An unhappy anniversary

Anniversaries don’t always help. Sometimes there is not much point reopening wounds when society has moved on, specific circumstances that produced undesirable episodes negated, and closure applied through the passage of time.

In the case of the demolition of Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid this day 20 years ago by frenzied Hindutva mobs gathered for a specific purpose after a lengthy time of preparation, all conditions needed to proclaim an automatic shutting out of the past does not obtain.
Some do, however. For Muslims — who were reassured since Partition that India was as much their home as anyone else who lived here — the demolition was a searing event. It played on their minds for years. That psychological scar can now be said to have healed. The Muslim Indian has gone back to being an active participant in every discourse.
But what has not changed in two decades is that not a single individual has been held guilty, leave alone punished, for the crime committed that day when murderous mobs were permitted to roam free to pursue their end by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh as the Congress-led Central government watched passively, waiting on constitutionalism. In the event, a precedent has been set for mob rule to overwhelm the rule
of law.

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