Ayodhya: Twenty years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, CNN-IBN recalls one of the most tragic events in the history of the country, through the lens of a photographer. December 6, 1992 was a day that India will never forget as the Babri Masjid was demolished.
At the forefront of action that day were those who were the eyes of the country, the photojournalists. Sanjay Sharma, then with the Hindustan Times, reached Ayodhya a week before the incident. But nothing, he says could have prepared him for what was to follow. "I was in front of the mosque, suddenly I see this surge of people running towards it," Sanjay recalls.
Photographers recall how they were targeted by the mobs as they took pictures. Cameras were broken, reporters attacked, and attempts were made to divert everyone's attention away from the scene of action. "Kar sevaks beat us up badly, I was unconscious and had to be taken away," Sanjay said.
Pramod Pramanik was in Ayodhya, too, working with India Today. He recalls that day with a certain sense of sorrow. "There was no help from the administration, we had to hide in a temple," Pramod said.
T Narayan, then with the Times of India, recalls how he had to mingle with the crowd to save his life after he was threatened by the mob. "I found some Tamils there, so I hid my camera and went with the crowd and kept taking pictures in between as I had to do my job as well," Narayan said.
The picture are now a part of the history that cannot be erased from our minds. Not only do they give a first hand account of the event, they're also a testament to the valour shown by the photographers.