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Ayodhya dispute: At ground zero, growing temple rhetoric brings back bad memories 

Ayodhya (UP), November 8

Vivek Tripathi was in a school in Bhopal when riots broke out all around him in December 1992. His school closed down suddenly, and he was left to go back home alone.

“I was living in Bhopal those days, and after the riots broke out in Ayodhya, it affected our city (Bhopal) too as it did in other parts of India. We were present in school when it was shut suddenly, and I had to run back home taking alleys and bylanes, avoiding the route I would generally take as it wasn’t safe then,” Tripathi, who’s a native of Ayodhya and was in town to attend the ‘Deepotsav’ celebrations with his family.

A software engineer who has now practises permaculture in Himachal Pradesh, he only understood to significance of that fateful day of December when he “grew up and read about the case”.

“I do not understand this temple-mosque rift. Why are we are trying to revive an issue that might trigger something unpleasant? Communal harmony is important, and we do not need to build anything there, we can just make it a playground for children and not a playground for politics,” Tripathi said.

He’s not alone in his belief. As the Hindu right turns up the heat over the Ram Janmabhhomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, several people in Ayodhya fear going back to the days of communal discord.

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