The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement citing the demolition of historic Babri Masjid as a “stark reminder of the hysteria and hatred exhibited in India against Muslims and their heritage with state complicity” on the 29th anniversary of the demolition by the BJP-RSS combine.
“The heart-wrenching scenes of the razing of the Babri Mosque are still fresh not only in the minds of Muslims across the globe but also in the collective conscience of the international community”, the press release stated.
The Foreign Office (FO) stated that “the cruelty and frenzy with which the centuries-old Mosque in Ayodhya was desecrated and demolished undermines the tenets of international norms and constitutes a grave violation of religious rights of the minorities”.
The FO added that the Indian Supreme Court’s judgement of November 2019 and the subsequent acquittal of the accused, mainly BJP leaders who had presided over the demolition in public glare, has been deemed ‘shameless’ and ‘defective’, a testimony to “India’s fast descent into majoritarianism and Hindutva extremism”.
The ministry strongly condemned the violation of religious places and “senseless” attacks against minorities in India which have seemingly become the norm.
Such “religious zealotry” has become empowered by legal precedents such as; “Anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat in 2002 and in Delhi in February 2020, the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) aimed at disenfranchising Muslims”, the statement read.
The FO further stated that the “appointment of former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who led the bench writing the flawed verdict”, as nominated Parliamentarian “within four months of his retirement, clearly indicated that the process was influenced by the ruling BJP-RSS dispensation for the advancement of its Hindutva agenda”.
“The harrowing impunity with which minorities especially Muslims are being persecuted, demonized and marginalized in India is deplorable including violence against Muslims on the false pretexts of cow vigilantism, so-called ‘Love-Jihad’, the recent brutal eviction of Muslims in Assam, the vandalization of mosques and Muslim properties in Tripura, the continued disruption of Friday prayers in Gurgaon are vivid pointers to growing religious intolerance and fanaticism in India,” the FO added.
The ministry reiterated that “meaningful steps must be taken to ensure safety, security and religious freedom for all minorities especially Muslims in India”.
Furthermore, it stated that “India’s attention is invited to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) numerous resolutions, condemning the despicable act of demolishing the historic mosque, and OIC’s 47th Session of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) calling on the Indian government to implement its commitment to reconstruct the Babri mosque on its original site and to punish those responsible for its demolition”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called upon the “government of India to take immediate steps to halt the illegal construction of a temple at the place of Babri Masjid, reconstruct the Babri Masjid at its original site and ensure the safety and protection of mosques and Islamic holy sites in India”.