Tag Archives: Gurumurthy

Civilisational Narrative – An Imperative

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice of Mahabalipuram for his informal meeting with President Xi Jinping has an obvious, deep significance and even a deeper message“, writes noted columnist, thinker and political commentator, Sri S.Gurumurthy.

(Courtesy: NewIndianExpress.com | Published: 11th October 2019)

It is strategic civilisational diplomacy at its symbolic best. Narendra Modi found that his second informal summit with Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram in 2019 had been fixed 1,500 years ago by a prince of the Pallava dynasty, which ruled Mahabalipuram from Kanchipuram. The Pallava prince from Kanchipuram renounced the throne, became a Buddhist monk, known as Bodhi Dharma in India and DaMo in China, almost like how prince Siddhartha became Buddha. His guru asked him to go to Zhen Dan- today’s China.

Bodhi Dharma, who became India’s first spiritual ambassador to China, also emerged as its chief mentor. Regarded as Buddhaabdara (Buddha’s Avatar), he expounded Zen Buddhism and founded the famous Shaolin Temple in China’s Henan province.

Revered as the first Patriarch of China, the rest of the Buddhist world listed him as the 28th in line from Buddha. Modi is now reviving memories of Bodhi Dharma to position him as the icon of India’s civilisational outreach to China, which is integral to his overarching strategic civilisational diplomacy.

Bodhi Dharma’s foray was not limited to China. Popular as DaMo in China, as Dalma in Korea, Daruma in Japan, Dharmottara in Tibet, with his name echoing in Vietnam too, he ended up as India’s cultural ambassador to most of Asia. Just as Modi began gradually changing the secular narrative of India into a civilisational narrative within after his historic victory in 2014, he extended it to foreign relations as well. In 2015, he began writing a strategic Hindu-Buddhist civilisational narrative to give thrust to India’s Look East philosophy.The Mahabalipuram summit, which recalls the 5th-century DaMo today, is an important chapter in Modi’s overarching civilisational narrative to handle the relationship with China that was seriously damaged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. So, the Namo-Xi summit should be seen in the backdrop of Modi’s national strategic narrative.

Post-Independence Secular India – a civilisational orphan

With the rise of radical Islamist terror, particularly the 9/11 attack, Samuel Huntington’s view that the world would become increasingly civilisation conscious virtually binned the utopian Francis Fukuyama’s prognosis of a world free of conflicts founded on free market and liberal democracy.

The politically diverse Western nations began to be seen more as civilisationally Christian, Japan as a civilisation state and China as a civilisation pretending to be a state. But secular India continued to remain orphaned without a civilisational name and a narrative of its own.
Post-Independence India did not attempt to reinstate the national narrative it had lost due to centuries of foreign domination even after it rediscovered it during the freedom movement. Instead, it enjoyed living on borrowed narratives like secularism and socialism.

Lost in fake secularism that increasingly rested on vote-bank politics and in the failed socialism, which proved to be a global disaster, India ignored its spiritual and civilisational foundations that would have helped it develop its own national civilisational narrative. India’s distorted secularism undermined its civilisational assets. Result: India, which had become part of the universal notions of secularism and socialism, had nothing special to talk about itself.

In a seminal essay (to mark the 25th anniversary of Huntington’s clash theory) on civilisational exchanges between China and India titled “Civilisational Perspectives in International Relations and Contemporary China-India Relations”, Ravi Dutt Bajpai (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia) asserts that India and China were both civilisation states but adds, “Although India’s ancient civilisational legacy originates from its Hindu-Buddhist religious beliefs, the constitutional secularism in the Indian polity makes it difficult for the state to flaunt a religious identity.”

Indian intellectualism was even blind to the historical fact that each materialist ideology that succeeded one another and dominated the world for the last couple of centuries increasingly had a shorter shelf life. Colonialism lasted for 200 years. Capitalism lasted100 years. Communism lasted 50 years. And globalisation has been pronounced dead by its chief proponent The Economist magazine in just 25 years. Our nation of thousands of years of these dominant thoughts sprouting, growing and, as Swami Vivekananda said, “vanishing like ripples on the face of waters, living a few hours of exultant and exuberant dominance”. India’s fate as a civilisational orphan continued even after socialism proved to be a global fiasco and secularism turned fake at home. It continued to adopt the socialist narrative for half a century and later a globalist narrative for a quarter more.

In this period, India saw Confucian China re-emerging out of communist China that violently banished Confucius for half a century. India saw ex-communist China establishing over 1,200 Confucian centres and classrooms the world over to present itself as a Confucian civilisation. It saw communist Russia turning Orthodox Christian, socialist Poland turning Roman Catholic.

Yet, it continued with its outdated and borrowed narrative that negated its own spiritual and civilisational foundation, which Mahatma Gandhi in his seminal thesis Hind Swaraj had emphasised as its unifying force. Till Modi came to power, India did not even think of making a draft national narrative for bilateral and multilateral relationship building.

National narrative- an imperative

The world which became obsessed with globalism after the Cold War, recently began rediscovering the need for a national narrative. The idea of a national strategic narrative was felt in the US in 2009. In 2011, the US government and the Woodrow Wilson International Center jointly authored a paper on the national strategic doctrine in 2011. The paper said:

A narrative is a story. A national strategic narrative must be a story that all Americans can understand and identify within their own lives. America’s national story has always see-sawed between exceptionalism and universalism. We think that we are an exceptional nation, but a core part of that exceptionalism is a commitment to universal values — to the equality of all human beings not just within the borders of the United States, but around the world.”

Later, in 2017, came a paper titled “Stories about ourselves: How national narratives influence the diffusion of large-scale energy technologies” by Joint Global Change Research Institute, United States Maryland School of Public Policy, University of Maryland.

The paper said, “A national narrative rationalises and is supported by the nation’s identity. The narrative gives citizens an awareness of their common values and characteristics as a nation; it also situates a nation among other nations as unique (at least in part). If successful, the national narrative (is) a source of pride domestically and respect from other nations…. Of course, no nation exhibits unanimity around a single story; instead, ‘we find a polyphony of voices, overlapping and crisscrossing; contradictory and ambiguous; opposing, affirming and negotiating their views of the nation.’”

