Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society

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Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society
Author Koenraad Elst
Country India
Language English
Publisher Voice of Dharma
Publication date
Ayodhya dispute
Archaeology of Ayodhya
Babri Masjid
Demolition of the Babri Masjid
Ram Janmabhoomi
2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha
Vishva Hindu Parishad
Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas
Bharatiya Janata Party
Liberhan Commission
Nirmohi Akhara
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Sunni Waqf Board
Ashok Singhal
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
L. K. Advani
Kalyan Singh
Murli Manohar Joshi
Uma Bharti

Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society is a book by Koenraad Elst published in 1991 by Voice of India. The book is about the Ayodhya debate and also discusses Indian politics and communalism. Elst opines that reaching national integration "requires dropping the anti-Hindu separatist doctrines that have largely been created for the purposes of several imperialisms, and are now being kept afloat with a lot of distortive intellectual and propagandistic effort."

The book attempts to examine the polemics between 'communalists' and 'secularists' in India. He also writes about Indian secularism and Communalism, and alleges "that a clear majority of the riots are started by Muslims". In another chapter, the author discusses the banning of books like Ram Swarup's Understanding Islam through Hadis. In the 14th chapter he discusses the concept of "Hindu Fascism".

This book was his second book on the Ayodhya debate. It was followed by Ayodhya, The Finale and Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple.

Reception of his books on Ayodhya[edit]

Elst has written several books on the Ayodhya debate. His first was Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid, a Case Study in Hindu-Muslim conflict, while the book of the present article was his second.

Elst's book Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid, a Case Study in Hindu-Muslim conflict (1990) was the first book published by a non-Indian on the Ayodhya debate.[1] His opinion is that "until 1989, there was a complete consensus in all sources (Hindu, Muslim and European) which spoke out on the matter, viz. that the Babri Masjid had been built in forcible replacement of a Hindu temple."[2] He claimed that politically motivated academics have, through their grip on the media, manufactured doubts concerning this coherent and well-attested tradition.[1] Elst alleges that the anti-Temple group in the Ayodhya conflict have committed serious breaches of academic deontology and says that the "overruling of historical evidence with a high-handed use of academic and media power" in the Ayodhya controversy was the immediate reason to involve himself in the debate.[3]

K. Elst sent Goel a manuscript of his first book Ram Janmabhoomi Vs. Babri Masjid: A Case Study in Hindu Muslim Conflict. Goel was impressed with Elst's script: "I could not stop after I started reading it. I took it to Ram Swarup the same evening. He read it during the night and rang me up next morning. Koenraad Elst's book, he said, should be published immediately."[4] In August 1990, L. K. Advani released Koenraad Elst's book about the Ayodhya conflict at a public function presided over by Girilal Jain.[4][5]

According to Elst, the book was presented to the world by L.K. Advani and Girilal Jain, together with Sita Ram Goel’s Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them, and thereby appeared on the cover of most Indian newspapers. [6]

The book was reviewed by professor Ramesh Rao. [7]

Indologist Gerald James Larson called the book a good treatment of the Neo Hindu interpretation of the evidence. [8] K. D. Sethna, also known as Amal Kiran, he praised Elst's book on Babri Masjid as "absolutely the last word".[9]

Reflecting on a book review by Ayub Khan, Elst says that he was criticzed because his writings on the Ayodhya debate were quoted by BJP leaders like L.K. Advani. Ayub Khan wrote that "such is his importance in Hindutva circles that L.K. Advani quoted him at length while deposing before the Liberhan Commission investigation the demolition of Babri Masjid." [10]

Prof. Edwin Bryant notes that the third Ayodhya book is one of Elst's notable works. [11] The book is cited in numerous publications, like Thomas Gilly's The Ethics of Terrorism, D. Anands "Hindu nationalism in India", Rebecca Frey's "Fundamentalism", Edwin Bryants "Quest for the origins of Vedic culture", and many more.


  1. ^ a b Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  2. ^ Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu? Chapter Nine
  3. ^ Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu? Chapter Eleven
  4. ^ a b Sitam Ram Goel, How I became a Hindu. ch.9
  5. ^ Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991) Footnote 64
  6. ^ Koenraad Elst (2014-01-28). "Koenraad Elst: What have I done?". Koenraadelst.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  7. ^ "Dr Ramesh N Rao - Articles - History". Rameshnrao.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  8. ^ India's Agony Over Religion By Gerald James Larson
  9. ^ Mother India: Monthly Review of Culture, Volume 58. page 521
  10. ^ K. Elst, The problem with secularism, ISBN 9788185990811, 2007
  11. ^ The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History edited by Edwin Francis Bryant, Laurie L. Patton Among twenty published titles, most attention has been drawn by his Update on the Aryan Invasion ..... and Ayodhya, the Case against the Temple.

Further reading[edit]

  • "The Ayodhya demolition: an evaluation", in Dasgupta, S., et al.: The Ayodhya Reference, q.v., p. 123-154.
  • The Ayodhya debate in Pollet, G., ed.: Indian Epic Values. Râmâyana and Its Impact. Leuven: Peeters. 1995, q.v., p. 21-42. (adapted from a paper of the International Ramayana Conference and the October 1995 Annual South Asia Conference in Madison, Wisconsin)
  • The Ayodhya debate: focus on the "no temple" evidence, World Archaeological Congress, 1998
  • K. Elst on Ayodhya Outlook India
  • Review