16 June, 2021

History In The Breaking

An empirical underpinning of the political abuse of Ayodhya and its reverberating echoes

D. Ravinder Reddy
History In The Breaking
Several political commentators had written the bjp’s obituary in 1993, but the party bounced back with major electoral reverses in Gujarat and Maharashtra in February-March 1995. Although it performed poorly in Bihar, it was clear that the BJP-RSS combination was beginning to command the allegiance of millions and exercise, according to its adherents, an ideological veto in Indian politics. Importantly enough, the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, a symbol of the other, proved to be the BJP’s trumpcard. The mobilisation campaigns conducted on the issue of Lord Rama’s birthplace contributed to its onward march, and the ultimate triumph of what’s projected as ‘Hindu nationalism’.

The debates on these themes are rich, though sometimes marred by acerbity and polemic. Moreover, we are still dimly aware of the energy that pulses behind the concerted effort to create, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, a Hindu rashtra through cultural and intellectual homogenisation of Hindu society. Opinions will differ, but an important lesson has to be drawn from L.K. Advani’s statement in...

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