To read or understand too much, with exclusive and powerful insight, can stifle the space for expression.
(Ramayana, Balakhanda, Canto 5, Sloka 5-7 )
“I ll worship Ram with this belief dat he was born in Ayodhya even if a mosque z built there. Fr me d decree of court z immaterial, whatsoever. My Ram is God until he sticks 2 righteousness. I hv questioned Ram fr his actions, praised him fr his greatness. My faith z nt bound by d decision of any court n I m prepared 2 question any court of dis land fr its mistakes. No court has d (moral) authority 2 decide on my faith.”
This was the status I wrote on my Facebook (FB) a day after the Ram Janmbhoomi Babri Masjid Judgment was passed. I have some friends who feel very strongly about every single issue. Those friends would read everything from their ‘strong perspective’. I was not sure if I should give such a status, even if I felt so. But then I wanted to say it. Finally, it proved to be a learning experience in many ways.
Some of my FB friends avoided saying anything (the avoiders include those who would have done it deliberately). Others said (but didn’t comment on the FB) that it suggests me being a pro-Hindu. Does it? May be. Some simply liked my status, while a few wanted to know what I meant. But there were also some who felt that I am anti-Muslim!!! Oh, really???
Two comments came from foreigners as well: One from a Brazilian working for BBC Latin Service and another from an Australian artist.
The Brazilian wrote: “I agree. It is immaterial where a god is born. What is important is the good that comes from the god.”
The Australian said, “God has many names, but really, to do good is all that matters. A person who has no belief, as long as he/she does good deeds, acts with kindness and not self-interest, is a person who is godly.”
One more comment by the Brazilian in response to one another post-Ayodhya Judgment status read: “it is a good chance for religions to learn to live together…”
The three comments give a perspective about how those who see Ayodhya without being related to it in any way think. Excuse me if I understood more than they wrote. One thing I am sure though. Both the Brazilian and Australian read, what was there in the words. They didn’t draw many conclusions. At least not on religious lines. Probably, they read it with a sense of Unity of God. With whatever conceptions they have, their comment took me closer to the spirit of my own words.
We in India either become too much assertive about our beliefs or do not hold any. One belief or say word that is a constant companion of Indian political rhetoric is ‘Secularism’. I am worried if secularism should mean, us being apologetic about our religious beliefs and unassertive about our convictions or the vice versa. But having followed Ram Mandir Movement for quite some time, I can say that we often read too much.
We would do well, probably, to just believe and give space for other’s belief.