What If.... COMMENTS
Fundamentally, his decision didn't alter the Ayodhya equation. But, then, his successors didn't continue his equitable and pragmatic Ayodhya policy.

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Daily Mail
Sep 06, 2004
Between God And Godse, History’s Silent Etch
What if Rajiv hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid? Well, there is no historical evidence of any temple on the spot where the Babri Masjid stood before the planting of the Ramlalla idol. Koenraad Elst is nothing but an rss dalal.
Arun R., Bangalore

What if Indira Gandhi hadn’t been PM? Paromita Shastri has looked at Mrs Gandhi’s rule only from the economic point of view. Mrs Gandhi has done more damage to Indian politics than to our economy. She introduced and perfected concepts like political sabotage, ‘bumping off’ opponents and friends-who-turned critics, endorsing political hooliganism by her party cadres, using criminals and extremists for political ends and so on. The Congress leaders supported her in the beginning thinking Pt Nehru’s daughter would have at least some of his character. She proved to be a thug!
R. Srivatsan, on e-mail

N. Ram is completely wrong when he says India’s nuclear option was made "pre-emptively and without any objective review" (What if India hadn’t gone nuclear?). If prevention is better than cure, then eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. India lives in a hostile nuclear environment, with both Pakistan and China having armed themselves to the teeth. Thus, seeing Pokhran-II only from Pakistan’s perspective is incorrect. We need to address national security with the attention it deserves. Kargil was the result of intelligence failure. A false sense of confidence generated by Pokhran-II and the Lahore declaration had percolated down the chain. Diplomacy and military power have to be used in the right mix to gain maximum leverage. The need for strategic and tactile intelligence gets reiterated, more so in the nuclear context. We can drop our guard only at our own peril.
Sanjay K. Masaraddi, Mysore

You have wasted 110 pages on the ifs and buts of history. There is nothing one can do about the past, and no purpose is served in mulling over the consequences of what did not happen. This quest would end, for all of us, with, what if we hadn’t been born?
Dr Aminuddin Khan, on e-mail

Totally absent from Amitava Kumar’s article What if we were together? is any moral judgement on the ideology and behaviour of Pakistan, whether in 1947 or at present. Remember that this is a country founded on the idea that Hindus are infidel, idolatrous imperialists who must be struggled against for the Muslims of the subcontinent to achieve freedom. That was/is the ideology of Pakistan and it is the ideology of the Pakistani-supported Kashmiri separatist movement. Instead of dealing with this despicable ideology, Kumar resorts to being critical of Indians. What gives? Imagine an equivalent in America: Jews, Muslims, Catholics or Hindus tearing out a section of the US, declaring it a religious state and proceeding to support terrorists on American soil.
Varun Shekhar, Toronto
Aug 16, 2004
12:01 AM
An abolute lie. there is no hostorical evidence of any temple in the same spot where once babri masjid stood before the forceful planting of ramlala idol. Elst is an RSS dalaal
arun r
Bangalore, india
Aug 16, 2004
12:02 AM
Many Hindus believe that Ayodhya was the birth place of Ram. It seems to me to be completely inappropriate that a masjid should have been built in this holy town. That Babar built this mosque on a neutral site is bad enough. Just as inappropriate as building a mosque in the vatican or a church or a synagogue in Mecca. The muslims would good go bersek at the very thought. That he may have built it after destroying a temple just adds salt to the wound.

Anyway whilst a Ram temple in Ayodhya has special sinificance for the Hindus, a disused Babri mosque should not in all reasonableness mean so much to the muslims.

That the muslims have dug in their heels, and not even the liberal muslims can concede anything to the other side is very significant.
It shows a mentality which is causeing the muslims to be disliked across the globe.

Hindu secularists remain unaware that prejudice and anger against the muslims is not confined
to fundamentalist Hindus, but is present all across the world. It is due to the uncompriseing nature of the muslims and a bizarre inability to see the others point of view.

