Friday, April 4, 2014

A Lesser Known Babri Masjid Conspiracy

Given that it is election season, the erstwhile Babri Masjid is back in the news. Cobrapost has come out with a sting with claims to expose the fact that the Babri Masjid demolition was a planned conspiracy with senior BJP, RSS and even Congress leaders in the know. A revelation just about as stunning as exposing the Pope as Catholic.

In a matter as twisted as Babri, though, this was hardly the only conspiracy at play. The origin of the whole Babri Masjid dispute can be traced to the appearance of an idol of Ram Lalla at the Babri Masjid in 1949. The official BJP-RSS-VHP narrative is that on 23 December 1949, the idol miraculously apparated into the masjid. From 1949 to that day, on the basis of this supernatural occurrence, this masjid functioned as a temple.

Apart from this narrative of a miracle, there does exist another somewhat credible alternate narrative which explains the appearance of the idol as part of a conspiracy to create a dispute around the issue in the fractured post-Partition environment of UP.  This narrative is set out in great detail by Krishna Jha and Dhirendra Jha in their highly recommended book, Ayodhya: The DarkKnight, excerpts of which can be found here and a review here.

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