See how India tried to keep calm ahead of the historic Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case

  • India has seen numerous communal riots in its history with the Ayodhya dispute as the flashpointIndia has seen numerous communal riots in its history with the Ayodhya dispute as the flashpoint.
  • So ahead of the SC verdict, there were numerous appeals for calm no matter which side the verdict goes in favour of⁠— starting from the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It was announced on Friday that the Supreme Court verdict in the historic Ram Temple vs Babri Masjid standoff at Ayodhya will be announced on Saturday, November 11. Efforts to calm any tension post the verdict had begun much before but they peaked on Friday night and Saturday morning.

The dispute between Hindus and Muslims over a holy site in Ayodhya is over a century old and has proved to be an explosive issue. So while both sides⁠— one that wants a temple and the other that wants a mosque⁠— seem desperate for a closure and have their hopes pinned on the country’s Supreme Court, the anticipation has turned out to be a headache for both the local authorities, the state and central governments, as well as for people who couldn’t care less.



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The Prime Minister’s appeal

The Prime Minister’s appeal

India has seen numerous communal riots in its history with the Ayodhya dispute as the flashpoint. So ahead of the SC verdict, there were numerous appeals for calm no matter which side the verdict goes in favour of⁠— starting from the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

​Ground zero

​Ground zero

In Uttar Pradesh (UP), the state that is home to Ayodhya, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions have been ordered to remain shut for three days from November 9. A social media cell has been set up in UP Police Headquarters in Lucknow and social media monitoring groups in various districts have been tasked to monitor posts. The border between Uttar Pradesh (the state home to Ayodhya) and the neighbouring country of Nepal has been sealed.Internet has been shut down in many cities in UP

What’s the RSS up to?

What’s the RSS up to?

For the last 10 days, the top leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been camping at the 'Udasin Ashram' in Delhi, to deliberate over the court's impending verdict, the IANS reported. The RSS has organised several meetings⁠— including some with Muslim intellectuals⁠— by the top leadership of the Sangh to maintain communal harmony across the country.

The RSS is a Hindu right-wing organisation that has spearheaded the movement for a temple for Lord Rama at the disputed site. The RSS is ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Modi.

Many members of the RSS have been on the police watchlist across the country. Some of them have received calls from the local police and warned against any ill-advised move. The top brass of both the BJP and the RSS have advised their cadres to avoid any knee-jerk reaction to the verdict.

Police prepare for riots

Police prepare for riots

Police across the country has been in preparation mode for a few days now. From Jaipur to Agra to Aligarh, cops in communally sensitive zones have been given special training⁠— and asked to take part in mock drills⁠— on how to contain a riot if one breaks.

Internet has been shut down in many cities in UP

Internet has been shut down in many cities in UP

Panic buying was seen late on Friday in Lucknow as soon as news of the Supreme Court verdict to be out on Saturday was announced. People rushed out to get petrol, diesel, vegetates and withdraw money from ATMs. The maximum rush was seen in parts of the old city that has a sizeable Muslim population, according to the IANS.

​Cash, food, fuel, everything

​Cash, food, fuel, everything

The vegetable market in Lucknow Chowk was reopened after 11 p.m. and people bought large quantities of vegetables in apprehension of trouble in the coming days. Long lines were seen at petrol pumps as people queued up for refuelling. Most of the ATMs in the state capital had run out of cash by midnight as people withdrew money. From early on Saturday too, people queued up to buy milk and other essentials, according to reports.

​Protecting the judges

​Protecting the judges

Astrong posse of security personnel have been deployed around the court complex and vehicles and pedestrians are being subjected to full checks. Security outside the residences of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, who are part of the five-judge Constitution Bench, which will deliver the judgment, has also been beefed up by the Delhi Police.

​Not just Ayodhya

​Not just Ayodhya

The strong wall of security was seen, not just in Ayodhya or other parts of UP, but across the length and breadth of the country. Nearly 2,000 kilometres away in Bengaluru, the assembly of 5 or more people has been banned by the authorities from 7 am till midnight as a security measure. Schools, colleges and even liquor shops will remain closed on Saturday as a precautionary measure

Congress in a huddle

Congress in a huddle

The opposition Congress party’s Working Committee (CWC) went into a huddle on Saturday at 9 am to decide the party’s stance on the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya dispute. The consistent official line of the party has been that the Congress wants everyone to abide by the apex court verdict.Differing comments from some party leaders after the recent revocation of ‘special’ status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir has forced the leadership, including party President Sonia Gandhi, to preempt any embarrassment.

Even the virtual world is tense

Even the virtual world is tense

The police are monitoring social media across the country to check and block provocative messages or pictures and videos from being circulated.

All of India is tense and watching the verdict that is expected to put to rest a centuries old communal standoff and hoping that it all ends well.

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