National narrative is NO outdated concept. It is very much a contemporary need. Yet the Indian discourse did not attempt a national civilisational and strategic narrative for India, even though the Supreme Court had held as early as in 1995 — which it refused to review even as late as 2016 — that secular India is compatible in cultural terms with Hindu India.

Narendra Modi writes India’s national strategic narrative

Modi’s tryst with Buddha started soon after he became the Prime Minister. He saw Buddha as the civilisational face of India and Buddhism as the most effective bridge to link the culturally Hindu India with the civilisationally Buddhist Asia.

Modi has endeavoured to integrate Buddha with India’s Look East doctrine. He saw that Dharma in Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain traditions in India and Dhamma in diverse Buddhist traditions in Asia linked people of both traditions more intimately than any single or multiple state policy or pact. Cognate civilisations vault over state-erected walls to connect people with people. Modi saw the Hindu-Buddhist civilisational nexus as the most potent people-to-people link, which even the modern and ex-communist states like China could not ignore.

The Prime Minister’s strategic Hindu-Buddhist civilisational diplomacy started with his first visit to Japan in early 2015. Modi quickly roped in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe into a joint Indo-Japan initiative of “Samvad” — Sanskrit word meaning “dialogue” — through strategic think tanks in Japan, Tokyo Foundation and Japanese Foundation, and the Vivekananda International Foundation in Delhi.

And the first Samvad of Hindu-Buddhist nations on the theme of Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Consciousness took place in September 2015. In his video address to the Samvad, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the idea of Dharma, which was the foundation of Japan’s rule of law, was India’s gift to Japan — a declaration emotionally more powerful than any economic or political pact.

The Samvad

The year 2015 ended with the Bodh Gaya Declaration to make it the global centre of enlightenment. The Samvad II was held in Myanmar in 2017 and Samvad III in Mongolia in September 2019. The Indian and Japanese prime ministers inaugurated each of the three Samvad meets by direct or video address.

The impact of the Modi-Abe civilisational outreach of Samvad on the Buddhist world is phenomenal. The most leading global Buddhist website, the Buddhist Door Global (BDG), which had said in 2017 that “India’s efforts at Buddhist diplomacy are not easy to accomplish”, did a U-turn in 2019 to accept Samvad as “a burgeoning, informal alliance of Buddhist Asian democracies”, adding that “Modi and his allies have been responsible for a resurgence of Buddhist diplomacy unseen in modern Indian history”.

The report concluded, “Words like conflict avoidance and environment consciousness (Samvad’s consistent conference themes) conjure a very specific mode of Buddhist action: one that always leads back to New Delhi’s very unique understanding of transnational Buddhist power.

Undoubtedly Modi has innovated a national civilisational and strategic narrative for India not just for relating to Asia but for relating to the world, by globalising and positioning Indian-Asian Buddha as the icon of his presentation at the UN recently, contrasting Buddha (enlightenment) with Yuddha (war).

As Namo invokes DaMo at Mahabalipuram

Modi’s choice of distant Mahabalipuram for his informal meeting with Xi has an obvious, deep significance and even a deeper message. Can a China that has discarded communism and begun reinstating neo-Confucianism as its national narrative and an India that has discarded the failed socialism and fake secularism and begun re-writing the national narrative in civilisational terms find their common Hindu-Buddhist civilisational roots in Mahabalipuram? Will the spirit of DaMo help Namo and Xi accomplish that will be seen this weekend and in what unfolds thereafter.

Namo’s strategy is to find positive answers to such and other questions is manifest in his choice of the venue — DaMo’s Mahabalipuram.

The civilisational link between the peoples of India and China has always been stronger than any government-to-government policy declarations. Modi’s attempt seems to be to awaken the unleveraged civilisational impulses to relate to China whose aggression in 1962 damaged India’s trust in its neighbour.

How Modi handled the Doklam issue has obviously convinced the mighty neighbour that India is no more a pushover. Namo is invoking DaMo, the deeper spiritual chord between India and China, to restore mutual trust, which will be the foundation for a stable and trustworthy India-China relationship.

Postscript: Yet another Kanchi connection to China-India relations. The Sage of Kanchi (the Shankaracharya of Kanchi) who lived for 100 years told the writer of this article in the early 1990s that India should settle the border row with China, which the Sage saw as India’s cultural ally. The writer had mentioned this in 2003 to Atal Bihari Vajpayee when as India’s Prime Minister he was going to China. It was then that the NSA-level talks commenced with China for settlement of the border dispute. Whether recalling DaMo by Namo will fulfil the desire of the Kanchi saint remains to Be seen.

(Courtesy: Sri S Gurumurthy, http://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/columns/s-gurumurthy/2019/oct/11/will-damo-help-namo-and-xi-at-mahabalipuram-2045734.html)

How Ayodhya Ram Mandir was demolished and how RJB movement evolved: A Timeline of events

Here is a s a brief timeline: 

1528 AD – Mir Baki, the Commander-in-Chief of Babur destroys the Shri Rama Janmabhoomi Temple at Ayodhya

76 –the number of battles that have been fought from 1528 till 1934

Anatomy of these 76 battles fought by several generations of Hindus to reclaim the Shri Ram Janambhoomi temple

During Babur’s rein
1528 –1530 AD
4 battles were fought

During Humayun’s rein
1530 – 1556 AD
10 battles were fought

During Akbar’s rein
1556 –1606 AD
20 battles were fought

During Aurangzeb’s rein
1658—1707 AD
30 battles were fought

During Nawab SaadatAli’s rein
1770—1814 AD
5 battles were fought

During Naseeruddin Haider’s rein
1814 —1836 AD
3 battles were fought

During Wajid Ali Shah’s rein
1847 –1857 AD
2 battles were fought

During British regime
1912 till 1934 AD
2 battles were fought

So the Hindu Society fought a total of 76 battles till the year 1934.

