Yesterday was a special day in India. This was the date when the Ayodhya verdict should finally be published. The story goes all the way back to the 6th of December 1992 when a Muslim mosque was destroyed Hindu activists. This mosque was built way back in 1528, by a Mir Baki, a general of Babar. Already as early as in 1853-55 there were incidents of violence around this mosque and it was barricaded by British troopers to split worshippers. In 1949 Lord Rama’s idols “appear” inside the mosque. Premises declared disputed. Gates closed.
All since that time it has been a heated conflict about who has the right to the land where the mosque is located. Muslims arguments that the property is a public mosque called Babri Masjid and adjoining land a Muslim graveyard. Land should be returned to Muslims, idols and other Hindu articles removed. The Hindus arguments that they should be allowed to perform puja and darshan at this place. Janmabhoomi is of ancient antiquity and preexisted the mosque. They seek declaration of premises as Ram Janmabhoomi and dismissal of objections to raising a temple.
There has been a quite tense atmosphere in Mumbai today. I have received warnings from colleagues both in Norway, USA and India, and been advised to leave the office before 14.00. Off course I did not really managed that, but around 15.00 I was on my way home. At that time it was quite quiet at the office as many had already left. I went together with a colleague who lives in the same area as I do and it was quite difficult to even get a rickshaw. Normally I manage to get the second or third one to stop, but today I think we waited 15-20 minutes. Most drivers refused to take on any passengers, as they were probably heading home. The driver also drove another way than normal. If I had been alone, I would off course have complained about this. But my colleague said that she was quite comfortable with this, as the driver avoided some areas where it might be problems. Hello! These areas that he avoided are exactly 10 min walk from my home, and where I walked on Sunday… I really did not know that it was potential dangerous areas during a riot.
The night in Mumbai was quite calm, and I have got no report of any problems. The judges voted 2-1 for the Hindu side, and it seems like both parties will put this case into the Supreme Court.
I’m really sorry that there are so few pictures and links in my blog posts. This is because I have huge problems with WordPress. Sometimes everything seems ok, but most times it looks like old fashioned “text mode”, and that makes it difficult to do anything good. Not sure if the problem is my computer, my browser or the network at office. If anyone else has had the same problem, feel free to give me hints on how to fix it.
Talk to you soon