India

Times, they are a-changing

  • Manish Chandra Pandey, Richa Srivastava and Zia Haq, Hindustan Times, Ayodhya/Lucknow/New Delhi
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  • Updated: Dec 06, 2012 01:53 IST
  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    A man stands at a wall of bricks bearing the name of 'Shri Ram' at the Karsevak Puram workshop in Ayodhya on the eve of ...

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    A man stands at a wall of bricks bearing the name of 'Shri Ram' at the Karsevak Puram workshop in Ayodhya on the eve of ...

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    A Hindu holy man offers prayers by the Saryu River on the eve of the anniversary of the Babri mosque demolition in Ayodhya. In 1992, ...

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    A monkey is silhouetted against the setting sun as it sits on stone slabs earmarked at Karsevak Puram workshop for the construction of a temple ...

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    Policemen look on as a disabled cyclist travels past on a street in Ayodhya, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the demolition of ...

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    On the eve of 20th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, a woman sit outside a temple in Ayodhya. (AFP Photo)

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    Hindus offer prayers after bathing in the Saryu River on the eve of the anniversary of the Babri mosque demolition in Ayodhya. (AP Photo)

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    Policemen stand guard near a Hindu temple, on the eve of the anniversary of the Babri mosque demolition in Ayodhya. (AP Photo)

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    A woman looks at stone slabs earmarked for the construction of a Hindu temple at a workshop in Ayodhya. (AFP Photo)

  • Ayodhya: 20 years on

    Policemen patrol on the eve of 20th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya. (AFP Photo)

Winds of change have swept the youth of Ayodhya 20 years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

Young Muslims and Hindus who have grown into adulthood after the demolition have moved on to focus on more urgent issues – jobs, careers and development. Take Shadab Alam, 24, who was barely 5 when the incident took place not far from his home.

This research scholar in Physics at Faizabad’s RML University finds it easier to tune in to Emraan Hashmi films than to temple-mosque politics, which he finds “meaningless”.

Alam said, “Hashmi’s films are branded masala films. But they also convey that at the end of it all, after one has touched material heights, one wants to connect with the almighty. The takeaway from these films is simple – stay grounded.”

B Tech graduate Divyanshu Asthana goes a step further: “For us, religion is not an issue. It is growth, career and development that are our priorities.” Bhaskar Mishra, an aspiring civil servant said, “I was just born at the time of the demolition and heard a lot about it. I too was a staunch Hindu until I realised there were much bigger issues to think about.”  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/12/06_12_12-metro13C.jpg

It is therefore no surprise that Ayodhya dumped its 58-year-old BJP MLA of 22 years in favour of Pawan Pandey, 32, a Samajwadi Party youth straight out of university politics, who focused his campaign on change.

Pandey said, “It’s time we moved on. Those who wanted to remain rooted to the past have been shown the door.”

In the larger picture, post-Babri, Muslims get more than a fair share of wooing because they are thought to impact polls by voting as a bloc. This is an over-blown myth, analysts said.

Rarely have Muslims voted as a bloc to keep Hindutva parties out. “When they see an emerging threat from Hindu nationalists threatening their identity, such as the Babri incident, they may vote tactically. When there is no such threat, they focus on larger issues such as education,” said Zoya Hasan of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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