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Book Code: 9789386397553

Editors:- Sameena Dalwai, Ramu Ramanathan

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Untitled Document

ABOUT THE BOOK

The date 6 December, 2017 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya—when a violent mob attacked and brought down the medieval structure. The event dramatically altered the socio-political trajectory of India; through the violence that unleashed across the country and the irreparable chasm created between communities. For many, it defined their social and political commitments as well as future professional and creative pathways.

The present volume is a collection of intensely personal, reflective, and even emotional memories of a few who witnessed the event and lived through the painful times that followed. Journalists, activists and artists go down the memory lanes in this anthology, offering us glimpses of the violence, despair, hope and resistance they experienced. Through the well-remembered personal accounts, this compilation brings individual truth-telling on par with analysis.

With fifteen unique essays containing personal anecdotes that are supplemented by relevant contextual information, this commemorative book presents the reader with the reality that may be forgotten or that which seems unfamiliar, along with the truths that have gone unacknowledged.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Sameena Dalwai is Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Centre for Women, Law and Social Change, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat. She has an LLM from Warwick and PhD from Keele, UK, and researches on caste, gender, sexuality and law. She has worked as a lawyer with human rights organisations in Mumbai as well as health NGOs in rural Maharashtra and writes non-fiction in Marathi.

Ramu Ramanathan is a Mumbai-based journalist and playwright-poet. His plays include Cotton 56 Polyester 84, Jazz, Postcards from Bardoli, Mahadevbhai 1892–1942, and The Boy Who Stopped Smiling. His book 3 Sakina Manzil and other Plays is a collection of eight Indian plays. His collection of poems, My Encounters With a Peacock is recently published. He has been the editor of PrintWeek India for the past decade.

Irfan Engineer is Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, and Managing Editor, Indian Journal of Secularism. He is the recipient of Peace Ambassador Award by Universal Peace Foundation. He has written several books and articles on communal violence in India.

CONTENTS

Foreword ................................................................................................... 9
— UPENDRA BAXI

Preface .................................................................................................... 17
— IRFAN ENGINEER

Introduction ............................................................................................. 21
— SAMEENA DALWAI & RAMU RAMANATHAN

Special Essay
Babri Masjid: A politically exploited controversy ............................. 29

— ASGHAR ALI ENGINEER

SCRIBES

1. Countdown to Ayodhya .............................................................. 45
— ANANT BAGAITKAR

2. Witness Number 213 .................................................................. 55
— PRATAP ASBE

ARTISTS

3. Coming of age during the worst eight years of the republic.... 73
— SUDHANVA DESHPANDE

4. How it feels to be a Muslim in India ......................................... 81
— SHAFAAT KHAN

5. Why I never wish to forget the violence .................................... 87
— MANASWINI LATA RAVINDRA

6. Battling the gods in a lost cause ................................................. 95
— JOY SENGUPTA

7. Joining hands, building trust ..................................................... 99
— DOLLY THAKORE

8. Mending fences with theatre.................................................... 109
— SUSHMA DESHPANDE

ACTIVISTS

9. Where is the place for the activist? ......................................... 117
— SHAMA DALWAI

10. Running a refugee camp .......................................................... 131
— HELEN BHARDE

11. Walking the tightrope: Balancing gender and community .... 137
— FLAVIA AGNES

12. Dual Agenda: Massacre of Muslims and criminalisation of Bahujan ........ 151
— REKHA THAKUR

13. Riots in the Pink City ............................................................... 165
— M HASSAN

14. A bruised nation ....................................................................... 181
— SHAILA SATPUTE

15. Teachers and students in a collective action ........................... 189
— DR SANJEEWANI JAIN

Afterword
Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir conflict: The legal history .................. 199

— IRFAN ENGINEER

Epilogue ................................................................................................ 215
— RAMU RAMANATHAN

Index ...................................................................................................... 219


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