This is a provocative book. It provokes thought. The attempt is to review the events of Ayodhya in the context of a new search for Indian identity. The view and the review that this affords may extremist. Yet it has a ring of relevance no one who has concern for India’s future can ignore. What marks it out from similar dissertations is a total lack of inhibition.
Two things that the British did to India – apart from whatever good they may inadvertently have done to the country – that are unforgivable and deserve condemnation are this disruption of our agricultural economy and the downgrading of Sanskrit as a “dead language”. Both were done deliberately and with evil intent. The disruption of our agricultural economy turned India into a destitute nation; the downgrading of Sanskrit served to hoist a tremendous inferiority complex on the people. Fifty years after we attained Independence we are still struggling to regain our lost heritage.
If the Ayodhya events teach us anything it is that like all mundane disputes those concerning the divines are best settled through dialogue and not diatribe or doom. In this sense this book is a trendsetter for putting Rama on trial and giving the readers a glimpse of his Rajya, for exploding the myths, and for exposing the hypocrisy and double-speak of Rama’s self-appointed saviours.
The demolition of the Babri masjid was hailed by the sangh parivar as a great Hindutva awakening. In the book Ayodhya and the Future India, Jitendra Bajaj has attempted to link India’s future to the events at Ayodhya, asserting that the demolition brought “immense relief” to the Indian people.
The book under review is a collection of seven talks delivered by eminent public men and thinkers under the auspices of the Centre for Policy Studies, Madras, about two months after the Ayodhya happenings. The book itself was released by L. K. Advani at a function attended by some leading lights of the Sangha Parivar.