#BabriZindaHai Storms Twitter As Modi Lays Stone for Ram Temple in Ayodhya

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16th century Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindu mob on 6th December 1992 in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. — File photo

Journalist-activist Rana Ayyub recalled the demolition of the Babri Mosque and tweeted that August 5 would become another infamous date for Muslims in India—a day of increased repression in Kashmir, with the added insult of a grand function in the city of Ayodhya

Mohd. Aasif | Clarion India 

NEW DELHI — As Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya on the debris of the Babri Masjid on Wednesday (August 5), netizens with secular and democratic minds condemned the act by storming the Twitter with hashtags #BabriZindaHai and #BabriMasjid which trended throughout the day internationally.

In a tweet, Labeed Shafi, president of the Students Islamic Organisation of India, questioned the priority of the government of India. He said, “In the middle of a global pandemic which is spreading faster in our country day by, with the economy collapsing all around us and numerous political prisoners locked up in our jails, do we really need to ask why so much time, effort and resources are being spent on organising this one ‘grand’ event to shore up the government’s support among its core ‘bhakt’ base?”

Shafi said that the Supreme Court called the destruction of the Masjid a ‘grave injustice’, and the judgement even conceded there was no proof that the Masjid was built after destroying a Mandir. “The court unfortunately displayed a deep majoritarian instinct in giving it’s judgement, without any proof that a Mandir was destroyed to construct the Masjid and even accepting that the destruction of #BabriMasjid was grave injustice”, he added further.

Rana Ayyub, celebrated journalist and activist, called the stone-laying ceremony a ‘dystopian’ development. She recalled the demolition of the Babri Mosque, and tweeted, “Aug. 5 will become another infamous date for Muslims in India—a day of increased repression in Kashmir, with the added insult of a grand function in the city of Ayodhya, where the Babri mosque’s destruction led to a nationwide attack on Muslims in 1992”.

Netizens also blasted the reaction of the Indian National Congress (INC) towards the Ayodhya event. “Congress’s romance with Hindutva is a very old one, it is time that it embraced the ideology openly. Why to fear if you are in love? (Jab Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya)”, tweeted the official Twitter handle of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen.

Apart from the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also given its support to the elaborate ceremony. Commenting on screenshots of the tweets of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Md Asif Khan tweeted, “These are the torchbearers of secularism in this country. Shamelessly celebrating Injustice to minorities and pandering to majoritarianism. Shove your “saffron secularism” up where the sun doesn’t shine. #5thAugustBlackDay #BabriZindaHai #Ayodhya.”

The gathering for the ceremony during the spread of coronavirus pandemic and double standards of government and media invite another type of criticism. “Indian Media and majority society were baying for blood when Tablighi Jamaat held a meeting in Nizamuddin Markaz in March. Now media and majority society is glorifying gathering at #Ayodhya when COVID cases are 19 lakhs. What a shameless communal society! #BabriZindaHai”, said Md. Asif Khan.

Another journalist, Aditya Menon, criticised Priyanka and tweeted, “Priyanka Gandhi’s tweet makes it clear that this “only- a-fringe-in-Congress” argument isn’t accurate. She’s whitewashing a huge act of injustice that was committed on Muslims. There’s no secular leader today with the courage that Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav had in 90s”

Audrey Truschke, Associate Professor of South Asian history at Rutgers University-Newark and the author of ‘Culture of Encounters’ and ‘Aurangzeb’ expressed her dismay over the tweets of Priyanka. She tweeted, “So depressing, so cruel, and so non-secular. Might as well end with Jai Hindu Rashtra”.

At a time when influential political parties have decided to go along with the wind of majoritarianism, rights activist Shabnam Hashmi calls the moment a travesty of justice. “Courage is to speak the truth when no one is listening. Not one leader (except d left) had the guts to say its travesty of justice. If you believe in an inclusive Idea of India keep striving to build an equitable society. We Shall Overcome!  #SafeguardIndianConstitution #Ayodhya”, tweeted Hashmi.

Reacting to her tweet, another netizen said, “A temple built over the ruins of another’s faith is no sacred place. A sad day for Hindu dharma.”

Tamil Nadu’s Social Democratic Party of India called the building of Ram Temple in Babri Land ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘injustice’.

Few deny the fact that the Babri Masjid demolition was a criminal act and a counter-narrative was run to erase it from the memory of the people of India. The case for the same is still under trial. However, journalist Hiba Beg tweeted a picture of the rioters standing on the dome of the mosque and commented, “All will be remembered, everything will be remembered (Sab yaad rakha jayega, sab kuch yaad rakha jayega.) #PostYourBabri”.

“Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished by Hindutva terrorists. Rebuilding Babri is justice. Babri masjid will always be a masjid. We will sujood on the floors of Babri one day, In Sha Allah (God be willing). #BabriZindaHai aur Zinda rahega”, tweeted Ayesha Renna, a student activist.

Though the Supreme Court verdict paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple, it left Muslims of India dissatisfied and helpless. Saket Gokhale, a foreign correspondent, tweeted, “Respecting” the SC verdict on Ayodhya does NOT mean whitewashing the fact that the Babri Masjid was demolished illegally & that a criminal case is ongoing. Instead of trying to outdo Hindutva, “secular” leaders should demand that the Babri demolition trial be fast-tracked”.

The hashtag #BabriZindaHai (Babri is alive) trended among top five with more than 185,000 tweets.

 

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