School re-enacts Babri Masjid demolition
A school run by a senior RSS leader in Karnataka got its pupils to re-enact the demolition of the Babri Masjid, as part of a depiction of the Ayodhya movement, during its annual day celebrations on Sunday.
The Sri Rama Vidyakendra High School, run by the Sri Rama Vidyakendra Trust that is headed by Sangh functionary Prabhakar Bhat, got scores of its Class XI and XII students to enact the skit, aided by vivid visuals and celebratory chants.
The actors were dressed as kar sevaks, sporting white kurta-pyjamas. Some of them wore a saffron shawl like a lungi.
The skit started with a portrayal of L.K. Advani’s 1990 rathyatra and ended with last month’s Supreme Court order that handed the disputed Ayodhya plot to Hindus to build a Ram temple.
A video circulating on social media shows the actors dashing towards a giant flex board displaying the pre-demolition Babri Masjid, while the background commentary lauds their efforts to bring the structure down.
“The Hanuman bhaktas, with Hanuman’s anger, are bringing the Babri Masjid down with whatever tools they can lay their hands on,” screams the Kannada commentary, played on loudspeakers.
While the actors pull the board down, some other children wave saffron flags. The commentator yells: “Bolo Shri Rama Chandra ki jai.”
The school is located in Kalladka village, which lies on the Mangalore-Bangalore bus route, in Dakshina Kannada district where the RSS wields sizeable influence.
The skit took place before the arrival of the chief guest, Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi, and other dignitaries such as Union minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and state ministers.
Bedi later posted a tweet about another event at the celebrations.
“Another formation d school children made was of the proposed Shri Ram Mandir at #Ayodhya. All such performances enabled d school ensure all of its 3800+ school children participate in d annual festival of Shri Rama Vidya Kendra, Kalladka village, near Mangalore,” she tweeted.
The school management defended the skit. “We were only showing the entire sequence of events starting with Shri L.K. Advani’s rathyatra till the recent Supreme Court order that awarded the site to (Hindus to build) a Ram temple we all wanted,” school principal Krishna Prasad told The Telegraph on Monday.
“There was a very brief episode showing that incident when the Babri Masjid was brought down…. The media is showing only the Babri Masjid part, ignoring the other parts of the same skit.”
Prasad said the schoolchildren had enacted several other skits based on “incidents that happened this year”.
“One of the skits was about the Chandrayaan-2 launch and how Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoled Isro chairman K. Sivan after the mission partly failed,” he said.
He added that the children had in 2014 conducted a skit on the successful launch of the Mars orbiter mission, or “Mangalyaan”.
“Last year, we had skits on the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Veer Savarkar’s life and the Sardar Patel statue,” Prasad said.
The school teaches the state board syllabus but gives additional lessons on “Indian cultural education”, based on the RSS ideology, local people said. Most of the pupils come from families of RSS members or sympathisers.
Bhat, the RSS leader who heads the school trust, did not answer calls from this newspaper.
Bhat had had a hate-speech case registered against him in March this year after he accused the then Congress-Janata Dal Secular government of destroying Hindu culture by allowing a Muslim minister to enter temples.
“It’s wrong to invite beefeaters to temples,” he had said, while demanding that the Mangalore temples visited by then food minister U.T. Khader be cleansed with holy water.