country maturedly agreed to the decision of the Supreme Court.
The second reason is that there are no people associated with politics in this trust announced by the Prime Minister. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party have clearly stated that the Ram temple issue is cultural, national and civilizational. However, the issue certainly politicized, which was also not unnatural. Since the controversy moved beyond temple-building to the definition of nationalism and secularism, the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was also seen as pseudo-secularism versus positive secularism. It is necessary to mention in this context that when the initiative for the renovation of Somnath Temple was taken up in 1949-50, the Somnath Trust consisted of three Union Ministers of the Government of India – NV Gadgil, Kanhaiyalal Maniklal Munshi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. .
President of India himself Rajendra Prasad was actively associated with it. But by giving place only to people belonging to religious, spiritual and social sectors in the trust of Ram Mandir, Prime Minister Modi has proved all those assumptions and allegations that political ambition and agenda has been behind the temple movement.
The third reason is ideological. In this context, its comparison with the process of renovation of Somnath temple is natural. When the trust was being set up for the Somnath temple, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru denied the involvement of his Union ministers and President Rajendra Prasad on the grounds that it would undermine the principles of secularism. Rajendra Prasad responded to Pandit Nehru’s argument by saying that linking the invaders’ misdeeds to the socio-religious life of the country would be a prohibition of secularism. KM Munshi wrote to Nehru that the collective consciousness of the people is in favor of the restoration of this temple and by its reconstruction the country has attained its existence, which the barbarous aspirations attempted to eradicate in the name of religion. The construction of Somnath Temple is like erasing the same stigma.
There is a lot of similarity in this context between the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and Somnath. Just as Mahmud Ghaznavi destroyed the Somnath Temple, Mir Baqi built a mosque by destroying the birthplace of Lord Rama. Prime Minister Modi in his statement, urging the House and the people to build a temple with solidarity, is in fact an expression of the same sentiment that connecting the invaders with national life and making the mistake of treating or believing as a representative of any religion is not just his legacy , But also to risk both present and future.
With the creation of this trust, that chapter also ended, claiming fact, logic, and sentiment, ownership on the basis of all three. Since 1949, there has been a persistent request by Marxist historians and supporters of the Babri Masjid that the Janmabhoomi movement is a majority expression, which seeks to crush the rights of the minority. Such baseless reasoning was made the center of discussion due to the domination of Marxist and Nehruvian scholars in the field of sociology and history. But history is not built with imagination or ideological ambition. Factless history always serves to confuse the society.
Historians and archaeologists around the world have been interested in the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. That is why four archaeologists excavated before independence and after independence. The evidence which finally came out of the excavation proved that this is the birthplace of Lord Rama. That is why the decision of the court on the more than four hundred years old bitter dispute was reached in an easy and simple way. It also proved that the definition of secularism that was coined in India from colonial times, one of its goals was to see India’s ten thousand year old civilization based on the identity of religion and to do political labor to keep it in balance, which made India Served to impose a communal attitude towards the heritage and culture of the country.
The ideological discourse and struggle during the Ram temple movement has served to redefine secularism. Although this work should have been done during the Somnath temple itself, there is a fundamental difference in the struggle and discourse between the Somnath and the Ram temple. During the construction of the Somnath Temple, the discourse remained confined to the top-level nobles of politics and intellectual life, while during the Ram temple struggle, the discourse reached out to the common people through the ideological circle of the elites, hence making this historical event a positive in Indian national life The work was made by the collective consciousness and aspiration of the people and the historical facts, which were suppressed by the spokespersons of the Western accused secularism. Therefore, the creation of this trust will be considered as the end of the era of appeasement and the beginning of the new positive diversity of secularism of Indian tradition.