The unused and unmoved water cannons, the Vajras (anti-riot vehicles), the tear gas and the AK-47s, the barricades and the roads that bore signs of being trampled upon during endless flag marches that had been made till now all appeared to be asking, “was it all worth the build up?”
Since the demolition had taken place on a Sunday some 21 years ago, many – especially the superstitious — had imagined something worse this Sunday too.
In the end, not even a lathi was raised or required.
“We had been saying from day one that instead of distrusting sadhus, the UP government should have allowed the peaceful yatra to happen. It is they who hyped it up clearly to appease a section of a community,” says Ayodhya-based VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma.
Indeed, as unarmed sadhus either surrendered meekly or happily agreed to be under house arrest, the security and the media contingents here looked vastly oversized. In fact, when security forces arrived at the Mani Ramdas Chaoni to stop Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, from defying the chaurasi kos ban, saints greeted the rather embarrassed gun toting cops with chants of Jai Shri Ram.