The Ayodhya verdict is out. Though I was not in India to feel the outcome of the verdict, it looked peaceful than what was expected of an old and on-going issue, blown out of proportions over the years. Or has the time healed the wounds? Or is the current generation really not interested?
The only news about the verdict I could find were mostly the thoughts of different leaders on the verdict. As expected, Advani had written a post in his blog citing the verdict aligned with the thoughts he had posted in his autobiography “My Country, My Life”.
Reading articles about this verdict took be back to my college days, when I had spent more than two weeks researching on POTA. I was writing an article for one of the competition thrown in by a popular magazine (I do not recollect its name now). With no internet access, I had to browse dozens of magazines in our college library to study about the law before putting my thoughts about it. I was missing the CTRL + F functionality very badly. I had to go through a number of magazines, different issues, one by one to see if there was an article on POTA. But I can swear that, if I had written the same article now, that would not have been better, even though I am armed with more resources now.
I still the remember the day, when I was sitting in the last row of the library and trying to take some notes from one of the magazines on POTA. Thanks to the sunlight from the translucent window, I was not straining my eyes fighting with the dimly lit tube-light. I think we were not supposed to lend the magazines from library and I was trying to save 50 paise on photocopying, so that I could go to dinner to one of the five restaurants in that village or for the morning Poha or evening Kachoris at More Bhau’s shop. It was around 3:30 PM and I had bunked the class as usual. Given the time, students were either at class or sleeping in hostel, the library was almost empty.
My research was suddenly broken by a swarm of students entering the library. I have never seen so much except for the days when we used to get 5 books for that annual year for our course of study. And to my surprise, all the students found a desk to sit. Within minutes, the library was silent and it looked like everybody had found a place and a book. It took some time for me to really understand what was going on. When our college photographer (I think it was Mr. Pise) entered the library with his big camera and a big flash accessory plugged in, I knew it was for the annual college magazine. Two shots from the lower level and two shots from the upper level (the upper level was more of a mezzanine level with view of the lower level), his job was almost complete for that year. He rubbed his shining bald head (Good that they go behind the flash all the time) and indicated that he was done. There were noises in the library once again, as all of the students left.
I knew I was the only one left apart from the library staff as I continued my research on POTA.
PS: I did send a wonderful essay to the magazine, but it was never published or awarded. I think I have a copy of the essay hidden somewhere in the shelves of my home in Chennai. I will publish it whenever I get a hold of it.