Sikh forum opposes Ram temple in Ayodhya

Published : August 05, 2020 19:12 IST

A video grab of the bhumi pujan for a Ram temple in Ayodhya attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and others, on August 5. Photo: PTI

At a time when the nation seems to be drunk on the opium of Hindutva as manifest in the media frenzy over the bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya, the beleaguered Muslim community has got much needed support from the Sikh Vichar Manch, a Chandigarh-based body of intellectuals, historians, authors, academics and journalists. They said, "The building of the Ram temple represents a saga of ‘triumphant revivalism’ which began with the government aiding the construction of the Somnath temple in the 1950s, proclaiming to initiate a Ram Rajya. It presents a parallel to Pakistan’s story that turned the country into an Islamic Republic with the promise of establishing Medina, the city of the Prophet."

The statement signed among others by the noted author Ajaypal Singh Brar, Prof Manjit Singh, Dalit leader Raijwinder Singh Rahi and senior journalist Jaspal Singh Sidhu termed today’s pooja in Ayodhya as the beginning of Hindu Rashtra. "With the Hindutva forces pursuing the upper caste Brahmanic ideology for over a century aiming to reshape India into a Hindu nation, the democratic, secular Indian republic today stands transformed into a Hindu Rashtra as Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid down a 40-kg silver brick at the foundation, marking the beginning of the Ram temple."

The noted historian Prof Gurdarshan S. Dhillon, who authored India Commits Suicide in the wake of Operation Bluestar, says, "The Supreme Court has betrayed the minorities with its verdict on the Babri Masjid issue. The verdict is highly unconstitutional in letter and spirit. I agree with the scholars who have opposed the temple construction. Over the past two decades, whether it is the BJP or the Congress, they are vying with each other in presenting Hinduised version of Indian nationalism. It is ruinous to the future of the minorities, not just Muslims. I understand even the Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh has tweeted in support of the temple in Ayodhya. We cannot support it. We have already suffered in the immoral attack on the Golden Temple. They introduced unlawful laws and killed thousands of innocent Sikhs in Punjab. What is happening in Ayodhya now is unacceptable."

The signatories reiterated that along with Muslims, the Sikhs too have been the target of Brahmanic nationalism that began "trampling the tiny Sikh Panth demanding Punjab Suba after Independence. Instead of politically accommodating, the Sikhs’ habitat, Punjab was robbed of natural resources, language and culture. In the 1980s, the Sikhs were subjected to naked bloodshed. It was aimed at crushing the Sikh historical-cultural identity that had been challenging the Brahmanic Varna Ashram order."

As far as the Ram temple was concerned, the "state prepared the ground by conducting organised vigilantism, cow protection, and anti-conversion laws, abolishing Article 370 and bringing the Citizenship Amendment Act to convey the message to the minorities and the Dalits, and force them to accept the status of a second class citizen."

Religious nationalism is not acceptable, they summed up.

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