New Delhi, Dec 6: What happened on December 6, 1992, left the nation shocked. Liberals gasped, fanatics gloated and India's image of being a tolerant society took a beating. A religious structure was brought down in what can be described as most grotesque manner ever.
On this day 26-years-ago, every liberal Indian's head hung in shame. Hoards of kar sevaks brought down the disputed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, tarnishing India's image across the globe. The incident, which possibly left irreparable cracks in the country's social fabric, was truly a blot on Indian history.
Babri demolition was an incident that never should have happened. It was an utterly disgraceful event to have unfolded in a society that boasts of tolerance. Without getting into how it happened or who was responsible for it, the pertinent question we should be asking ourselves is why was it allowed to happen. The question here is not to an individual, government or an organisation, but to the society as a whole.
Indian society has historically been a peaceful and tolerant one. Teachings of Buddha, Mahavira and Mahatma Gandhi have transcended our borders and reached other countries. We proudly claim of being 5,000 years old civilisation, but the incident of December 6, 1992, was not a reflection of that.
Some may give historical facts and say that the Babri demolition could have been a manifestation of atrocities committed by invaders of the medieval period. But, hundreds of years have passed since then and the mindset of the society has changed, so is it right to hold on to certain things which are best forgotten.
We are in the 21st century now and our aim should be to leave mistakes of the past behind and move forward towards the betterment of the society. Culture and beliefs are fine, but being blinded by them is certainly not the way forward. Rather than peeping back every now then to find reasons to hold on to intolerance, the aim should be to tackle problems at hand such as poverty, malnourishment, illiteracy etc.
Those creating a divide between majority and minority for short-term gains ought to realise that such things would only push the society backward. We as a nation have stuck together for 70-years after independence, and now the next aim is to make our society a better place to live where there is no discrimination or alienation on the lines of religion, region, caste, economic status or gender. As a society, we must ensure that events like Babri Masjid demolition never ever happen again in our country.