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Pakistan returns 400 temples to Hindus - A Hindu response

I came across this post by the reknowned author, William Darymple on Pakistan promising to renovate and return 400 temples to the Hindu community.

That is great.

However, there was something problematic about the tweet. Notice the first line - 'Something of a contrast'. The inference is hard to miss. The fact that the Indian Supreme Court had given its verdict recently to return the Ram Janmabhoomi to the Hindus stands (as per William) in direct contrast to Pakistan returning its temples to Hindus. The moral signalling is relevant. Hindu majority India is handing 'Muslim' places of worship to Hindus, while Pakistan being a Muslim majority nation is  transferring Hindu places of worship back to Hindus.

Katas Raj Mandir Comples
Indian nationalists will take a serious offence at the patronising tone, as Pakistani liberals have already done. After driving the bulk of Pakistan's minorities out of the nation and committing outright genocide in 1971 in its Eastern wing, Pakistan can be no model of minority rights to speak of. Hundreds of thousands of temples lie in ruins, are under occupation, the Hindu population either converted or evicted. Such a nation returning 400 temples to a nearly non exisitng Hindu population ( even assuming they actually fulfill this promise) is more of a PR exercise than a genuine change of heart. In contrast, in India, the Muslim population has grown to nearly 16% of the population and the number of masjids built is the highest in the world.

But that is the way Indian nationalists would be expected to respond.

My point is different.

The objective of the original tweet is a common sentiment of virtue signalling. The point is that Hindus or India (interchangably used) are more narrow minded than Muslims and the proof is the different treatment given to the Babri Masjid and the Hindu temples in Pakistan. The motive is simple - to inflict a sense of guilt in the mind of an ordinary Hindu for being a hate monger and pride in a Muslim for being tolerant and celebrating a vibrant past.

I look at it entirely differently. As a RamBhakt, I am grateful to Alimighty Gods that the Ram Mandir can now be rebuilt in Ayodhya. I am also grateful to the Government of Pakistan assuming that they actually intend to return the temples to Hindus for resuming worship. If the temples are restored to Hindus (as is their right), it will bring peace to the region and instill bhakti among the people. I reject the trade that is implicitly expected of Hindus - Pakistan is returning Hindu temples. Therefore, Indians should cease asking for restoration of their own temples in India.

Whoa! It makes no sense, does it?

Once you chip away the irrational logic that masquerades as a virtue or a perverted trade off of faith so to say - you see that the underlying analogy does not stand scrutiny.

The Ram Janmabhoomi belongs to the Hindus. As do the temples (that are often used as toilets) of Pakistan. Restoring monuments to their rightful owners is where the actual virtue lies in.

So yes, I welcome the move by the Government of Pakistan, provided the same is in good spirit, as I do regarding their support in the Kartarpur corridor. In the same spirit, I also support the right of Hindus to demand the restoration of their places of worship all over the world, including India. May we free them all in the near future. 


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