“The act of thinking is a totality of memory, knowledge and experience.” – Jiddu Krishnamurthy (Philosopher/ Writer, 1895-1986)
The Babri Masjid demolition and the communal riots thereafter changed the course of history and politics in India. Looking back to the events of December 1992 to January 1993, we realise, once again, how the trajectory of India was defined in that one political moment 25 years back. We remember and re-live it now – in the continued victory of the Right Wing in elections plus the formation of discourse, in beating down of the spirit of minority, in humiliation and degradation of Muslims and Dalits, in branding dissenting voices as anti-national and in sculpting of women’s bodies and personas as the honour of the Hindu Nation.
Memory is said to be an important weapon while speaking truth to power, and in this context, we would like to record, showcase and archive the lived experiences and memories of the times and atmosphere when the Babri Masjid was destroyed in Ayodhya and the tremors that shook India.
History, after all, is a collective memory.
In this special volume of Indian Journal of Secularism we endeavour to gather, compile and present the narratives of people who lived through those times: the stories of violence and despair, hope and resistance, tales of how the community, city changed its colours and how it affected the soul of India. Much analysis has been done of the divisive politics of violence but here, we invite, political analysis woven with and narrated through the personal accounts. As we know, the grand narrative of the Nation can be poignantly curated through our individual unique anecdotes.
Please do visit the memory lanes.
Do you have something to share? Maybe you were a restless child stuck at home in Curfew. What did you hear at home / in the neighbourhood, what did you think was happening? May be you were a college student cruising your city – how did you respond to communalisation around? Maybe you were an activist, trying to organise against threats and violence – how did it affect you?
Do share your stories. We are listening.
We intend to publish your memories in a special volume of the Indian Journal of Secularism, which was started by Dr Asghar Ali Engineer, a crusader for communal harmony, a renowned Islamic scholar and a reformist. Besides initiating discussions at the academic level on growing communalism, intolerance, ethnic conflicts etc. the journal serves as a forum for activists to air their views and aims at creating alternative discourses. It has completed 24 years of uninterrupted publication and is currently edited by Irfan Engineer, the Director of Centre for Society and Secularism.
The Special Volume of December 2017 will be Guest Edited by Dr Sameena Dalwai (legal academic, based in Jindal global University, Sonipat) and Ramu Ramanathan (Mumbai-based playwright and journalist).
It will be titled “Babri Masjid – 25 years on” and will carry pieces of 3000 to 5000 words in length. Abstract deadline is 1st June 2017 (an outline of your piece, the main points of what you plan to write can be sent in 300 to 500 words).
Abstract and outline: 1st June 2017
Notification of Acceptance: 15th June 2017
Submission of final essay: 15th July 2017
Editorial review: 15 August 2017
Final draft: 1 September 2017
Publication Date: 1 December 2017
Submission guidelines: please send a tentative title for your piece, outline and a small 100-150 word note describing yourself to email@example.com with a CC to firstname.lastname@example.org