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Babri Masjid, 20 years on

Staff Reporter
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Activists pledge to fight communal forces in the country

AN ANNIVERSARY:The CPI(M) held a gathering of progressive writers, academics and political leaders to mark the 20th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, in Bangalore on Thursday.— PHOTO: K. GOPINATHAN
AN ANNIVERSARY:The CPI(M) held a gathering of progressive writers, academics and political leaders to mark the 20th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, in Bangalore on Thursday.— PHOTO: K. GOPINATHAN

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 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 BJP leader L.K. Advani had spoken at the National College here justifying the barbaric act. Dalit leader Mavalli Shankar also spoke at the event, which ended with a pledge to “safeguard secularism and fight communal forces in the country”.

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 examples of Hindu kings destroying Hindu monuments in kingdoms they had conquered. Lawyer A.K. Subbaiah termed December 6 as a black day in the history of India.

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