मजहब का अपमान बनाम अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतन्त्रता

August 13, 2020

रोहित धनकर

सामाजिक माध्यमों पर दर्जनों पोस्ट्स हैं जिन में कृष्ण को बलात्कारी और व्यभिचारी कहा गया है। कई पोस्ट्स हैं जिन में राम को मर्यादा पुरोषोत्तम कहे जाने पर सवाल उठाए गए हैं कि अपनी गर्भवती पत्नी को जंगल में छोड़ देना कैसी मर्यादा है? हिन्दू देवी-देवताओं की तस्वीरें हैं जिन में उन्हें विभिन्न मुद्राओं में दिखाया गया है जो उनके भक्तों को अपमान जनक लग सकती हैं। इन सब पर गाली-गलोच होता है, धमकियाँ दी जाती है। और यह ऐसा करने वालों की मूढ़ता और बदतमीजी है। पर कभी किसी ने कोई दंगा किया हो मुझे याद नहीं पड़ता। पिछले कई वर्षों में जो दो-तीन घटनाएँ याद आरही हैं वे जुलूश निकालने, आंदोलन करने या न्यायालय में मुकदमा करने की हैं। हुसैन की सरस्वती पर उनकी एक प्रदर्शनी में तोड़-फोड़ की गई थी, जो की हिंसक घटना थी, पर वह भी लोगों के घर जलाने और पुलिस पर हमले की घटना नहीं थी।

जो तीन घटनाएँ मुझे अभी याद आरही हैं उन सब में ऐतराज अनुचित था। हुसैन के सरस्वती के चित्र पर बखेड़ा करना अभिव्यक्ती की स्वतन्त्रता पर हमला था। इसी तरह वेंडी डोनिगर कि पुस्तक पर मुकदमा करना भी अकादमिक स्वतन्त्रता पर हमला था। दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय के कोर्स में से रामायण पर लेख को हटाने के लिए सड़कों पर निकाल आना भी अकादमिक स्वतन्त्रता पर सफल हमला था। पर इन में से किसी ने भी दंगे की शक्ल नहीं ली। किसी की हत्या नहीं हुई। किसी का घर नहीं जलाया गया, किसी पुलिस चौकी पर हमला नहीं हुआ। ये सारे विरोध गलत थे। इन में हुसैन को सारे समझदार भारतीयों का समर्थन मिला, सभाएं हुई और उन पर हमले की सभाओं और लेखों में घोर निंदा हुई, जो उचित थी। डोनिगर पर मुकदमे की भी निंदा हुई, और वह किताब भारत में अभी भी उपलब्ध है। दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय ने रामायण पर लेख को कोर्स से हटा दिया, यह दुखद, गलत और हुड़दंग करने वाली भीड़ के सामने घुटने टेकना था। और इस को अभी भी असहिष्णुता के सामने आत्मसमर्पण माना जाता है, जो कि सही है।

साफ भाषा में बात करें तो ये तीनों उदाहरण हिन्दू-अतिवादियों के हम सब की चिंतन और अभिव्यक्ती की स्वतन्त्रता पर हमले थे। और इन्हें यही कहा गया, इन्हें यही समझा जाता है। उनकी भावनाओं के लिए किसी प्रकार की नरम भाषा का उपयोग ना तो किया गया, ना ही वह उचित होता।

पर यदि हम भारत में ऐसे ही हमले मुस्लिम-अतिवादियों की तरफ से देखें तो उनकी संख्या और प्रकृती बहुत भिन्न पाएंगे। 29 नवम्बर 2015 को मराठी समाचार पत्र लोकमत ने इस्लामिक-राज्य (ISIS) को पैसा कहाँ से मिलता है इस विषय पर एक लेख छापा। लेख में एक कार्टून भी था। जिस में आम तौर पर ‘पिग्गी-बैंक’ (गुल्लक) कहे जाने वाले चित्र पर “अल्लाह हु अकबर” लिखा हुआ था[1], जो इस्लामिक-राज्य के झंडे पर लिखा नारा है। दूसरे दिन ही लोकमत के कार्यालय में मुस्लिम-अतिवादी भीड़ ने तोड़-फोड़ की और लोकमत ने माफी मांगी। इस्लाम का अनादर करने के लिए। इस्लाम का अनदार आईएसआईएस के झंडे पर यही नारा लिखने पर नहीं हुआ, इस नारे के साथ लोगों के विडियो पर गला काटने से नहीं हुआ, पर लोकमत के लेख से हो गया।

उत्तर प्रदेश के एक राजनीतिज्ञ आजम खान ने संघ के सदस्यों को समलैंगिक कहा। जवाब में कमलेश तिवारी नाम के एक व्यक्ती ने मुहम्मद को समलैंगिक कह दिया। इस के विरोध में मुसलमानों की सभाएं हुई, उस को मारने वाले को 51 लाख रुपये इनाम में देने की घोषणा हुई। उसे गिरफ्तार कर लिए गया। बाद में उसके छूटने के बाद उसकी हत्या हो गई।

ऐसी कई घटनाएँ भारत की हैं। अद्यतन घटना 11 अगस्त 2020 को बंगलोर में लोगों के घर जलाने की, पुलिस चौकी जलाने की और बहुत से वाहन जलाने की है। कहा यह जा रहा है कि बंगलोर के एक विधायक के रिश्तेदार पी नवीन ने इस्लाम का अपमान करने वाली तस्वीर  फ़ेसबुक पर पोस्ट की। इस से भड़क कर मुस्लिम भीड़ ने दंगा किया। पर यह कहानी धुरी है। इसका एक दूसरा रूप यह भी है की पहले एक मुस्लिम ने सामाजिक मीडिया पर किसी हिन्दू देवता का अपमान करने वाली सामाग्री पोस्ट की, इस के जवाब में नवीन ने अपनी पोस्ट की। जिसके कारण दंगे हुए।

इस बात को ठीक से समझने के लिए हमें इन दोनों पोस्ट्स की विषय-वस्तु पर विचार करना होगा। संचार माध्यमों की नीती यह है की इस तरह की पोस्ट्स की विषय-वस्तु नहीं बताई जाती, सिर्फ उस का मूल्यांकन की वह अपमान जनक थी, बताया जाता है। शायद यह नीति ठीक भी है। पर इस की समस्या यह है कि लोगों को पता नहीं चलता कैसी सामाग्री को अपमान जनक माना जा रहा है। और यह जान-बूझ कर लोगों को अंधेरे में रखना उनके स्वायत्त निर्णय का अपहरण होता है। क्या छपना उपायुक्त है और क्या नहीं का निर्णय या तो भीड़ करती है या संचार माध्यम। अतः, इन की विषयवस्तु पर कुछ विचार जरूरी है।

मैंने ऊपर कहा कि कृष्ण को बलात्कारी कहने वाली दर्जनों पोस्ट्स सामाजिक माध्यमों पर हैं। बहुत सी तो अभी इसी महीने की हैं। पर इस पूरी घटना की दूसरी कहानी का दावा यह है कि नवीन ने जिस पोस्ट के जवाब में एक तस्वीर पोस्ट की वह लक्ष्मी पर थी। मेरे पास जो जानकारी है उसके अनुसार किसी बसीर नाम के व्यक्ती के लक्ष्मी की स्तुति में गाये जाने वाले कन्नड़ के एक लोकप्रिय भजन की अपनी दो पंक्तियों की परोडी पोस्ट की। इस में लक्ष्मी को बहुत वासना की दृष्टि से देखा जा रहा है और उसकी छातियों का जिक्र है।

नवीन ने इसके जवाब में जो पोस्ट की वह तस्वीर इंटरनेट पर उपलब्ध है। उसने खुद नहीं बनाई। उस में इस बात का जिक्र है की मुहम्मद की शादी 51 वर्ष की उम्र में 6 वर्ष की आएशा के साथ हुई। और फिर दो हदीस और तीन कुरान की आयतों के संदर्भ हैं। पहली हदीस आईशा और मुहम्मद के साथ नहाने के बारे में है। और जो कुछ भी पोस्ट में कहा गया है वह आधिकारिक हदीस की किताबों के अनुसार सही है। दूसरी हदीस मुहम्मद के आयशा के साथ दाम्पत्य संबंध बनाने की उम्र और उस वक्त मुहम्मद की उम्र के बारे में है। यह भी किताबों के अनुसार सही है।

कुरान का पहला संदर्भ आयात 65:4 का है। इस में जिस बात की तरफ पोस्ट में इशारा है वह लड़कियों की महवारी शुरू होने से पहले उन से दाम्पत्य संबंध बनाने, शादी, और तलाक के संबंध में है। जो की कथित आयात के अनुशार सही है। कुरान का दूसरा और तीसरा संदर्भ मुहम्मद को आदर्श व्यक्ती मानने के बारे में है, जो की आयात 86:4 और 33:21 से है। दोनों संदर्भ कुरान के अनुसार सही हैं।

अर्थात नवीन की पोस्ट में हदीस और कुरान के सारे संदर्भ आधिकारिक पुस्तकों के अनुसार सही हैं। पोस्ट उसकी बनाई हुई नहीं है। यह इंटरनेट पर आराम से उपलब्ध है। फिर इस में इस्लाम या मुहम्मद के लिए अपमान जनक क्या है? पर कुछ है। उसे भी ठीक से समझने की जरूरत है।

एक, यह पोस्ट जान बूझ कर मुहम्मद और इस्लाम की कमियों को दिखाने के लिए, उन्हें नीचा दिखाने के लिए बनाई गई है। हदीस और आयतें इसी उद्देश्य से चुनी गई हैं। हालांकी वे सब उद्धरण सही हैं। सवाल यह है कि क्या किसी धर्म की आलोचना के लिए उसकी खराबी बताने वाले उसी के धर्म-शास्त्रों के उदाहरण देना अभिव्यक्ती की स्वतन्त्रता का दुरुपयोग है?

