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The Writer’s View
Babri Mosque A Clash of Civilizations is a stanchly realistic novel. One of its main themes is that in Indian politics secularism despite its shallowness has been made too respectable by Gandhi and Nehru to fail to exact proper deference even from casteist and fundamentalist Hindu outfits. The only exceptions are exclusively Muslim political and religious groups for whom Islam is a complete ideology and Sharia is sacrosanct. But its most opportunistic practitioners are those Hindu leftists and secularists who despite their sincere ideological convictions gloss over Muslim fundamentalism and obscurantism for the sake of Muslim votes. In fact, Indian secularism has come to mean perpetuation of Muslim backwardness. In no other non-Muslim country of the world can a Muslim legally have four wives and divorce all of them on the phone. Even if it reflects the Hindu leftists’ despair that the Indian Muslim society is inflexibly opposed to a common civil code essentially out of spite to its Hindu rulers it doesn’t excuse their devious political alliances with and defense of the Muslim reactionaries. These Hindu “progressives” don’t realize, or realize but don’t care, that their criticism of the so-called Hindu nationalism for the placation of Muslims, without doing any harm to Hindus, who almost absolutely control power, further intensifies their animus against Muslims.
Babri Mosque A Clash of Civilizations sounds like pure historical fiction. And it does describe in picturesque detail the events leading up to the demolition of Babri Mosque, an event which according to the writer owes itself to the combined effect of centuries old Hindu-Muslim antagonism, Hindu pseudo-secularism and political opportunism so far as Muslims are concerned, willful Muslim fundamentalism and dissatisfaction with the Hindu rule and above all a sordidly avaricious media which instead of playing down the movement fanned it for commercial gain. However, the novel deals even more insightfully and engrossingly with human character. The triangle of husband, wife and lover has been described with remarkable flair. How the contention between an oppressively jealous husband and a virtuous but intellectually arrogant wife ultimately leads to the moral degradation and suicide by the latter. How an egotistical Gandhian feels no remorse for causing a tragic death by his insensitive attachment to his principles. Perhaps the most interesting theme of the novel is the ethics of regulated buying and selling of human organs, especially kidneys. According to the writer, it is ethical in certain circumstances and will save thousands of lives which are needlessly lost. The particular case he recounts at considerable length, and which ends in a tragedy, in justification of his view may be convincing but the possibility of the legalization of such buying and selling being abused by unscrupulous doctors and their agents cannot be ignored. That’s why no country in the world permits the commerce in human organs.