Diwali 0.5

05.08.2020 is a special date for Hinduism & its people. Today was the first step after the victory of India’s history. A much awaited decision, used as a manifesto by every political party for decades, a reason for religious disputes, and also as a joke material by the so-called comedians, was finally taken by the Supreme Court of India on 9th November 2019. That single decision brought relief to the people of the country, old and young alike. Today, as the first stone of the Ram Mandir, a temple of Lord Ram at his birthplace, is placed, the people across the country are celebrating it as happily as the biggest festival, Diwali. There are fireworks, there are diyas, there’s devotion, and there’s happiness all around. It feels like Diwali 0.5 2020!

Ayodhya is a town every child raised as a Hindu heard about in all kinds of tales as a kid. The epic poem, Ramayana, started and ended in the kingdom of Ayodhya. The land, where the temple is now being built, was where Lord Rama spent his childhood, before he set off for the 14 year long vanvaas (exile), after which he claimed his rightful throne. This land has been left untouched for a long time, since the Babri Mosque was demolished, which was built by the Mughal emperor, Babur, back in 1500s. And, as obvious it can be, the land issue became a common point in religious disputes, with slogans like “Mandir toh yahi banega” (Temple will be built here) often coming up.
After evidences provided by archeologists convinced the Supreme Court, the permission to build a temple here was given, and the first stone was layed down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today.

It is a victory of Hinduism not against any other religion, but against the dissipating history of the religion. India had a rich Hindu-based culture before the Mughals ruled the countries (and after which Britishers took over). Since Independence, India is a secular country, home to several different religions, all of which live in harmony. India is home to thousands of mosques, churches and Gurudwaras and takes pride in all phases of its history – before, during and after Mughal era – because it defines India’s principles. Many people opposing the decision by Supreme court see it as a step against Muslims or against secularism. I strongly condemn that idea because by building the Ram Mandir, we’re not only putting an end to a long dispute, but we are also adding another religious site we can be proud of as Indians, without harming anything that is culturally significant to any of the other religions.

Last year on this day, the Indian Government revoked Section 370, unifying Kashmir with the rest of the country, another one of the long pending things. And, ofcourse, today too another long-pending decision saw the light of the day. 10 days later, Independence Day 2020, will indeed be a very special one!

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