This morning I sat down to edit a correspondent's copy when my eyes fell on the date it was filed. My eyes paused because the date seemed too familiar: December 6, the day 13 years ago Babri Masjid was flattened in Ayodhya and the course of Indian politics took a decisive, and a divisive, turn.
Since then, various political and religious groups have been observing December 6 as the 'day of victory', 'day of pride', 'day of shame', Black Day, and so on. But this year, the anniversary went completely unnoticed. When there is so much else happening -- cricket in politics and politics in cricket -- who would care to remember December 6?
But I don't think the anniversary was ignored just because of other preoccupations. I think the people of India have matured and moved on. They have better things to do. Even the people of Ayodhya are desperate to move on but they, sadly, are still caught in the mandir-masjid dispute. I was in Ayodhya last year while covering the 2004 elections in Uttar Pradesh. I would like to share what I wrote then. I wrote this and this.