Ram Janmabhoomi has been a people’s movement right since 1528 when Babur’s commander Mir Baki destroyed the temple.Every generation since 1528 has been fighting to claim the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple…and each generation did whatever they could to take the movement forward.

Right since 1528 Hindus have constantly surged ahead in their fight to secure the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site.

The year 1934
After a few Muslims slaughtered a cow in Ayodhya, a pitched battle ensued between the Hindus and Muslims…the butchers who had slaughtered the cow were decimated…..and subsequently the Hindu society attacked the Babari structure thereby damaging all its three domes and took possession of the Babari structure.

However, Britishers forcibly took back the Babari Structure from Hindu Society and imposed a penalty on Hindus to carry out repair work of the damaged domes.Since 1934 no Muslim has ever dared to enter the premises of Babari structure.

Is the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi a political movement?
No certainly not. For Hindus, a temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi is not an issue of mere bricks and mortar.It is an issue of our cultural resurgence and identity, where Shri Rama, as maryada purushottam, has a prime place of importance. The movement is an expression of the collective consciousness of the Hindu ethos.

In destroying the Babari structure, does it not mean that the present day Muslims are being asked to pay a price for the mistakes of those who indulged in vandalism and destruction?

The real issue is how the present day Muslims view the Babari structure. Do they consider it as their holy place? If the answer is yes, then they end up owning the barbarism of Babur and others like him. The right way for Muslims is to distance themselves away from such vandalism and barbarism of the past. When the Germans are asked to apologise for the crimes of Hitler, they do not hesitate to do so, clearly indicating that they do not own Nazism.

Hindus have asked for a peaceful return, through judiciary and negotiations, of only three of their holy sites (Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi) that were vandalised. Hindus are not asking for thousands of other temples that were plundered, looted, destroyed and mosques were built thereupon.

What has been the case with similar historically vandalised sites?
In 1918 in Warsaw, at the end of first Russian occupation of Poland (1614-1915), one of the first things that Polish people did was to bring down the Russian Orthodox Christian Cathedral that was built by Russians in the centre of the town. This was done despite the fact Poles are Christians by faith and Jesus Christ was worshipped in that Cathedral. The Poles demolished the Cathedral built by Russians because they viewed the Cathedral not as a place of worship rather a structure that reminded them of their slavery.

Around the 12th century, Spain was conquered by Moors and the people were forcibly converted from Christianity to Islam. In the 16th century, when Christians recovered the whole of Spain from Moors they gave Muslims in their country only three choices—reconvert to Christianity,leave the country along with the Moors, or be killed. All the Muslim places of worship were converted back to Christian churches. This re-Christianisation was also done with force.

Why do we need to have a grand temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi, in place of the existing functional temple?
The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement is not only about bricks and mortar, but as the one that will restore honour of the nation and its culture. People take great pride inand receive inspiration from temples which signify their glorious past. This can be done only when we have a proper and full-fledged temple at the site.

Is it true that the foundation stone for temple was laid by a person who belonged to the Vanchit Varg?
Yes, Shri Kameshwar Chaupal of Bihar had the honour of laying the foundation stone of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple on November 10, 1989. It is a clear sign of the immense unifying power of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

Archaeological evidence
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) after extensive excavations has established it beyond doubt that there did exist a grand temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site that was razed down to build Babari structure. The excavations done by ASI establish that the Janmabhoomi site was occupied prior to 7th century BC.

Literary Evidence
(a) Sanskrit Literature
(b) Books by Muslim writers, and
(c) Works and reports by foreign writers.

Sanskrit Literature
Several Sanskrit epics, Purans, Upanishads, poetries and religious scriptures from the timeof Maharishi Valmiki till modern days have numerous instances that Ayodhya is the birth place of Shri Ram. There is also a detailed description about several holy places pertaining to Shri Ram in the AyodhyaMahatmya wherein the significance of Shri Ram Janmabhumi Mandir is narrated after mentioning the location of this Mandir.

Epics— Valmiki Ramayana, Ram Upakhyan of Mahabharat (Van Parva), Yog Vasisth, Adhyatma Ramayan, Raghuvamsh etc.

Poetries:- Ramgeet-Govind, Geet Raghav, Ram Vilas, Ram Ashtak etc.

Dramas:- Pratima, Abhishek, Uttar Ramcharit, Hanumannatak, Prasanna Raghav, Ramabhyudaya etc.

Akhyan:- Bruhat Kathamanjari, Champu Ramayan, Katha Saritsar etc.

Purans:- Vishnu, Brahmand, Vayu, Koorma, Padma, Skanda, Narad etc.

Upanishads:- Ramottar Tapaniya, Ram Rahasya etc.

Other Religious Scriptures:- Jaiminiya Ashwamedh, Hanumat Vijaya, Hanumat Sanhita, Bruhat Koushal Khand etc.

Books by Muslim Writers

1. Sahifa-e-Chahal Nasa-ih-Bahaddur Shahi : by the daughter of Alamgir, son of Bahadur Shah (End of 17th century and beginning of 18th century)
The Masjids, which have been built on the basis of orders of Badashah (Ba Farman-e-Badashahi) are not permitted to hold Namaz prayers, nor to read the Khutba therein. The Hindus (Kufr) have lot of faith in the Hindu temples situated in Mathura, Benaras, Avadh etc. Like the birth place of Kanhaya, Sita Rasoi (kitchen), Hanuman Sthan, where he had sat in the proximity of Shri. Ramachandra on return after the Lanka victory. All these places were destroyed and Mosques were built on those spots only with a view to display the Islamic power. These Masjids have not been given the permission to hold Juma and Jamiyat (Namaj offered on Juma). But it was made mandatory not to worship any idols in them nor should any sound of conch shells be allowed to fall on the Muslim ears…

2. Hadika-e-Shahda by Mirzha Jan – 1856
Mirza Jan, who claims that he has studied various ancient sources indepth, asserts in his statements that the earlier Sultans did encourage the propagation and glorification of Islam and trampled the non-believers (Kufr) i.e. Hindu forces. Thus they redeemed Faizabad and Avadh of this mean tradition (Kufr) …… This (Avadh) was a very big centre of worship and the capital city of the kingdom of Ram’s father. There was a majestic temple on the spot a huge Musjid was constructed there on and a small canopy Mosque (Kanati Masjid) on the spot, where there was a small Mandap. The Janmasthan temple was the original birth place (Maskat) of Ram. Adjacent to it, there is the Sita Rasoi. ……Sita is the name of Ram’s wife. Hence Badashah Babar got constructed a tall (Sarbuland) Masjid on that spot under the guidance of Moosa Ashikan. The same Mosque is known as Sita Rasoi till today.

