Members of the Youth Wing of the Janata Dal (United), Karnataka, on Thursday protested against the Supreme Court ordering Karnataka to release more water to Tamil Nadu from its reservoirs.

The members led by its president Hemanth Kumar Gowda, gathered in front of the Town Hall and shouted slogans and burnt posters.

They said Karnataka may not see regular rain at least for the next five months.

They welcomed the initiative of Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju to be the mediator to resolve the contentious issue.

Babri Masjid

Even as right-wing organisations celebrated December 6 as Victory Day, secular and progressive organisations in the city held demonstrations and seminars on Thursday to mark the completion of 20 years since kar sevaks demolished the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Speaking at a gathering of progressive writers, academics and political leaders who had gathered at the Town Hall, organised by the CPI(M), Kannada writer K. Marulasidappa said the claim that the Hindu deity Ram was born in a certain temple was nothing but a “matter of faith”.

In fact, he said, when progressive writers and politicians visited Ayodhya a month after the demolition, hundreds of temples in the city staked claim as the ‘original birthplace’ of the deity. “There is no history there,” he emphasised.

Mute spectator

V.J.K. Nair, senior CPI(M) leader, traced the political history of the dispute and pointed out that the then Congress government, led by P.V. Narasimha Rao, was a mute spectator to the demolition.

The minority appeasement policies of the Rajiv Gandhi government created a fertile atmosphere for the rise of the right wing, he said.

Academic G.K. Govinda Rao pointed out that a week after the demolition, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani spoke at the National College here justifying the barbaric act.

Dalit leader Mavalli Shankar also spoke.

Book launch

At a separate gathering organised by the Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum, a booklet on the Babri Masjid demolition was released. Freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy countered the right wing rhetoric that invading armies destroyed “Hindu monuments and culture”.

He said it was the order of the day for invading armies to destroy places of worship belonging to the vanquished side.

He cited several examples of Hindu kings destroying Hindu monuments, including temples, in kingdoms they had conquered.

Senior lawyer A.K. Subbaiah termed December 6 as a black day in the history of modern India.

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