SV: SV: ICHR controversey

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu Mar 2 21:42:08 UTC 2000

Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
> Discussing past
> Muslim atrocities is perfectly in order as long as this discussion is delinked
> from the modern political situation and not used as a tool to dehumanize
> Muslims in general. In India this principle hardly seems to obtain.

The primary reason for the non-obtainance of this principle has been the creation
of a phobia by the Congress Party and the Communist Left that any discussion, however
academic, about the history of Islamic iconoclasm against Hindu temples and culture
cannot but result in witch-hunting of the Indian Muslims.

This phobia has been encashed by them politically at the electoral level and a
regimented historical research has been conducted at the universities
( which in India are entirely State funded ) to keep this phobia in the minds of
intellegensia and future bureaucracy. This phobia gave ample cause for the BJP to term
it as Muslim protectionism and cash it for the consolidation of the Hindu vote.

If an academic scrutiny of Islamic iconoclasm and its doctrine of theocratic
statehood has been discussed without the generation of this politically motivated
fear-syndrome, results would have been much better for an ideological adjustments
between the Muslims and Hindus in India because neither the majority of Indian Muslims
support iconoclasm (or even wish to ostracise the Hindu modes of worship) nor the
majority of Hindus so much care for ancient sites to become vengeful.

The unfortunate thing is that the Congress and the Socialist still persist in creating
this phobia as they believe that talking or teaching religions (please note there
are no religious studies here from school to univs) ONLY means riots.

This denigration of religion per se has been part of the Congress-Socialist-MArxist
ethos in every sphere of post-independent India. Consequently serious areas of research
in ancient and medieval history such as the economic role of the temple cities and
complexes, migration of artists and performers, systems of their patronage and
livelihood, the actual organisation of educational system (other than lexical accounts
from Smritis), and many many more,  have been totally neglected. As in India religion is
part of every cultural activity, cultural studies as a whole have been overlooked.

Bharat Gupt
Associate Professor, Delhi University

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