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Those Lovely Hindu Fanatics

Ayodhya, an Indian city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, is perhaps best known for what occured on its soil in 1992. That year, a group of Hindu fanatics decided to burn down the Babri mosque; it took (only!) 17 years for the commission investigating the incident to finally submit its report. The report is still in the hands of the Congress Party's government, but there is a strong likelihood that a number of figures in the BJP, India's Hindu chauvinist (and second largest) party, will be implicated. And this is after the BJP's wipeout in May's national elections. 

Anyway, this charming news just arrived from party headquarters. 

"The party is not at all apologetic about the incident of demolition of a disputed structure as it had not committed any mistake," BJP president Rajnath Singh said in an interview with RSS mouthpiece Organiser.

Reiterating BJP's commitment towards building Ram Temple in Ayodhya, he said, "Whatever happened in Ayodhya was the outburst of sentiments of the masses. It is not apt to hurt the sentiments of the masses."

Approximately 2000 people died in the violence that followed the mosque's destruction, a fact which makes Singh's comment about "the masses" sound even more fascistic than the usual BJP rhetoric. A number of civil society groups in India are pushing to make the report public. When that happens, the BJP might find itself in an even deeper hole, and not a moment too soon.

--Isaac Chotiner