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BOOK REVIEW: "Ayodhya and After - Issues Before the Hindu Society"


The Book: AYODHYA AND AFTER - Issues Before Hindu Society.
          (A Voice of India Publication)

The Author: KOENRAAD ELST; A renowned scholar, thinker and writer 
            from Belgium of Catholic background.

The Reviewer: SITA RAM GOEL, eminent author and publisher.


	The Ayodhya movement, which wants to reintegrate the sacred place
of Ram Janmabhoomi into the living Hindu tradition by building a Mandir on
it, is at the same time an invitation to the Muslim Indians to reintegrate
themselves into the society and culture from which their ancestors were cut
off by fanatical rulers and their thought police, the theologians. It is
thus an exercise in national integration. 

	The struggle of the Hindu society is not primarily with the Muslim
community. The most important opponents of the Hindu society today are not
the Islamic communal leaders, but the interiorized colonial rulers of
India, the alienated English-educated and mostly Left- leaning elite that
noisily advertises its 'secularism'. It is these people who impose
anti-Hindu policies on Hindu society and who keep Hinduism down and
prevent it from proudly raising its head after a thousand years of
oppression. The worst torment for Hindu society today is not the arrogant
and often violent agitation from certain minority groups, nor the handful
of privileges which the non-Hindu communities are getting. The worst
problem is this mental slavery, this sense of inferiority which Leftist
intellectuals, through their power positions in education and the media,
and their direct influence on the public and political arena, keep on
inflicting on the Hindu mind. 

	If Hindu takes cognizance of the real texts of Islam, the real
doctrines they embody, the real story of the Prophet's mission and career,
and the real story of the application of these doctrines in the Islamic
conquest of India, then they will soon shed their habit of eulogizing this
imperialist ideology. If moreover they apply the precise psychological
categories which Hindu tradition has developed, to understand the quality
of consciousness that has generated the central texts and doctrines of
Islam, they will soon be cured of their mental subservience to Islam. 

	The Hindu reply to Islam should consist mostly in a positive
attitude of understanding, rooted in Hindu humanism and springing from the
knowledge of the soul which Hindu tradition has been cultivating since
ages. It should, for instance, make a careful distinction between the two
cultural components of the present Islamic upsurge: one is the
self-assertion against the imposition of the spiritually impoverished
("secularized"), reductionist culture of the West, which is a stand Hindus
may share; the other is the fanatical imposition of the Islamic belief
system. The Hindu should understand the mental and social processes that
tie people to such irrational belief systems and maintain in his attitude
and judgment a scrupulous distinction between the human beings that have
been caught in this belief system, and the Islamic belief system itself.
This will be easier, more credible and less hostile, if he takes an
equally sober look at the state of his own culture, dropping both the
self-depreciation and the compensatory self-glorification so prevalent in
the contemporary Hindu rhetoric. 

	Actually, this 'national integration' that every talking body in
India talks about, is a very natural condition and needs no 'achieving'.
Rather, it requires dropping a few things. It requires dropping the
anti-Hindu separatist doctrines that have largely been created for the
purpose of several imperialisms, and are now being kept afloat with a lot
of distortive intellectual and propagandist effort. 


Courtesy: Voice of India Publications, New Delhi, India


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