Apropos ” Ram Janma Bhoomi…” by Shri BL Saraf” (DE 29-4-2019). This ‘middle’ write up reads like a beautiful piece of literary prose, with memorable and soul stirring quotations from politicians like the French president Macron and one of the greatest French writers Victor Hugo. Notre Dame Cathedral, the epitome of French art and architecture was a thousand years old monument. Its accidental razing sent ripples of grief and shock across Europe and heritage lovers vowed to rebuild it. On the other hand, the Ram Janma Bhumi temple stood intact till it was brought down by a bigot Mughal king in the 16th century. Some later Mughal kings may have realized the futility of vandalism to temples and other Indian icons and tried to correct the course. That shall remain a subject of research and query. But it is a shame to see that some of us today should have let themselves be subjected to bigotry and suspicion and put the grand landmark of Indian ethos, heritage and civilization to question. Reasonably enough,the millennia old Janmabhumi temple would have been the last existing memorial of a series of such memorials after Lord Ram’s descendants ruled Ayodhya. It surely came up at least a thousand years before demolition at the exact place where king Dashrath’s palace stood. We can surmise on its ancientness by analogy by looking at some old south Indian temples like Meenakshi or those built by Indian architects in Thailand and Indonesia preserved by UNO as marks of World heritage.
Saraf’s write up stirs our imagination and invites us to see this issue in the light of history, civilisation and culture. He strikes a note of hope at the end: ” Can we see a silver lining in the Notre Dame tragedy that may help us see restoration of Ram Janmabhumi temple.”
R. L. Shant
M-201, Royal Palms Apptts
Akhnoor Road, Jammu.