Words, words….….ad infinitum

Gyanvapi Masjid matter is an example of ignoring facts and stretching issues for no reason other than not being able to shut up, writes Prof HC Pande


Since verbal science has no final end,

Since life is short and obstacles impend,

Let central facts be picked and firmly fixed,

As swans extract the milk with water mixed.

————- Panchatantra.


India is a big country,and not just population wise.The variety of cultures,religions,languages,and almost everything else,is hard to find in the rest of the world anywhere .It is therefore no surprise to find controversies raising their heads somewhere or the other,sometime or the other,somehow or the other.So far so good,but the way the contentious issues are handled,and,debated in the electronic media,tends to confuse the issues,and,more often than not,the required action is put on the back burner and,debates go on a tangent with no end in sight.This causes more harm to the society than,possibly,the issues could cause themselves.Here are two examples,one a bit stale,and, the other just about ‘oven fresh’.

The CAA and the NCR agitation is,as on date,the supreme example of how a serious matter was,shall we say,un-handled,at the supreme level.The matter was so elementary,that a layman who does not even know what LLB stands for could decide without thinking twice.There was one,and only one,central fact,and that was,whether a law passed by the Parliament after due process,is constitutional or not.But the swans did not oblige and avoided separating the milk from water.So all that happened was a flurry of activities concerned with the width,length and depth of the pool,BOD and COD content of the water body and the rest,till the pool dried up by itself.In this process all the lotuses wilted and the fish died,but who bothers,the verbal diarrhoea had to go on.

The Gyanvapi masjid matter is another example of ignoring facts and stretching issues for no reason other than not being able to shut up. All through history the prominent temples in India have been rich,and,continue to be,in the sense that the offerings of the devotees are in the form of jewellery,gold and silver,which continue to accumulate as the temple expenses are minimal.As an example the Sri Padmanabhaswami temple in Kerala,which did not face any attacks has,as of today,treasures to the tune of over Rs. one lac crores. The vast wealth of the temples in India was one major cause of invasions.The invaders,in fact,glorified dacoits,who happened to be Muslims,looted the treasures,destroyed the temples,and,In some cases, mosques were built on the temple ruins.

Here again there is nothing to argue about but just to decide how far back in history one can go,keeping in view the sentiments of the communities involved.As on date,there is no ‘Time Machine’ available,so the historical wrongs can not be undone, but only atoned for in a demonstrable way to assuage the feelings of hurt & injustice of the community concerned.

One has to realise that time flows only one way and that sentiments can not be argued about,so the flood of words must stop and action based on the central facts must be taken.

But then,the decibels have to be kept happy,the debates have to go on and the TV anchors have to have something to shout at.


(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus , BITS, Mesra)

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