Babri Masjid demolition (BMD) in Ayodhya is one of the darkest moments in Indian history. Though the event took place 25 years ago on 6 Dec.1992, the vengeance and damage done during that period persists till today and has affected Indian society and polity deeply;
1. Hindu nationalists or karsevaks, by destroying the mosque on the pretext that an actual ‘Ram Mandir’ used to exist on the masjid’s spot, set in motion a chain of communal attacks that tore through India. Rioting, burning of public property and killing of innocent people in the name of religion & god left a deep dent in the secular fabric of the country. The 1993 Bombay riots shook the conscience of the nation
2. The attack by Hindu fanatics on a Muslim place of worship sowed a deep level of hatred within Muslim minority who lost their family and property in the riots. Islamic fundamentalist movement in India became more pronounced & helpless and hurt Muslims were motivated to join terrorist groups so that they could avenge their brethren’s murder
3. Despite the Allahabad High Court’ (AHC) ruling that requested the 3 conflicted groups, Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf board and Nirmohi Akhara to divide the 2.77 acre property b/w themselves equally, the ruling was challenged by fundamentalist mindsets on both sides.
4. Hindu nationalist groups like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) have reminded the ruling NDA government to fulfill its poll promise of building a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. These groups aren’t ready for a mutual compromise on any level despite recent interventions by Art of Living founder, Ravi Shankar.
Something like BMD should never happen again. It’s ultimately, the citizens of India that must decide whether they wish to follow secularism or communalism. Let’s hope the Supreme Court of India’s judgement upholds secularism and doesn’t succumb to populist thought that might threaten India again.