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Nearly three decades after the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished by a frenzied mob, the verdict is out. On Wednesday, a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation acquitted all the 32 accused, including Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, of law violations related to that act on 6 December 1992. It altered the country’s political trajectory in ways that may yet be studied by scholars for decades to come. Such was its significance. The court held as inconclusive the evidence that leaders of the Ayodhya movement in the dock had been part of a conspiracy. The demolition, in its view, was not pre-planned.

Since the Supreme Court had termed that act illegal, while ordering the handing over of Ayodhya’s disputed site for the construction of a Ram temple, Wednesday’s acquittals were sure to raise some eyebrows, and they have. After all, our law was violated that day. Perhaps the verdict will be challenged. Regardless of emotions evoked, however, all rhetoric on this issue must be kept in check. India must look to the future. In an abstract way, maybe a frenzy was to blame, at least partly. The kind that does no good

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