Politics

30 years of mosque demolition – Babri Masjid Action Committee is now a defunct body

AYODHYA: The Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC), which was founded in 1987 at the height of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and spearheaded a public campaign and legal battle to protect the Ayodhya mosque, is now a defunct body, with a critically ill Zafaryab Jilani serving as the sole member of the once-powerful Muslim outfit.
Najam Jilani, Jilani’s son, confirmed to TOI that the committee currently has no office-bearers or active members.

“There’s no one left to lead or manage day-to-day activities now that abba (father) is sick. They’ve all left “he stated Several members of the committee, including former diplomat and politician Syed Shahabuddin, Imam Bukhari, Maulana Ubaidullah Azmi, SP leader Azam Khan, and Hyderabad politician Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, rose to prominence during the turbulent years leading up to the mosque demolition, projecting themselves as champions of the Muslim cause.

Even after the Babri demolition, BMAC was active in organising black days and protests for the mosque’s reconstruction on December 6, but it gradually lost steam. “After the 2010 Allahabad high court verdict, which divided the disputed land into three parts, BMAC’s appeal among Muslims began to wane. BMAC was accused of failing to pursue the case aggressively in court, and its leaders were forced to issue public statements. Following the acquittal of all Babri demolition suspects by a special CBI court in Lucknow, BMAC drew the wrath of Muslims once more “Maulana Wasif Hasan, mutawalli of Lucknow’s Teeley Wali Masjid, said:

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The Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee was formed on February 5, 1986, shortly after the Babri mosque was unlocked, under the leadership of former diplomat and Janata Party leader Syed Shahabuddin. In March of the following year, the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) was formed, with several Muslim leaders joining its ranks, including the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari and Hyderabad politician Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi.

In the months that followed, the movement staged protests in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, calling for a return to the status quo at the disputed site. More than a million people attended the BMAC protest at the Boat Club venue in March 1987. The VHP established Ramjanmabhoomi Mukti Yagna Samiti with top seers and organised a mahayagna in Ayodhya on October 11, 1988, ahead of a planned march by BMAC to Ayodhya, as a result of these mobilizations.

BMAC, on the other hand, was not a registered organisation and was primarily run by Zafaryab Jilani and others, claiming all Muslims as members. BMAC, which is now defunct, benefited from political patronage from Janata Dal and Congress leaders at the time.

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