Apparently, the rest of the world does not understand the seriousness of the situation.
Ever since the Hindu Nationalist Party, the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), won elections in 1992 and drove the traditional Congress Party from power, tensions have been rising. In 1992, Hindu rioters stormed the oldest Muslim mosque in India, tore it down and reduced it to rubble. This led to riots throughout the country that left 2,000 people dead.
Today, 300,000 new rioters have assembled at the location of the former mosque and are planning to build a Hindu temple on top of it.
The rioters claim that the former mosque at Ayodhya is the location of the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram. Archaeologists and other experts who have studied this subject say that there is no basis for this claim. There was never a Hindu temple at Ayodhya and Ram was probably a mythological character and not a real person, the experts say. The Hindus also plan to tear down the Muslim mosque at Mathura, which they claim is on the birthplace of Krishna, another mythological Hindu god.
But that is not all. The Hindus claim that when the Muslims invaded and conquered India five hundred years ago, they destroyed 30,000 to 60,000 Hindu temples and built Muslim mosques on top of them. Therefore, the Hindu rioters are planning eventually to tear down all those Muslim mosques and replace them with Hindu Temples.
There is some basis for the Hindu claims. It is a well-known historical fact that Muslims from Afghanistan came down and conquered India many times. One would naturally assume that, having conquered the country, they would build their own houses of worship. For example, the Grand Mosque in Istanbul was originally a Catholic Church.
Although the Hindus have always had the majority population of India, they have almost never been the rulers. The first Muslim invasion of India came in around 700 AD, not long after the death of Mohammad.
Among the better known Muslim conquerors of India are Babur (1483-1530) who established the Moghul Empire and built the mosque at Ayodhya, Mahmood of Ghazni, who successfully invaded India 19 times in a row, and Nadir Shah (1688-1747) who captured the Red Fort and the Peacock Throne. All of them came from Afghanistan. For this reason, India has traditionally lived in terror and fear of the much smaller Afghanistan, much as the elephant is in fear of the mouse.
The Hindus were not able to defeat the Muslims on the field of battle. They gained power recently because of democracy and having the majority vote.
Now, the Hindus plan to get revenge for all this, starting today.
The courts of India have issued an order prohibiting religious demonstrations at Ayodhya, but an order of the courts means nothing in the face of an angry mob of 300,000 persons.
Nobody, not even those who dislike India and the Hindu population, could possibly want what could possibly happen. If a full scale civil war breaks out, which is certainly possible, and if the Hindus seem to be gaining the upper hand, Pakistan could invade in support of their Muslim brothers. Both sides have nuclear weapons.
The rest of the world can do nothing but watch, pray and hope. India alone has a population of one billion. Neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh have more than one hundred million each. Nobody can even imagine the outcome and the impact on the rest of the world if these countries go up in flames.
PS One of my daughters, Anusha, is named after a Hindu god.