Every day our rulers and media moghuls bombard us with the news of the arrival of India as new economic powerhouse contributing to the global march towards high modernity. But let us look at the flip side of our great sub-continent with tall claims of a civilization thousands of years of old and as the guru of the world. Two hapless middle level bureaucrats of Archeological Survey of India have been suspended for stating the obvious that Rama is mythological character, not a historical character. And no modern government, it doesn't matter what is the religious of its majority population, has to go by professional advice based on scientific and rational inquiry. All of us know the difference between myth and reality.
A nation boasting of having third highest numbers of scientists and technicians in the world and our pride of providing highest number of software engineers to the Silicon Valley can't be blackmailed by medieval religious bigots and especially the fascist Hindu Sangh Parivar to take the entire nation for a ride for its retrograde, regressive, obscurantist and fascist designs. This applies both to the Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists. Both Hindu and Muslim Talibanism are the two sides of the same coin. They are basically anti-women, anti-dalit and are poised to roll back all the democratic achievements after centuries of struggle, including the lofty ideals of the French Revolution and the big claims of the Indian Constitution.
Whatever happened since past few months shocks every rational, democratic mindset. Some religious leaders attacked Taslima Nasrin and later pass a fatwa to kill her. A group of mad Muslim clerics pass a fatwa that girls and boys cannot sit together in the same bench in the Kerala schools. Every month the newspapers report us a dalit woman is being paraded naked, jati panchayats punishing couples, no right thinking person can forget the Roshani incident two years ago. Eve teasing, bride burning and rapes are an every day experience of Indian women. So much to say for our great Indian civilization, much trumpeted by the Sangh Parivar.
We are yet to recoil from the gory days of NDA government's experimentation with education, saffronizing the text books and introducing stupid irrational subjects like Vedic Mathematics and astrology. What happened in the Rama Setu incident is quite medieval obscurantism. Even the NASA pictures and studies by the colonial government enshrined in the Gazetteers clearly say that the so-called Rama Setu is a natural coral reef. Any modern government should respect this fact. Thee sheer capitulation of Congress-led UPA government shows the dual character of the Congress party. We should not forget that it is the same Congress under Rajiv Gandhi's leadership passed the Muslim women's bill in the wake of the Shahbano controversy to appease the Muslim fundamentalists with the greedy eye on the Muslim vote bank. Thus sealing the fate of the democratic aspirations of Muslim women and their struggle for equal rights. They opened the Babri Masjid doors and provided an issue to BJP on a platter. Congress party's soft communalism gives BJP a bigger weapon to communalise the country and implement their fascist design.
We appeal to all the democratic and progressive organizations and individuals to demand the revocation of the two ASI officials and pressurise the government of India not to pamper to communal outfits and Hindu and Muslim clerics.