A court order in 1986 threw open for Hindu worship the gates of the temple-turned-mosque at the Ramajanmabhumi at Ayodhya. Hindus were overjoyed, and started looking forward to the coming up of a grand Rama Mandir at the sacred site. But they were counting without the stalwarts of Secularism in the Nehruvian establishment. It was not long before a hysterical cry was heard ‘Secularism in danger!’
The Marxist-Muslim combine launched a two-pronged campaign. On the one hand, they proclaimed that Muslims had destroyed no Hindu temples except those few which were stinking with hoarded wealth or had become centres of local rebellions, and that Islam as a religion was never involved in iconoclasm. On the other hand, they accused the Hindus of destroying any number of Buddhist, Jain and Animist shrines in the pre-Islamic days.
As a student of India’s history, ancient as well as medieval, I could see quite clearly that they were playing the Goebbelsian game of the Big Lie. But they could not be countered because they had come to dominate the academia and control the mass media during the heyday of the Nehru dynasty. Most of the prestigious press was owned by Hindu moneybags. But they had placed their papers in the hands of the most brazen-faced Hindu-baiters.
The most unkindest cut of all, however, came from the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party. They were doing nothing towards debunking Secularist lies about Hinduism vis-a-vis Buddhism and Jainism. But they were trumpeting from the house-tops that Islam did not permit the destruction of other people’s places of worship, and that namaz offered in a mosque built on the site of a temple was not acceptable to Allah! They were laying the blame for the destruction of the Ram Mandir not on Islam as an ideology of terror but on Babur as a foreign invader!
The only ray of light in this encircling gloom was Arun Shourie, the veteran journalist and the chief editor of the Indian express at that time. On February 5, 1989, he frontpaged an article, Hideaway Communalism, showing that while the Urdu version of a book by Maulana Hakim Sayid Abdul Hai of the Nadwatul-Ulama at Lucknow had admitted that seven famous mosques had been built on the sites of Hindu temples, the English translation published by the Maulana’s son, Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (Ali Mian) had eschewed the ‘controversial evidence’. He also published in the Indian Express three articles written by me on the subject of Islamic iconoclasm. This was a very courageous defiance of the ban imposed by Islam and administered by Secularism, namely, that crimes committed by Islam cannot even be whispered in private, not to speak of being proclaimed in public.
Finally, VOICE OF INDIA published in April, 1991 Volume I of a projected series - Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them. It was a collection of relevant articles by Arun Shourie, Harsh Narain, Jay Dubashi, Ram Swarup, and myself. An important part of the volume was a list of 2000 Muslim monuments built on the sites and/or with the materials of Hindu temples. This list became famous all over the country as soon as it came out.
Meanwhile, the evidence I had collected regarding Islamic iconoclasm could already cover several, and much bigger volumes. VOICE OF INDIA published in May, 1991 Volume II of the series. It was devoted exclusively to Islamic evidence, historical as well theological. It was received very well, particularly by the world of scholarship. Only the prestigious newspapers and periodicals in this country ignored it completely; they did not even acknowledge it in their ‘Books Received’ column. But an extensive review written by the Belgian scholar, Koenraad Elst, was published by VOICE OF INDIA in 1992 under the title Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam.
This second edition of Volume II is a thoroughly revised and somewhat enlarged version of the first edition. Its main merit is that the lengthy chapters in the earlier edition have been divided into smaller ones, and placed under several well-defined sections. A new Appendix on the meaning of the word ‘Hindu’ has been added. And the Appendix which carries the Questionnaire For the Marxist Professors, has been considerably expanded by inclusion of correspondence between myself and Professor Romila Thapar, the doyen of Marxist historians.
I take this opportunity to point out that the subject of this volume is not so much the destruction of Hindu temples as the character of Islam - an imperialist ideology of terrorism and genocide masquerading as a religion, in fact, as the only true religion. It is high time for Hindus to see Islam not with its own eyes but from the viewpoint of the great spiritual vision which is their inheritance.
SITA RAM GOEL
25 March 1993