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RELIGION, AYODHYA, PSYCHE AND HUMANITY – II

POLITICS THAT HAS EXPLOITED THE RELIGION TO CONTROL THE PSYCHE:

In July 1992, LK Advani reportedly told the house, "You must recognize the fact that from two seats in 1985, we have come to 117 seats in 1991. This happened primarily because we took up this (Ayodhya) issue." Incidentally, the riots in the aftermath of the Babri Mosque demolition had a wider spread. On September 30, after the Ayodhya verdict, in the media glare, Ravishankar Prasad, who appeared on behalf of defendant Ram Chandra Paramhans, was quick to appeal to Muslims to accept the verdict and move for a settlement.

Representatives including the political classes have used religion as a polarization tool to serve their purposes and hidden agendas meet.

The Marxian cliché 'religion is the opium of the people' has been so religiously followed by the representatives since the very beginning of the concept of 'the followers' and 'the followed' when political science as a discipline was no where in existence. A need for a leadership to move on for the followers and a need to justify every deed and control the mob mentality of the masses in case of dissatisfaction gave rise to the different levels of concocted supernatural powers that culminated in a psychological fear of god irrespective of the spiritual underpinnings of seeking questions and getting answers. 'Administrative Theory' to run the system was much in existence much before it got its modern day terminology. The representative class needed it to thwart any attempt to question its legitimacy. But on the other hand, 'Critical Theory' questioning the system was there, too, through the concepts of reformists who gave rise to different faiths and communities like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, and many more, away from the fold of their parent system. And, growth of civilization, intrinsically as well as extrinsically, has seen battles between these two in all the formations.

Historically, if we don't count the natural or spontaneous deaths, this 'civilized' planet Earth has lost maximum of its inhabitants to the hands of religious expeditions, in the name of imperialist expansion or purely for spreading the ideology. 'Crusades' are really the black pages of History chronicles, for they represent how easily masses could be manipulated in the name of religion; masses that didn't care even for their lives. Masses are still being manipulated. The scale, the method, and the degree have become contemporary.

India, like any other civilization, has seen invasions, assimilation and cultural transformations. But a system that works on absolute centrality, though in patches (many princely states), like that in India before the Britishers took sweeping control, doesn't need polarization on religious lines to promote vested interests. Britain used communal polarization as a tool to rule India, dividing the society. They brought acts like the 'Act of 1909' that gave Muslims reserved seats in legislature and a separate electorate. Though an affirmative action, it was a separatist feeling nurtured by the then ruling class that ultimately resulted in division of the country. An act on the religious lines, that saw millions killed and millions displaced. What Britishers had started, was picked up by the radical elements from the Hindu majority. 'Hindutva' was sloganeered in 1923. Apart from small outfits, 'Hindu Mahasabha' (1915) and RSS (1925) came into existence. And the colonized India had the curse of Hindu and Muslim polarization along the communal lines through radical outfits from both the communities. And, that platform has stabilized and is still giving hands to the radical elements of the society, from all the sections.

But this political perception of radical polarization has failed their proponents at time.

Historically, from time to time, we have seen how the human psyche has rebelled to denounce such practices. Gradual rise of democracies out of the concept of the 'nation state' is a perfect case in point.

India before 1947 had Hindu-Muslim polarization but both communities fought together to gain the independence. There were differences but there were millions in India (even some in Pakistan too) who could not be polarized and decided to remain at their birthplace. Evolution of 'Hindustani' culture is another case in point. Ayodhya remained a trivial issue in 1949, fresh in the aftermath of 1947 riots, indicates this only.

And it is a good global mix. Part of the world that is growing and holistically developing is more or less a peace loving world. We cannot find polarization on issues to the extent of religious hatred here. Otherwise there are nation states being run with absolute centrality or countries in transition, trying to become democracies, or democracies like India. The interplay of psyche, religion and mass polarization is problem with countries falling in these last two categories, wherever there is multi-ethnicity.

Coming back to India, probably the shock of 1947 was so deep that it took 45 years of gradual developments in the Ayodhya issue to polarize radical elements of the Hindus to the extent that they led India to a black day, a day of eternal national shame, December 6, 1992. And again, representatives (RSS, BJP and associates) were at the helm to polarize a mob mentality in this case. Given the incidents in the aftermath of the demolition, further polarizations resulted in communal riots, Mumbai blast and Godhra riots.

But, there has been no such thing like an aftermath after the September 30 verdict on land ownership in the Ayodhya issue. Another option at the Supreme Court, stand of different parties involved and instant attempts to gain political mileage (targeting both the communities); nothing seems to be behind this polarization towards peace. This is an unlikely polarization of the human psyche for the representatives from all the political outfits with hidden agendas.

The human psyche and polarization theory doesn't apply to the BJP the way it claimed. It didn't catapult BJP to the power with majority as it had expected (in the light of LK Advani's 1992 claim). It had a disastrous power debut in 1996 and what it could get ultimately in 1998 was a coalition government that forced it to adopt reformist tone. The BJP got a good patron in AB Vajpayee and the party seemed to widen its wing to become a political outfit with liberal view on all the issues of concern. Its loss in 2004 owes more to governance and development issues.

And what Mr. Ravishankar Prasad says now. (Let's see it in the light of the fact that BJP seems to have lost its ground in Uttar Pradesh, the Ayodhay battleground, where it has consistency lost seats with every passing election after 1992)

There seems to be something more subtle about human psyche, religion and day-to-day life of a common man in a more demanding time; something that these representatives have failed to notice.
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