Mandir is here. Here's how it all began

A compilation of reports on the controversial religious dispute in Ayodhya.

Welcome back to Rayaan Writer Newsletter!

In this edition of “Click Smart”, I compile reports on the controversial religious dispute in Ayodhya.

August 5 was a day of delight for people supporting the Hindutva ideology; Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony to mark the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. The ceremony perhaps brings closure to a bloody dispute that has claimed the lives of over 2,000 people.

The Supreme Court last year had given the verdict in favor of the Hindu party, allowing them to build a temple for Lord Ram, while the Muslims were allotted a five-acre alternate plot to build a mosque.

While the ceremony was a grand affair, it is, however, impossible to ignore the dark history of the land. Here’s a look at how major newspapers reported the demolition by Kar Sevaks of the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

(The Hindu)
(Times of India)
(The Guardian)

(India Today)
(Free Press Journal)

How Media Reported the Ceremony

Read these articles by Newslaundry on how media covered the ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya:

  • ‘Tryst with destiny’ to ‘the God we failed’: How major newspapers covered Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan.

  • TV news anchors bow to “Lord Modi” | Virtual darshans, Ram Lalla, bhajans on air, even Anup Jalota: Indian TV news had it all.

  • The Wire did a compilation of how newspapers wrote their editorials a day after the temple ceremony. The editorials also urged the government not to give in to "majoritarian triumphalism".


Editorials and ground-reports following the Babri Masjid Demolition

  • The Hindu's editorial describes the demolition as 'Unforgivable'.

  • A first-person account by BBC’s journalist Mark Tully: Tearing down the Babri Masjid.

  • India Today’s report: This article chronologically explains how the centuries-old mosque was brought down.

“The maniacal look in the eyes of the kar sevaks as they triumphantly held aloft Babar's bricks or smashed cameras, attacked journalists and taunted the bovine policemen. The provocative exhortations over the loudspeakers that rose even above the roar of the crowds. The forest of gleaming trishuls raised high in militant victory. And, the twin plumes that snaked to the skies: the dust from the demolished structure, and smoke from nearby Muslim houses torched in the orgasmic fever. Religion was their opium and it returned Ayodhya to the medieval ages.” - report in India Today.

  • Free Press Journal’s coverage.

  • The Times of India labeled the demolition as the “day that changed Indian politics forever”.

  • Read how The Guardian's then Delhi correspondent, Derek Brown, covered the story in 1992.

Photos of the Mob

(Kar Sevaks demolishing the Babri Masjid | Photo: Praveen Jain | The Print)
  • Check out some unseen photos published in The Print of how Babri Masjid demolition was planned and executed.

  • Photos of the Ayodhya dispute timeline published in India Today.

Before you leave…

At a time when the pandemic continues to infect thousands daily, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was, however, quick to change the status-quo of Hagia Sophia.

I recently wrote an article, “Hagia Sophia and the Deafening Silence” for The Opinioc, a publication in The Medium, explaining why such move “might result in dangerous consequences as a divisive act on faith naturally tears apart the uniting fabric of secularism and paves way for normal citizens to become mob or the unpaid foot soldiers of a bigot-induced leader.”

Bam! This marks the end of today’s newsletter.

See you soon! Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands, and spread love.😊❤️

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