Friday, December 7, 2012
[chottala.com] 20 years of Babri demolition: Nothing much has changed
20 years of Babri mosque demolition: Nothing much has changed
Communal violence pays. Secular forces may find it disheartening, but this is one lesson sectarian Muslims and parochial Hindus seem to have learnt in the 20 years since Babri Mosque's demolition on December 6, 1992.
A large number of shopkeepers have exaggerated the losses they suffered in communal clashes during Durga Puja in October this year - in the hope of getting hefty compensation from the state government.
On the other hand, a new breed of poor youths is learning a concocted communal story against Muslim rulers in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP) Karsewakpuram in Ayodhya. Explaining the economics of a riot, an officer of the sales tax department told Mail Today that shopkeepers make exaggerated claims of damage to their property mostly to get hefty compensation from the government.
"We have received about 50 applications for compensation from the shopkeepers of Ayodhya and Faizabad. Over 20 of them have claimed that their goods worth more than Rs.1 crore were damaged in the clashes. On physical verification, we found that their shops were not big enough to accommodate such huge quantities," the official said.
He added: "A footwear shop owner stated that shoes worth Rs.2 crore were gutted. But when we started our inquiry, he requested us to change the amount to Rs.2 lakh. If there are 40 Muslim shopkeepers who have claimed compensation, there are 10 Hindus also."
When the mosque was brought down 20 years ago and the entire country was burning, the Hindus and Muslims of Ayodhya had stayed calm. Ten years later, in 2002, large-scale communal violence was witnessed in Gujarat after dozens of kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya were charred in a train fire; but the people of the holy city didn't indulge in any such activity.
But the same set of Hindus and Muslims resorted to violence and burnt each other's properties from October 24 to 26 over a minor dispute. Ramit Sharma, who was senior superintendent of police of Faizabad at the time of the October riots, said: "When a rioter set on fire one of the shops, there were mostly highly inflammable plastic items inside it. We kept requesting the neighbouring shopkeepers to remove all the items from their shops, but they neither acted on our request nor allowed the police to do so."
A new breed of aggressive Hindus is coming up in Ayodhya under the guidance of the saffron organisations. The VHP runs classes for Dalit students in Karsewakpuram and teaches them that members of their community were freedom fighters during the medieval period.
"It's a fact that Dalits fought Muslim rulers during the medieval period. They were freedom fighters. We have been teaching these things in our classes," said VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma. "We have samrasta vibhag (social harmony department) which has identified 32 castes that were declared Dalits during Muslim rule. We remind them of their glorious past."
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Rae Bareli court to conduct trial in the Babri case expeditiously without being influenced by the fact that an appeal by CBI seeking to revive conspiracy charges against L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and others was pending before it. The bench also further permitted deletion of Bal Thackerey's name from the array of respondents since he is dead.
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