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Dec 6 Babri Masjid Demolition in Ayodhya – a day of celebration?

Babri Masjid was a mosque in Ayodhya built in 1528-29 by Mir Baqi, a general of the Mughal Emperor Babur. The mosque is believed to be built on the lands which earlier had a Ram Temple. This has been a contentious issue at least since the 19th century and it reached a fervor pitch during the 1980s and the early 1990s. Following LK Advani’s Rath Yatra, a momentum was created against the Babri Masjid and the yatra was galvanized many Hindus to revolt against Babri Masjid.

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Old photo of Babri Masjid which was demolished on 6 Dec 1992.

On the fateful day on December 6th, 1992, a rally conducted by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other like-minded organizations including the BJP in Ayodhya turned violent which resulted in the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The destruction of the Babri Masjid led to communal clashes throughout the country over the next couple of years and the country has not fully healed from the wounds of those wounds. Every year, 6th December would induce the Government to be extra cautious to maintain the status quo.

The demolition of the Babri Masjid led to several lawsuits and the verdict was issued on 30th September 2022 which acquitted all the 32 accused in the case, including former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, former Union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. In addition to the acquittal, the Court also awarded the disputed land to build a temple for Hindu deity Ram, as it is believed to be his birthplace, even though the court agreed that the destruction of the Babri Masjid was illegal.

(Left to Right) Vinay Katiyar, L.K. Advani, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Kalyan Singh.

The hope of the end.

Although Muslims and certain sections of the centrists were not satisfied with the verdict, the hope was that the polarization of Hindus and Muslims would come to an end, as the Ram temple will be built. But that hope went in vain as the communal agenda picked up pace after that. The right-wing ecosystem spreads hatred in society every other day and the claims of love jihad, population explosion, economic boycott of Muslims etc can be heard every other day.

The recently concluded Gujarat elections too became a religious affair when Narendra Modi went on the offensive for a wry comment from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, where he criticized the fact that Narendra Modi becomes the poster boy for every single election in the country even if it is the local panchayat elections during which he questioned whether Modi has 100 heads like Ravana because he can be seen everywhere.

The laws such as CAA which are dubbed draconian laws by its opposers have been implemented which categorically treats Muslim refugees differently. There is a fear among Muslims that with the implementation of NRC, Muslims will be detained in detention camps, which are like the ones built in Assam. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections of 2022 was dubbed as the election between 80% and 20% implying the 80% Hindus of the state and 20% Muslims.

Why celebrate December 6?

Now that the demolition of the Babri Masjid completes 30 years (1992-2022), Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders such as Sadhvi Prachi and the BJP supporters such as Arun Yadav among many others have been making calls openly to celebrate the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6th December 1992. Posts like this didn’t even attempt subtlety.

Archive Link to Ankit Pandey’s tweet

Archive Tweet to Arun Yadav’s Tweet

A twitter trend #हर_घर_भगवा was created just for the occasion which calls for every Hindu or every Sanatani to celebrate the day, though it is called as the day of the ‘Bhagwa’, the saffron flag of the right-wing organizations. The day is now going to be celebrated to taunt Muslims and even a passive comment against such practices would be termed ‘anti-Hindu’, fearing which no political party had condemned such calls for celebration.

Some of the tweets using the hashtag can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

What is the saturation point?

There is no clear answer to the question of when the right-wing political rhetoric would reach the tipping point and so far, the trend for the BJP has only been upward with no signs of slowing down. The main political opponent Congress is still trying to get a foot hold to stabilize their continuous decline in electoral fortunes and there seems to be a no strong political alternative to the BJP, which BJP had carefully engineered by weakening all regional parties. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is coming off the blocks quite fast but ideologically they have not opposed the BJP in any important issue and have almost always maintained ‘strategic silence’.

Can India ever become Cosmopolitan?

The celebratory calls for the demolition of Babri Masjid and the continuous rise of BJP in every election in the past 8 to 10 years in addition to other communal rhetoric, has there been a collapse of civic morality among the people, and do they vote only on religious grounds?

This question is important as being cosmopolitan is considered as one of the greatest ideals that a community or a city or a country should strive to achieve but the country is getting divided more and more on religious and caste lines in recent times, and the rhetoric that India should be a ‘Hindu’ country is gaining ground. Being a truly cosmopolitan state would ensure that the country would be devoid of enmity between different communities, and one can’t help but wonder if we would ever achieve that elusive tag.

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