24 November, 2020

In Godot’s Town

Fear and ennui run high as Ayodhya awaits title suit verdict

Jitender Gupta
In Godot’s Town

These days, the lanes and bylanes of this holy town are  teeming with murmurs. ‘Schools will remain shut for a fortnight from September 17.’ ‘Central troops will arrive in huge numbers by afternoon.’ ‘Curfew will be imposed four days ahead of the verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir title suit.’ ‘The town will remain quiet, but nothing can be said for sure.’ Idle rumour-mongering, some might call it. But this is Ayodhya, where frenzied mobs, egged on by BJP and Sangh parivar leaders, brought down the centuries-old Babri mosque in 1992 and violently heightened the edginess to Hindu-Muslim relations in the country. So the disquiet and the tension seem all the more burdensome, everywhere—at roadside tea-stalls and dhabas, at the ghats on the Sarayu, at the town’s only college and its government schools, some of which are indeed lodging the PAC and CRPF platoons sent for bandobast in anticipation of the verdict, set for September 24.

Jab tak aman hai, tab tak hai....



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Sharat Pradhan

Latest Magazine

November 30, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section