Let bygones be bygones
People who witnessed it and were most affected by the riots want to move on
After the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the Babri Masjid case, mid-day reached out to residents of neighbourhoods in Mumbai that were worst affected by the riots that followed the demolition of the mosque. While several people refrained from speaking about that time, the general opinion seemed to lean towards reconciliation and the need to look ahead rather than at the past.
Shaikh Gaus, 62
Resident of Kher Nagar, Bandra East
It was a difficult time; we didn’t have food to eat and there was curfew all over. NGO workers would come to provide us food. We were afraid of losing our lives. (Late) Sunil Dutt helped us a lot by providing us food when we didn’t have anything to eat.
Sameer Khan, 39
Fabricator from Behrampada; was 12 in 1992
The Muslim and Hindu communities have been living together peacefully for centuries. It’s important to remember this sense of brotherhood before we fall for fake messages and rumours on our mobile phones.
Salim Zhariwala, 59
Resident of Behrampada, manufactures garments
I was shot in the head by a police bullet during the Mumbai riots, There’s no point fighting among ourselves. I’m happy that the debate has ended. We shouldn’t pay heed to people who are trying to divide us.
Mahesh Shah, 48
Owner of a family-run store in Khira Nagar
I’m a Hindu who’s been running a shop in a Muslim-dominated locality and I’ve never felt insecure because we’ve lived here like family. Nothing can break that bond.
Abdul Rashid, 61
Runs a pan shop in Kherwadi
I am happy with the court’s decision. Hopefully the debate will finally end. I think people from both communities understand there’s no point fighting over the issue because, ultimately, it’s the common man who suffers.
Saniya Sayed, 27
I was born in 1992 so I don’t have any memories of the riots but I’ve often heard stories of what happened. My family didn’t face any brutality but others weren’t as lucky. Till such a time the court doesn’t punish all those involved, you can’t say justice has been truly served.
Faizan Khan, 24
I wasn’t born when the Babri Masjid was demolished; I don’t know how it happened or who the real culprits were. While I do believe that the people who were involved in demolishing the masjid should be punished, I don’t really care if there’s a temple or a mosque.
Riaz Talukdar, 36
I remember the Babri masjid demolition as a murder of the judiciary and a well planned and executed act of RSS, BJP and Congress. I remember the Rath Yatra as the beginning of the division of Indian society. There was no direct impact on my life since I lived in a safe neighbourhood.
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