दो, पर इस पोस्ट में मुहम्मद के अनुयायियों को बुरी लगाने वाली बातें और भी हैं। इस में अल्पवयष्क लड़की से दाम्पत्य सम्बन्ध बनाने को बलात्कार कहा गया है। यह शब्द हदीस में नहीं है, पर इस प्रकार के संबंध को भारतीय कानून के अनुसार और आज-कल के विमर्श में बलात्कार ही कहा जाता है। क्या हदीस को आज के विमर्श की भाषा में देखना-दिखाना गलत है?

तीन, इस में एक तस्वीर भी है, जिस में मुहम्मद और आयशा को दिखाया गया है। तस्वीर अपने आप में अश्लील नहीं है। पर मुहम्मद की तस्वीर बनाने पर तो कई हत्याएं हो चुकी हैं? सवाल यह है कि क्या आज के जमाने में, आप मुहम्मद का गुणगान तो खूब कर सकते हैं, पर कोई उसे तस्वीर के माध्यम से दिखाये तो आप उस पर अपनी संहिता थोप सकते हैं? क्या यह दूसरों की अभिव्यक्ती की स्वतन्त्रता पर हमला नहीं है?

नवीन गिरफ्तार है। क्या यह उसकी अभिव्यक्ती की स्वतन्त्रता का हनन नहीं है? बसीर का कोई अतापता नहीं है। कृष्ण को बलात्कारी कहने वाली पोस्ट्स के बारे में कोई शिकायत या गिरफ्तारी नहीं है। क्या यह नवीन जैसों के जवाब देने के हक को छीनना नहीं है? क्या नवीन पुलिस से छूट जाने के बाद सुरक्षित है? या उसका भी वही हस्र होगा जो कमलेश तिवारी का हुआ?

आज के महोल में बहुत लोगों को यह लेख सांप्रदायिक और इस्लाम विरोधी लगेगा। कुछ उधार की भाषा वाले इसे हिंदुत्ववादी और फासिस्ट भी कह सकते हैं। ये सब तो उनके चुनाव हैं, जिन से मुझे कुछ खास लेना-देना नहीं। पर जो समझना चाहते हैं बात को, उनके लिए थोड़ा समय इस बात पर लगाने की जरूरत है कि इन जानी पहचानी बातों पर मैंने इतना समय क्यों लगाया? मैं अपने कारण नीचे लिख रहा हूँ।

एक तो मैं ऐसा मानता हूँ कि भारत में शांति-समृद्धि और हर प्रकार का विकास तभी संभव है जब यह देश एक बहुलतावादी, पंथ-निरपेक्ष लोकतन्त्र रहे। इस के बिना यहाँ शांति-समृद्धि और विकास संभव नहीं है।

दो, आज कुछ लोगों की ना समझी के चलते मजहबी-पहचान की राजनीति (politics of religious identity) इतनी प्रबल हो गई है कि अब मजहब राजनैतिक विचारधाराएँ (political ideologies) बन चुके हैं। उनमें न कोई आध्यात्म (यदि कभी था भी तो) बचा है न सत्ता से दूरी। वे सब अब सामाजिक और राजनैतिक सत्ता के खेल में खुल कर खेल रहे हैं।

तीन, लोकतन्त्र में राजनैतिक विचारधाराओं में बहस, टकराव, एक-दूसरे की आलोचना, उनकी मान्यताओं पर आक्रमण, व्यंग, कटाक्ष, अपमानजनक टिप्पणियाँ, और हर प्रकार के शब्द-बाण चलाने जरूरी हैं। यह लोकतान्त्रिक विमर्श के, लोगों को विचार के आधार पर, मान्यताओं के आधार पर, अपनी तरफ मिलाने और विरोधी से दूर करने के तरीके हैं। इस की जद में उन चिचार धाराओं की मान्यताएँ, उनके प्रणेता, उनके रहनुमा और नेता; सभी आते हैं। यह लोकतान्त्रिक बहस की प्रकृति है। इस में किसी खास विचारधारा (ideology) को विशेष संरक्षण देना दूसरों के साथ गैर-बराबरी और अन्याय है। क्यों की सभी मजहब सत्ता के खेल में कूद कर अब अपने आप को राजनैतिक विचारधारा बना चुके हैं, अतः उनको कोई विशेष संरक्षण देने से बाकी पंथ-निरपेक्ष विचारधाराओं के प्रती अन्याय होगा। अतः अब सारे मजहब, उनके प्रणेता, अवतार, देवता, नबी, पैगंबर, ईश्वर और ईश्वर-पुत्र कटाक्षों, व्यंगों और शब्द-बाणों की जद में आने जरूरी हैं। क्यों की वे अब मजहब कम और राजनैतिक विचारधाराएँ अधिक हैं। उन्हें किसी प्रकार का संरक्षण देना पंथ-निरपेक्षता की हत्या होगा। जो हम करने में लगे हुए हैं।

ऐसी स्थिती में आप यह नहीं कर सकते की किसी एक पंथ या पंथों के समूह के देविदेवताओं, महापुरुषों और गुरुओं की छेछालेदार और कटाक्षों की तो छूट है, पर अन्यों के मजहबी विचारों और प्रतीकों पर ऐसे ही कटाक्षों की छूट नहीं है। यह भी नहीं कहा सकते कि पंथ-निरपेक्ष राजनैतिक विचारधाराओं के ग्रन्थों और प्रणेताओं की तो आलोचना कर सकते हैं, पर मजहब चलाने वालों और उनके ग्रन्थों की नहीं।

हाल में देखिये किस तरह की सामान्य बातों को लेकर हास्य-अभिनेताओं और अन्य लोगों के साथ गाली गलोच हुआ है। अल्लाह, मुहम्मद और कुरान पर तो आप कभी सवाल उठा ही नहीं सकते थे, अब तो राम, कृष्ण, रामायण और महाभारत जैसे मिथकों (जो कि ठीक से धर्म-ग्रंथ भी नहीं हैं) पर भी सवाल नहीं उठा सकते। यह ठीक है की अभी तक तगड़ी हिंसा, आग-जनी और हत्याएं इन पर टिप्पणियों के कारण नहीं हुई हैं। पर जिस तरह की अभद्र और ऊग्र भाषा का उपयोग होता है वह बस उस से एक कदम ही दूर है। यदि समाज इस्लाम से संबन्धित मजहबी टिप्पणियों पर हुई हिंसा को हल्के से लेगा, यदि इस हिंसा को ‘भड़काऊ टिप्पणी के कारण हुई, लेकिन गलत हुई’ की नरम भाषा में वर्णित करेगा, साथ ही औचित्य लगाने वाला स्पष्टीकरण भी देगा; तो ऐसा ही दूसरी तरफ से भी यही होने लगेगा। इसे आप नहीं रोक पाएंगे। इसे रोकना है तो आप को इस्लाम की मुहम्मद की हर आलोचना पर मार देने की धमकी की भी उतनी ही कड़ी आलोचना करनी होगी जितनी दूसरे पंथों की असहिष्णुता की करते हैं। अब आपको नेहरू, गांधी, राम, कृष्ण, माओ, मार्क्स, मुहम्मद, आदि सब को एक तराजू में तोलना पड़ेगा।

समाज इंटरनेट और सामाजिक-माध्यमों के जमाने में उन पर क्या लिखा और पोस्ट किया जाएगा इस पर बंदिश चाह कर भी नहीं लगा सकता। इन माध्यमों तक संयमित, विवेकशील लोगों की पहुँच है; तो मूर्ख, कम जाननेवाले और यहाँ तक की बदतमीज धूर्तों की भी है। इसे आप नियंत्रित कर सकते हैं कुछ हद तक, पर सामाजिक-संचार माध्यमों पर विभिन्न टिप्पणियों को नहीं रोक पाएंगे। क्यों की इन पर पोस्ट करने से पहले अनुमति नहीं लेनी पड़ती, हटाने के लिए मेहनत और शिकायतें करनी पड़ती हैं। जब तक आप ये सब करेंगे तब तक नुकसान ही चुका होगा। साथ ही यहाँ पहचान छुपाने की सुविधा भी है। यह कुछ भी इन माध्यमों पर प्रसारित करने की सुविधा देती है। और ये माध्यम सब को उपलब्ध हैं।

मेरे विचार से बसीर ने लक्ष्मी पर अपनी वसना की अभिव्यक्ती करके केवल अपने मन का मैल बिखेरा है। इस से न तो लक्ष्मी को कुछ फर्क पड़ा, ना ही उसके भक्तों को पड़ना चाहिए। इसी तरह से कृष्ण को बलात्कारी कहने वाला अपने देखने का नजरिया बता रहा है, या जान बूझ कर गाली-गलोच कर रहा है। और जहां तक मुहम्मद और इस्लाम पर कटाक्षों के लिए इस्लामिक ग्रन्थों से ही उद्धरण देने का सवाल है वह तो कोई बात ही नहीं है। जिन्हें राम की शंबूक बध पर आलोचना बुरी लगती है, वे रामायण से शंबूक बध निकाल दें। इसी प्रकार जिन्हें मुहम्मद के एक नौ वर्ष की बालिका से दाम्पत्य संबंद की आलोचना बुरी लगती है वे ऐसी सब हदीसों को निकाल दें जिन से इसकी पुष्टी होती है। जब तक ये संदर्भ रहेंगे लोग इन पर बोलेंगे।

