24 years after the BLACK FRIDAY

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The demolition of the Babri Masjid, also known as Pralaya Nritya by a few, happened 24 years ago. On December 6, 1992, a large crowd of Hindu Kar Sevaks, volunteers, demolished the 16th-century Babri Masjid in the city of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The violence started after a political rally that made the crowd restless and resulted in the demolition of the masjid.

The Ratha Yatra organised by VHP and BJP that led to the riots.
The Ratha Yatra organized by VHP and BJP that led to the riots.


Ayodhya has always been a land of controversy. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, making its significance very high. Lord Ram after finishing his Vanvaas took the throne of Ayodhya and ruled as king for the rest of his days, making it even more auspicious. Also known as Ram Janma Bhoomi it is believed to be the actual birthplace of Lord Rama. When the Mughals occupied India during the sixteenth century, they built the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

The volunteers in the rally, Kar Sevaks, attacking the Babri Masjid
The volunteers in the rally, Kar Sevaks, attacking the Babri Masjid

During the British rule, in 1859, when tensions in between the communities escalated the area, the British Government built a fence separating the outer courtyard which reduced disturbances after that. The status quo was then maintained for many years after that until 1949, until idols of Lord Ram were placed in the inner sanctum of the masjid, causing an outrage in the Muslim community. The unrest between Hindu and Muslim community continued for years after this.

The Kar Sevak's flew a saffron colored flag atop the Babri Masjid.
The Kar Sevak’s flew a saffron-colored flag atop the Babri Masjid.

In the 1980’s, the VHP or Vishva Hindu Parishat started a campaign for building a temple of Lord Rama in the courtyard where the mosque was present. Bharatiya Janata Party became the voice of this movement. The follow up to this was several rallies and marches. Most prominent among them was Ram Rath Yatra, that was led by L. K. Advani, that resulted in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The rally involved 1,50,000 volunteers, these were known as Kar Sevaks, as the rally proceeded unrest started through the crowd and the arrest of L.K. Advani created an outrage in the Kar Sevaks. The crowds then attacked with various instruments like axes and rods and demolished the Babri masjid. After bringing down the masjid these Kar Sevak’s then placed an idol of Lord Ram in the inner sanctum.

68 accused were arrested in this case, that includes members of BJP and VHP
68 accused were arrested in this case, that includes members of BJP and VHP

A probe into the attack found 68 people responsible that included many leaders of BJP and VHP. This demolition led to several communal riots in India’s Hindu and Muslim communities that resulted in death of thousands. The after effects of this attack can still be seen in many parts of our country. around this time of the year in Hyderabad, especially the Old City area that has a predominantly Muslim population, the shops in and around Charminar and Laad Bazar close down their shutters as a mark of respect and protest on the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.

Sniffer Dogs in action near Charminar
Police has been stationed in many areas in the old city
Old City in Hyderabad under complete Bandh as a form of peaceful protest.
Old City in Hyderabad under complete Bandh as a form of peaceful protest.

This incident of this demolition brought communalism to the front in public debate. It started riots and terrorist attacks that cost many innocent people their lives. Some of these incidents are the Hindu-Muslim riots across the Country after the demolition, followed by the 1993 Mumbai blasts, the Godhara train carnage, the 2002 Gujarat riots, the attack on the Akshardham temple and the blasts by the Indian Mujaheddin. This event brought to light the main problem that our country faces, inherent communalism. The demolition of a historic mosque and its after effects can never be erased from the scriptures of our country.

Both the communities have been perpetrators and the victims too. But they have learned from the past, and there has been no repeat of incidents in such a large scale. People have learned to live together harmoniously proving that with time, people and situations can change too.