In fact whilst many Hindu secularists are willing to turn the other cheek most Europeans and Americans etc are not. No way will a special civil code for muslims be permitted any where else but in so called secular India. No where in Europe or the USA will Rushdie or Nasreens books be banned because muslims threaten to burn the town. In fact in the USA the
government would step on hard on muslim extremists, many of whom have been deported.

I agree that the Babri masjid should have remained what it was. A disused mosque and a remanant of India's troubled past. But now the matter should be closed. Now let a Ram temple be built , and no mosque or whatever should be built in this town which has a very special religious sinificance for the Hindus. If muslims insist that a mosque be built, then this would be another sign revealing a unacceptable perversity,and should be disregarded.

lalit bagai
kalundborg, danmark
Aug 16, 2004
12:03 AM
Lalit is another RSS dalaal.
Banias and brahmins are a minority in India and they should be kicked out of India.
arun r
Bangalore, india
Aug 16, 2004
12:04 AM
Arun R

I can not be kicked out of India. I live in
Denmark in a beautiful house near the sea, and have no intention of liveing in India.

However I would adress a few questions to you and other muslim friends.

aaa Was it right for Babar to build a mosque
in Ayodyha, the birthplace of Ram.

bbb. Would muslims accept that a temple, church or Synagoguen was built in Mecca.

ccc. Would christians permit muslims to build a
mosque in the Vatican, or another holy site.

Muslims want nonmuslims to accomodate them
and please them, but they are unwilling to return the favour. It is a result of the ill feelings against muslims that muslims have not yet been able to build a mosque in Copenhagen which they have wished for a long time.

I am not a bania or a brahmin(unfortunately)
but both of these communities are rich and well educated. They are of value to India. Can you say the same for your self.
lalit bagai
kalundborg, danmark
Aug 16, 2004
12:05 AM
Whoa ... whats this ... been away for a while ... Rajeev Srinivasan... Koenraad Elst ... What gives ???!!!


More later ...
Dharmayudh Singh
Philadelphia, USA
Aug 16, 2004
12:06 AM

Namaskar. If you happen to read these comments - To you, I owe an infinite debt. I used to be a pseudo-secularist until I read your book Ayodhya & After: Issues before Hindu society. It cost me a whopping 250 Rs in 1992 when I was in my final year of engg. Thats when I started thinking and looking at the manner in which issues were talked about & handled by the Indian inteligentsia. It really opened my eyes. You made me realise my own dharma ...

Thanks again.
Dharmayudh Singh
Philadelphia, USA
Aug 17, 2004
12:07 AM
Namaskar Koenraad Elst Mahasay,
(** Mahasay, in Bengali means, a Great person)

We appreciate your view very much. I am from Bengal and a Graduate Engineer from a reputed Institue. I come from a Bengali "bhadralok" family.
Was under the influence of "marxists" for 30 long years!! In last four years I read Tagore again and again, especially his Essays. Read Edward Said. Re-read Romila Thapar, D. Jha. Partha Chatteree, Ashis Nandy. I now understand how hollow the claim of Thapar & Company is. You and your contribution will always be remembered in Red-Letter. I am deeply moved by DHARMAYUDH Singh, and hence described my own story. Sorry for so much of personal talk!
Anima Sarkar
Kolkata, India
Aug 17, 2004
12:08 AM
Arun R: What can I say, except I was in your shoes till four years back. Only advise is: Read, re-read Thapar. Read between words, between Lines. You will see its based on hollowness. Its the most illogical history ever written. I still read Sumit Sarkar, Thapar etc, especially their new books. But with my eyes open ! Just would ask you one question: Romila Thapar lead Anti-Temple intellectual drive. She wrote extensively on historical (non)claim. She wrote: Lord Rama was never a important figure, and infact he was not even worshipped during medieval Ages. Ok, very Good.
Then She said: During Gupta period, SamudraGupta took the title "Suryavanshi", meaning his family is tied with that of Lord Rama. Ok. Great.

Guess, now the question is: If someone is so obscure, and doesn't matter, why the all powerful Emperor (Most Probably Guptas had the largest Indian Empire, even bigger than the British/Mughals) took the Title of "Suryavanshi"? Can you please ask Romila Thapar? Guess, many historians/interested readers have the same question.

