Thursday, August 27, 2020


 What is there to write about 2020? How is 2020 going to be remembered? 

It is one year that changed everything, everyone. 2020 changed the world. For many Corona may have taken away a loved one but for my family we lost a loved one but not to corona. It was totally unexpected and all of us are yet to come to terms with it. 

This year took away my younger sister's husband. He was in his prime and had no business going away so soon. But he is gone.. leaving behind many perplexed, grieving souls. 

Once again he left on a day that was being celebrated. He died on the day our son was born. As I wrote on this blog, my FIL died on our wedding day.

These 2 days will remain as a day of happiness and sorrow. Maybe life is telling us not to be too sad or too happy? 

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Let me begin my thoughts by reaffirming that demolishing Babri Masjid was wrong especially in a secular and democratic nation like India. Those who did it ought to be punished so that such acts are not repeated.

Yesterday the Indian supreme court gave the verdict on the centuries old Ayodhya dispute. The timeline for the dispute is as follows:

- 1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.

- 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed structure. Court rejects the plea.
 Click here for the full events.

The final verdict  : Entire Disputed Site Goes to Hindus for Ram Mandir, Muslims to Get 5 Acres of Alternate Land
It is not a fair judgement since one cannot demolish a structure and build another based on hearesays alone. If so, entire India would need to be dug up to right whatever wrongs imagined or otherwise. But I think SC wanted to end this dispute in a peaceful manner and it is indeed a relief to note that the Muslim board has accepted the same though it could be out of compulsion. But it is clear that India needs peace. The animosity between the two communities is not new. Blame it on various invasions and specially partition. Invasion was unavoidable but partition was avoidable. The fate of millions were decided by few men who only wanted power? 

Why did the 1947 partition of India unfold the way it did?
Although the agreement required no relocation, about 15 million people moved or were forced to move, and between half a million to 2 million died in the ensuing violence.

If one thinks the above did not affect the remaining Indians then one is naive and shall never understand the Ayodhya issue too. I think the two communities continue to test each other. They hide their insecurity and fears and at times erupt in riots. Now with a nationalistic party at the helm it is not getting better. But what if the courts had given a different verdict? There is no guarantee that the government would have been able to quell the unrest. This am sure is one reason the Muslim community is accepting the verdict while hoping to move forward.

Sometimes one hears from the south of India, specially Kerala boasting about religious tolerance as opposed to the north of India. Maybe they should look at the following map to know who was affected the most during the partition if not by the various invasions.

The extent and patterns of ethnic cleansing that led to the collapse of minority population shares in then western India was not anticipated. As late as November 1945, the Commander of the Indian Army, Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, predicted that the “principal danger areas (for ethnic conflict) are likely to lie in the United Provinces, Bihar and Bengal”, these having also been the principal areas where religious rioting had taken place in the years leading up to Independence (Figure 2a, and Jha and Wilkinson 2012). Yet, the patterns of ethnic cleansing were very different (Figure 2b), and the areas that Auchinleck thought would be most susceptible to violence still enjoy sizeable minority populations to this day.

If Ayodhya is viewed against this backdrop let this verdict take the nation forward since there are many wounds still festering. India is indeed diverse and can never be like another democratic country. But the least one can do is understand the issues involved and stop escalating issues.


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