The socialist courts of India have delivered their verdict on the title suit to the "disputed land" in Ayodhya in a highly predictable manner - in that the verdict seems to be "politically correct": the land is to be divided in three parts, and, presumably, all sides to the dispute will be happy. Of course, there will be appeals to the Supreme Court, and matters could drag on endlessly.
I liked Vir Sanghvi's comments on this vexed isuue, available here. He says, most importantly:
...the real history of Ayodhya does not begin with the property dispute. It begins with the Rath Yatra and with the BJP’s decision to re-invent itself as the party of Ram. When L.K. Advani went on his Rath Yatra, his position was simple and clearly enunciated: millions of Hindus believe that Lord Ram was born on this site. It is, therefore, one of the most sacred spots in Hinduism.
Do read the entire piece; it is well worth it.
What is my take on the matter? One, that this is ugly BJP politics at work. This is to do with competitive electoral politics; it has nothing to do with the Hindu faith. Most Hindus pray privately - and choose their own gods. The last thing we need is a "party of Ram."
Who is Ram anyway? He was a king - a good king. He was therefore elevated to the status of a god by some Hindus. The BJP, as the "party of Ram," probably wish to convey the impression to our gullible masses that, if elected to office, they will rule us in the manner of Ram. I, for one, don't swallow this. I hope none of you do so either.
Who is the supreme god of the Hindus? Well, it is Lord Shiva who is known as "Mahadev." Shiva was no king. He was no mortal man. He belongs to myths and legends - like Zeus of the Greeks. If you travel the "devbhoomi" area on the banks of the Ganga between Haridwar and Gangotri, it is Shiva, not Ram, who is worshipped here. Indeed, Varanasi is the "city of Shiva."
Shiva is affectionately known as "Bhola" - or "the simple one." He is the personification of the average Hindu, who is "simple." The BJP thinks he is a "simpleton." That is the danger.
I, for one, have never ever worshipped Ram. I am a smoker of the Noble Herb, which Bhola loves too. Whenever I light a chillum, I raise a salute to Bhola. Like:
Bum lehri, garh de tamboo gehri,
Bum lehri, tere jata se Ganga behri.
Boom Shankar, dushman ko thang kar.
I will continue to remain a bhakt of Bhola. I will ignore our socialist courts. I will ignore the BJP. I will never visit the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, when built.
Actually, I never visit temples. I find peace among sadhus - outside the temples. When I visited Gangotri, I did not enter the temple - but found peace with the sadhus there, smoking chillums on the banks of the river, discussing the eternal questions.
One thing I will never forget is what one of the sadhus there told me. He said - there are sadhus, and there are sawadhus. That is, there are genuine sadhus, and there are the fakes. In Hinduism, there is no one Holy Book. There is no One God. There is no Pope. All gods and all priests and all sadhus compete. And fakes abound. The Ganga, after all, is a very muddy river.
Methinks the "party of Ram" are all fakes - sawadhus. I advise my readers to beware of them.
As for me, I will stick to Bhola, my chillum, and my personal holy man, Baba Pagal Nath Charsi. I will remain a one-man "party of Bhola."