Prime Minister is going to formally inaugurate the construction of Shri Ram Janmbhumi Mandir. Some Muslims who were nowhere to support Hindus during this long struggle full of blood, toil, and tear to regain the Janmbhumi, are offering their contribution and saying that Shri Ram was their ancestor too. And naïve Hindutva followers are going gaga over it. It has been a strong belief in the Hindutva camp that if Muslims accept their pre-Islamic ancestry, their conflict with Hindus ends for good.
M.S. Golwalkar ji was one of the champions of this theory. He said that if Indian Muslims accepted their pre-Islamic ancestry and started respecting the indigenous culture, there would not be any conflict between them and Hindus. He gives an example of three countries where Muslims accept their local ancestry and respect the local culture. These countries are Turkey, Iran, and Indonesia. According to Golwalkar ji, Persians became Muslims but they did not give up their Persian way of life. They write in Persian script they are fond of the memory of their forefathers, they remember them with honor. Turkey completely transformed itself into a modern European country despite having Islam as a religion. The third example is Indonesia which is referred by even modern Hindu leaders.
Atal ji goes one step ahead and puts Afghanistan in the same category. He remembers one incident of his visit to Afghanistan during his ministership when he finds a Hotel named Kanishka. When he speaks to the Afghan diplomat, he replies, we have changed our religion not forefathers.
I am too small to criticize people like Atal Ji and Shri Guruji and I never intend to do so. The Bunch of Thought was published much before the Islamic revolutions in Iran and Atal ji was MEA when the Islamic revolution in Afghanistan was taking shape. They may have changed their opinions after watching what happened in Iran Afghanistan and what is happening in Turkey in recent years.
But we need to understand that this idea doesn’t work. Accepting the pre-Islamic ancestry doesn’t mean respecting pre-Islamic religion and culture. Even the people of Saudi Arabia accept their pre-Islamic ancestry but consider their ancestors Jahil (Idiot) and the pre-Islamic period Jahiyyah ( period of idiocy). Today, Iran is the epitome of Islamic fundamentalism and Afghanistan has no place for even pre-Islamic ruins. Turkey is also on the path of Iran and religion is the only cause of its hostility towards India and love for Pakistan.
One may give an argument that fundamentalism was instilled in these countries by different catalysts who were inspired by vested interests. But even with that argument, it can not be denied that the main force was Islam itself.
Let us take the example of Europe. Most of the population is Christian. They accept their pagan ancestry but do they have any respect for those pagan beliefs? That was Dark Age for them. Their pre-Christianity ancestors were Barbarians. When they are not barbarians such as in the context of Greece and Rome, their religion was false. No European Christian will ever consider the religion of their forefathers equal to Christianity.
Therefore, Hindus must do away with this belief that accepting pre-Islamic ancestry is going to solve any problem.