Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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Ayodhya And Hubballi: The Cities That Defined The Course Of Indian Politics

If the Ram Temple movement established the saffron outfit in the Hindi belt, the Hubballi campaign catapulted it to power in the state

Under attack: Hubballi Idgah

As major centres for the arts, adorned by doyennes of Hindustani music, the twin   towns of Ayodhya–Faizabad and Hubballi–Dharwad have had multiple glories. If the one had Begum Akhtar, the other was crowned by Gangubai Hangal. But the towns, situated over 1700 km apart, are also connected by a cord that has changed the course of Indian politics. Hubballi’s Idgah Maidan holds a similar place in Karnataka politics as Ayodhya has in north India. If the temple movement firmly situated the BJP in the Hindi heartland, the long-drawn Idgah campaign eventually brought the party to power in Karnataka in 2008.

The thread was revived earlier this month when the Karnataka high court’s decision to allow Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at the Idgah Maidan came on the day the Supreme Court dismissed contempt proceedings in the Babri Masjid case. The delivery of two seemingly unrelated judgments on a single day was perhaps not a coincidence. The protagonists of the Ayodhya and Hubballi movements were identical —one of whom was Uma Bharti.

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Facsmilie of the Places of Worship Act, 1991
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