3. Fasana-e-Ibrat: by Mirza Rajab Ali Baig Sarur
During the regime of Badashah Babur, a grand Mosque was constructed on the site pertaining to Sita Rasoi in Avadh. This was the Babari Masjid. Since the Hindus were not strong enough to oppose, the Masjid was constructed under the guidance of Sayyad Mir Ashikan…..

4. Gumgasht-e-Halat-e-Ayodhya Avadh : by Moulavi Abdul Karim (Imam of Babari Musjid) – 1885
While giving details of the Dargah of Hazarat Shah Jamal Gojjari, the author writes that there is Mahalla Akbarpur on the east of this Dargah, whose other name is Kot Raja Ramachandra also. There were some Burz (Large cells with domes) in this Kot. There were the house of birth (Makan Paidaish) of the above mentioned Raja (King) and the Rasoi (Kitchen); besides, the western Burz and this premise is presently known as Janmasthan and Rasoi Sita. After demolishing and wiping out these houses (i.e. Janmasthan and Sita Rasoi), Badashah Babar got constructed a grand (Ajim) Masjid on that spot.

5. Tarikh-e-Avadh : by Allama Mohammed Nazamul Ghani Khan Rampuri – 1909
Babar constructed a grand Mosque under the protection of Sayyad Ashikan on the very same spot where once stood the temple of Janmasthan of Ramachandra in Ayodhya. Just adjacent to it stood the Sita Rasoi the date of Mosque construction is Khair Banki (Al Hizri 923). Till today this is known as Sita Rasoi. That temple stands just beside this…..

The names of the books written by some other Muslim authors which have the quotations confirming the construction of Masjid after destroying the temple are as follows:-
* Zia-e-Akhtar : by Haji Mohammed Hassan – 1878
* Kesar-ul-Tawarikh or Tawarikh-e-Avadh Vol.II : by Kamaluddin Hyder Hussain Al Hussain Al Mashahadi.
* Asrar-e-Haqiqat : by Lachhami Narayan Sadr Kanongo Assistant of munshi Moulavi Hashami
* Hindostan Islami Ahad : by Moulana Hakim Sayid Abdul Hai – 1972

Works and Reports by foreign authors
1. History and Geography of India : by Joseph Typhentheller – 1785
Babur constructed a Masjid after demolishing the Ram Janmsthan temple…and using its pillars. Hindus refused to give up the place and they continueto come to that place in spite of the efforts by Mughals to prevent them from coming there. That they constructed a platform called Ram Chabutara in the compound of the Masjid. They circumambulate it for three times and prostrate flat on the ground before it. They were following this devotional conduct at Ram Chabutara and inside the Masjid also.
2. Gazeteers of the Province of Oundh – 1877
This confirms that the Mughals had destroyed three important Hindu temples and constructed Masjids on those places. Babar built Babari Masjid on Ramajanmbhumi in 1528
3. Faizabad Settlement Report – 1880
This report confirms the fact that Babar got constructed the Babari Masjid in 1528 on the place of Janmasthan temple that marks the birth-place of Ram.
4. The Court Decision: by Judge Colonel F. E. A. Chaimier While reading out his decision on the Civil Appeal No. 27 of 1885 after personally inspecting the site of the Babari Masjid, the district judge had said, “It is most unfortunate to have built a Mosque on the land, which has been considered as holy, especially by the Hindus. But the time of finding a solution for this complaint has lapsed. Because this event has taken place 356 years ago.”
5. Indian Archaeological Survey Report: by A. Fuhrer – 1891 Fuhrer accepts that Mir Khan had built the Babari Mosque on the same place of Ram Janmabhumi by using several of its pillars. He has further confirmed that Aurangzeb had similarly constructed two other Mosques at Swarg Dwar and Treta Thakur Mandir in Ayodhya.

6. Barabanki District Gazeteers : by H.R. Nevil – 1902— Nevil states that a number of conflicts arose between Hindu priests of Ayodhya and the Muslims from time to time about the piece of land, where upon once stood the Junmasthan temple, which was destroyed by Babar and a Mosque was constructed on that place.

7. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition Vol. I – 1978 :- There is a mention of constructing a Mosque by Babar in place of a temple that existed on the birth place of Ram prior to 1528 AD. A photograph of the existing structure is also given in this Encyclopaedia, which has been referred to as a Mosque constructed on the birth place of Ram in Ayodhya of Uttar Pradesh state in India. Similar information were furnished in its earlier editions as well.

Other books
8. Travel Report : by William Finch – 1608-11
9. Historical Sketch of Faizabad ; by P. Carnegy – 1870
10. Imperial Gazeteer of Faizabad – 1881
11. Babar Nama (English) : by Enete Beberis – 1920
12. Archeological Survey of India – 1934
13. Ayodhya ; by Hans Becker – 1984
14. Ram Janmbhumi V/s Babary Musjid : by Coenrad Elst – 1990

Examination of the evidence submitted by the All India Babari Masjid Action Committee
None of the documents submitted by them have any evidentiary value and are merely opinions of people with political inclinations.There is no testimony that could show that Babur or any other Muslim Chieftain saw a vacant plot of land in Ayodhya and thereupon ordered the construction of a Masjid there.

