Youth Appeal - End Discord At Ayodhya In The Name Of Religion

. 12/8/09

A hospital at Ayodhya rather than a temple or a mosque - as politicians play the blame game over the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition, that is the radical solution for peace offered by a section of the youth who were either not born or too young to know what was happening that December of 1992.

No more discord in the name of religion, is the echo as many youngsters look to a new India with better hospitals and better infrastructure for its people.

Shalini Pandey, 23, a journalist, said: 'I am not concerned at all about what had happened. People should forget and move forward without constructing anything there. But a 20-bed hospital will do fine.'

Dishank Sadana, a theatre artist, who is the same age echoed the sentiment.

'In the country, we have lots of mosques and temples. Why cannot we have something like a hospital which could actually provide succour to the needy ones,' said Sadana.

The 16th century mosque at Ayodhya was razed Dec 6, 1992 by Hindu fanatics on grounds that it was built on a temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The event polarised India along communal lines and triggered nationwide riots. Since then, it has been an issue for bitter wrangling between fanatical sections of Hindu and Muslims.

The issue came back into the spotlight with the Liberhan Commission report being tabled in parliament last month.

And the youth are fed up with the politics of hate.

Manju Singh, a 23-year-old MBA student, said: 'It does not matter to me what was there but to destroy one thing to construct another is not right.'

'The issue might not be affecting me directly but it needs to be resolved as politicians often use it to divert public attention from developmental issues.'

Manjeet Singh, 28, an event manager in the capital, said: 'Common people like us have been used as pawns by politicians in this case. It is just a political issue.'

'We should construct both temple and a mosque there. We need to bring some understanding among two communities, which of course the politicians do not want,' he said.

In 1992, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani undertook a 'rath yatra' to build up support for construction of a temple at Ayodhya. Thousands followed his call then, but the youth of 2009 grown on the violent images of the demolition does not feel close to the issue.

Ritika Kapoor, 26, a business executive, said: 'I do not care whether a temple is there or a mosque but I do care if people get hurt in the name of religion. I am so busy in my life that I seldom stop and think about the issue.'

Mateen Ahmed, 25, is from Jammu and Kashmir where he has experienced terrorism first hand is also against the fighting in the name of religion.

'Both (temple and mosque) should be constructed. There should not be any fight in the name of religion or you will never be able to find a solution,' Mateen told IANS.

The Liberhan panel report has indicted members of the Sangh Parivar for demolition of the mosque.

While condemning the Hindutva brigade for its role, the commission also criticised the state administration for its inaction and the Muslim leadership of the day, but appeared to be silent on the role of the Congress-led P.V. Narasimha Rao government in power in New Delhi.

The one-man commission of inquiry by retired high court judge M.S. Liberhan lists 68 people who were individually culpable 'for leading the country to the brink of communal discord'.

These include former prime minister and veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with his colleagues Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as well as Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

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