इस समस्या का इलाज कमलेश और नवीन जैसों की गिरफ्तारी में नहीं है। इस का इलाज रुशदी और तसलीमा की जुबान बंद करना नहीं है। इस का इलाज किसी विश्वविद्यालय के कोर्स में से रामायण पर लेख निकाल देना नहीं है। इस का इलाज इन सब को आलोचना की छूट देना, और इन पर आक्रमण करने वालों को यह बताना है कि दूसरों के विचारों और उन की अभिव्यक्ति को हिंसा और डर से दबाने का उनका कोई हक नहीं है। अब सभी धर्मों को शब्द-बाणों और हर प्रकार की आलोचना के दायरे में लाने का समय है, इन को बचाने का नहीं।

एक बात यह कही जाती है कि मजहबों की आलोचना करो ही मत, सभी उनका आदर करें, शालीन भाषा का उपयोग करें। यह अच्छी बात है, सब को शालीन रहना चाहिए। यह सभ्य समाज में अच्छा सामाजिक मूल्य है। पर इसे कानून बना कर बल से लागू नहीं किया जा सकता। बल से लागू करना लोगों की विचार करने की आजादी छीनता है। किसी को यदी गीतगोविंद में कोई अध्यात्म नहीं बल्कि रति-क्रीड़ा ही नजर आती है, तो आप उसे मूर्ख कह कर चुप नहीं करवा सकते। उसे अपनी बात कहने का हक है। इसी तरह से यदि किसी को काबा की सब मूर्तियाँ तोड़ना धर्मांधता, असहिष्णुता और हिंसा लगती है तो उसे भी कहने का हक है। मैंने ऊपर कहा है कि सभी मजहब राजनैतिक विचारधाराएँ बन चुके हैं। यदि वे सत्ता के खेल से दूर रहते, तो शायद कुछ हद तक उनकी कठोर आलोचना से बचा जा सकता था। पर अब उन को संरक्षण देना उनकी असहिष्णुता से डर कर पंथ-निरपेक्षता को कमजोर करना होगा।

******

13 अगस्त 2020

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.newslaundry.com/2015/11/30/lokmat-having-to-apologise-for-a-cartoon-on-isis-shows-the-sorry-state-of-press-freedom-in-india


Mandir-Masjid 3: Kashi-Mathura

August 11, 2020

Rohit Dhankar

[Continues from 10th August 2020]

The BJP and RSS officially have not said that Gyanvyapi Mosque next to Kashi Vishwanath and Idgah next to Krishna Janmbhumi in Mathura should be given back to Hindus. But according to Times Now a “Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa said that since the movement behind the creation of a Ram temple had fructified, it was about time that people come together to liberate the holy cities of Kashi and Mathura”. The very language of “liberating” “holy cities” is misleading, emotive, and acrimonious, as if the whole cities are occupied by some alien forces and need liberation. In another news item according to IANS “Kashi, Mathura Our Next Focus” says the Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad. Earlier even BJP leader Vinay Katiyar had said that mobilization for building temples in Kashi and Mathura will gather momentum once Ram Mandir is completed. In June, a Hindu body had moved the Supreme Court of India and challenged a provision in the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, to “reclaim” land that belonged to Hindus. And if OpIndia is to be believed “Krishna Janmabhoomi Nirman Nyas” is set up in Mathura, with 80 sadhus from 14 states named as members. These are enough indicators that once the movement becomes acceptable to the Hindu population the RSS and BJP will officially jump on the bandwagon. Actually, they might be testing the waters by keeping officially aloof but allowing their supporters to initiate these divisive efforts.

These are threats to Muslims issues from time to time by various elements connected with the Sangh Parivar. These are deliberate and nefarious attempts to keep medieval wounds of atrocities open.

This country is a constitutional democracy and not some medieval kingdom under some bigoted despot. The country has an Act called “The Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991”. The purpose of the act is stated as “to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August, 1947, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” It further states that “It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.” The act was constitutionally passed in the parliament.

Clearly in the light of the constitution and this act the political leaders like Vinay Katiyar and so-called sadhus like the members of Karishan Janmbhumi Nirman Nyas are acting against the constitution. They want to undo history, which is a foolish attempt. You cannot undo past events; all you can do is commit another atrocity in retaliation of some earlier atrocity. And that does not ‘undo’ the earlier atrocity, rather it adds one more to the record of history. This helps only in keeping the gullible public in the state of revengeful state of mind. Which helps no one, and harms all.

The AIMPLB has the backing of theological principles of Islam in proclaiming ‘once a mosque, always a mosque’ and sizable part of the Muslim population; what do these Hindus who want to take up the issues of Kashi and Mathura have? As far as I know there is no statement in Hindu shastras that says that “once a temple always a temple”. Therefore, they have no theological ground for the demand. However, Muslim insistence of ‘once a mosque, always a mosque’ may provide them with a similar rationale; ‘once a temple, always a temple’. Presently, however, it seems they assume a backing of sizable Hindu population, if not immediately then in future as a result of their campaign. They dream of the majority bending the constitutional provisions through its demands; and that certainly is belligerent majoritarianism.

History should be understood, and we should learn from it; but it cannot be undone. The demand for handing over Kashi Gyanvapi Masjid and Idgah in Mathura next to supposed to be Krishna Janmbhumi is unjust and infectious. There are no chances of any government or court or Muslims accepting such demands. Neither is it a just demand in a democracy. Supposing that it is accepted it will certainly fuel dozens, if not hundreds, such further demands. It exhibits a medieval mindset where injustices and violence done centuries back is sought to be redressed through similar barbaric acts today. We became a modern democratic nation when accepted the constitution, which promises equality, freedom, justice and dignity to all citizens. Muslims are as good Indian citizens as Hindus in this respect, and their rights are as important as those of Hindus. In acceptance of the constitution it is implied that India is as it was on 15th August 1947. Yes, this new India was built on the thousands of years old civilization, culture and religion. But is also is a democracy which was never before. This old culture is capable of accepting a democratic polity and further developing it.  But is it not a monocultural theological state. It is a multicultural, multireligious society and secular state. What we have today is brought about by a complex historical process. It is not open to us to undo that process and create India in the image of some ancient ideals, as understood by some people living in the past, be they imaginary or real.

The statements of many leaders who demand Kashi and Mathura sites also support Hindu Rashtra. It is certain that any kind of theocratic state would be a retrograde step. All theocratic states take away citizens’ freedom of thought, expression and right to shape their own lives as they like. Theocracies impose on people their vision of good lives. Examples of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are clear enough. I don’t think Indians want India to turn into a Pakistan.

Demand for Kashi-Mathura then is not a simple demand of taking back some temple land. It is an attempt to change the political character of the country, it is to say ‘no’ to democracy and rule of law.

But the real issue is: why sizable numbers in the two communities harbor suspicion and animosity towards each other? Unless we understand the causes and reasons behind this acrimony, we will not be able to find the right solution.

Concluded.

*****

11th August 2020

 

 


Mandir-Masjid 2: AIMPLB response

August 10, 2020

Rohit Dhankar

[In continuation from 9th August 2020]

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s statement on this occasion is an important indicator of thinking of many Muslims, I am not saying all, but very many. Similar statements from Owaisi (a popular Muslim politician), Maulana Madani, (a widely respected Muslim scholar) and Maulana Sajid Rashisi (a TV personality and President of All India Imam Association) show that the AIMPLB statement has a very wide support in the Muslim community. And many of the readers of this blog will not agree with me but the AIMPLB’s statement is a statement of Islamic supremacy, is a direct threat to Indian democracy and secularism, and to Hindus. (Please see the Appendix-1 for original Urdu Text, transcribed in Devanagari.)

To substantiate my above assessment of the AIMPLB statement we have to pay detailed attention to some portions of its text. I cannot read Urdu, therefore, am using here a transcription of the original text in Devanagari. Transcription is done by a friend, and may still have some typos, but I am sure does not change the purport and nuance of the document.

The statement undoubtedly threatens to destroy the yet unbuilt temple, convert India to Islam, declares Supreme Court judgment unjust and only tactically and grudgingly accepts the judgment. It has two threads of arguments which are intertwined in justifying these threats and declarations. One of these threads is purely theological and forms the basis of the whole declaration; the other one is about supposed to be unjust judgment of Supreme Court. Since the theological argument is the main argument and would have stood ground independent of criticism of SC judgment; I will deal first and in greater detail with the theological argument.

The theological justification of threat to destroy unbuilt Ram Mandir

The opening paragraph of the press release states the theological position clearly (rough translation, see the original in the Appendix-1): “Now that foundation of a temple is being laid down at the place of Babri Mosque, AIMPLB finds it necessary to reiterate its position (on the issue). In the light of Islamic Sharia, when a Mosque is built at any place it remains a Mosque till kayamat (the day of judgment and end of the world according to Islam). Therefore, Babri was a mosque yesterday, is a mosque today, and God willing will remain a mosque in future as well. By placing idols or starting pooja-path or banning namaaz for a long-time, status of a mosque cannot be altered.”