Efforts to posit Buddhism against Shri Ram does not hold ground. The fable of Shri Ram finds a place in Buddhist Akhyanas. It has been very proudly said in the Buddhist sources that Buddha belonged to the Ikshwaku clan as Shri Ram did.They have tried to question the historicity of Ramayana by asserting that there are many versions of Ramanayana. Yet again this does not hold ground. There are two different stories about the creation in Bible. Two different genealogies are given about Jesus. In fact, every story of Jesus’s life is given by authors differently in various Gospels. But no serious intellectual conclude from this that Jesus was never born.

Three Judges of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court
1. Justice Dharam Veer Sharma
2. Justice Sudhir Agrawal
3. Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan
Date of Judgement: September 30, 2010
* The total area is approximately 1,480 square yards or 13,320 square feet.
* Two of the three judges have ordered for allotment of 1/3rd area to each of the three main Plaintiffs (complainants) respectively—Nirmohi Akhara, Muslims and Ramlala Virajman. The court has dismissed the suitof Sunni Waqf Board.
* The Government of India had acquired about 70 acres of land surrounding the disputed premises. This land is other than the disputed area and is in the possession of government of India.
* Although the suits were heard by a three-judge special bench of the Lucknow Bench of

Allahabad High Court, yet the three judges wrote and delivered their judgments separately since this court was functioning like a trial court.
1. Excerpts from Verbatim Gist of the findings by Justice Dharam Veer Sharma
2. The disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram. Place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as birth place of Lord Rama as a child. Spirit of divine ever remains present everywhere at all times for anyone to invoke at any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless also.
3. The disputed building was constructed by Babar, the year is not certain but it was built against the tenets of Islam. Thus, it cannot have the character of a mosque.
4. The disputed structure was constructed on the site of old structure after demolition of the same. The Archaeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure.
5. It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other object of worship existed upon the property in suit.
It is also established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janm Sthan i.e. a birth place as deity and visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial. After the construction of the disputed structure it is proved the deities were installed inside the disputed structure on 22/23-12-1949 (December 22/23, 1949). It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping throughout and in the inner courtyard (in the disputed structure) they were also worshipping. It is also established that the disputed structure cannot be treated as a mosque as it came into existence against the tenets of Islam.

Excerpts from the Verbatim Gist of the findings by Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan
1. It is not proved by direct evidence that premises in dispute including constructed portion belonged to Babar or the person who constructed the mosque or under whose orders it was constructed.
Excerpts from the Verbatim Gist of the findings by Justice Sudhir Agarwal
1. The area covered under the central dome of the disputed structure is the birthplace of Lord Rama as per faith and belief of Hindus.

What kind of evidence did the three Judge Bench go through before they gave out their verdict?
The Judges took into account evidence from Muslim scriptures, Muslim Waqf Act, Hindu scriptures, Skanda Puran, Historical accounts written by Muslim historians, the Diary of a French Jesuit Priest Joseph Tieffenthaler, Gazetteers and books written by British officials and historians, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Carved stone blocks and inscription found from the debris of the structure, report of the Ground Penetrating Radar Survey (GPRS), report of the GPRS-inspired excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and oral cross-examinations and statements of approximately 85 witnesses.

Why did Ramlala win?
A Praan-Pratishthit Vigraha (deity) is a living entity that can fight its own case, and is a juridical person. But being a perpetual minor the Praan-Pratishthit Vigrahathereforeneeds a guardian to fight its legal battles. Late Shri Deoki Nandan Agrawal, a retired judge of Allahabad High Courthad filed Sri Ramlala’s case as the deity’s Next Friend. According to Hindu scriptures and the Present Law the deity can hold the propertyand nobody can have adverse possession over it.
Further, the place being Janmasthan of Bhagwan Shri Ram is not merely a property but being sacred the place itself is a deity and is worshipped. It can also fight its own case as Plaintiff (complainant). This provision in the Hindu scriptures has been there since time immemorial and the Courts of Law always accepted these accreditations.

Why was the case of Sunni Waqf Board Dismissed?
The Muslim Scriptures and Law lay down that no Wakf can be created on another’s property (the Deity’s seat, the Deity’s Home or the Temple) and Namaz offered in a Mosque thus erected is not accepted by Allah. In the eyes of law, therefore, the three-domed structure did not exist.
Neither Babur nor his commander-in-chief Mir Baki were the owners of the disputed site and so it could not be offered to Allah. Further, even if it is accepted for the sake of argument that Muslims were in occupation of this site since 1528, then also it was never continuous, uninterrupted and peaceful. Long occupation does not endow ownership rights. Moreover, the Waqf Board had to divulge as to whose property did Babur occupy and whether he did it with the knowledge of true owner. Also, it is the view of the Supreme Court that ‘Mosque’ is not an essential part of Islam, Namaz can be offered anywhere, even in an open ground. The Waqf Board was neither considered by the Court of Law to be the owner of the disputed land nor was the structure in question accepted to be a valid mosque according to Islam. So the Suit No. 4 filed by Sunni Waqf Board was dismissed by the Court declaring it time barred.

Justice Sudhir Agrawal on some of the issues framed in the Suit of Sunni Waqf Board as Plaintiff (Complainant)

1. Whether the building (the three-domed Babari structure) had been constructed on the site of an alleged Hindu temple after demolishing the same?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Affirmative, Yes.

2. Whether the building (the three-domed Babari structure) had been used by the members of the Muslim community for offering prayers from time immemorial?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–The building in question (the three-domed Babari structure) was not exclusively used by the members of Muslim community. After 1856-57, outer courtyard was exclusively used by Hindu and inner courtyard had been visited for the purpose of worship by the members of both the communities (Hindus and Muslims both).

3. Whether the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) were in possession of the property in suit up to 1949 and were dispossessed from the same in 1949?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:— Negative – Against the Sunni Waqf Board.

4. Whether the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) have perfected their rights by adverse possession as alleged in the plaint (complaint)?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Negative, against the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) and Muslims in general.

5. Is the property in suit the site of Janma Bhumi of Shri Ramchandraji?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– It is held that the place of birth as believed and worshipped by Hindus is the area covered under the central dome of the three-domed structure, i.e., the disputed structure in the inner courtyard in the premises of dispute.

