I came across this post by the reknowned author, William Darymple on Pakistan promising to renovate and return 400 temples to the Hindu community.
Something of a contrast...— William Dalrymple (@DalrympleWill) November 12, 2019
Pakistan to restore, hand over 400 Hindu temples https://t.co/ufTdlW3joH via @indiatoday
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|
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.