Musings on a momentous day

Suddenly courts have been catapulted to the centre stage of national politics.

Normally judgments rendered by courts are prosaic, mundane and deal with the common problems of greed, lust, ego, arrogance and desire. However once in a while courts have to deal with more sublime issues of God and beyond.

Lord Rama and Emperor Babar seem to be fighting it out for a shelter in Ayodhya. The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court has the unenviable task of holding the scales even and deciding this dispute. The extremely rigid and harsh stand taken by the political parties has pushed the country to its brink; national life is on the edge, schools and colleges are closed, large scale para-military forces have been deployed to keep the law and order.

Very rarely has so much been triggered by a court’s impending decision. It is hoped that the judges would decide fearlessly, impartially and with judicial statesmanship. Even in a conflict zone, soothing words of consolation, love, compassion and tolerance have a salutary effect on the combatants. The judicial verdict is awaited with baited breath.

At the other end of the world, near about Ground Zero in the metropolis of New York, USA, a different kind of sparring has been going on for several weeks now. This relates to the setting up of an Islamic Centre propounded by the moderate voice of the Muslims in a plot of land which is a couple of blocks away from the erstwhile World Trade Centre.
America being the land of freedom, its constitution guarantees freedom of worship, which is the same as the Indian Constitution proclaiming that India is a secular country. The moderates are backed  by the Mayor of New York (who is politically and economically powerful). The Democrats led by their President Obama have pitched support.

Strong emotions have triggered unusual reactions from the ultra-conservative Southerners led by a maverick pastor in Texas threatening to burn the Holy Koran publicly (which thankfully Jesus Christ dissuaded). The image of America which is very important for the Americans has taken a beating.

Half-baked and misleading information dished out by the powerful television media has kept American polity in a state of darkness by propounding that all Muslims are terrorists, that everything Islamic is anti-American, that the Holy Koran preaches violence, that Prophet Mohamed encouraged jihad. These are complete untruths. America is now facing a burning problem just as India is about to experience an earth shaking judicial verdict.
The answer clearly lies outside the domain of religion and politics. It lies in the hearts of men and women. Universal values which apply across the board such as truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence provide the answer.

These ideals ought to be instilled in the hearts of tiny tots from the time they start education in the lap of their parents and continued in schools, colleges and educational institutions. One remembers the famous Bhajan which was Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite:

Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram
Patita Pavana Seetharam
Eswara Alla Tere Naam
Sab Ko Sanmathi De Bhagavan

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