Note that it is an absolute (unconditional) theological statement. The validity of this statement does not depend on any court judgment or what was there before the mosque was built. It is a simple and plain ‘fact’ that ‘once a mosque, always a mosque’ irrespective of the status of the land earlier or subsequent court judgments. This is Sharia, as per the AIMPLB, pure and simple; and naked. We should thank AIMPLB for being so simple, direct, and candid on Sharia position.

The theological argument is strengthened and substantiated after a scathing critique of the SC judgment (which we will consider later in this article). It states: “… however dangerous the present situation maybe, we should not loose heart and keep trust in Allah. (We) should prepare (ourselves) to live in adverse conditions, situation does not remain the same for all times to come. The Allah has said in Quran Majid ‘व तलक अल्ल याम नदाव लहाबिनि अ‍ॅल बास. ( ये  तो ज़माने का  नशीब और फराज़ हैं जिन्हें हम लोगों के दरमयान गर्दिश देते रह्ते हैं).’ Therefore, neither do we need to be disheartened nor do we need to hide the situation. The Hagia Sophia of Istambul is a self-proclaiming picture of the truth of this ayat (Quranic verse). I appeal to the Muslims of India that they should not become at all sad-hearted (?) (दिल बर दाश्ते) due to the Supreme Court judgment and building of temple at the place of the Mosque. We should also remember that even the (Islamic) global centre of monotheism (Kaaba) was a centre of infidelity and idol-worship for a long time. After victory of the dear Nabi this became a centre of monotheism again. God willing, we have full hope that not only the Babri masjid, but this whole garden will be embellished with words of monotheism.”

We need to clearly understand three specific points in this long quote: 1. Full meaning of the quotation from the Quran, 2. Meaning of reference to Hagia Sophia, and 3. Meaning of reference to Kaaba.

The quoted portion figures in verse 3:140 in most editions, however in one Hindi translation it makes part of the verse 3:139. The literal translations of the quoted phrase use somewhat different words but the meaning remains the same. For example, The Noble Quran translates it as “And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns …”. Maulana Azad translates “We make these moments go round among men …”. Ibn Kathir translates “And so are the days, that WE give to men by turns …”. In all these and other translations the good and bad days are circulated among men by Allah. Presently we will see why he does that.

In Quran this is not a simple message of hope. It is much more than that, and that is why it relates so well with examples of Hagia Sophia and Kaaba. To grasp the full meaning of the phrase one must read carefully from verse 3:137 to 3:141.[1] This is Allah’s promise of victory of the believers on infidels and of complete destruction of non-believers. It is also Allah’s test of imaan of the believers and to ascertain their worthiness to enter the Jannat. Today the situation might be adverse, it says, but if the believers keep their faith, the Allah will “destroy the disbelievers” and believes will be victorious. Victorious in what? Well, victorious as in making Hagia Sophia a mosque and as cleansing Kaaba of idol worship; and in making the “whole garden” sing the song of Islamic monotheism.

Those who are interested in the history of Hagia Sophia can read in Britannica. In a nutshell it was built as a church in 6th century CE, Ahmed II turned it into a mosque on conquest of Constantinople, Kamal Pasha secularized it and made it a museum in 1935, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan turned it into a mosque again in August 2020. Captured Church to masque to museum to mosque, till kayamat.

About Kaaba, Britannica states that “The early history of the Kaaba is not well known, but it is certain that in the period before the rise of Islam it was a polytheist sanctuary and was a site of pilgrimage for people throughout the Arabian Peninsula.” Further “When Muhammad’s forces conquered Mecca in 630, he ordered the destruction of the pagan idols housed in the shrine and ordered it cleansed of all signs of polytheism.”[2] Thus the centre of Islamic monotheism was established on deliberate destruction of idols of disbelievers. And acts of Mohammad are ideals for Muslims, therefore, destruction of idols and conversion of others’ places of worship into mosques is legitimised by the prophet himself.

One should keep in mind the history of the above mentioned two shrines while reading the position of Sharia as understood by AIMPLB. It says: “[I]n the light of Islamic Sharia, when a Mosque is built at any place it remains a Mosque till kayamat (the day of judgment and end of the world according to Islam).”

It does not require much analysis to note that, as per these statements:

  1. Islam has the right to convert a church (Hagia Sophia) and a place of polytheistic idol worship (Kaaba) into an Islamic place of worship.
  2. Once such a place is turned into a mosque, it will always remain a mosque; thus, others have no right to turn a mosque into anything else.

This is as strong a statement of Islamic supremacy as they come, which is being issued boldly by Islamic scholars and prominent Muslims. Mr. Owaisi says the same thing in somewhat muted tones. Maulana Madani states it absolutely clearly. Maulana Sajid Rashidi says the same thing. And many more maulanas and common Muslims say the same thing.

The press release of AIMPLB is not content with its future plan to turn yet unbuilt temple into a mosque again; it says “God willing, we have full hope that not only the Babri masjid, but this whole garden will be embellished with words of monotheism.” This whole ‘garden’ of India will be embellished with the Islamic monotheism. This comes on the strength of the quotation from the Quran. In most tafsirs the quote is explained with reference to the battle of Badr in which disbelievers suffered, and battle of Uhud in which believers suffered. The destruction of disbelievers is no metaphorical spiritual victory, it is very much the kind of destruction which is wrought by battles.

The Supreme Court judgement

My views on the judgement can be read in my blog of 18th November 2019. I still think that the Muslims had as good a possession on the Mosque building as the Hindus had on the outer part within the compound wall. Muslim possession also included the right of way through the part occupied by the Hindus. Thus, considering Hindu possession as “exclusive” and continuous and not accepting Muslim possession so, does not make sense to me. However, AIMPLB is wrong in claiming that the SC accepts that no temple was destroyed to build Babri Mosque. What the court concedes is that it cannot be proved on the basis of available evidence, whether the 12th century temple was earlier destroyed, or was destroyed for Mosque or was simply collapsed because of disuse and non-maintenance. This is not the same thing as issuing a certificate that no temple was destroyed to build the mosque.

However, one must note that the theological argument and examples the AIMPLB gives in its statement to illustrate that statement are not affected by the fact of whether there was a temple earlier or not. Hagia Sophia was a church, and Kaaba was a polytheistic idol-worshippers place; they had never been Islamic places before Islam usurped them on the strength of sward. Islam was not deterred by these facts that they were places of worship of others. And present day prominent Indian Muslims consider conversion of both these places justified as per Sharia. Thus, the position of these Muslim leaders is no different from Mohammad, the conqueror of Macca; and Ahmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople.

That brings us to the issue of Kashi and Mathura, as some Hindus are raising that demand.

Continues tomorrow ….

*******

Appendix-1

बाबरी मस्जिद मस्जिद थी और हमेशा  ही रहेगी ग़ासिबाने (plundering/  usurping) कब्ज़े से हकीकत खत्म नहीं होती

सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने फैसला जरूर दिया मगर इंसाफ को शर्मसार किया है.

आल इंडिया मुस्लिम पर्सनल लॉ बोर्ड

 

नई दिल्ली 4 अगस्त 2020: आज जब कि बाबरी मस्जिद के मुकाम पर एक मँदिर की बुनियाद रखी जा रही है. ऑल इंडिया मुस्लिम पर्सनल लॉ बोर्ड अपने और  दरये यीने मौकिफ (position) को  दोहराना  जरूरी समझता है कि इस्लामी शरीयत के रौशनी में, जहाँ एक बार मस्जिद कायम हो जाती है, वो ताकयामत मस्जिद रहती है. लिहाजा बाबरी कल भी मस्जिद थी, और आज भी मस्जिद है, इंशा अल्लाह आइंदे भी मस्जिद रहेगी. मस्जिद में मूर्तियां रख देने, पुजा-पाठ शुरु कर देने से, या एक लंबे अरसे तक नमाज पर रोक लगाने से, मस्जिद कि हैसियत खत्म नहीं हो जाती.

