Kolkata: Through a series of events like street programmes, the Left Front and the Students Federation of India’s (SFI) cultural front Unity marked the 29th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition at the University Institute Kolkata. On December 6, 1992, the heritage structure of Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-led forces.
Akashneel, an SFI worker from Kolkata district, who was born in the year the Babri Masjid fell, told Newsclick that the heinous events of his birth year had blackened it.
On various social media forums, many shared late former chief minister Jyoti Basu’s speech in which he charged the BJP as a barbaric party and recounted the events of December 6, 1992.
The programme at the University Institute was addressed by Justice Chandru, on whose life the film ‘Jai Bhim’ has been made, and by the General Secretary of SFI, Mayukh Biswas.
Speaking on caste inequality in India, Justice Chandru quoted BR Ambedkar and highlighted the upper caste domination in the social life of the country.
He also traced his association with the SFI since its formative years and his experience of speaking as a delegate in the first all-India conference of SFI in Thiruvananthapuram. He said that those days of student activism helped him fight for marginal classes, at first as a lawyer and then as a judge.
Justice Chandru also recounted his experience of December 6, 1992, when Babri Masjid was broken down, and the shock he received along with millions of Indians in the course of the events. He said that in a country like India, which is based on secular principles, a place of heritage and worship of minorities were decimated even as the Tv channels were on and beaming live the course of events from Ayodhya on that fateful day. He commented that the secular republic of India was demolished on that day.
December 6 is also a reminder of how the country’s secularism has been decimated. The toil of the freedom fighters in making the country a pluralistic society was also undermined when those accused of bringing down the mosque were acquitted, Justice Chandru said. As a law student, he took the assembly of people through a vivid account of the 1992 events and dangers for secularism while quoting from Ambedkar’s speech after India’s constituent assembly was formed.
He also pointed out a recent development where a coffee table book about the Constitution forgot to mention the “secular socialist” phrase in the Constitution.
SFI state secretary Srijan Bhattacharya also spoke at the programme. A Unity concert by promising youth singers, who penned secular progressive songs, was held.
In the other programme held before the Lenin statue basement in Kolkata, Left Front Chairman Biman Basu and CPI(M) State Secretary Suryaknata Mishra joined the protest programme along with leaders of the Left Front’s constituent parties.
Speaking at the programme, Biman Basu warned against the BJP-led forces ruling the country as they were the same forces that had decimated the Babri Masjid and paid scant heed to the rule of law, and were now creating laws that were “undemocractic, anti-worker, and anti-farmers” in nature.
Dr Suryakanta Mishra, in his speech, alleged a nefarious link between the present-day BJP leaders and billionaires such as Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani. He spoke about the way the country was being run by the BJP bypassing the parliament, parliamentary procedures, and the common people. He also claimed that December 6 truly marked the ‘black day’ in post-independence India.