No religion approves man killing man to sell, appease or protect God. Yet millions have been killed to propitiate God ever since he was created/invented by Man. Even today such killings continue from Ireland to the Philippines.
Recently hundreds have lost their lives due to passions aroused by the Ram Janambhoomi and Babri mosque controversy. Fanatics and fundamentalists are above rationale, logic, human values and even law.
Deep religious devotion and love for God inspired great art, music and architecture in the past. We are rightly proud of our great spiritual and cultural heritage. Today religion is devoid of spiritual values and artistic creativity - they are replaced by communal hatred, violence and greed.
This insanity and communal frenzy must be stopped at any cost. The religious leaders, politicians and intellectuals must try and find a long-term solution through human, spiritual and cultural values. Why not take this opportunity to establish a nucleus for promoting communal harmony, understanding and religious tolerance by imparting knowledge of comparative religion on this volatile and disputed land around the Babri mosque?
I suggest that the area be turned into a unique spiritual centre of all faiths with a beautiful modern temple, church, gurdwara, synagogue and prayer halls for all other religions. Also repair and renovate the Babri mosque and build a complex to house a school of comparative religion.
This spiritual centre, the first of its kind in the world, should also be a complex of architectural beauty, a show piece that our future generations would be proud of. Temples, Mosques and churches built in India these days are usually extremely crude, unimaginative sometimes a comical imitation of our exquisite architectural heritage. In the West hundreds of very beautiful modern churches have been built since World War I, that do not resemble the great churches or cathedrals. A few beautiful modern mosques can also be seen in some Islamic countries. Why should we continue to build vulgar copies of our past glories?
While my proposal would at first appear naive and utopian, it could appeal to some leader with a grand vision. And if there is a sincere and strong political will such a dream can become a reality.
— Habib Rahman in The Statesman, July 28 (1990).
[T]he alternative proposal called for a comparatively modest set of new structures to be added onto and adjacent to the existing mosque. But neither a temple or mosque, it would be a ‘spiritual centre of al faiths’ that would function as a school for comparative religious studies.
…and many readers were likely to have dismissed it just a cynical joke on the part of the former government architect. On closer consideration, however, the seemingly superficial doodle belied the deeper-seated modernist convictions that drove Rahman’s ‘solution’. Notable was the distinctively non-historicist treatment and sheer scale of the open-web steel structures proposed, and the clearly instrumental manner in which the iconic forms implied — minaret, dome and shikhara … — were subordinated, through the diagrammatic plan, to the stated function of the scheme. The design anticipated that these iconic profiles would frame each other from different points of view, enabling (literally) transparent comparisons between architectural cultures of different, seemingly incommensurable, religious belief systems. Particularly telling of the functionalist underpinning of the design was the understated in-between element that bridged the central, interstitial gap of the bilateral composition. This was the sanctuary of the impartial technicians — the janitors, security guards and building services engineers — who would ensure the orderly operation and maintenance of the complex. ‘Naïve and utopian’ by Rahman’s own admission, he noted that his syncretic design proposal would require the patronage of ‘a leader with a grand vision’ and the sincerity and political will to realize it. Rahman’s lament at the dearth of such leadership in the current gridlock of ‘democratic’ India’s electoral politics was hardly concealed. — Scriver and Srivastava, India, 2016, pp 311-3.
Rahman’s unsolicited foray into the Ayodhya debate was particularly revealing for and architect who had devoted his career to the building of public works. Not only did it articulate his own obvious professional conviction that architecture mattered, but also his evident belief that contemporary Indian society in general, not least the opportunistic populist political and religious leadership of the day, had once again come to share his conviction, for better or for worse. It was Rahman’s prerogative, as a ‘public’ architect, to emerge from retirement and restate the half-forgotten modernists’ case for architectural design as a medium for problem-solving that could thereby bring about constructive change in culture and society. Such a technocratic approach still had the merit, above all, of its utility. It could, pragmatically, bypass the ostensible problem of right architecture versus wrong architecture that the looming essentialism of postmodern cultural politics in the 1990s was poised to articulate so destructively, in India, as elsewhere in the months and years that followed. Rahman, no less than the wily politicians who had contested the general elections of 1989, sensed that the disputed site of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi at Ayodhya was where the final symbolic battle for modernism in India would be played out… — Scriver and Srivastava, India, 2016, pp 311-13