Arun R: Want to know how History is delibarately twisted, the opposite was spoken by Marxists. Even as famous as Mrs. Thapar? Read Thapar's "Narratives and the making of History" by Romila Thapar, ISBN= 0195651774, Page=40. Read it yourself to understand how she is cheating discussing "Veraval Inscription". For background details read this from Outlook posting: "http://www.outlookindia.com/rantsmag.asp?fodname= 20040428&fname=farrukh_dhondy&sid=1&pn=11". DON'T Believe ANYBODY. READ YOURSELF, Apply simple Logic, and report back !! Dhanyabad,
Anima Sarkar
Kolkata, India
Aug 17, 2004
12:09 AM
The bengali sarkar who have spoiled their own state by debating indefinitely is now lecturing me about history.
another OBC dharmayudh who are kicked out of this country spreading hatred.
when will these bengalees and OBCs learn to work and talk sense.
Ms sarkar should read the Noorani's book RSS and BJP - a division of labour and then rajeshwar dayals memoir.
Off course bengalees dont have a habit of talking sense be it red commissars or Rss cabals masquerading as academics
arun r
Bangalore, india
Aug 17, 2004
12:10 AM
There is today a war of civilisation being fought
between the Hindu phlanx and the faithful, assisted by the Hindu left.

Some of us have been called names- banias, brahmins, hindutwits, kahkiknickers and so forth.
The words reflect the impotent rage of these people who fail to present rational arguments.
Abuse is a vent to their frustration.

I have tried to present a view point, that the
strong anti Islamic and anti muslim wave is not
just a Hindu muslim phenomena. It exists in the hitherto most tolerant Scandinavian countries, who are known for rationality, human values,
democracy and liberalism. Its also present in France and Britain where the ideals of democracy, freedom and equality were born.

Outstanding European intellectuals have dropped their hitherto neutrality and taken up a stand against dogmatic Islam. Only a small part of the debate is open to the press and the public. Behind closed doors the critique against Islam is intense.

However if any thing, I have learnt that most of the faithful have such a strong faith in their religion, that no rational arguments will make them change their views. The Quran - unedited since the 7 th century-is their law.

I find one thing intrigueing. What do some of the muslim readers think of their heaven, as
described in the Quran. Really do you believe that all muslim men will get 72 young virgins. ??
What a fixation about sex in this and after life.

How about your Hindu allies. Do they get anything, or are they just destined to serve sherbet and pass the kababs around.

Anyway lets get on to some thing else. Ultimately
the war of civilisations will be fought by the USA and its allies against the Ummah. The USA
has several think tanks , some with christian
fundamentalists and jewish intellectuals.

It will be quite unpredictable. It could end with an occupation of all sources of oil in the middleeast. We small actors will watch the scene
from the side lines.
lalit bagai
kalundborg, danmark
Aug 17, 2004
12:11 AM
What if the British had come before the muslim
invadors, and the latter had stayed back to look after their affairs.

Absent muslims and constant quarrels, maybe we would have had a modern country like Australia.
A relative small population ,with English as the language franca, liberated women in jeans and skirts, good in cricket and tennis, and lots of beer.

We would be watching eastenders on the TV and reading Economist, and the Times- Independent for the lefties.

Wouldnt it have been luverley.

lalit bagai
kalundborg, danmark
Aug 19, 2004
12:12 AM
As Elst has himself said, If Rajiv Gandhi wouldn’t have unlocked the Babri Masjid, the inevitable would have been delayed only, and not denied. I don’t understand that instead of standing up and address the issues, why we keep procrastinating. Certainly the vested interests of the politicians and like minded people play a major role. Time and again the policy has proved to be counter-productive, as happened in Kashmir.

Rajiv Gandhi gave Shah-Bano and asked Babri Masjit in return. Has this give and take policy any place in democracy? And where is the equality to all which is inherent in the constitution. Let me emphasize that we are not a group of small sects, which are to be governed by sectarian rules. We are up-coming country which wants to progress.

