Ayodhya in 4 books: The long and winding 'mandir-masjid' trail
The ‘bhoomi poojan’ at Ayodhya to lay the foundation stone of the Ram Mandir comes at the cost of a bloody and violent history. These four books track the past and present of the Babri Masjid dispute
Ayodhya: The Dark Night by Krishna Jha & Dhirendra K. Jha (HarperCollins India) One of the many myths and miracles associated with the long-disputed site of Babri Masjid goes back to a winter night in 1949. On 22 December that year, an idol of Lord Ram appeared in the mosque and was believed to be a manifestation of divine will. The reality was far less magical. Journalists Dhirendra K. Jha and Krishna Jha reconstruct the events of that fateful night through painstaking reporting and research to unearth a political conspiracy hatched by the Hindu Mahasabha.
Ayodhya: City Of Faith, City Of Discord by Valay Singh (Aleph Book Company) Due to accidents of history, Ayodhya may have become synonymous with radical Hindutva politics, but in reality it is a sleepy town, considered holy by people of several faiths for various reasons. In this portrait of the ancient city, Valay Singh takes us 3,000 years back. His account is informed by current affairs ethnography, history and reportage—from the role played by the East India Company in fanning the flames of right-wing Hindu politics to the demolition of the Babri Masjid and its aftermath.
Destruction Of The Babri Masjid: A National Dishonour by A.G. Noorani (Tulika Books) If you have a pedant’s interest in the twists and turns of the Ayodhya dispute, this is the book for you. Legal expert A.G. Noorani compiles the developments around it from 2003-13—the three judgements delivered by the Allahabad high court, the report by the Liberhan Commission on the destruction of the Masjid, the criminal cases. This volume is a sequel to the author’s earlier mammoth project, The Babri Masjid Question: 1528-2003, published in two parts.
The Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir Dilemma: An Acid Test For India’s Constitution by Madhav Godbole (Konark Publishers) A former officer of the Indian Administrative Service, Madhav Godbole was the Union home secretary when the Babri Masjid was demolished on 6 December 1992. Taking a close look at the events that led to the destruction of the historic mosque, he not only pins the blame on P.V. Narasimha Rao, then prime minister, but also goes back to previous dispensations led by Rajiv Gandhi and V.P. Singh, which he maintains were equally ineffective.
FIRST PUBLISHED06.08.2020 | 11:00 AM IST