Forever Ayodhya
Koenraad Elst
  • ISBN 13 : 9788173056888
  • year : 2023
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
Ayodhya, also known as Saket, is an ancient city of India, situated on the banks of the holy river Saryu. The birthplace of Lord Ram and the backdrop of the epic Ramayana, the land has historical and spiritual layers that place it on the top of the religious map of India. It has been regarded as first one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The present book brings together the writings of the author on the Ayodhya affair after the verdict of the High Court of Uttar Pradesh on 30 September 2010 till date. The chronicle of the Ayodhya controversy, views/writings of Left academics (ironically referred to as ‘eminent’ historians by the author), the tenacious Hindu resistance, some highly-biased Western viewpoints, etc. form the subject matter of this study. The author also draws the focus of the reader’s admiration and gratitude on the Ayodhya scholars, who braved the ‘eminent’ stormwind that the secularists had managed to produce, and they ultimately freed India from unnecessary and artificial controversy. They have thus freed Hindu society from an imposed taboo on what ought to have been normalcy itself: a Hindu sacred site houses a Hindu temple. The book is dedicated to the brothers, Ram and Sharad Kothari, martyred in 1990 while campaigning for the temple. Their struggle and sacrifice has not gone in vain as the temple they gave their life for is now coming up. With the consecration of the temple at Ayodhya, another long exile of Ram comes to an end. Embraced by the passion of devotees, Ayodhya is gearing up for its rightful place on the spiritual and cultural map of India and hopefully stays there FOREVER! CONTENTS: Preface 1. Eminent Historians Displeased with the Ayodhya Verdict 2. The Meaning of Hindu Kush 3. The Concocted Mahatma Formula for Ayodhya 4. Ayodhya’s Three History Debates 5. Dr Llewelyn Morgan: Another Hinduphobic from 55 Oxford? 6. Vijayanagar Negationism 7. An “Eminent Historian” Attacks Arun Shourie 8. The Definitive Ayodhya Chronicle 9. Interview about Romila Thapar’s Viewpoint 10. Ayodhya: The Guilt of the ‘Eminent Historians’ 11. Chronicle of the Ayodhya Controversy 12. Excerpts from “Academic Bullies” 13. Epitaph for the Ayodhya Affair 14. The NCERT’s Denial of Islamic Iconoclasm’s Uniqueness 15. Ayodhya, the Encyclopedia Entry 16. The Ayodhya Conflict Solved 17. Tenacious Hindu Resistance 18. The Truth about Ayodhya that Many Journalists Seem to Ignore 19. Down with Birthdays! How Great Occasions Like the Ayodhya Bhumi Pujan are Turned into Anniversaries of Others 20. Iconoclasm in Kerala Too 21. What the West’s Academy Has to Say on Ayodhya 22. Negationism in India, and in De Morgen 23. Ayodhya, Mecca: Same Struggle! What if Rama and Mohammed were Born Elsewhere? 24. A Buddhist Ayodhya? 25. Jainas and Buddhists in Ayodhya 26. Open Letter to Audrey Truschke 27. Ayodhya Forever 28. Why Itihāsa Means “History” 29. What the Rāmāyaṇa Tells us About Itself 30. In Praise of the Ayodhya Scholars 31. Ayodhya as an Eye-opener to the Forces Besieging Hinduism Index About the Author: Koenraad Elst (°Leuven 1959) distinguished himself early on as eager to learn and to dissent. In a youthful zest to find the truth, he took up qigong and yoga along with the study of the concomitant worldviews. He put his interest in Oriental wisdom traditions on a firmer footing by obtaining MA degrees in Sinology, Indology and Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. During a research stay at Benares Hindu University he discovered India’s communal controversy and subsequently did original fieldwork for a doctorate on Hindu Revivalism, which he obtained magna cum laude in 1998. As an independent scholar he earned laurels and ostracism with his findings on hot items like the genesis and differential essence of the world’s religions; multiculturalism and the secular state; the roots of Indo-European; the Ayodhya temple/mosque dispute; and Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy. He made a living with political journalism, as a foreign policy assistant in the Belgian Senate and as a Visiting Professor, but has always considered writing and research as his main vocation.