During my Schooling years in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Gonda UP, there used to a large number of pamphlets hanging on the walls of the classroom with noble quotes. One the famous quote from Rig Veda, I used to see everyday notably “आ नो भद्रा: क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत:” or “Let the noble thoughts come from every side”. Then, being ignorant with zero understanding of philosophy along with real disdain for Sanskrit, I was in the rat race for full marks in mathematics and science. I had taken these verses as a pinch of salt. The above quote will sound like classical music in a liberal mind. This statement is from Rig Veda, which professes to accept all sort of point of view. Just like the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, ended the fight for ethnicity within the erstwhile Holy Roman Empire with the establishment of sovereign boundary, the battle of ten kings in Rig Veda was the earliest Westphalian treaty in that sense, as it accepted all point of view, with such kind of statement. Under this type of enlightened thought, India has seen the growth of different Sampraday. Inter alia we had seen the emergence of Jainism, Buddhism, and Ajivika Sampraday. These Sampradayas in their own right have contributed immensely towards India’s Philosophical growth. For example, The Anekantvada Philosophy of Jainism and Shunyata of Buddhism is more than relevant in modern time.
The advent of the Islamic Invasion in North-West India around 7th Century CE and its quest for expansion using sword created a unique challenge for the above philosophical foundation. Islamic hatred for idol worship and perpetual quest for iconoclasm lead to the destruction of many ancient temples. The earliest of them was Sun Temple of Multan as traced in detail account by noted historian Meenakshi Jain in her Book “flight of Deities and Rebirth of Temples: Episodes from Indian History”. This lead to reinventing of the philosophical foundation under Shankaracharya with the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Under prevailing circumstances, King Payashi in his famous Payashisukta experimented to check the existence of the soul in order to reconcile the difference between Sunyata and Atamana(which is core to Advaita darshan). This type of debate and discussion with empirical focus marked the further growth of these philosophies. This brought out the foundational monism of existing darshans to challenge the Islamic criticism of Polytheism. As pointed out by Girilal Jain in his seminal work “Hindu Phenomena”, the institutionalized mechanism from Mughal Court to convert people and almost no support to scholar had harmed immensely the growth of these philosophies. As it is conspicuous from example, one of the highest learning centres of Shaivism decimated under Sikandar Butshikan in Kashmir. Then came the response of the Bhakti Movement, which was not the Ganga-Jamuni Tahjeeb or Syncretic Culture celebration as outlined by Court historian. It was challenging to Sufism, which is very violent at its foundational level. The Bhakti Movement used the tool of singing and dance to attract common people towards devotion since it was difficult for the common people to understand dense philosophies like Advaita.
Then came the East India Company, Being a looting enterprise, it was not interested in the conversion of people, although it had allowed missionaries activities in 1813, except for sporadic incident there was never an institutional mechanism to convert people. Under Christian rule(Constitutionally, Britain is a Christian state, not a secular state), we had seen the emergence of enlightened souls like Swami Paramahansa, his disciple Swami Vivekananda, Raman Maharishi and Shri Aurobindo few to mention, who has shown a new path to these philosophies. But, These sets of events raises the hard question, as these giants were born out of Shunya or null? No, there were inspired by a set of traditions and rituals preserved at that time? But where do these traditions were preserved? These traditions had been preserved in temples since the Gupta time.
The Republic of India came into being in 1947, had made Himalayan Blunder by incorporating Article 25–30 in the Indian Constitution. These Articles have been the epitome of systematic discrimination against the majority community in order to preserve the so-called minority right as perceived in Vienna Congress of 1814–15. So, as I am insinuating these articles of discrimination, what are the issues with these articles? Article 30, provides explicit rights to minorities in education and religious matter whereas these rights are not available to the majority community. Sounds bizarre? This is the secularism of India for you. For example, Christian college in Delhi has 50% seats reserved for Christians, despite by almost fully funded by the Indian Government. Moreover, Under the Right to Education Act, Minority community institutions need not reserve 25% of their seats for the economically weaker section. Shri Ramkrishna Mission has to disprove itself in a court of law, that it is not a Hindu community institution to avoid the wrath of Article 26. Further, When JL Nehru was diluting the Right to property using the 1st and 7th Constitutional Amendments. India was losing its liberal democracy credential often preposterously put nowadays in the so-called liberal press of the west. Because as written by John Lock, “human natural rights(includes life, liberty and property) are so sacrosanct that no commonwealth can override it”. The Constitution (Forty-Fourth Amendment) Act 1978, abolished Articles 19(1)(f) and 31 and inserted Article 300A into a new chapter IV of Part XII of the Constitution, thereby depriving it of its ‘fundamental right’ status. Article 300 A provides, ‘No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law’. Following the Forty-Fourth Amendment, there is no express provision requiring the State to pay compensation to an expropriated owner except as provided in Article 30(1A) and the second proviso to Article 31A(1). Article 30(1A) provides for the payment of compensation when the property of a minority institution has been acquired. Notably. If Government acquires the land of the Temple, it is not mandated by the constitution to paying compensation contrary in the case of minority institution’s land.
Now, we came to the core of the thesis as far as this essay is concerned. Since, Establishment of the Republic, the Institution of Hindu Mandir are managed by Government, whereas, Waqf land, Church land, and Gurdwara land are managed by respective communities. The temples are used as a point of social reform & political mobilization by all political parties. The So-called Hindutva Party is foremost in this business without understanding that Mandirs are adobe of devas/devis post consecration. It is the adobe of the deity and he is a juristic person under the Indian Constitution. it is ironic, that in Ayodhya Verdict SC held that a Deity is a juristic person whereas devasthana is not a juristic person. The English-educated Judges don’t know a single word of Sthalpuran and the ritual behind the establishment of devasthan. They are using the lens of Anglo-Saxon law to interpret the legality of Devasthal & often apply principles of unfettered equality as seen in Sabrimala Case, where Justice Chandrachurna held that debarring women’s entry into the temple amounts to Untouchability. This is a travesty of justice. The Big government has consistently failed to provide essential services like the Rule of Law. The weak and pervasive government is very much interested in doing unnecessary work of managing the temple, where English-educated government officials are doing social reform by perpetually interfering in temple ritual activities alongside siphoning off temple money. The State has left no money at the majority community disposal so that it can propagate and invest in the development of new philosophical values. The allurement, attractive Christian education, and hospital are factories of conversion, consistently used despite Right to Convert is illegal in India as held by Supreme Court in Stanislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh. The majority community despite owning the richest religious institution in the world has no resources to built educational institutions, health facilities, establish gurukuls for Sanskrit education and produce the next round of literature for philosophical growth. The Big Government and established bureaucracy have long pledged to decimate the one of ancient culture, it is breathing its last and soon its death will be fait accompli. The aggressive Islam and proselytizing Christianity could very well declare their victory and we would say — “Niyat me yahi tha”.