15 May, 2021

A Fierce-Eyed Mob, As Gods Wore Blinkers

BJP mandarins are acquitted in the Babri Masjid demolition case

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Advani, Joshi and Pramod Mahajan in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992
Photograph by D. Ravinder Reddy
A Fierce-Eyed Mob, As Gods Wore Blinkers

Lal Krishna Advani, one of the main architects of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, got emotional as the special CBI court in Lucknow acquitted him and 31 others, including Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and Sakshi Maharaj—all accused in the case involving the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

Granted exemption from personal appearance, Advani sat with fam­­ily and close aides, waiting for the verdict on September 30. The case had meandered through delays and complicated legalese for 28 years. There were smiles and hugs as special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav ruled that there was no evidence of criminal conspiracy in the demolition, that it was not pre-planned, but a spontaneous act by unlawful elements.

Soon after, congratulatory messages started pouring in. Among the first to call Advani was Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who thanked the nonagenarian for spearheading the Ram temple movement. It was Advani’s rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya in 1990 that changed the course of the BJP as it embraced...

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