ऑल इंडिया मुस्लिम पर्सनल लॉ बोर्ड  के जनरल सेक्रेट्री ह्जरत मौलाना मोहम्मद वलि रहमानी ने अपने एक प्रेस बयान में कहा है कि बोर्ड का हमेशा  ये  मौकिफ (position) रहा है कि बाबरी मस्जिद किसी मँदिर या किसी हिंदू इबदत्गह को तोड़  कर नहीं बनाई गई। अल्हमद अल्लह  सुप्रेम कोर्ट ने अपने फैसले (नवंबर 2019)  में हमारे इस मौकिफ को तस्दीक़ (attestation) कर दी है.  सुप्रिम कोर्ट ने ये भी कहा है कि बाहरी मस्जिद.के निचे से खुदाइ में जो आशार मिलें है  वो 12 वीं सदी की किसी इमारत के थे, यानी बाबरी मस्जिद की तामीर (निर्माण) से चार सौ कब्ल (पहले), यानी  कि लिहाजा किसी मंदिर को तविज/ तोड़ कर बाबरी मस्जिद नही बनाई गई.  सुप्रिम  कोर्ट ने साफ तौर पर कहा कि बाबरी मस्जिद में 22 दिसंबर1949 कि रात तक नमाज होती रही . सुप्रिम कोर्ट का ये भी मानना है कि 22 दिसम्बर 1949 में मूर्तियों को रखा जाना एक गैर-कानूनी और गैर-दस्तुरी अमल था. सुप्रिम कोर्ट अपने  फैसले  में ये भी  मानता है कि 6 दिसंबर की बाबरी मस्जिद कि शहादत गैर कानूनी गैर दस्तुरी और मुजिरमन फे’ल (कृत्य /action)  था। अफसोस कि तमाम वाजेह (apparent) ह्काइक (truths) को तसलीम (स्वीकार/honour) करने के बाद कोर्ट ने एक इंतहाइ गैर मुंसिफाने फैसले में हकीकतों को नज़र अंदाज़ करते हुये हिंदुस्तानी मुसलमानों के जज्बात अ अहसास पर ज़र्फ लगाते हुये मस्जिद की जमीन उन लोगों के हवाले कर दिया जिन्होंने मुजरिमाने तरीके से इस में मुर्तियाँ रखी, और इसके शहादत के मुर्तकिब (दोषी/guilty) हुये.  बोर्ड के जेनेरल सेक्रट्री  ने आगे कहा कि चूँकि ये अदालत मुल्क की आली तरिन अदालत है लिहाजा  इसके हतमी (final) फैसले को तसलीम करने के अलावा कोई चारा नहीं है. ताहम (however )  ये जरूर कहेंगे कि ये एक जुल्माने और गैर मुंसिफाने फैसला है जो अक्स रियती  जम (influenced by majoritarianism) में दिया गया, सुप्रिम कोर्ट ने 9 नवम्बर 2019 को फैसला जरूर दिया पर इंसाफ को शर्म सार किया है.

अल्हमुद्लिल्लह( praise to be on god) हिंदुस्तानी मुसलमानों के नुमाइंद (representative) इजित्मा (congregation)  प्लेटफॉर्म आल इंडिया मुस्लिम पर्सनल लॉ बोर्ड और दिगर फरिको ने भी अदालती लड़ाई में कोइ दकिके ( minute) नहीं उठा रखा. यहां ये बात भी कहना जरूरी है कि हिंदुत्व अनासिर (elements/तत्व) की पुरी तहरीक जुल्म, जब्र, धोनी (gloom), धाँधली, किज्ब (lie, Falsehood) औ इफ्तिरा (calumny/defamation) पर बनी एक तहरीक थी, ये सरासर एक सियासी तहरीक थी जिसका मज़्हब और मज़हबी  तालिमात से कोइ तालुकात नही  था, झूठ और जुल्म पर बनी इमारत कभी पायदार (durable) नहीं होती. जनरल सेक्रेटरी सहब ने अपने बयान  में आगे कहा कि हालत चाहे जीतने भी खतरनाक हो हमें हौसला नही हारना  चाहिये. और अल्लाह पर भरोसा रखना चाहिये. मुखालिफ (odds)  हालत में जीने  का मनराख बनाना  चाहिये। हालत हमेशा एक से नही रह्ते हैं. अल्लाह ताले  ने कुरान मजीद में इरशाद फरमाया है  “ व तलक अल्ल याम नदाव लहाबिनि अ‍न्नबास. ( ये  तो ज़माने का  नशीब और फराज़ हैं जिन्हें हम लोगों के दरमयान गर्दिश देते रह्ते हैं). लिहाजा हमें न तो मायूस होना है और न तो हालात के आगे सिपर (shield/पर्दा) डालना है, हमारे सामने ईंस्तबुल  कि आया सोफ़िया मस्जिद की मिशाल इस आयत की मुँह बोलती तस्वीर हैं. मैँ मुसलमन-ए हिंद से अपील करना हूँ कि वो सुप्रिम कोर्ट के फैसले, और मस्जिद की जमीन पर मँदिर की  तामीर से हरगिज दिल बर दाश्ते न हों. हमें ये भी याद रखना चाहिये कि  तौहिद (monotheism) के  आल्मी (global ) मरकज और अल्लाह के घर खाने -काबा भी एक लंबे अरसे तक शिर्क  (infidelity, polytheism) या  बुत परसती का मरकज बना रहा. बिल्लाह ख़ैर फतह मक्के के बाद प्यार से नबी ससल्लि अल्लाह अलिये व सल्लम के जरिये दोबारा मरकजे तौहिद बना. ईंशा अल्लाह हमें पूरी तवक़्क़ो ( hope) है सिर्फ बाबरी मस्जिद ही नहीं, ये पूरा चमन  नग़में तौहिद (words of monotheism) से  मामुर ( embellished) होगा . हमारी जिम्मेदारी है कि ऐसे नाज़ुक मौके पर अपनी गलतियों से तौबा करें. अपनी अखलाक और किरदार संवारे. घर और समाज को  दीनदार बनायें और पुरे हौसले के सात मुखलिफ हलात में आगे बढ़ने का फैसला करें.

*****

 

 

[1] Read for yourself: “137. Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away before you (as you have faced in the battle of Uhud), so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who disbelieved (in the Oneness of Allah, and disobeyed Him and His Messengers). 138. This (the Qur’an) is a plain statement for mankind, a guidance and instruction to those who are AI-Muttaqun (the pious – See V.2:2). 139. So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers. 140. If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). 141. And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.”

[2] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kaaba-shrine-Mecca-Saudi-Arabia (8th August 2020)


Mandir-Musjid 1: the Bhumi Pujan

August 9, 2020

Rohit Dhankar

We must free ourselves from mind-numbing slogans like “majhab anhin sikhaata aapas men bair rakhana”, “all religions teach peace” and “all religions are equal”. They definitely teach animosity; they certainly teach strife, often violent, and they are not equal in their bigotry and hatred for others. Presently they all, particularly two major ones in India, are spreading hatred and are attacking the constitution with impunity. Exaggerated lamentations of atrocities on Muslims, snatching their rights, and ‘dara hua musalmaan’ on one side, and underplaying of Muslim belligerence and atrocities where they are more numerous, on the other, fuel this fire further. In response to such narratives the hardliners among Hindus preach their historical grievances narrative more aggressively and more vociferously. The hardliners among the Muslims thinks that their Sharia supported bigotry is either condoned or is legitimate, therefore, pronounce their threats in a more confident and venomous manner. Unless the saner elements in the nation raise their voices in a balanced manner, condemning all atrocities and all bigotry equally, this evil duet will continue escalating.

The Bhumi Pujan

The world has seen a very loud and gaudy Bhumi Pujan for Ram temple in Ayodhya on 5th August 2020. In this hyped drama we have witnessed excessive and dramatized news coverage, the victory narrative emphasized, blowing up importance of Ram to eclipse everything else in the long cultural history of India, and equating Bhumi Pujan for a temple with the freedom of India, an atrocious comparision. This exhibits narrow imagination of India, belligerence of a section of Hindu population and did away with all possibility of spirituality in the occasion. This seemed to be a fit example of reclaiming the body by losing one’s soul. One TV channel creates a whole nautanki set of Rama Mandir in its studio. Rama was proclaimed to be in the heart of every Indian.

I never understood what this metaphor means. Yes, Ram is widely worshipped, and believers have deep respect for various narratives built around him. Ram is part of the culture, in large parts of the country even the routine greeting is “Ram Ram” among the peasants, or “Jai Siya Ram” among the more religiously rooted. Respecting sentiments of people who believe in Ram is a demand of behavior in civilized society. But does every Indian believe in Ram as an avatar? Does every Indian believe even in the historical fact of existence of Ram? The answer is an unambiguous NO. And still anyone who raised these questions was painted as an enemy of Hindus and India. Ram is one deity among dozens of similar importance in Hindu-dharma.

One can still understand that devotees of Ram must be genuinely elated and may genuinely believe that a bigotedly destroyed Ram Temple is being restored. Destroying someone’s place of worship is definitely insulting, demeaning and traumatic for the devotees. Thus, a sense of restoring one’s self-respect also may be understood. But flaunting of such an event as a victory is certainly a deed of a sallow and hateful mind.

There is an ambiguity regarding the site. There is a high probability on the basis of archeological evidence that there was a temple at this site, but it is not certain that the temple was destroyed to erect the mosque. There is no ambiguity that the mosque was destroyed deliberately in 1992. Thus, this occasion demanded a civilized reconciliatory tone from supporters of Ram Mandir, not belligerence and victory narrative. The Ram devotes would have earned much more respect through a widely reported but sober ceremony, without blowing the trumpet of victory. Frequent reference to Supreme Court judgment and heart felt appreciation of acceptance of that judgment by the Muslim population of India would have shown them in better spiritual and humanitarian light. But they chose a victory narrative with belligerence.

The Bhumi Pujan and shilanyas by the Prime Minister is a new low for Indian democracy and secularism. No, I am not singing in tune with so-called secularists that Indian democracy and secularism are dead. They have a habit of declaring Indian democracy and secularism dead on drop of a hat. By their reckoning both secularism and democracy died thousand times; one wonders how do they find them alive to die the next death a few weeks later! To me Indian democracy and secularism both are robust, alive, and kicking; the unabashed maligning of India itself is a proof of that. Yes, there are aberrations from the supporters of the ruling party, as well as misinterpreting secularists to a lesser degree, but the debate on Ram Temple itself proves strength of the democratic fabric of the nation. However, it is of concern that the Bhumi Pujan of a religious place by a Prime Minister is one more act against the secular constitution, and the most damaging so far. These acts weaken democracy and secularism; and even if they are not dead yet, they are pushed a step closer to death.

