Ram Kumar Kaushik-
It was not the reconstruction of Somnath Temple only that kept First Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and his deputy Sardar Ballabh Bhai patel at loggerheads, but Nehru was left secluded on Ayodhya (Ram Janam Bhumi) issue also. Exchange of letters on the issue of Ram Lala idols emerged under the disputed domes (than called Babri Mosque) in 1949 between Nehru and Sardar Patel revealed Nehru’s dilemma to be seen both secular and popular at the same time and how Patel had different opinion on removing the idols. Govind Ballabh Pant the then chief minister of UP was also not on Nehru’s side.Read more
These sensational facts have come out in public domain through a book Ayodhya – A battleground written by senior journalist Hemant Sharma.
Being a journalist, Hemant Sharma has seen the changing contours of Indian politics in close quarters. In his book also, the religious fervour took political overtone when he describes the much publicised conflict between Nehru and Patel in the most authentic manner. The latest edition of the book is published after the historical verdict of Supreme Court which unveiled all the mysteries and concoctions and gave way to building of Ram Temple. But the way writer narrates the incidents and facts surrounding the controversies related to the structure, every account hands out a fresh perspective. The building of Ram Temple is not just a construction of a religious structure but a rebuilding of the nationalist character in every Indian irrespective of their religious followings.
Ayodhya – A battleground is an honest account of epical conflict between politics, history, mystical facts and religious belief that kept the Indian belief intact through the damaged domes of the disputed Babri Masjid. The passion of author – Hemant Sharma is reflected in every verse and sentence of this book which keeps the reader engrossed till the end.
Lord Ram is not only a religious symbol. HE today epitomises a cultural renaissance that was long overdue. And Ayodhya – the birth place of Ram – can become the epicenter of cultural and nationalist movement, much needed for the revival of nation’s conscience.
The writer has been successful in touching the chords of readers through date by date and hour by hour detailing of events which unfolded before the awakening of nationalism and which threaded the temple and belief of every Indian. Author calls himself a witness who continuously reported from Ayodhya since 1986. The Book is mostly written in First person. The author sincerely made efforts to remain objective and factual barring a one or two occasions in the book.
It is more off a biography of Ayodhya. – the Birth place Lord Ram and that remained a battleground for centuries until the verdict by Supreme Court of India on November 9, 2019 only to prove the universal truth about HIS birthplace or in other terms the location of His Birth Place where a temple can be re- build.
It gives an impression that Lord Ram’s Ayodhya is narrating the story of its own fate that made it a ground for 5 centuries long constant battle full of chaos, unrest, conspiracies, destruction, plundering etc.
Peculiar point raised by the author Hemant Sharma that none of the political campaign or religious campaign for a temple in Ayodhya was ever spearheaded by residents of Ayodhya. It was always outsider groups and masses thronged Ayodhya to keep it alive as a battleground.
The Book is an account of struggle of re-building Ram Janmbhoomi temple at the ‘disputed’ site in Ayodhya. The Author as an eye-witness has narrated the chain of events especially from 1949 when Idols were emerged under the controversial three domes (Babri) to commencement of legal battle in civil courts to back door & front door discussions for a non-communally violent solution to Laying foundation stone of the temple to nationwide temple movement by RSS and it’s affiliates to Kar Seva movement at Ayodhya that culminated in
The demolition of three domes (Babri) by Kar Sevaks on -December 6, 1992 to police firing at the crowd supporting Ram Temple, political gains and losses of political parties to the closure of the political battle through Legal process objectively by the Supreme Court.
Hemant Sharma also accounted the roles of politicians, bureaucrats and Religious & community leaders in the independent India over Ayodhya Ram temple. He included the rare letters written as official communication in 1949 amongst the than PM Nehru, Home Minister Patel, UP CM Govind B. Pant and between the then DM of Faizabad (Ayodhya) KKK Nayar and Chief Secretary Bhagwan Sahai. The letters revealed the terse messages by Nayar to his Boss Sahai and the State Government clarifying the situation was not good enough to remove idols kept at the than disputed site.
Official communications during Foundation Stone laying ceremony by Rajeev Gandhi, PM (1984-1889) and RSS-VHP’s Ayodhya movement also included in the book.
The Book has 10 chapters detailing 10 major episodes and the final Epilogue that is added post Supreme court verdict. Four Chapters out of ten are most revealing and narrate power and politics surrounded Battling Ayodhya and expose the Politics that impacted whole of India at large. The Book shows internal feud within the parties and governments, tug of war for better gains between the ruling and opposition parties. Chapter no. 2 explains Power Politics behind the Game of Demolition, Chapter no. 3 details Car Seva, Chapter no. 4 is about Laying the Foundation and Chapter no. 6 gives an account of how idols appeared and what all transpired in that episode.
Hemant Sharma has written the Book originally in Hindi. It’s English version published by Rupa publicaions. The current edition has 300 pages. The author has made the Introduction too lengthy that runs into 22 pages.
लेखक राम कुमार कौशिक प्रिंट और ब्रॉडकास्ट मीडिया के वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हैं. वे हाल-फिलहाल तक आईटीवी ग्रुप के इंडिया न्यूज, न्यूज एक्स समेत सभी न्यूज चैनलों, अखबारों और वेबसाइटों के ग्रुप मैनेजिंग एडिटर हुआ करते थे. रामकुमार कौशिक को ट्विटर पर इस पते के जरिए पाया जा सकता है- @RamKaushik1012
उपरोक्त समीक्षा को आप यहां भी पढ़ सकते हैं- Honest, Insightful Recollection Like An Eyewitness Account