A video showing a sea of saffron flags held by school students taking down a humongous poster of Babri mosque, symbolically re-enacting the demolition of the 16th-century Mughal structure in Ayodhya, has been garnering wide attention on social media.
The event took place in the presence of several ministers, including federal minister Sadanand Gowda and Governor of Pudducherry Kiran Bedi, present on the occasion as chief guests.
In the video, students can be heard chanting slogans such as “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (praise of the land of India) and “Shri Ram Chandra in Jai” (praise of Lord Rama), hailing India as a nation and Lord Rama – whose temple was demolished by Emperor Babur. Also, cultural songs being played in the background can be heard as well.
According to the tweet, the incident occurred at a school in India’s southern state of Karnataka, run by Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, a member of cultural and nationalistic ideology-oriented group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organisation of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Netizens have lashed out at the authorities blaming them for invoking hatred in children and putting the future of education in India in danger.
A school in Karnataka run by a RSS leader is making it's students re-enact the demolition of the Babri Masjid— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) December 16, 2019
This is the future of education in India when the RSS-BJP takeover of our society is complete.
And this is why it's our duty to resist.pic.twitter.com/eg7IPzz3zw
Why are they instilling so much hatred in to the minds of indias new generation? This is utterly sad and horrifying I hope the saner population of india wakes up and frees up from this hinduvata mindset so india can revive its true colours accordingly to the principles of gandhi.— Shanzar Zaman (@ShanzarZ) December 16, 2019
United by hate but divided by faith. pic.twitter.com/Uvs3S1LC0j— 🇮🇳 Murtuza ☪🕉✝✡ (@murtuzaspeaks) December 16, 2019
See how these people seeding hatred in young children.— Human (@Human42785453) December 16, 2019
For their political benefit they are destroying SECULAR country. #shameonBJP@kunalkamra88 @thepeeinghuman @Nehr_who @narendramodi @TheQuint @ndtv
OMG! People send kids to these hate mongering schools? How different is this from Other radical ‘schools’?— Bala Krishna (@BalaKrishnarama) December 16, 2019
Contrarily, Governor Kiren Bedi, the chief guest and a decorated former police officer, took to Twitter to share the post, lauding the event.
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 Sri Rama Vidya Kendra, Kalladka Village, near Mangalore @PTI_News @ANI pic.twitter.com/IdaoySuBY4— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) December 16, 2019
A few prominent Indian personalities also re-tweeted the video of the event, criticising school authorities and targeting the RSS for propagating such an ideology.
This is how a blatantly criminal act, even according to #SupremeCourt is made into an act of heroism. #History is indeed being rewitten these days. #babrimasjiddemolition #AYODHYAVERDICT https://t.co/PqHuWL9EgZ— NilanjanMukhopadhyay (@NilanjanUdwin) December 16, 2019
This is the state of the education system in our country. Will send us to the dogs.https://t.co/7j17ewQy3B— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) December 16, 2019
an organisation of cowards publicly celebrating its own cowardice. https://t.co/VNqgATh07R— Hartosh Singh Bal (@HartoshSinghBal) December 16, 2019
Since the vandalisation of Babri Mosque in 1992, the site remained a serious bone of contention between the Hindu and Muslim communities. It lasted until the Supreme Court of India recently pronounced a verdict ordering the construction of a temple at the century-old disputed site, and allotting a 5-acre (43,560 square feet) plot of land to the Muslim side for the construction of a mosque.
The RSS often labelled as a right-wing volunteer organisation, is known for taking up issues of national and religious importance in the country.
According to media reports, the number of Shakhas (one-hour meets which aim to promote nationalism and cultural awakening) has been rapidly increasing of late.
The RSS presently runs over 50,000 daily Shakhas and 10,000 weekly IT (information technology) meetings exclusively for urban professionals. These are attended by over half a million people daily, the organisation’s national publicity chief stated in August this year.