Forgetting 6 December is a National Shame

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To date, in 2024, not a single article or opinion piece on Babri Masjid demolition catches my eye when I search the internet. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe there are many articles written by big secular intellectuals that I have failed to notice. Maybe many articles are being written, and they are waiting to appear before the historic day of the Pran Prathistha ceremony at Ayodhya. Maybe there are many articles on forgetting the 6 December, but they do not appear online as the sites are not strategically SEO-driven. Maybe…maybe…maybe…many a thousand reasons for not finding a single article on the Babri Masjid demolition in 2024.

Lakhs of articles on the details of the Pran Prathistha ceremony have been published, both offline and online. This week, we will see many more pieces to celebrate Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, detailing the minute details of how, why, when, by whom, etc.

I have no issue with the 22 ceremony, as the place was handed over by the apex court for the same. And the verdict has been accepted by both the warring communities. So, it is expected Ram Mandir will sort out the communal conflict and pave the way for peaceful coexistence of the communities concerned. It is a win for the Hindus. But it is a defeat not for the Muslims, as the Indian constitution safeguards their constitutional rights as the largest minority of India.

But I am sad that the voices that once were with the Muslims have deserted them today. They are pariahs in their own motherland. They are orphans in their fatherland. In Modi’s India, there is no orphanage for these undeclared refugees. Maybe concentration camps will emerge after the Lok Sabha election results as the most viable measure for their safety and security.

In Modi’s India, even mourning is forbidden. Only celebration, only praise and panegyric in the name of a leader. A country that worships a single man is fascist. You may collect other features if you are interested in Indian fascism and mobocracy.

Where are the secular voices? Where are the voices of the Indian Republic? Where are our liberal intellectuals? Where are the anti-Fascist forces? Where are the regional leaders who can speak against the systematic annihilation of the Muslim space in Indian education, health, foreign policy, research and media entities?

Till 2023, there were some mourners for the plight of Indian Muslims, and some scholars highlighted their marginalization trajectory.

But on the evening of 15 January, those mourners and scholars are either waiting for the arrival of the Ram Mandir card or pursuing their chosen paths of peace and harmony more vigorously.

In this context, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “It is shameful that a blatant criminal act has been elevated to a moment of national pride.” “No political party is talking about December 6, the egregious criminal act of demolishing a centuries-old masjid. The whole conversation is now about whether they’ll attend or not.” (The Statesman, 13 Jan. 2024).

It is sad but true that very few will remember 6 December as the blackest day in free India on 22 January. Lakhs of candles will illuminate lakhs of old and young cheeks. Lakhs of temples will be illuminated at that hour. Lakhs of laddoos will be freely distributed as a mark of Hindu solidarity.

On 22 January, I don’t know what Indian Muslims will do or what their places of worship will look like. They may mourn. But they must do it within their walls.

Our Hindu Rashtra, which has been functioning for a decade, will get its official seal on that day. And after that, what will happen to the minority Muslims, I cannot tell. It may be genocide. Maybe Muslim pockets may turn into killing fields. Or Maybe they will serve as slaves for their masters.

Be that as it may. But forgetting 6 December is a crime, a national shame, I must add.

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I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, said George Orwell. As a writer, I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, the political bigots and hypocrites, dealers of laymen, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, the betrayers of ‘other’ Indians who eke out a living by their sweat, who are living in fear for being lynched for this and that.

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