Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Never Forget

The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished today in 1992. The mosque was built by Babur in the 16th century, India's first Mughal emperor. So Hindu fascists led by the saffron singing Bharatiya Janata Party came out to destroy the mosque since it was alleged that the mosque was built over a temple to commerate the birthplace of Lord Ram.
I was only 16 but i remember feeling sad, angry and deeply secular. The newspaper pictures showed rubble and what promised to be utter chaos in the days ahead. And what followed was one of the bloodiest communal warfares in recent Indian history.
First, there was a Muslim backlash and then a Hindu backlash resulting in the Bombay Riots. Around 1,000 people killed before a commission was appointed to investigate who did what to whom when and where. It was found that the right-wing Shiv Sena party incited the riots but till date none of the commission's recommendations have been acted on or implemented.
That's secular, democratic, 21st century, call center, multiplexes, so-sexycool-yaar, dosa and tikka loving, nuke dealing, IT revolutionary India for you!


Rohini said...

And every 6th December still brings back memories of that fear.

To add to that, it is also Ambedkar's birthday and this year that was really tense too since some idiots beheaded one of his statues in Kanpur and the Dalits were really pissed.

Mosilager said...

I wonder if a stronger justice system where the perpetrators were sure to get punished would lead to fewer such riots. When people see that justice is being done they will be less inclined to kill random passers-by. Of course women always pay a very heavy price in these riots.

Rajeev said...

Nice blog you've got here :)

Shilpa said...

rohini: ya i read about the statue and the huge Dalit rally.. that date seems to add something new every year.
mosilager: i'm not sure if a stronger justice system will make much of a difference.. maybe i'm just being cynical but fanatics will do what they have to do.
rajeev: thanks!