Tryst with Ayodhya: Decolonisation of India’ by Balbir Punj Unravels Historical Threads

The demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, according to former Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Balbir Punj, was a “Gandhian solution” to the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute.

For former Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Punj, the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992 was a “Gandhian solution” to the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. He came to this conclusion after reading an article in Mahatma Gandhi’s weekly publication Young India, which made the case that if a mosque or any other building was built against someone else’s will, the landowner may have it removed.

Gandhi was questioned in 1925 about what to do if a mosque was erected against his will on private property. “I was amazed by his response. Gandhi stated that “A” has the right to demolish a building as soon as it is built on his land, including a mosque. Punj made this statement on Wednesday at Delhi’s Constitution Club in advance of the publication of his book, Tryst with Ayodhya: Decolonization of India. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will launch the book on January 13. It is one of several publications about Ayodhya scheduled for publication in conjunction with the Ram Mandir’s dedication on January 22.

“As long as I own property, I must defend it whether by the force of law courts or by the force of my own strong arms,” said Punj, quoting Gandhi’s 1925 article in Young India.

A group of kar sevaks destroyed the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Punj stated, “The kar sevaks first chose the court route, and then, as they grew stronger, they destroyed the structure.” On January 22, more than 30 years from now, the temple will be dedicated.

The former MP, who previously served as the BJP’s national vice-president, also accused Congressman Raghav Das and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, of politicizing the matter.

Govind Vallabh Pant and Lal Bahadur Shastri, who were in the state government at that time, all wanted Ram temple but only one person was opposing it—Nehru,” Punj alleged. “When opposition to the Ram temple grew, it became politicised. Nehru was at the forefront of those who protested,” he further claimed.

Punj discusses the “resistance” to the temple’s building in his book Tryst with Ayodhya: Decolonization of India. He asserts that this resistance was sparked by a colonial mindset that “survived the departure of Islamic and British invaders.”

“So called eminent historians have written against Ayodhya in their books. And this is the result of colonised minds. The Ayodhya dispute was avoidable and the Ram temple would have come up at the Janmabhoomi site without any problem after Independence,” said Punj.

According to Punj, the temple in Ayodhya sends a powerful message: the end of the colonisation in Bharat.

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