Whenever a state functionary in his/her capacity as a state representative goes to Babas, Dargahs, Temples, Mosques, holds iftar parties, celebrates religious occasions; the secularism takes a hit, and is chipped a little bit. This has been competitively going on in India since independence itself. Even the very secular PM Manmohan Singh is on record participating in a temple inauguration. But Bhumi Pujan and shilanyaas of a temple by a Prime Minister are the biggest blow so far. However, I will repeat: secularism is not dead, neither because of Bhumi Pujan nor because of Ram Mandir being built where once Babri Masjid stood. Yes, it is weakened and is under serious strain, but we can still make it all powerful. But only if we recognize all forces that have reduced respect for secularism in India, Sangh Parivar is a major culprit, but by no means the only one. Islamists and so-called liberals are no less responsible.

But we are jumping the gone, we will come to this point later in this essay.

To be continued tomorrow ….

*******

9th August 2020


Is Social Media Messing-up Minds?

July 22, 2020

Rohit Dhankar

Someone twitted saying that there is no proof for existence of Ram. A famous person on the twitter, who usually responds to people with good documentary and archeological evidence on historical issues, names (@Aabhas24) responded: “Does anyone ask father for proof that he is one’s father?” Since it came from a person who usually comes up with evidence; and the proof of existence of Ram was posed as a historical question, it sounded very strange. So, I said (@dhankar_r): “Very illogical response. The history and mythology are two different things. And you, I am sure, know it. There is not enough proof of Rama as a prince, and there CAN BE NO PROOF OF Rama as avataar. As there can be no proof of Mohammad as prophet and Christ as son of God.”

My response soon invited a few very popular fallacious arguments. I have always been very puzzled about (1) how can people accept or rely upon obviously fallacious arguments, and (2) why people don’t understand perfectly simple point made in writing (even spoken), and choose to talk of something which was not contested? This small exchange brough these two things up almost immediately. Therefore, here I am looking at three popular arguments and ways of responding.

If it were not for the two fallacies being way too popular as ‘strong arguments’ for the people who advance them, it would have been shear waste of time to write on them. But unfortunately, they come up too often in conversation with people, especially the believers of all religions, and on social media. What worries me the most is how often young people advance these fallacies as arguments. Therefore, it may serve some useful purpose to point out why they are not only fallacies but also stupid to boot.

One of them is: “There is no proof that your/my great grandfather existed, but we accept that he did”. By this they want to imply that similarly “there is no proof that Rama existed, but like our great grandfathers he also existed”. This is obviously fallacious on several counts. First, mostly there is enough material (in terms of written records and houses build, land records, etc.) evidence of existence of most of great grandfathers. But more solid evidence of existence of our gg-fathers are we ourselves. Creation of humans takes an ovum produced by a human female and a sperm produced by human male. This has incontrovertible scientific evidence. Therefore, there existed a human male who produced the sperm used in fertilizing the ovum which made you or me. This sperm-producing male by definition was/is our biological father. But by the same logic our biological father also required a sperm to have been born. The male who produced the sperm which made our father was his biological father and our grandfather. Similarly, our gg-father’s sperm was partially responsible for production of our grandfather. Thus, the gg-father existed. QED.

Rama has no such proven chain of existing human descendants as our lucky gg-fathers have in us. Proving existence of our gg-fathers is logically a child’s play. But proving that particular individual X (Dayala Ram or Ilmuddin) was our biological gg-father will take considerably more efforts. And to do that one may have to go into DNA testing, which, as far as I understand, would require DNA samples of ourselves, our fathers, their fathers and the individual X. and that might be impossible for many or us. Thus, even if someone claims to be a descendant of Rama today proving Rama his or her biological ancestor would be impossible, as far as I understand. We should remember that legal ancestry does not necessarily imply biological ancestry. No one knows where a bit of infidelity might have crept into the ancestral line.

In the face of such simple logic one wonders how people can advance such stupid arguments and how others can accept or become wordless in facing them? Twitter and Facebook have made this stupidity way too widespread to ignore these days.

The second one is grandly quoted as “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” This clever statement is usually quoted in support of unjustified claims, like “Rama existed”. What is meant in such cases is: Even if there is absence of evidence that ‘Rama exited’, this by itself is no evidence that ‘Rama did not exist’. In some context this may be fair enough. But these people do not notice that there are at the least four logical positions one can take regarding ‘Existence of X” (X can be Rama, Krishna, Christ, and so on). One: X existed. Two, X did not exist. Three, it is undecided at present whether X existed or not. And four, existence of X is undecidable in principle. Thus, quoting this clever sentence in this context proves absolutely nothing.

This fallacious argument appears in other forms as well. For example, when arguing for or against existence of God. If one challenges one’s opponent: “If you think God exists, give some proof (evidence or argument)”. The opponent shoots: “you prove that God does not exist”. This is a recognized logical fallacy called “argument from ignorance” (argumentum ad ignorantiam). It cuts both ways: “since you can not prove something to be false it is true” is fallacious; and so is “since you cannot prove something to be true, it is false”. Copi and Cohen[1] give an interesting example from history of science illustrating this fallacy. When Galileo revealed through his telescope that moon has mountains and valleys; followers of Aristotle rejected the claim as Aristotle taught that moon is a perfect sphere of crystal. They gave an argument that what Galileo’s telescope shows as valleys and mountains are just wrong because the gaps are filled by transparent crystal which the telescope can not detect. Galileo countered their argumentum ad ignorantiam by his own version of the same fallacy, as Copi and Cohen put it: “The moon is not a perfect sphere, he replied, because there are surely crystal mountains—invisible!—rising high from its surface. Because my theological critics cannot prove the claim false, we cannot conclude that such mountains are not there!”. Again, in the contexts like Rama’s existence such arguments prove nothing. Therefore, one must judge reasonableness of a claim on other evidence available.

Another fallacious argument in such cases is “Appeal to Inappropriate Authority” (Argumentum ad Verecundiam). For example, someone sent me link to a video in which former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam claims that Ramayana story actually happened seven thousand years back, or something of this nature. Copi and Cohen explain this fallacy as: “The argument ad verecundiam is committed when someone argues that a proposition is true because an expert in a given field has said that it is true. This fallacy is predicated upon the feeling of respect that people have for the famous. An expert’s judgment constitutes no conclusive proof; experts disagree, and even when they are in agreement, they may be wrong. However, reference to an authority in an area of competence may carry some weight, but it doesn’t prove a conclusion. Ultimately, even experts need to rely upon empirical evidence and rational inference.”[2]

Yet another problem in such discussions is ambiguity about what is being asserted and what is being denied. To understand this properly a few examples may help. Let’s take three assertions regrading Rama, Mohammad and Christ. First, let’s take the simple claims: (1) Rama existed, (2) Mohammad existed, and (3) Christ existed. There are counterclaims about historicity of Rama and Christ, though historicity of Mohammad as such does not seem to be controversial. One interpretation of these assertions could be simple existence as humans. That is, respectively, Rama existed as a prince and then as a king, Mohammad existed as a businessman and then as founder of a religion, and Christ existed as carpenter’s son and then as the founder of a religion. In principle history can decide these claims. Now suppose that in this sense all three existed in history, and it is proved beyond doubt.

But there could be a second sense of ‘existed’ here. That is, respectively: Rama was an avatar of Vishnu or God incarnate, Mohammad was a prophet of Allah to whom Allah revealed Quran mostly though Gabriel, and Christ was immaculately born son of the God almighty. Proving existence as historical figures of these three does not automatically prove their God-incarnate-hood, prophet-hood and God’s-son-hood. That would require separate justification or proof. To my mind in this second interpretation the existence of all three is in principle undecidable. Simply because existence of an avatar/incarnation, of a prophet and of a son of God is logically dependent on existence of the God or some kind of divinity. But that divinity itself is undecidable because its attributes are contradictory across religions, self-contradictory within each religion and this divinity is often said to be beyond the limited comprehension of human mind. Therefore, the creators of this concept of God themselves have pushed it beyond the pale of human reason. Since the existence of and characteristics of god are undecidable his incarnation, prophethood and son-hood are also undecidable. Most people when question existence of Rama, they question in this second sense; that is, his god-incarnate status.

No evidence from documents, archaeology or astronomy cannot give us any clue about the god-incarnate status of Rama. Even if there are planetary and star configurations in Ramayana that give definite dates of Rama’s birth, marriage, banavaas, war with Revana and so on, that will at the most prove, with some room for doubt, that Rama existed as a prince and kind. They can say nothing about he being an incarnate god. Lists of kings of Ishkuaku dynasty from whatever doubtful puranas will also prove existence of Rama only as a king. That too when adequately corroborated by other evidence. As I said above, there is a possibility that there was a prince and King Rama, who became famous and acquired the aura of God-incarnate. That does not prove the claim of incarnation.

In view of all this, it seems the social media is seriously messing up with the new generations’ mind. Without some learning in logic, critical thinking, and alertness of mind the bombardment of disconnected bits of information, half-truths and deliberate falsehoods certainly overwhelms a new entrant into this fast-moving world. The so-called influencers—people with big following—seem to be mostly unconcerned about truth, logic, and reasonableness. One often wonders if they themselves know anything. Their aim seems to be to push their chosen opinions by hook or by crook. The minimum requirement for survival as one’s own person in this environment seems to be a keen grasp of shades of meaning in language, sharp logic and alertness of mind. And, of course, courage to stand by one’s own judgment in the face of active opposition from all kinds of bigotries.