Babri Masjid is sorry tale of dirty politics and tricks politicians play on the minds of the people. And in the false endeavor to protect the rights of the minority and maintain secularism (pseudo-secularism ????) of the country, our politicians have taken such a decisions which defy normal reasoning. Rather then uniting, these decisions taken on castes and cultures are further dividing the great Indian society.
Vivek Raj
Mumbai, Country
Aug 19, 2004
12:13 AM
The Belgian should stick to the waffles.
outlook suj
new york, usa
Aug 19, 2004
12:14 AM
I am heartened to see someone with a non-Muslim name like Arun stands up to Hindu fundamentalists and defends Muslims who are under attack in this so-called secular country.
Arun, I appreciate your posts.
outlook suj
new york, usa
Aug 20, 2004
12:15 AM
Mr.Arun or should I say A-Run? When you can't answer, you resort to the standard tactic of the commies/kngresis: call them names. Who is an OBC anyway? Is it wrong to be an OBC? I thought it was only wrong to be "upper caste" - now A-Run seems to have added "OBC". Perhaps someone could enlighten me?
As for Mr.Vivek Raj, you say "Has this give and take policy any place in democracy? And where is the equality to all which is inherent in the constitution." - When has ANYBODY stood up for the interests of the Hindus when the entire discourse regarding equality has been heavily loaded AGAINST the Hindus? There will be NO EQUALITY as long as the kangres/commie mentality is not wiped out of Indian minds permanently. Leftists are needed in any society - but as a MINORITY that informs and criticizes, NOT as the sole judges of what is right and what is wrong as they are in India. This imbalance is what is sought to be eliminated.
Aug 20, 2004
12:16 AM
Thanks Outlook Suj, I am basically a Kannadiga and a Delhiite, now working in bangalore. I have seen that fanaticism is primarily a north indian phenomena. RSS wallaha write their books which is based on false evidence and subsequently quote from them.They even misquoted gandhi and Patel.Read nooranis book
arun r
Bangalore, india
Aug 28, 2004
12:17 AM
What if The Outlook hdn't come out with
"What if" issue.
Would have some trees atleast and millions of man hours!
vidudala Prasad
Pearl River, NY, USA
Sep 04, 2004
12:18 AM
It is indeed unfortunate that our intellectual class, ie, men and women who can think seriously about issues, are writers and artists, teach in universities, are all infected with a self - destructive willfull blindness and a refusal, inability or an incapacity to understand Islam. Apart from the genocide and the purges carried out in the medieval ages on the defeated population, the muslims were never part of the national movement. As Gandhi mobilised the hindu masses to make the struggle from an elitist one to a national movement, the muslims campaigned for pakistan with the muslim league and jinnah being representative of the popular muslim sentiment.

The culmination of this movement came with the foundation of pakistan and a genocide which ranks with the jewish holocaust, where hindus were completely liquidated from pakistani lands. This cleansing was carried out by muslims and the hindus later retaliated, which was legitimate and just. The origins of these killings lie in the philosophy of Islam, in concepts like Dar-ul-islam and Dar-ul-haram. The jewish persecution and holocaust has led not only to the formation of a formidable jewish state who now show a resilience in battling all odds and never allowing any act of terrorism go unpunished. This is the strength of their resolve which does not come from romanticism or faddism, but from using logic and reason to understand. Using the mind.

Our intellectuals, gentlemen like amitava kumar, only regurgate the position and views regarded as officially secular and liberal. It is fashionable to flaunt them in india. But it reflects no understanding of the past, of india's history and of its freedom struggle, which Gandhi led, primarily by mobilizing the hindu masses with hindu sybols and imagery.
Pankaj Shrivastav
bombay, india
Oct 02, 2010
12:06 AM
The writer is a joker. He doesnot realise the ethos of Ram Janmabhoomi background. Something that was simmering for 500 yrs cannot be created by 'Rajiv Gandhi'

Stupid jokers backoff from writing all crap. We dont need you
Bangalore, India


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