ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unorthodox Elite Secularism

Unorthodox Elite Secularism

This is with reference to Kumkum Roy’s paper (“Issues of Faith”, EPW, 11 December) on the Ayodhya verdict of the Allahabad High Court. If Roy’s account of faith is a viewpoint from the faithful, I do not have diffi culties in accepting her thesis. But if Roy’s account of faith is a viewpoint from secularism, which is what she claims in the end of her paper, I do have a major difficulty with her thesis. Roy’s thesis upholds all forms of faith among Hindus except the temple form of worship, especially the idea of a Ram temple.

First, she argues that the court verdict has narrowly interpreted the diversities of faith in Hinduism by valorising the idea of incarnation of god in a specified site and more particularly the idea of Ram. Nowhere does she offer evidence to prove that the court verdict does deny diversities of faith in Hinduism. The court verdict is generally bound by claims and counterclaims. In the present case, the dispute is between a specific mandir and masjid. So the court has adjudicated on that aspect of faith which appeared before it in dispute. It does not follow from there to show that the said verdict has denied all other aspects of faith among Hindus which may have relevance for secularism.

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