New Delhi, Dec 5: Twenty years after the Babri mosque was razed in Ayodhya, most of those who played in major role in the campaign to build a Ram temple there are still leading figures in Indian politics.
L.K. Advani: He was the face of the Ayodhya temple movement. His ‘rath yatra’ from Somnath to Ayodhya (halted in Bihar) led to widespread riots. He later called the Babri razing a matter of regret. Went on to be deputy prime minister, and remains a star in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Murli Manohar Joshi: Was a strong and vocal advocate of a Ram temple at the Babri site. He witnessed the mosque razing and was photographed joyously hugging Uma Bharti. Remains a senior leader of BJP.
Vijayaraje Scindia: She was an uncompromising opponent of the Babri mosque, which was said to be at the birthsite of Lord Rama. She later gave up electoral politics. She died in 2001.
Uma Bhrati: The firebrand face of the Hindutva movement, she raised slogans such as ‘Ram nam satya hai, Babri Masjid dhvasth hai’ as the Babri mosque was razed. Later became chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. She quit the BJP and then returned to the party.
Kalyan Singh: Was the BJP chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri mosque was destroyed. He too left the BJP but is now back in the party.
Ashok Singhal: The best known face of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which prepared the ground for the pro-temple movement that helped the BJP to grow and grow. He suffers now from poor health.
Sadhvi Rithambhara: Like Uma Bharti, she was another firebrand face of the Hindutva movement. She addressed innumerable meetings inciting people to destroy the Babri mosque. Now immersed in spiritual work.
Vinay Katiyar: Founder president of Bajrang Dal, the militant arm of VHP. On Nov 30, 1992, he had said ominously: “Kuch bigadega tabhi kuch banega.” (When something is destroyed, only then will something be born.)
He was later the Lok Sabha member from Faizabad (Ayodhya).