6. Whether the Hindus in general and defendants in particular had the right to worship the Charans and Sita Rasoi and other idols and other objects of worship, if any, existing in or upon the property in suit?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Affirmative, Yes.

7. Have the Hindus been worshipping the place in dispute as Sri Ram Janam Bhumi or Janmasthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since times immemorial?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Affirmative, Yes.

8. Have the Muslims been in possession of the property in suit from 1528 A.D. continuously, openly and to the knowledge of the Defendants and Hindus in general?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Answered in Negative, against the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) and Muslims in general.

9. Whether the building (the three-domed Babari structure) was landlocked and cannot be reached except by passing through places of Hindu worship?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Yes, to the extent that building was landlocked and could not be reached except of passing through the passage of Hindu worship.

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma on some of the issues framed in suit of Sunni Waqf Board (Plaintiff or complainant)

1. Whether the building in question described as mosque in the attached map was a mosque as claimed by the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

2. Whether the building had been constructed on the site of an alleged Hindu temple after demolishing the same?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:–Decided in favour of defendants (the Hindu society in general) and against the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) on the basis of ASI report.

3. Whether the building had been used by the members of the Muslim community for offering prayers from time immemorial?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:–Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

4. Whether the plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) were in possession of the property in suit up to 1949 and were dispossessed from the same in 1949?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

5. Whether the plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) have perfected their rights by adverse possession as alleged in the plaint (complaint)?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board)

6. Is the property in suit the site of Janm Bhumi of Sri Ramchandraji?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board) (and in favour of Hindu society in general)

7. Have the Hindus been worshipping the place in dispute as Sri Ram Janm Bhumi or Janmasthan and have been visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since times immemorial?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) (and in favour of Hindu society in general)

8. Have the Muslims been in possession of the property in suit from 1528 A.D. continuously, openly and to the knowledge of the Defendants and Hindus in general?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiff (Sunni Waqf Board).

9. To what relief, if any, are the plaintiffs or any of them, entitled?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) are not entitled for any relief. The suit is dismissed with easy costs.

10. Whether the building was landlocked and cannot be reached except by passing through places of Hindu worship?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:– Decided against the Plaintiffs (Sunni Waqf Board) and in favour of defendants (the Hindu society in general).

Justice Sudhir Agarwal on some of the issues framed in Suit of Ramlala Virajman (Plaintiff no. 1) and Asthan Ram Janm Bhumi (Plaintiff No. 2) and Next Friend (Plaintiff no. 3)

1. Whether the plaintiffs 1 & 2 (Ramlala Virajman & Asthan Ram Janm Bhumi) are juridical persons?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Plaintiffs 1 & 2 both are juridical persons.

2. Whether the idol in question was installed under the central dome of the disputed building in the early hours of December 23rd, 1949 as alleged by the plaintiff:
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:–Affirmative. The idols were installed under the central dome of the disputed building in the early hours of 23rd December, 1949.

3. Whether the disputed structure claimed to be Babri Masjid was erected after demolishing Janmasthan Temple at its site?
Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s Answer:– Affirmative (Yes).

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma on some of the issues framed in suit of Ramlala Virajman (Plaintiff no. 1), Asthan Ram Janm Bhumi (Plaintiff no. 2) and Next Friend (Plaintiff no. 3)

1. Whether the disputed structure claimed to be Babari Masjid was erected after demolishing Janmasthan Temple at its site?
Justice Dharam Veer Sharma’s Answer:–Decided against Sunni Waqf Board and in favour of the plaintiffs. (So in general, Justice Sharma decreed that the disputed Babari structure was indeed built after demolishing the Shri Ram Janmasthan temple).

Courtesy: K Bharat on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at TheIndianVoice (http://theindianvoice.com/how-ram-mandir-demolished/)

A number of articles are blogged at AriseBharat:

  1. Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid dispute – Views and Warnings
  2. The gist of judgements (PDF) are available at VHP.org
  3. RSS Sarsanghachalak Video statement on Ayodhya
  4. An Insight into the Ayodhya Dispute – S.Gurumurthy & VigilOnline

Remedy for Monumental mismanagement of the economy by Dr.Manmohan Singh


In his article (“Making of a mammoth tragedy”, The Hindu, December 9), Dr. Manmohan Singh attacked the demonetisation of high denomination notes (HDNs) by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as the “making of a mammoth tragedy”. In his prose, Dr. Singh speaks less as an economist in which capacity he is respected more than as the former Prime Minister, the role which has actually dented his image. Yet it is best to respond to him on economic issues which he has kept away from, not to his political verses. Undisputed facts, not alluring rhetoric, should decide whether demonetisation is a tragedy or a remedy. Is it a monumental mismanagement of the economy as Dr. Singh charges? Or is it a remedy for the accumulated filth as Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims? To know the answer, the story of the Indian economy from 1999 to 2004 under the NDA and from 2004 to 2014 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) needs to be recalled.

Real versus statistic

During the NDA rule (1999-2004), real GDP grew by 27.8 per cent, annually 5.5 percentage points. Annual money supply, that fuels inflation, by 15.3 per cent. Prices by 23 per cent, annually 4.6 per cent. Asset prices rose only moderately in those five years. Stocks rose by 32 per cent; gold by 38 per cent. Taking Chennai as an illustration, land prices by 32 per cent. Jobs rose phenomenally, by almost 60 million. The NDA also turned in a surplus of $20 billion in 2002-04 in the external sector, after decades of unending deficits, save in two years in the late 1970s.

Now come to the UPA rule under Dr. Singh, the economist Prime Minister. In the first and best six years of the UPA (2004-05 to 2009-10), before it was hit by scams, real GDP grew by 50.8 per cent, annually 8.4 percentage points — one-and-a-half times NDA’s. The world celebrated Dr. Singh. The UPA was intoxicated by the “high growth” story. But how many jobs did UPA’s high growth produce? Believe it or not, just 27 lakhs against 600 lakhs during NDA’s five years, according to NSSO data. UPA achieved one-and-a-half times NDA’s GDP growth, but just 5 per cent of its job growth. Dr. Singh now bemoans that Mr. Modi’s demonetisation will stifle jobs!

