THERE SEEMS to be no relevance of December 6 for people of the twin cities of Ayodhya and Faizabad. Muslims completely ignored the bandh call given by the Babri Masjid Action Committee in protest against the demolition. They refused to down the shutters and did normal business. They did not even hoist black flags atop their houses, a normal sight in previous years on December 6. The lone black flag was seen fluttering at a masjid in Beniganj here.
Similarly, for Hindus too it was a normal day and even the best efforts of the VHP to celebrate Shaurya Diwas failed to evoke any response. It was evident by the fact that hardly 200 people, including saints and sadhus of Ayodhya, attended the ‘traditional’ meeting organised on the occasion by the local unit of the VHP at the Karsewakpuram at Ayodhya. The saints and sadhus in their long fiery speeches pledged to construct the temple at that very place.
There was no taker of the VHP call to celebrate Diwali to mark the occasion as no ‘diyas’ or crackers were seen or heard anywhere till late this evening.
Interestingly, none of the senior VHP leaders, camping here till yesterday, was present today to participate in the Shaurya Diwas.
The 14th anniversary of demolition of the disputed structure passed off peacefully as the life was normal and markets remain opened though tight security arrangements were made to deal with any eventuality on Wednesday.
However, Hashim Ansari, main complainant in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhumi case, completed the formality of ‘protest’ by meeting about a dozen Muslims in front of his Kaziana residence and resolved to continue the legal fight for reconstruction of the masjid.
Later, talking to the Hindustan Times, Ansari demanded decision of the pending court case at the earliest on the basis of ‘evidences’ and not on ‘emotions and sentiments’. He said that Muslims were a neglected lot and urged the government to reserve Assembly and Parliament constituencies for them.
As many as four Muslim organisations, including local unit of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, the Indian Muslim Samaj and the Indian Union Muslim League, faxed memorandums to the President of India demanding reconstruction of the demolished Babri Masjid at that very sight.
Meanwhile, 16 activists of the Hindu Mahasabha were taken into custody as soon as they gathered in Ayodhya for ‘parikrama’ of the Janmabhoomi to celebrate the occasion. They were released in the evening unconditionally. An office-bearer of the Hindu Shiv Sena was also arrested when he made an abortive bid to burn an effigy of Afzal in Ayodhya although his protest had nothing to do with the 14th anniversary of the demolition.
Addressing the gathering at the Karsewakpuram, Nritya Gopal Das, chairman of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, warned against a conspiracy to divide the Hindus and regretted that certain politicians and political parties were asking for clemency for Afzal, a terrorist, who attacked the Lok Sabha. He said that a country or society where criminals were being honoured for votes, could never progress.
Jagatguru Purshottamacharya called upon Hindus to unite as it was need of the hour. “The temple can not be constructed till all Hindus sink differences and come on one platform,” he said.
Prakash Sharma, national convenor of the Bajrang Dal, said while addressing the gathering at the Karsewakpuram, that no ‘outsider’ would be allowed to interfere in the ongoing temple agitation and the mandir would be constructed only by the VHP.
Sharma said that a final time-bound scheme for the temple construction would be announced by saints and sadhus at the Dharm Sansad scheduled to be held in Prayag (Allahabad) in January.