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A Late Riser's Journey

Advani's new yatra signals the secularisation of the BJP and the polity at large

A Late Riser's Journey
Sandeep Adhwaryu
A Late Riser's Journey
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Opposition spokesmen have been quick to label L.K. Advani's 'Bharat Uday Yatra' (the journey to rouse India) as 'Bharat Vinash Yatra' (the journey to destroy India). The reference is, of course, to Advani's rath yatra of 1990, which he undertook to mobilise popular support for the construction of a Ramlalla temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. That 'yatra' became the launchpad of the BJP's climb to power, for it helped to boost the party's vote in one leap, from 11 per cent in 1989 to over 21 per cent in 1991. But the cost in terms of human suffering and social strife was enormous. For, not only did the confrontation that led to Ayodhya viciously communalise the Indian civil society for good, it legitimised a violent movement to pull down the mosque that ended in some 600 deaths in December 1992 and January 1993 and a terrorist-gangster riposte in Mumbai two months later that claimed another 400 lives.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that Advani's announcement should have sent a frisson of fear through the minorities—terrorised as they are by the recent...
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