Move on. In the six years, prices rose by 6.5 per cent (4.6 per cent under NDA). The external sector deficit was $100 billion (against NDA’s $20 billion surplus). Did high petroleum prices force it? No. Zero-rated customs duty-led capital goods imports which topped petroleum imports was the culprit.

 Asset inflation

Why was the UPA’s high growth jobless? The well-kept secret is that huge asset price inflation, not production, passed off as high growth. In the first six years of the UPA, stock and gold prices jumped by three times — annually by 60 per cent. Property prices doubled every two-three years. In Gurgaon, not on the property map in 1999, land prices rose by 10-20 times. Asset inflation in six years was three times the annual nominal GDP growth. The asset inflation not the result but the cause of the UPA’s “high growth”! How? Modern economics deducts the non-asset price inflation from nominal growth to know the real growth. But it sees asset price rise as wealth and prosperity and adds it to GDP. See how this economics worked for the UPA.

 Unmonitored Rs.500/1,000 notes

Economics says money, growth, prices and jobs are inter-related. Apply this rule to the NDA and UPA periods. During 2004-10, average money supply grew annually 18 per cent (15.3 per cent under the NDA). But asset prices rose by several multiples of it. The moderate rise in money supply over the NDA’s number does not explain the huge asset inflation. The clue hides in the rising unmonitored HDN cash stock with the public which made black money deals easy. In 1999, the cash with the public was 9.4 per cent of nominal GDP. By 2007-08, instead of falling due to rising bank and digital payments, it jumped to 13 per cent of nominal GDP. Later it began hovering around 12 per cent. More critically, the HDNs with the public more than doubled from 34 per cent in 2004 to 79 per cent in 2010. On November 8, 2016, it was 87 per cent. The average annual rise in HDNs was 51 per cent between 2004 and 2010 and the annual rise was 63 per cent by 2013-14. The Reserve Bank of India noted that two-thirds of the Rs.1,000 notes and one-third of the Rs.500 notes — that is over Rs. 6 lakh crore now — never returned to banks after they were issued. The unmonitored HDNs roaming outside banks began driving up the gold and land prices by black cash and the stock prices through Participatory Notes (PNs) — which are largely hawala transfers out of India — that came back pretending as foreign investment in stocks. The PNs rose from Rs.68,000 crore in 2004 to Rs.3.81 lakh crore in 2007.

How did the asset inflation lead to the UPA’s “high growth”? Inflated asset prices to the extent realised by sale got accounted as part of income and included in GDP. Large part of the gains on stock sale got added to GDP with very little tax under Securities Transaction Tax. The spurious wealth effect also led to high-end consumption. The annual private consumption growth averaged 18 per cent till six years to 2009-10 — 80 per cent over the NDA average. The fake wealth effect, powered by HDN cash, scripted the UPA’s “high growth” story. HDNs outside banks took refuge in stocks, gold and land, produced capital gains-led growth and consumption. Had the HDNs circulated through the banking system, it would have multiplied through the fractional reserve model, reduced the inflation and interest, and funded the small-and-medium enterprises starved of organised funding.

 Catch-22 situation

The curse — asset inflation inspired jobless growth — seems irreversible till unmonitored HDNs roam and fuel fake growth. Dr. Singh had had enough wake-up calls when the share of HDN cash was escalating year after year from 2004. He could have de-escalated the hugely growing cash economy had he remonetised the HDNs by lesser denominations without demonetisation — sparing the people of discomfort and economy of short-term damage. Of course, he would have lost the “high growth” brand that made UPA rule an economic success. To unmask this deception and revive job productive growth, the unmonitored HDNs needed to be brought to account forcibly. By his inaction, undeniably, Dr. Singh had landed the economy in a Catch-22 situation. The Modi government could either opt to continue the status quo of jobless growth or force temporary decline in growth to reinstate real growth and jobs. It opted for the latter. Even an undergraduate student in economics will tell you that it will cause hardship and hit growth in the short run. A Cambridge economist is not needed to write a column on that. It is already late. If the status quo of unmonitored HDNs were to last for another five-six years, the size of HDNs would have become so huge that no government may have been able to act against it — inevitably inviting a huge crisis, both internal and external. Prime Minister Modi has rightly called the demonetisation as “kadak chai” (bitter pill). That HDNs promoted high bribery and helped terror funding through fake HDNs cannot be disputed at all. Far from doing a monumental misappropriation or making a “mammoth tragedy”, Mr. Modi is correcting the monumental mismanagement of the economy by the economist Dr. Singh.

 Courtesy – The Hindu

Rejoinder to Salman Khurshid

Salman Khurshid, the external affairs ministers says that Hindu nationalist is an oxymoron.

Is Mahatma Gandhi oxymoron?

In Hind Swaraj, which is his fundamental ideological text, he ( Mahatma Gandhi)  pointed out how Hinduism is the core of Indian nationalism. Gandhi said: ‘those farseeing ancestors of ours who established Setubandha (Rameshwaram) in the South, Jagannath in the East and Hardwar in the North as places of pilgrimage were no fools. They knew that the worship of God could have been performed just as well at home and yet they argued that it must be one nation. Arguing thus, they established holy places in various parts of India, and fired the people with an idea of nationality in a manner unknown in other parts of the world. But they saw that India was one undivided land.’

When asked about the advent of Muslims on the unity of India, Gandhi replied: ‘foreigners merge in it. A country is one nation only when such a condition obtains in it. That country must have a faculty for assimilation, India has ever been such a country.’

Compare this with what the “secularist ” , Khurshid has to say in his book  ‘At Home In India’. He wrote that in 1984, when the Sikhs were massacred in Delhi, “there was terrible satisfaction among the Muslims, who have not completely forgotten the Partition’s unpleasant aftermath. Hindus and Sikhs were alike paying for their sins. They were paying for the blood they had drawn in 1947 ”.  When Khurshid was chief of the Congress in UP, he defended the Islamic terrorist outfit Students Islamic Movement of India [SIMI] – reincarnated later as Indian Mujhahideen – as peace-loving lads, arguing as its counsel in courts. This was in 2001.

