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Babri Masjid demolition anniversary: Indian Muslims to continue struggle for Justice

Statement from Association of Indian Muslims of America:

Today December 6, 2007, we the Non-resident Indian Muslims observe one of the darkest days in the sixty year sojourn of our nation’s post-independence history. Starting with India’s first war of independence in 1857 the multi-religious, multi-ethnic people of India struggled collectively for about a century to gain freedom from the colonial yoke. In 1947 their efforts succeeded and our nation began its tryst with destiny to find its place on the world stage.

Unfortunately starting in late 1980s a few politicians chose to introduce religious bigotry and religion based politics in the nations’ mainstream. Their intense campaign maligning India’s minority Muslim community and their centuries old history resulted in the darkest day in India’s recent history when a mob of their followers demolished the four hundred fifty year old Babri mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Ptradesh state, and killed a large number of Muslims in India’s various cities. That carnage shocked the Indian nation and society and the world at large. The then Prime Minister of India pledged in the Indian parliament to rebuild the mosque and bring to justice the culprits who demolished the mosque.

However, today full fifteen years after that dark national tragedy, the Indian government has failed to either complete its investigation in that carnage or to bring to justice the culprits who demolished the mosque, even though the Indian media has clearly identified them. Also the government has made no effort to re-build the said mosque that it pledged fifteen years ago.

Today the Babri mosque continues to live in the hearts, minds and fears of India’s minority Muslim community as a reminder of the terrible failure of the nation to give them justice and the perpetuation of injustice even though fifteen long years have passed. Today, we NRI Muslims in US pledge to continue to struggle peacefully within the bounds of the Indian constitution to seek justice from our nation for this terrible tragedy.

Kaleem Kawaja
Association of Indian Muslims of America
Washington DC