The present book is my last
contribution to the literature on what is known in India as “communalism”,
meaning the conflict between the different religions, principally Hinduism and
Islam. Some of the authors whose works were published by Voice of India,
notably Prof. Harsh Narain and Sri Suhas Majumdar, had only started speaking out
on the communal question in the very last years of their lives. We must be
grateful to them that they were willing to sacrifice their years of well-earned
rest to a diagnosis of this unpleasant problem. I am very fortunate in having
discovered the problem at an earlier stage of life and being offered a forum
where I could contribute to the research into and reflection on its causes.
In terms of my own potential, I feel I have exhausted the topic and I now intend
to move on (or return) to more fundamental subjects of philosophy and religion.
My first book in this sphere of
interest was Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid: A Case Study in HinduMuslim
Conflict (1990). I now find it a somewhat clumsy attempt to understand
the Ayodhya controversy, but at the time it served a good purpose, viz. to break
the false impression that the world of scholarship including Western Indologists
was united in certifying that the Hindu claim to the disputed site in Ayodhya
was historically unfounded. in the subsequent years, evidence has been piling up
in favour of the Hindu claim. Coming full circle, I have included in this
book a compilation of papers on various aspects of the Ayodhya debate written by
me between 1995 and 2002. Its main focus is the argumentation and view of
Hindu-Muslim history offered by the anti-temple party.
My thanks are due to Yamini Liu, Gopi Maliwal, Krishan
Bhatnagar and friends, Satinder Trehan, Tushar Ravuri and Vishal Agarwal, and to
the Voice of India publishers.
Antwerp, 25 January 2002
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