*******

22nd July 2020

[1] Irving M. Copi, Carl Cohen, Kenneth McMahon, Introduction to Logic (Fourteenth Edition). Pearson Education Limited, Essex, 2014, p.131

[2] Ibid, page 133


A Practitioner’s Take on Philosophy of Education

July 15, 2020

Rohit Dhankar

A long but simple paper on practical relevance of Philosophy of Education. Written with practitioners in mind.

Dhankar_A Practioners Take on Philosophy of Education


A laboratory for mathematics?

July 7, 2020

Rohit Dhankar

[This is an old article slightly edited in response to a friends question, which also prompted me to put this on the blog.]

Many of us have heard people suggesting that mathematics should be taught through ‘experiments’ in a mathematics laboratory. These people probably believe that the fear of mathematics can be overcome by this attempt. I would argue in this short article that a good mathematics teacher should take the idea of mathematics laboratory with more than just a pinch of salt. That is, one should not, perhaps, discard the idea summarily; it may turn out to be useful in some ways and some cases. But a serious examination of: one, for what; two, how much; and three, in what manner a math-lab can be useful is called for. In this article I will try to raise a few questions that may contribute towards that end.

First, let us examine the uses of experiments we make. Here I am not talking of ‘experience’, what is being discussed at present is ‘experiments’. We shall come to experience and its role in mathematics teaching towards the end of this article, presently we shall focus only on experiments. I think all the uses of experiment can be grouped as follows:

  1. Illustration/demonstration of an idea, of a fact, or a claim.
  2. Verification/proof of a principle, rule, claim.
  3. Investigation into a phenomenon that may lead to formulation of new knowledge.

Let’s try to understand all this through some examples. Let us take our first example from science, suppose we want to study pendulums. A teacher may be interested in demonstrating to her students what is meant by ‘oscillation’ and instead of giving a verbal description first she illustrates an oscillation by actually swinging a real pendulum. Here the students are actually forming a new concept, they see a phenomenon mark it mentally, with beginning and end and give it a name. It is true that showing a swinging pendulum in this manner does not constitute a proper experiment. But a laboratory may be used in this manner, to illustrate, that’s why this example is taken here. The teacher may want to demonstrate the power of a particular magnet and may demonstrate it by lifting a weight heavy enough that her students might have found difficult to believe earlier. Here it is a simple demonstration of strength of that particular magnet. That is what I meant by illustration and demonstration. A laboratory is often used profitably in this manner.

The second group I have called verification/proof. Suppose our teacher now wants to show her children that the period of a pendulum is independent of the bob weight. (Period is time taken in one oscillation, and bob is the body hanging at the end if the pendulum string.) Now she will have to conduct a proper experiment. She will have to keep all other variables (length of the string, calmness of the air in the room…) constant and change only the weight of the bob. And each time she swings her pendulum the time period should remain the same. This would prove the time period to be independent of the bob weight. Here, no new concepts are developed. A relationship between already known concepts of bob weight, time period, length, oscillation, etc. is established and proven to be true. Knowledge is basically relationship between concepts; this it proves to students veracity of a new, perhaps for them, knowledge claim with acceptable evidence in scineces.

The third group mentioned above is investigation. Suppose some student or the teacher herself or any one, gets interested in knowing how the pendulums behave. This person may start observing pendulums, conducting experiments with them and noting down the observations she makes. It is certainly possible that this scientist of ours starts with very few and simple notions concerning pendulums; may be just pendulum, swing, string and bob. While observing the behaviour of pendulums she may feel a need to describe, analyse and explain that behaviour. This will necessitate development of concepts like an oscillation, time period, amplitude and so on. Secondly, it would need formulation of relationships between these concepts, generalisations and testing of the generalised rules/principles. Here the experiments are not done to verify something already known, rather they are designed either to observe something new or to test a hypothesis which is not yet accepted to be true.

I would say that almost all experiments and laboratory uses are covered under this somewhat rough classification. Now let us see how experiments may help in mathematics teaching. To understand it properly we will take two examples, first, study of triangles and second, learning numbers and four fundamental operations.

Let us begin with triangles. Can we illustrate any mathematical concept – as we did with oscillation? Perhaps yes, we can illustrate a side of a triangle, an angle and the triangle itself. But is there a significant difference between the ‘oscillation illustrated’ and the ‘triangle illustrated’? Or is there no difference and they are exactly the same? I think there is a difference in “illustrating” a pendulum oscillation in a laboratory and “illustrating” a line or a triangle.

To begin with oscillation is a physical phenomenon. In a laboratory we deliberately create a situation in which that phenomenon (oscillation) can be closely observed, and point out to the observer features of it we want to emphasise. This helps the learner in acquiring a concept of that phenomena and associating a name with it. The concept illustrated here demarcates a part of observable behaviour of a physical object, and that behaviour is pointed to the learner directly, without use of any symbols, signs or representations.

In illustrating a triangle, we have several choices. We may cut a triangular piece of paper, or tie string around three nails stuck on a wooden board, or place three sticks in a triangular shape, or may draw a triangle on paper with pencil and ruler, and so on. But notice that all these illustrations are ‘make believe’ in a certain sense. They are only representations of a triangle and not the triangle itself. They all are only approximate representations of the concept. A triangle is a closed figure with three straight sides. The sides have only length, unidimentional ‘shapes’, do not have breadth or thickness. They simply are good or bad illustrations of this idea. And are used to ‘abstract out what is common in all of them’, which is just the shape without any material (substance) in it. Oscillation, on the other hand is, it is the behaviour of the pendulum which is being directly observed, that behaviour does not represent something else. In oscillation we have generalisation on a universe of other physical things, and what to bring our approximation of its properties as close to the real phenomenon as possible. In triangle we want to form an abstract idea which has no physical existence, through abstracted from physical things.

Generally, we can say that in science, which is the home of the idea of laboratory, a concept is illustrated directly by the part of natural world it relates to or by an effect of that part of natural world. Oscillation is an example of direct illustration by the ‘part of natural world’ and attraction of a piece of iron towards a magnet is an example of ‘effect’ of the presumed magnetic force. In mathematics illustrations are just representations with the help of visual signs or materials amenable to manipulation, something like a ‘gharonda’ (house of sand village children make after rains) and not the real house.

The second kind of uses we identified for laboratory experiments are verification or proof of a claim. Suppose one wants to prove Galileo’s claim about pendulums that “the period is independent of the amplitude”. Let us take an actual experiment done by a group of people to verify the truth of this claim.

Their results and conclusions follow: “Scholars debate whether he (Galileo) meant that the periods are exactly the same or that they differ very little. As a test of whether they are exactly the same, two pendulums with identical lead bobs were suspended 28.9 cm. They were released at the same time from different angles. One was pulled back about 5 degrees while the other was released from about 45 degrees. The pendulum pulled back five degrees was allowed to travel through thirty cycles, and the numbers of oscillations of the other pendulum during this time were counted. The data is below.

Oscillations of 5 degree release 30.0 30.0 30.0 30.0 30.0
Oscillations of 45 degree release 29.5 29.6 29.5 29.5 29.0

The pendulum that travelled through the larger angle had a longer period. It averaged 29.42 oscillations during 30 swings of the other, and had fewer oscillations in every trial. Clearly, pendulums with different amplitudes do not have the same period. In fact, it appears that pendulums with larger amplitudes have longer periods. The difference is quite small, though. Whether Galileo’s claim is true depends on interpretation of the claim, but the interpretation that identical pendulums of different amplitudes have periods independent of amplitude is false.”

There is a significant difference in the amplitude, the time period is very close, still according to these data it is not the same. The only way to find out the truth of Galileo’s claim is to experiment. No amount of a priory reasoning can prove or disprove it. Also, even after experiment there could be doubts. Here first, the difference is too small to say that time period differs with the amplitude. Second, the design of the experiment itself begs many questions: can one really claim that bob weights and lengths of the pendulums were identical? If one measures them more accurately, they may be found to be different, that may explain the difference in the time periods. If some one else does the same experiment with only one pendulum, pulled back 5 degrees and then 45 degrees the results may be different. But answers even to these questions can be found only through experiments with the real pendulums, not with symbols or signs of pendulums. This is because the relationship between the amplitude and time-period of a pendulum is not contained in the concepts themselves, it is contingent on the properties of the physical world. Logic can not help establish this relationship; observation is a necessity.

Now let’s see how can experiments help in settling the claim that “sum of all the interior angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles”. One can draw lots of triangles and measure their angles against tight angles, one can make triangles of various kinds of material (suitable in varying degree) and again measure or compare angles, and so on. All these ‘experiments’ are bound to give differing results and the differences are going to me more in magnitude than what we have seen in the pendulum experiment above. Shall we come to the conclusion on that basis that sum of angles of a triangle is ‘not exactly equal’ to two right angles? We will not. We will simply ignore the differences and say that the original proposition was correct.

The experiments can not establish a mathematical truth, while they are necessary to establish a scientific truth. But the more important fact is that experiments are not needed to establish mathematical truths, they are through reason alone and investigating relationships between concepts is enough.

