‘Chaos Everywhere’: Citizens Recall Day of Babri Masjid Demolition

Where were you when the Babri Masjid was demolished?

My Report
3 min read

(A special CBI court will pronounce its judgment in the decades-old Babri Masjid demolition case on 30 September, in which former deputy prime minister LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti are among the 32 accused. In light of this development, we are republishing this article and video from The Quint's archives, which was originally published on 9 November, 2019.)

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati

“I still remember that fateful day. I prayed that nothing of this sort should happen in India again.”
Harkishan Sahu, Former Government Employee, Bhopal

The Supreme Court announced the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute case on Saturday, 9 November, directing for the disputed land to be handed over to a Centre-led trust, and five acres of an alternate plot to be given to the Muslims.

The Quint asked citizens across India where they were on 6 December 1992 – the day of the Babri Masjid Demolition.

People across ages from Bhopal, Patna, Mumbai, Ahmedabad recounted how the news broke, the curfews imposed in their respective cities, and the commotion that was felt across the nation.

SA Shad, a senior journalist, recalls,

“The situation got serious after 12-12:30 pm. There was news that contact was being made with Narasimha Rao, the then prime minister. But no contact could be made. Around 2-2:30 pm, we got the news that Babri Masjid has been demolished.”

‘Where Were You When?’

Satish Jayantilal Modi, a van driver from Ahmedabad, said he was in Mirzapur the day the news broke.

“We went to Mirzapur for some car repairs. Three of us got stuck there. We had to leave the car there. He asked us to return in a rickshaw because of the deteriorating situation. There was chaos everywhere.”

Guddu Tiwari, a businessman based in Lucknow, told The Quint that a curfew was imposed on the day of the demolition. He added that there was chaos on the streets and people were confining their children in their homes.

“People started running, all at the same time. There was chaos. The masjid had been demolished, leading to a dispute between Hindus and Muslims. There was a curfew in the city, because of which people from the villages travelled back from the city to their homes.”

Others said that they couldn’t leave their homes due to the tense atmosphere.

“I left home around 9 pm. I couldn’t reach Qazi camp. I reached the Hanuman Mandir at Teela Jamalpura, only to realise that people were running back. I asked what had happened, they said there was rioting. I asked, ‘What rioting?’ to which someone said, ‘Hindu-Muslim riots’.”
Harkishan Sahu, Former Government Employee, Bhopal

Lessons From History

In 2019, are there any lessons to be learnt from the events which transpired in 1992? Professor Shefali Roy from Patna says we must view the verdict objectively.

“Gradually, when I learned about this (the Ayodhya case)and studied it closely in newspapers, I felt that this case is about political manipulation and not constitutional propriety. It has become a cause for one person to stay in power. I view this objectively now.”
Dr Shefali Roy, Professor, Patna

Amarjeet Singh, a shop owner from Delhi, says we must respect the verdict.

“Whatever the Supreme Court orders, we must abide by it. We should maintain law and order in the country.”

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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