close to all sources on the mosque in Ayōdhyā said to stand on the site of a destroyed temple in Rāmkōṭ, speak of it as being the Janmasthāna and/or Sītā-kī-Rasoi mentioned either simultaneously or synonymously. It is this site located in the western side of the Rāmkōṭ area upon which stood the disputed structure known in recent times as ‘Bābûrī Masjid’.
Much popular fiction around Rammohun Roy’s personality was invented by those for whom it was useful to portray him as a religious eclectic and a rebel.
“Low volume ethnic cleansing” – a trend of non-Muslim families forced to vacate their homes, pull out their children from schools and change neighbourhoods occupied by them.
This phenomenon is not altogether unknown in India and other countries with a significant Muslim minority, whereby once the Muslim community in a locality has achieved critical mass, non-Muslim communities are steadily edged out, exodus effected by unremitting acts of violence by Muslims on the persons and property of the latter, their liberties curtailed, forced to escape for self-preservation.
In spite of the destruction and disruptions over the ages and the long passage of time, the whereabouts and description of the place of birth of Rāma in Ayōdhyā has been undeviatingly constant in numerous textual sources and subsequent recensions over almost a millennium.
If assessed in terms of the competing objectives, the Battle of Haldighati can indeed be regarded as a Mewari triumph, because the Rana had successfully defended his territory, and the Mughal invasion had been a miserable failure.
Raja Rammohun Roy with his gigantic intellectual and scholastic prowess, cogent representation of Indian religious, cultural and economic interests prevented the misapprehension and misconstruction of its cultural practices (including polytheism, idolatry, Hindu traditions and even ‘satī’) from being used against Indians. None among the Indians in that period possessed the brilliant faculties of Roy to hold rational and logical discourse in the European public sphere.
“It was, I trow, a joyous sight to see
Their noble Baee her seat of judgement fill.”
(‘Ahalya Baee’, by Mrs. Joanna Baillie)
Emerging out of the dust and scrimmage, Man Singh noticed a looming spectre appear before him, and suddenly the towering figure of the Rana astride his trusty steed, Chetak, was upon him…
“Great literature rises above the closed semantics of parable. It nuances the themes and forces you to keep pondering. Discursive over-determination is not what sterling literature seeks to establish. The imponderables of life are examined, and truisms are put to test. Literature seeks to loosen up dogmas and hard-boiled notions about roles and set human responses while demonstrating the power and peril of the choices Man makes.”
Bedekar advocated genuine history writing based on original sources and evidences without propagandistic motives. He said: “Nothing should be written or said by a history researcher without proper documentary evidence”. His oeuvre is an invaluable contribution in emotive history-writing to awaken a people apart from being definitive reference material for corrective re-writing of our history, available to us through his books and speeches which must be translated into English and other languages and mainstreamed.
Anything recorded in Hindu texts already existed in one or more forms of the perceivable vehicles of culture. In other words, these manifestations predate the written word rather than follow from it. It is consequently problematic to assign a definite terminus a quo to any belief or practice or the reverence of their physical markers. Yet there are ample literary references through which we may ascertain at least the earliest point in antiquity of the tradition of Rāma and the association with Ayōdhyā.
“India without Hinduism is nothing. A land mass, where invaders come and go.”
~ Ranjit Kumar Dash
The inhuman conditions, the excruciating daily grind, the soul-destroying sadism of its keepers was devised calculatedly to snuff out the will to live in the prisoners, leave alone continue a political struggle.
The Battle of Haldighati can be seen as the precursor to the use of guerrilla tactics which was perfected into a most potent and efficacious form of warfare in later centuries by Maharaj Shivaji of the Marathas and his own descendent, Maharana Raj Singh I, against Aurangzeb.
In his composition ‘Jana Gana Mana’ Tagore employs the vision of Śri Kriṣña in the Mahabharata to conceptualise this ‘Ruler of the Destiny of Bhārata’, as the eternal charioteer sounding the conch shell to guide the course of this nation.
The mention at the very outset at the scrapping of the hitherto effective special provisions is like telling an errant school kid that his expulsion from school is reversible and hence not to be taken seriously!
Babarao was of the conviction that successfully achieving the political aims of the Indian people needed hard-headed realism, on the lines of the principle of ‘shatham prati shathyam’ (wily in requital; tit for tat).
The Indian constitution today stands as a document representing a tyranny of ideas unleashed on a civilisation, which for thousands of years has been a playground of ideas and refused to be defined by a single idea, book or a thinker.
As seekers and rational thinkers, let our sole allegiance be to the truth and not to the leaders, spiritual or temporal, howsoever hallowed, neither any schools of thought, political, philosophical or spiritual, nor any books. We will outlast them all…