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Secular Response


Ideally, the Ram Janmabhoomi issue should not have gone to the courts. Any government since Independence should have had the confidence and the moral authority to have legislated the return of Ram Janmabhoomi, as well as the Krishna Janmasthan and Kashi Vishwanath temples, to the Hindus. This much confidence should have been had in the secular underpinning of the new state! Instead, a policy of procrastination was adopted in not just this but other contentious issues as well, turning them into ulcers on the body politic. This indicated that the political leadership believed not so much in the principles of the Constitution but more in unprincipled convenience. In fact, some so called secular politicians began to treat these as ‘symbols’ of India’s ‘inclusiveness’, instead as a hangover of the past. There has, however, been a change in attitudes over time, resulting in overcoming of these taboos. Mainstream Muslims and most clerics, including those heading important seminaries, have welcomed the resolution of the problems, even if it has meant rejection of their stated positions. The problem is that those who claim to speak on their behalf from among the ‘secularists’ of leftist disposition will continue to try and aggravate the situation. With their commentaries and analyses they will provide justification to those radicals who see the world in communal terms and believe in terror as a means to subjugate others. The combination of these two forces will, in the days to come, definitely create problems, and Pakistan will be a willing sponsor and ally. The Indian state has to be prepared for this in every way it can, no matter how long it takes. Indians cannot afford to let their guard down and must defeat with steadfast resolve the designs of those who oppose the long term objectives of the Constitution.