Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where were you?

Like the 9/11 in the US, Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, India is probably another incident that Indians talk about and ask, 'where were you that day'? (I have quite a few others too, like Godhra and first Iran-Iraq war etc etc)

Today, being the day when the judgment was passed, I can't help but think about that day in 1992. It was a Sunday, my Dad was not home and we were in a small town of Bihar, but now the capital of Jharkhand, Ranchi. Our family friends Uncle V had come over, we were celebrating Auntie's Birthday. I was 12 years old, and my memory is not vivid, but I do remember standing outside, while seeing them off, and the parents talking about the happenings in Ayodhya. Mom was not happy with the way things were going, she is and was a secular. Uncle V and Auntie were also very upset and agitated. But that was that, we big good bye and went off to sleep.

Next day, we all set about in our regular routine. My sister and I rode our bicycles to school, Mom went to work. Not unaware of the riots brewing in the different parts of the country, but thinking we were so far removed, nothing would happen here.

School started, everything was going on schedule, the dreaded Monday test etc. Around lunch time, we started hearing a lot of noise outside, our teachers huddled and we were told to not come out of our class rooms. The windows, though made of glass, were shut and the doors were closed. The noises kept growing. I don't think, we the students, were panicking, or at least, I don't remember being scared then. So theories started forming, I being a staunch BJP/RSS hater, was very mad at the situation. My BF was on the other side. We didn't see eye-to-eye on this one issue. So anyway, for some reason, some of us left the class room and went outside, in the corridor, and we saw this whole mob outside the school. There were young boys, wearing the 'Shri Ram' bandanna. They were arguing with the principal and the teachers and I could see some parents in the far distance too. I then realised what the issue was. The mob outside wanted the principal to close the school down! I remember the exact instance when fear gripped me. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if Mom knew what was happening, Dad was not in town, what would we do. I hated those boys instantly.

The principal gave in and I think there was a time crunch, and we were asked to leave. This was 18 years ago, there wasn't a policy of kids having to be accompanied by their parents or some such thing. We were allowed to ride our cycles back home. There used to be 100s of us on cycles. I think there were 15 or so of us who used to ride together. So we all took our cycles and I remember not being scared of the mob when I walked past them, my sister close by. I just walked, my head held high, like in my little brain that somehow meant we were not giving into their demands.

We reached home safely, Mom came home shortly afterwards. We got a nice break from school for a couple of days and things went back to normal for us.

Mr Advani did his shameful deed and we all had to suffer for it. Such a useless fight this, there is no winner, so why fight it? There is no answer and the ruling on the case has not given anybody a reason to cheer, THANK GOD, for that!

I have nothing more to write on this account, nothing that will be new anyway. I am just sad that this is a part of our history, and we are going to live the consequences of it forever.

4 comments:

  1. And on another end of the same country...life went on as if nothing had happened. I had no idea of the extent of the damage until I saw Bombay and then later read about it.

    Same country differing reactions!

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  2. Anu, we've had this conversation a few times, how even partition, independence struggle and other major events didn't percolate to the South.

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  3. Nice blog you got going..just read few..It is quite shameful what had happened.I don't remember the day at school..just lot of saffron guys at the school gate.I do remember the days after during the curfew when the school was closed did see lot of violence in my area north office para.

    Monday test..that I remember,however where is the world is Ms. Mandavi Saxena.

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  4. ashwini!!! thanks for visiting. i have very distinct memory of that day! it must be because of my hate for the whole thing!

    where in the world is this woman??!! and to think how many people look for her!

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