The above is an excerpt from S.Gurumurthy’s article “Aurobindo, Vivekananda and Gandhi too oxymorons – http://newindianexpress.com/opinion/Aurobindo-Vivekananda-and-Gandhi-too-oxymorons/2013/07/16/article1685661.ece


Is Kalki the only hope? – S.Gurumurthy

With each passing year of the United Progressive Alliance rule, scams are rising in numbers and in the sums looted. According to one compilation, there were seven scams in 2008, nine in 2009, 14 in 2010, 23 in 2011 and 22 so far in 2012. The Indian political landscape had seen scams earlier, but now the scams seem unending, their rapidity unbelievable and monies plundered unprecedented. No one disputes that the coalition headed by Sonia Gandhi, once hailed as a saint, and the government led by Manmohan Singh, once regarded as honest, are the most corrupt ever. The saint-honest duo has produced some 80 big and small scams, involving over `19 lakh-crore! Adding the amount of black money of India said to be stashed abroad, the scams equal half of nation’s GDP in 2011-’12.Â

An active and insistent judiciary uncovered some major scams. It has, at least temporarily, disabled the political power that was harbouring, at times even honouring, the corrupt. It forced the telecom minister to quit, and he was sent to jail. A Congress MP, caught in the CWG scam, had to spend a full summer and winter in jail. A Congress chief minister in Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, had to resign and with his predecessor, Vilasrao Deshmukh, he is facing a CBI probe in the Adarsh housing fraud. Two former Congress chief ministers are under police lens in the Goa mining case. B S Yeddyurappa, former BJP chief minister in Karnataka, lost his office and is facing criminal charges. Bangaru Laxman, a former BJP president, has been convicted for accepting `1 lakh in a sting operation. The Marans and many more are in the queue. The hope of the corrupt now seems to rest on clever lawyers and crucial retirements in judiciary! A huge fall indeed.

A principal reason for this precipitous fall is the paradigm shift in the political, and even intellectual, class from being shy to becoming shameless. Even a decade earlier, a higher rule of public morality operated on the political class. A political leader accused of bribery or immorality would defend his honour invariably by resigning or suing or volunteering to face the probe. That political class was shy of its integrity being questioned. Today’s political class has become shameless. Now when their integrity is questioned, politicians remain silent or brazenly ask for the case to be proved against them in a court of law. However, the government, which has to probe and prove the case in court, is under their control. They refuse to sue the accuser as suing would land them in the witness box where they would be questioned. Take a telling case of this type.

Schweizer Illustrierte, a popular Swiss magazine, unrelated to politics in India, had reported in 1991 that Rajiv Gandhi had $2.5 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts. It would have now grown to over $10 billion at US treasury rates. Later, Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats, in her research book on the Russian spy agency KGB, uncovered documents that showed that the Gandhi family was receiving, with ‘gratitude’, payoffs from the KGB. These reports have been cited in news items and in columns repeatedly in 1988, 1992, 2002, 2006, 2009 (twice) 2010, and 2011 in The Hindu, Times of India, Statesman, India Today, and repeatedly in The New Indian Express. Yet, the Sonia Gandhi family and the ruling party have been maintaining an intriguing silence on these serious exposes. They did not dare sue the newspapers or the writers. A few weeks back, ‘Business Insider’, a fairly well regarded e-magazine based in US, had listed 23 world’s richest politicians. Sonia Gandhi, with her wealth estimated at between $4-19 billion, stood fourth in the honour list. Only the Saudi king, Sultan of Brunei, and Michael Bloomberg (New York mayor) were above her in the list. Again the Gandhi family and the ruling party are deafeningly silent on this report. Should they not sue them if the reports were false? Intriguing, isn’t it? The government is helpless, understandably. Why is the opposition too silent? More intriguing, isn’t it? Â

A minister in Rajasthan got a young woman he was close to murdered and disposed off the body. A Congress party spokesman, a senior lawyer, was caught on video in a compromising position with a woman lawyer seeking his influence to become a judge. She might well have become one had his driver, angry with him on other counts, not circulated the video. This brings us to judges. The law of contempt once prevented exposing judicial corruption but not any more. K G Balakrishnan, former chief justice of India now heading the human rights commission, stands accused of bribery. His three relatives, including son-in-law, are found to have huge amounts of black money. Justice P D Dinakaran, a chief justice of high court — accused of bribery and land grabbing — had to resign in disgrace. But, the judiciary still looks only outwards. The media, glorified as the fourth estate, stands charged with selling its news space — cash for news. Yet, it still only pontificates. The ruling party has been charged with buying votes in Parliament — cash for votes. Still it rules and loots. Rich men are increasingly and shamelessly ostentatious. A Mukesh Ambani has built a house at over a billion dollars. Still the media celebrates him. There is shamelessness all around. The ordinary people, however, still feel shy to do things wrong. So they looked beyond politics, Parliament, and court for hope towards an Anna Hazare. But with Anna too failing, where would they look for hope?

Srimad Bhagawatham, a great epic, compiled some 1,200 years ago, tellingly describes the ongoing Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness. It says: “In Kali Yuga, wealth, not virtuous conduct, will determine a man’s worth. Might will decide what is good and bad. Thieves will lead the country. Rulers, greedy and cruel, will degenerate into brigands and plunderers. Business will be tantamount to practising fraud. Cheats will take to trade and business and introduce dishonest practices. Poverty will be regarded as sufficient proof of guilt in courts. Ostentatious show will be the hallmark of character. A master of (abusive) vocabulary will be considered a scholar. Moral values will be observed solely for popularity, not by conviction.” It goes on and on. Is it not a running commentary of the nation today? The text predicts more decline. Finally it gives hope. It says that when the decline is total, the Lord will be born as Kalki to destroy the evil and revive values. So Kalki seems to offer the ultimate hope to the hapless people.

(Views expressed in the column are the author’s own)
S Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.