As the trespassers walked towards the mosque, the muezzin […] jumped out of the darkness. Before the adversaries could discover his presence, he dashed straight towards Abhiram Das, the vairagi who was holding the idol in his hands and leading the group of intruders. […] The sadhu quickly freed himself and, together with his friends, retaliated fiercely. Heavy blows began raining from all directions. Soon, the muezzin realized that he was no match for the men and that he alone would not be able to stop them.
22 December 1949: A conspiracy that began with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi culminated in the execution of the Ayodhya strategy. Late that night, a little-known sadhu, Abhiram Das, and his followers entered the Babri Masjid and planted an idol of Rama inside it.
While it is known that the Hindu Mahasabha had a role in placing the idol in the mosque, the larger plot and the chain of events that led to that act have never been subject to rigorous scrutiny. Through intrepid research and investigation, Krishna Jha and Dhirendra K. Jha bring together the disparate threads of the buried narrative for the first time.
Through a series of first-hand interviews with eyewitnesses and the unearthing of archival material, the authors take us behind the scenes to examine the motivations and workings of the Mahasabha members who pulled the strings. They also examine the liaison between Mahasabhaites and Hindu traditionalists in the Congress – an association that Jawaharlal Nehru sought to break in his cautious battle with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the rightwing forces. Ayodhya: The Dark Night uncovers, in vivid detail, what really transpired on the fateful night that was to leave a permanent scar on the Indian polity.
About the Author:
Krishna Jha is a Delhi-based freelance journalist who is the biographer of S.A. Dange, one of the founding fathers of the Indian communist movement.
Dhirendra K. Jha is a political journalist working with Open magazine, Delhi.
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