Would the construction of a Ram Mandir satisfy Hindus

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The  Lucknow High Court judgment gladdened the hearts of Hindus worldwide, but contrary  to  general belief, a grand Ram temple is  nowhere in sight. The Sunni Central Waqf Board has filed a Special Leave  Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the verdict. The Hindu Mahasabha will  be filing an appeal as well. If  the case for conviction of those responsible for the 1993 Mumbai Blasts is a  yardstick, the case could take years.

Further,  a Ram mandir is only a part of what the majority community wants in order to  regain its self-respect in this country where, right from independence, it has  been treated by successive governments as one that must bear the cross in deference  to its siblings --- the minority communities.

No  one can claim to speak on behalf of 80 crore plus Hindus! Having said that, this  article focuses on discrimination faced by Hindus that are unknown to most and  cannot be construed to be called ‘Communal’ just because a Hindu is raising  them. These demands and grievances hold well irrespective of the party in  power. The demand for a Uniform Civil Code is well known hence not dwelt upon  in this article.

According  to former President and scholar Dr S Radhakrishnan, the term Hindu had  originally a territorial and not religious significance. All those who resided  to the east of the Sindhu or Indus River were called Hindus. Since over 16% of India’s  population is not Hindu, the description has become irrelevant.

The  religion of the Hindus, Hinduism should be replaced by its pure form Sanatan  Dharm (eternal righteousness). It would include followers of all sects,  sub-sects, faiths as is the case today. So also Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism can  be called Baudh Dharam, Jain Dharam and Sikh Dharam if their followers so  desire. For the purposes of for customary laws like the Hindu Marriage Act that  applies to today’s Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jain they would be referred to as  the ‘Followers of Dharma’.

Two,  unlike others, Hindu temples are subject to state government control and in  some states temple collections become part of the state treasury. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in 2003,  “There are as many as 2,07,000 temples in Karnataka and the total income of these  temples amounts to Rs 72 crore. Only a sum of Rs. 6 crore is being spent by the  Government for their upkeep. On the other hand, the Government spent a  phenomenal amount of Rs.50 crore for the madrasas and Rs.10 crore for the  churches.”

The  Hindus want that temple collections in any form should, by law, be spent only  on Hindus --- for stipulated purposes such as education, teaching of Hindu  culture in its various forms, religious and otherwise.

Three,  under the FCRA (Foreign Contributions Regulation Act), a sum of Rs 73,379 crs  was reported as received (actual much higher) by Indian NGO’s during the period  1993-94 to 2007-08. A review of top donor agencies indicate that majority are  Christian organizations. (http://business.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/apr/13/slide-show-1-do-foreign-contributions-to-india-impact-security.htm).

Hindus  believe that this money is used to convert which lead to social tension and  conflict. Liberals might disagree but the dividing line between selfless  service and conversion is very thin. The same argument holds good for  contributions from Islamic organizations even though they seem to come substantially  through the hawala route.

Hindus  want such contributions to be disallowed. Surely, Indian Christians and Muslims  residing abroad can donate like Hindus do. Further, there should be a strictly  enforced ban on religious conversions.

Four,  Article 30 of the Constitution permits minorities to establish and run their  own educational institutions. The basic objective behind these special rights  was to enable the minority to protect its religion and culture. A survey of  Jesuit run schools in the country would show that the majority of students are  invariably Hindu in which case how is Christian culture being protected.  How do Christian schools in Muslim majority  Kashmir Valley protect Christian religion? This provision has allowed the  Church to create a web of educational institutions across the country and wield  influence far in excess of the 2.5% Christian population in India.

Therefore,  Hindus want removed special privileges granted to educational institutions run  by all denominations of Christians.

Five,  an increasing number of Hindu students grow up devoid of any knowledge or  understanding of Indian culture and thought. Just like religious education is  imparted in state funded Madrasas so also Hindus should be allowed to impart  religious education in their schools.

Six,  India is amongst the worst victims of terror yet the conviction rate is low.  Some egs. Seventeen years have passed since the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The trial  in the 2006 Mumbai train blast is proceeding at snail’s pace in Mumbai. In  March 2010, the Supreme Court (SC) stayed the trial of 64 Indian Mujahideen  (IM) members allegedly involved for 2008 blasts in Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Jaipur  etc. The same IM claimed responsibility for the recent Varanasi blasts. In September 2010 the SC stayed the death sentence of the three men for the  Akshardham temple attack of 2002. Delayed and negligible conviction would  encourage any terrorist.

Probably, the SC has valid reasons for doing so and its hands  full. For the aam aadmi delayed justice has removed fear of law from the terrorist  mind. A good idea is to set up Fast Track courts in SC and High Courts to deal  with all terrorism related cases in a time bound manner.

Seven,  since India was partitioned on the basis of religion there is a growing unease  at illegal infiltration from Bangladesh i.e. predominantly Muslim. Secularists  ask why nationalists do not protest over the presence of Nepalis in India but  forget that the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship  signed between Nepal and India permits Nepalis to work in India including  government jobs except Foreign Service. A Bangladeshi Muslim Tantric was  recently arrested in Mumbai for raping seven. (http://www.hindustantimes.com/tabloid-news/mumbai/Tantrik-arrested-for-raping-seven-a-Bangladeshi-national/Article1-637541.aspx).
The  Government must identify and deport Bangladeshis on a war footing.

Eight,  a July 2005 SC judgment ordered that loudspeakers shall not be used between  10pm and 6am.(http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Noise-pollution,-restrictions-on-use-of-Loudpspeakers-1.aspx).  Further decibel levels were laid down. The Mumbai police do an excellent job at  controlling decibel levels during Ganesh Chaturthi/Navaratri but loudspeakers  blare Azaan before 6am and during the day at volumes that are surely above laid  down levels.  The SC said that nobody can  claim a fundamental right to create noise by amplifying the sound of his speech  with the help of loudspeakers.

If  permitted, the Mumbai Police shall implement the law equally for all and not want  to invite contempt of court proceedings.

Nine, by virtue of not being defined in the Indian  Constitution the words ‘Minority and Secularism’ are the most abused words in  India today. A Constitutional Bench of the SC should define these two words.  

In no country is the majority community denied equal rights  as in Bharat!