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    Posted on 05 Dec 2012
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    Security beefed up in Ayodhya for 6 Dec

    The 6th of December 2012 will mark two decades of demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya

    Virendra Nath Bhatt
    Lucknow

    A file photo of the demolition of the Babri Masjid

    Photo: AFP


    The 6th of December 2012 will mark the completion of the two decades of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya. The twin city of Ayodhya and Faizabad are bracing for the ritual of celebration and mourning dutifully observed by the rival camps on this day for the last two decades. For the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an RSS affiliate, 6 December is ‘Shaurya Diwas’ (bravery day) and for the Babri Masjid Action Committee this is a day of mourning or ‘Yaum-e-gham (mourning day).’

    In last two decades, no untoward incident occurred in both the towns. The UP government every year sounded red alert ahead of 6 December, with heightened vigil and increased deployment at all the sensitive installations intense checking in trains and vehicles on major highways. However in the last decade, the guard was lowered and no alert was sounded for the last many years. Security forces have been deployed at all sensitive places across the state.

    This time however, situation is bit different as the Faizabad has recently recovered from a communal riot on the Dussehra in last week of October. Police has set up barricades at all entry points of Ayodhya and Faizabad and security has been beefed up around the makeshift Ram temple at Ayodhya.

    All the vehicles and persons, including those on two-wheelers and bicycles, entering the towns are checked and frisked. The communal riot in Faizabad in October, in which over 40 shops of the minority community were looted and set ablaze, was the first riot in the history of Faizabad. This city remained peaceful even during the violent Kar Seva agitation for the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid at Ayodhya by the VHP in October 1990. Even in December 1992, when Babri Masjid, referred to as ‘disputed structure’ by the media, was brought down in broad day light, the city remained calm.

    “The VHP as per tradition will celebrate December 6 as ‘Shaurya Diwas,’ and besides the religious leaders of Ayodhya, Mahant Shree Nitrya Gopal Das, chairman of the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Trust and former MP Ram Vilas Vedantee will participate in the programme,’’ said Sharad Sharma of VHP in Ayodhya. “Our programme is not for teasing or hurting anybody, it’s for creating awareness among the Hindus about their glorious past and the vandalism with their religious places during the Mughal rule,’’ he added. The programme is organised every year within the private premises of the VHP, at Karsewak Puram at Ayodhya.

    The Babri Masjid Action Committee, set up after the unlocking of the disputed shrine at Ayodhya on 1 February 1986, has also announced to observe 6 December as ‘Yaum-e-Gham.’ “We will observe 6 December, as mourning day as per the tradition of last 20 years. The shops and commercial establishments of the Muslims in twin cities of Faizabad and Ayodhya will remain closed, they will hoist black flags. Besides that, the Muslims will also wear black bands,’’ said Haji Mehboob of the Babri Masjid Action Committee in Ayodhya.

    However voices of dissent against both the organisations are appearing and people question the rationale behind the celebration and mourning, relating to the Babri demolition incident.

    “The VHP has nothing to do with the Ram temple or the Hindus and they speak with forked tongue on the issue. While celebrating the ‘Shaurya Diwas’ in Ayodhya, they claim credit and take pride that they demolished the mosque, while their top leaders facing trial in CBI court claim that they were not there on the spot on the day of the demolition of the mosque, or that it was demolished by the spur of the moment,’’ said VN Das, a political analyst. “This Shaurya Diwas or Yaum-e-Gham, is nothing but a mischief by both the organisations to vitiate the communal harmony for their narrow political ends,’’ Das added.

    Questioning the protest by Babri Masjid Action Committee, Das said, “What is the point they want to drive at by observing “mourning” on 6 December; if they are sincere for the cause of mosque then they should demand the fulfillment of the promise made by the then prime minister PV Narasihma Rao, on evening of 6 December 1992, that the Babri mosque will be reconstructed at the same spot. They will never do that as their sole objective is to remain relevant in local petty politics.’’

    “The people of the country, including of Faizabad and Ayodhya, have moved on. People want an amicable settlement of the issue and nobody is interested in adding to the bitterness in the vexed issue of temple and mosque,’’ said Manjar Mehdi, who is the Editor of an Urdu newspaper in Faizabad. “People wish to leave good things in legacy for the posterity not the legacy of bitter disputes,’’ he added. During the recent communal violence in October, his office was looted and set ablaze by the rioters. However, with the help of friends, he has resumed the publication of his paper.

    It is relevant to mention, here that the then UP chief minister and BJP leader Kalyan Singh, whose government was dismissed by the Center following the demolition, was sentenced for a day by the Supreme Court and had to go to jail on the charges of contempt of court. The demolition of the mosque had triggered nationwide communal riots. More than 1,000 people were killed in the riots in Mumbai, which were followed by the serial blasts in Mumbai on 12 March 1993.

    Virendra Nath Bhatt is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.
    virendranathbhatt@gmail.com


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    Posted on 05 Dec 2012
 

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