December 6, 1992.
I was in the final year of college when karsevaks climbed the dome of the Babri Masjid and brought it down. I watched in shock and horror, but there was little else I could do.
The press condemned it, there were editorials written, but gradually it died down.
Everyone I knew condemned the demolition of the mosque, and I certainly believed that the people who had destroyed the structure were a fringe element.
What I didn't realise then was that the India I had grown up in was changing in ways I couldn't fathom.
A lot happened in the years since then.
Hindutva established itself as a mainstream political ideology. Vigilante crimes against Muslims got normalised. The Ayodhya case dragged on in the courts.
Through it all, I hoped that at least in the Court, justice would be done.
November 9, 2019
Like many others, I was following the judgement closely. I was shattered when the final ruling was read out.
It has been the last chance for the nation to apologise for a wrong committed, and the nation had chosen not to.
In the months after the Ayodhya verdict, the Muslim community has been targeted in many other ways. The 'otherisation' has been normalised. Nobody even bothers to put up a pretense of 'secularism' any more.
The India I thought I grew up in is no more.
August 5, 2020
In the numbness that follows grief, the Bhoomi Poojan of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is just one more nail in the already sealed coffin of secularism. I no longer even relate to it.
And yet, I will reiterate; the temple that comes up is not in my name.
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