Past Event

Afterlives of Babri Masjid: Thirty Years Later

December 9, 2022 - December 10, 2022
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
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Friday – Saturday, December 9-10

Afterlives of Babri Masjid: Thirty Years Later

Time: 8:30am – 12:45pm EST

Indian Standard Time (IST):  7:00pm - 11:15pm

Online only, see registration link below.


Friday, December 9

8:30am – 8:45am EST (or IST 7:00pm - 7:15pm):  Introduction by Katherine Ewing (Religion; Director of South Asia Institute, Columbia)

8:45am-10:45am EST (or IST 7:15pm -9:15pm): : Roundtable One:  Historical Legacies and Re-imaginings

Moderator: Manan Ahmed (History, Columbia)

Irfan Habib (Prof. Emeritus, Aligarh Muslim University)

“Judicial Fancy vs. History: the Fate of Babri Masjid”

David Ludden (History, NYU)

“Hindutva and Indian Nationalism”

Christine Marrewa-Karwoski (MESAAS, Columbia)

“Divinity, Democracy, and Godmen: The Nath Mahants in the Ramjanmabhoomi Movement”

Anand Patwardhan (Filmmaker)

“Ram ke Naam: 30 Years Later”

Audrey Truschke (History, Rutgers at Newark)

“Corrupting History in Court”

Peter van der Veer (University Professor, Utrecht University; Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity)

“Ethnography as Historiography: My Experiences in Ayodhya”

11:15am-12:45pm EST (or IST 945pm - 11:15pm) : Roundtable Two:  Reaching Publics: Technologies of Representation and Performance

Moderator: Isabel Huacuja Alonso (MESAAS, Columbia)

Rohit Chopra: (Communication, Santa Clara Univ.)  

“Ruins of History, Fragments of Memory: Representations of the Demolition of the Babri Masjid (1992)”

Jaclyn Michael (Religion, Univ. of Tennessee, Chattanooga)

“Representations of Violence and Religious Community in Contemporary Indian Theatre: Babri and Beyond”

Arvind Rajagopal  (Media Studies, NYU)

“Between Medium and Message in the Babri Masjid Campaign and its Afterlives”

Dheepa Sundaram (Religious Studies, Colorado at Boulder)

“Producing Virtual Belief Communities: Babri Masjid and Legalizing Hindu Rashtra (Rule)”


Saturday, December 10

8:30am-9:30am EST (or IST 7:00pm - 8:00pm): Roundtable Three: Tracing Marginal Identities

Moderator: Zehra Mehdi (Doctoral candidate, Religion, Columbia)

Khalid Anis Ansari (Associate Prof. of Sociology, Azim Premji University)

“Babri and/or Barabri (equality)? The meaning of ‘6 December’; in the mosque demolitions in Ayodhya and Allahpur”

Deepak Mehta (Sociology, Ashoka University)

“The Deity and the Birthplace”

Kancha Ilaiah Shepard  (Past Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), Maulana Azad National Urdu University)

“Post-Babri Anti-Caste movement: A New Awakening in India”

10:00am-12pm EST (or IST 8:30pm - 10:30pm):  Roundtable Four: Forging Religion, Secularism and the Nation within India and Beyond

Moderator: Christophe Jaffrelot (Senior Research Fellow, CERI-CNRS, Sciences Po)

Irfan Ahmad (Anthropology-Sociology, Ibn Haldun University)

“Destroying the Babri Masjid: Departure from the Era of Secularism or Pretense to Pluralism Unmasked?”

Hilal Ahmed (Assoc. Prof., Centre for the Study of Developing Societies)

“Communal-secular binary and the Afterlife of Babri Masjid”

Thomas Blom Hansen (Anthropology, Stanford)

“Bulldozer Raj. Erasure as government.”

Sarover Zaidi (Associate Professor of Practice, Jindal School of Art and Architecture)

“The Politics of Horizons: contestations, continuities and destructions”

12:00pm-12:45pm EST (or IST 10:30pm - 11:15pm): Concluding conversation with all roundtable presenters and organizers.