JSHARMA at Hermes.GC.PeachNet.EDU
Tue Dec 5 12:03:58 UTC 1995
J.B. Sharma said:
> To begin wih, I wish point out a couple of errors. The two volume
> work by Sita Ram Goel is primarily a compilation of the works of the
> muslim scribes who witnessed the era of the coming of Islam in India
> and its subsequent control of the sub-continent for over eight
> hundred years. A lot of these works are in libraries all over the
> world. Nowhere in his book does he advocate the breaking of mosques.
Yes he does, in fact. In the introduction and in the cover blurb which
quotes from the introduction.
I looked thru the introduction in the cover blurb, and could not
find an exhortation for breaking mosques. There is one sentence which
refers to the movement of restoration of temples being bogged down
due to the Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri-masjid issue. This movement is not the
creation of Sita Ram Goel and has been around for a very long time.
If such extrapolation of words renders the work invalid, the critique
is very poor.
In my mind, the contribution of Shri Goel is to simply present the
happenings of the times as recorded by eyewitnesses. The extent of
death and destruction that is described as befalling the idol
worshipping infidels is staggering. These are things which are not
discussed in Indian academia, and as I now see in western academia as
well. Centuries of this iconaclastic activity has built up vast banks
of resentment which remain pent up in in the subcontinent.
My basic point is 'awareness is transcendence'. If a way can be
found to discuss these happenings in a civil manner, it pre-empts the
destructive power of suppressed history. Otherwise it can wreck a lot
of havoc in the hands of demagouges. Competing histories breed and
sustain the conflict. For the first time in the history of the planet
can intellectuals all over the world have the means to carry on
discussions in real time on these contentious issues. Judicious use
of the medium has the potential of inmparting a healing impulse to a
very sordid situation on the subcontinent.
And last but not the least, it is thru this forum I have been
introduced to the literature under discussion. In general free speech
has been upheld here and calls for censorship resisted; This is to be
credited to the energy of Dominik, philosophical differences
All the best,
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