Babri Masjid Issue

Babri Masjid demolition: 18 years of apathy

Ayodhya: It is 18 years since the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. The infants born on 6 December, in whose ears azan was recited with wounded emotions, have become young and are eligible to vote today. The Constitution, which grants them the right to vote, was trampled on that very day by some people. There has neither been any police action against them nor has court passed any verdict against them. The culprits are roaming freely under the security of commandos provided by the government.

Those who stripped Indian Constitution and torn it into pieces in broad daylight are preaching patriotism, occupying positions in legislative assemblies and Parliament. Those who had taken an oath to defend Indian Constitution as well as the mosque could do neither and lost their own lives. They were done to death and their houses were consigned to flames. Hundreds of such persons in Ayodhya, whose houses had been ransacked by karsewaks and killed, are eagerly awaiting compensation. The atrocities and tyranny let loose on that day in Ayodhya continues unabated because if justice is delayed to the victims and the oppressed it tantamounts to tyranny. So is also the process of reviving the memories of wounds. Inspite of eighteen years of indifference, Muslims have not lost hope nor have they stopped relying on Constitution. Every year people mourn that black day, and demand for reconstructing it at the same place is also voiced. This is what patriotism really implies. The Hindu community became restless on the arrest of Malegaon bomb blast accused Pragya Sinh Thakur. Sadhus and sants began demonstrations protesting against the arrest though she was neither arrested by any Muslim force nor by a Muslim regime. Those who took action against her were Hindus so were those who locked her up in prison. Similarly, when Indresh Kumar’s name was made public, the entire Sangh parivar began seething in anger.

Muslims kept their shops locked this year too to express their pain and anguish. Ayodhya on 6th December was remembered in different manners. Recitation of Qur’an was held at the Masjid Malik Shah in Baniganj under the supervision of Muhammad Ismail Ansari which was attended by Muslims in good number. The plaintiff in the Babri Masjid case, Hashim Ansari, received condolences on mosque demolition at his home alongwith Sadiq Ali alias Babu Khan. At another plaintiff Mahboob Ansari’s house there was a formal condolence meeting in which people from Ayodhya as well as Faizabad gathered in large numbers. Peshimam of Eidgah Maulana Qutubuddin Qadri presided over a meeting in which people gathered from different places.

The Samajwadi Party celebrated the day as “Black Day.” A three-hour demonstration at Gandhi Park was organised under state president of Muslim League Dr. Najmul Husain. They appealed for the reconstruction of the mosque. This practice, without fail, is being observed for the last 18 years since the demolition in 1992.

Demolishers of mosque, on the other hands, publicly celebrate it as Shaurya Diwas (Bravery Day). They have a right to do so. When none objected to the demolition, how can anyone object to celebrating it. The central as well as the state government is spending crores of rupees in protecting the makeshift temple erected on the mosque’s debris. The security arrangements on 6 December are so strongly tightened that persons who want to condole Babri Mosque demolition have to pass through rigorous checks. A Muslim who dares to pass by the site invites doom. He is not released till the security agencies probe his “case” thoroughly. The makeshift temple is open to one and all – from common man to honoured judges whose astha has become firmly established. Yet Muslims still contemplate rebuilding the mosque at that very site. This is their sheer blind faith in the constitution.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2011 on page no. 14

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