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Forever Ayodhya: Ayodhya is an Eye-Opener for the Forces Besieging Hinduism

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Item Code: BAE633
Publisher: Aryan Books International
Author: Koenraad Elst
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9788173056888
Pages: 345
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 520 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

Ayodhya, also known as Saket, is an ancient city of India, situated on the banks of the holy river Saryu. The birthplace of Lord Ram and the backdrop of the epic Ramayana, the land has historical and spiritual layers that place it on the top of the religious map of India. It has been regarded as first one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus.
The present book brings together the writings of the author on the Ayodhya affair after the verdict of the High Court of Uttar Pradesh on 30 September 2010 till date. The chronicle of the Ayodhya controversy, views/writings of Left academics (ironically referred to as 'eminent' historians by the author), the tenacious Hindu resistance, some highly-biased Western viewpoints, etc. form the subject matter of this study. The author also draws the focus of the reader's admiration and gratitude on the Ayodhya scholars, who braved the 'eminent' storm wind that the secularists had managed to produce, and they ultimately freed India from unnecessary and artificial controversy. They have thus freed Hindu society from an imposed taboo on what ought to have been normalcy itself: a Hindu sacred site houses a Hindu temple.
The book is dedicated to the brothers, Ram and Sharad Kothari, martyred in 1990 while campaigning for the temple. Their struggle and sacrifice has not gone in vain as the temple they gave their life for is now coming up. With the consecration of the temple at Ayodhya, another long exile of Ram comes to an end. Embraced by the passion of devotees, Ayodhya is gearing up for its rightful place on the spiritual and cultural map of India and hopefully stays there FOREVER!

About the Author

Koenraad Elst (Leuven 1959) distinguished himself early on as eager to learn and to dissent. In a youthful zest to find the truth, he took up qigong and yoga along with the study of the concomitant worldviews. He put his interest in Oriental wisdom traditions on a firmer footing by obtaining MA degrees in Sinology, Indology and Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. During a research stay at Benares Hindu University he discovered India's communal controversy and subsequently did original fieldwork for a doctorate on Hindu Revivalism, which he obtained magna cum laude in 1998. As an independent scholar he earned laurels and ostracism with his findings on hot items like the genesis and differential essence of the world's religions; multiculturalism and the secular state; the roots of Indo-European; the Ayodhya temple/mosque dispute; and Mahatma Gandhi's legacy. He made a living with political journalism, as a foreign policy assistant in the Belgian Senate and as a Visiting Professor, but has always considered writing and research as his main vocation.


In the present book, we have brought together our writings on the Ayodhya affair after the verdict by the High Court of Uttar Pradesh on 30 September 2010. It is best read in conjunction with our 2002 book Ayodhya: the Case Against the Temple, whereas our other earlier publications on Ayodhya are now dated due to the many developments on the controversy.
We dedicate this book to the brothers Ram and Sharad Kothari, martyred in 1990 while campaigning for the temple. Our visit to their parents in Kolkata made us wonder whether the pain we saw and which pride in their sacrifice could not entirely eclipse, could not have been avoided by a less adversarial strategy to wrest the contentious site from the community that had illegitimately occupied it. Today, we are convinced that this was possible. Leaders should be careful with the lives of the young men they put on the frontlines.
If we had believed in communal balance, we would also have dedicated this book to Babri Masjid campaigner Syed Shahabuddin, then convenor of the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee (to be distinguished from the more official Babri Masjid Action Committee), not martyred but also deceased. We have fond memories of visiting Shahabuddin's advocate's office in 1990, where he was present but found reasons not to receive us. His connection with martyrdom is only that after the Demolition of 6 December 1992, he spoke of the former mosque as "šahid (= martyr) Babri Masjid". He gave the Ayodhya affair an international dimension by tying it to the ban on Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, which he extracted from PM Rajiv Gandhi in the autumn of 1988, and which was to lead to troublesome events in Iran, Britain and other countries, and an attack on Rushdie in New York 2022. But his most remarkable contribution, setting him apart from all the other anti-temple campaigners, was that he promised to have a temple built if the pre-existence of a temple could be proven. And that's how it has gone. Also, in 1995, unlike the AB Vajpayee and Narendra Modi governments, he introduced a Private Bill amending the Constitution's Art. 30 so as to give the majority equal educational rights with minorities. Despite his Islamic fanaticism, he had his heart in the right place.
At any rate, the Kothari brothers have not struggled in vain, for the temple they gave their lives for, is coming up. This ought to put an end to the Ayodhya affair. It is now mainly as a service to historians that we have collected our remaining writings about it. For the rest of you, it may have an entertaining value, all this ado about a mere temple. So, while the work was mine, may the reader profit from it, and to Rama alone the glory.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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