Scientists also carry their investigations through laboratory experiments. In science investigation may start with curiosity about something (where do colours come in rainbow?) or to solve some problem (how can rain water be stored for summer months?). In any case the investigation will start with a hypothesis and observation/experimentation will provide relevant data to prove or disprove or to modify the hypothesis in a certain manner. We may want to know how length of the pendulum effects its period. To investigate the matter, we will choose various lengths and measure the time periods for them and will try to see if there is a pattern. Again, the pattern available may not be formulated very neatly as a rule. And may tolerate a certain degree of inaccuracy. Compare it with investigations in mathematics. Suppose that after learning about the sum of angles of a triangle, we want to know the sum of all the angles of a quadrilateral. Do we need to do any experiments here? I do not suppose so. All we need is previously proved results and basic assumptions; and the sum of all the angles of a quadrilateral can be easily deduced from them.

Thus, we can say; if our examples are sufficiently representative, that in science experiments can help in illustrating a concept, demonstrating a fact/rule. Experiments are necessary to establish truth of principles and rules. And are also necessary to carry on investigation for generation of new knowledge. In mathematics experiments are not necessary, nor they provide the final proof of any thing. But that does not mean that the idea of laboratory in unacceptable or totally useless in teaching mathematics? Before we can say something on that issue, we need to consider the role of experience in learning mathematics and science, because laboratory experiments are only a means to have controlled and selective experience.

We know of the physical world through experience only. The sciences develop in order to describe the world, to explain how it functions and then to modify and control parts of that world, as far as they can and want. The concepts of science, therefore, need to represent the world as precisely and as ‘truly’ as they can. If they do not help either to describing the world or to explain it, they are of no value. This holds true for rules and principles of science as well. Therefore, the movement of intellectual activity in science is towards better correspondence with the physical reality. Since the knowledge in science is knowledge of the world, experiments and observations have central place in its methodology as well as in its truth criteria.

Like all forms of human understanding mathematics also begins with experience of the world. The basic concepts of mathematics (number, shapes, and quantity et al) generate out of and are dependent on experience. But once the concepts are formed mathematics has a tendency to create regular, ideal and perfect world out of them. Therefore, may be the idea of a line initially begins with something long and straight, but very soon it becomes only length and its straightness becomes perfect. It matches no reality in the physical universe. And its qualities depend on no reality in the physical world. It becomes abstract. Pure. Until it acquires that typical abstractness it is not really mathematics. Therefore, the intellectual movement in mathematics in the opposite direction: create an idea from experience and then make it perfect in its own ideal world. The mathematical knowledge is knowledge of inter-relationships between these perfected ideas. This knowledge is self-contained in these ideas and logical forms. It does not require physical experimentation; it cannot be gained through physical experimentation.

Now, perhaps, we can say something about the laboratory for mathematics. It may have a limited role. To provide children the initial experiences where they form the intuitive mathematical ideas. But should not be given an impression that any thing in mathematics can be proved through experiments. The ‘experimental verification’ should, at the best, be considered only as a hint that the idea may be worth trying to prove formally, mathematically. If it provides the use of concrete objects only as a first stage in building an understanding of a concept, that may be acceptable. But, to really ‘have’ a mathematical concept the child has to move towards working with the concept in abstract form. To take a simple example: a child who learns to add with the aid of marbles should quickly move to adding on her fingers and from there on she should quickly move to adding in her head without any physical props. If she is not doing that her mathematics learning will remain deficient. The manipulatives (or physical teaching aids) could be a very useful in the hands of a teacher who understands their proper use. But elevating that idea to metaphorical use of ‘mathematics laboratory’ generates a false impression of mathematics, of how it is leant and of how it is created. The best use of the so-called mathematics laboratory in the hands of a good teacher would be to show to the children that it has a limited use in the first steps in learning mathematics and is misleading incumbrance after that.

Bridges and leaps

In mathematics we invent or imagine the fundamental or initial elements of a system: concepts or definitions, axioms/postulates and sometimes rules of inference. After that the system becomes independent of us and has its truths built into it. We, the inventors of it, have to struggle hard to find all the true statements possible in it. And the methods at hand we have are all bound by strict logic. This becomes a self-contained world of ideas.

The laboratory prompts us to make bridges from the reality of our experience to reach this world of ideas and gives us tools of visual models to use there when we reach there. But the nature of this world is such that the bridges always fall short and visual models become limitations on our imagination rather than any help when we actually somehow reach that world. It becomes our limitation, and stops us from hearing the real music of mathematics.

The way out is not making more and more cumbersome bridges; but to learn to take a logical leap into the abstract beauties and exhilarating music of mathematics. The idea of laboratory hampers the preparation for this leap. My personal view is that use the manipulatives wisely where they help; but don’t elevate them to the status of a laboratory, not even metaphorically.

********

Originally written in or sometime before 2001.

Slightly edited and last section added on 7th July 2020


प्रधानमंत्री का बयान देश की क्षेत्रीय अखंडता के साथ समझौता है

June 20, 2020

रोहित धनकर

कल प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी ने लद्दाख में जो कुछ हुआ उसके बारे में कहा: “न वहां कोई हमारी सीमा में घुस आया है, न घुसा हुआ है। न ही हमारी कोई पोस्ट किसी दूसरे के कब्जे में है।” मेरे विचार से इस कथन का पहला वाक्य भारत की क्षेत्रीय अखंडता के साथ समझौता है।

चीन ने भारत की कई हजार किलोमीटर भूमि पर कब्जा कर रखा है। वह पूरा इलाका जहां यह सब हुआ भारत का हिस्सा है, ऐसा हमारा राष्ट्रीय दावा रहा है। पर उपरोक्त बयान इस व्यापक दावे पर नहीं है। हालांकी एक प्रधानमंत्री को बयान देते वक्त इसे भी ध्यान में रखना चाहिए था।

वर्तमान संदर्भ में उन्हों ने जो कहा इसका यह अर्थ है की चीन ने हमारी सीमा में कोई अतिक्रमण अब नहीं किया हुआ है। अर्थात चीन का जिसे फिंगर 4 कहा जाता है उस चोटी पर अपना स्थाई बंदोबस्त कर लेना हमारी सीमा में कब्जा नहीं है। यदि शेखर गुप्ता के विश्लेषण को मानें तो भारत का दावा जिसे फिंगर 8 कहा जाता है उस चोटी तक रहा है। अतः प्रधानमंत्री के कथन में भारत के दावे तो छोड़ने के संकेत हैं।

इस बात को schematic (एक खाके के तौर पर) समझें तो बात कुछ ऐसी है:

–भा——1—–2—-3—4—5—6—7—8—ची—

उपरोक्त रेखा में जहां “भा” लिखा है वह भारत के वास्तविक कब्जे का आखिरी पॉइंट है। जहां “ची” लिखा है वह चीन के कब्जे का आखिरी पॉइंट है। बीच की जगह में भारत का दावा जहां 8 लिखा है वहाँ तक है। और चीन का जहां 2 लिखा है वहाँ तक। अर्थात 2 से 8 तक की भूमि पर दोनों का दावा है। इस में किसी की भी चौकी नहीं थी, अर्थात स्थाई कब्जा नहीं था। पर दोनों गस्त करते थे।

अब चीन 4 पर अपने बंदोबस्त के साथ बैठा है। भारत जो दावा करता रहा है उस सीमा में उसने चौकी बना ली है। हमारे राष्ट्र के सम्मान को समर्पित प्रधानमंत्री कह रहे हैं कि “न वहां कोई हमारी सीमा में घुस आया है, न घुसा हुआ है”। अर्थात वे चोटी 4 से 8 तक की भूमि पर दावा छोड़ रहे हैं। उधर चीन इस पूरे इलाके पर बार-बार दावे की घोषणा कर रहा है।

अतः प्रधानमंत्री का बयान देश की क्षेत्रीय अखंडता के साथ समझौता है। ये बयान राष्ट्र को नुकशान पहुंचाने वाला है।

इस सारे किस्से में एक बात और भी उजागर हुई। वह है अङ्ग्रेज़ी समाचार माध्यमों का हिन्दी का अज्ञान और इस के कारण गलत प्रचार करना। प्रधानमंत्री का बयान यह है कि (1) ‘अब हमारी सीमा में कोई नहीं घुसा हुआ है’, यह नहीं है कि (2) “हमारी सीमा में कोई नहीं घुसा था”। उपरोक्त वाक्य में कथन (1) के बारे में मैंने ऊपर लिखा कि ये समझौता है, राष्ट्रीय अखंडता के साथ। पर कथन (2) अलग चीज है, और ऐसा मोदी ने नहीं कहा। अब नीचे अङ्ग्रेज़ी में बोल-चाल वाले संचार-माध्यमों और लोगों ने क्या कहा ये देखिये।

The Hindu: “neither anyone has intruded into our territory nor took over any post”. “Intruded” means in the past “did not intrude”, Modi is talking about present.

Republic TV: “Neither have they intruded into our boarder, nor has any post been taken.”

OpIndia.Com: “No one entered India, no land lost”

You can multiply such examples on dozens on Twitter.

Right wing has well as the left wing translated it wrongly. The divide here is not right or left political ideology, it is “India and Bharat”. अङ्ग्रेज़ी वालों को हिन्दी मेन कही बात ठीक से समझ में नहीं आती है।

******

20th June 2020