Friday, November 27, 2009

Rising From The Rubble?

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      Senior Journalist

    • AFTER DECEMBER 6, 1992, the Sangh Parivar and the BJP overnight became the Indian media’s Enemy Number One. This was not on account of the Fourth Estate arrogating to itself the role of a custodian of India’s multicultural inheritance but because frenzied kar sevaks, irked by what they perceived was the media’s onesided coverage of the dispute in Ayodhya, chose to beat up photographers (remember this took place before the invasion of the TV crews) carrying out their professional duties. The relationship between the media and saffron outfits turned so sour that when the police unleashed water cannons on BJP demonstrators who tried to violate a ban on a scheduled rally on Delhi’s Boat Club Lawns in February 1993, a gaggle of journalists actually cheered and muttered ‘serves you right’.
    • Digging up the past Kar Sevaks performing the foundation-laying ceremony in 1989
      Photo: HC TIWARI
    • In a larger sense, the Liberhan report is unlikely to revive interest in the Ayodhya dispute. Despite the grandstanding by the VHP and Togadia’s apparent willingness to mount the gallows for the sake of Lord Ram, India has moved on from the decade in which mandir fought Mandal and Muslim. There may still be a Hindu desire to see a grand Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya but the nation is not going to do anything dramatic about it. The makeshift Ram temple surrounded by armed guards and steel barricades is likely to define the Ayodhya landscape for the foreseeable future.