Manisha Patankar Mhaiskar, Maharashtra’s Additional Chief Secretary (Public Works Department), posted a controversial note on her Facebook account sharing how she and other Indian Administrative Service (IAS) trainee officers of the 1992 batch celebrated the night in Mussoorie after Babri Masjid was demolished.
The officer posted the message on the eve of the consecration ceremony of the Ayodhya Ram temple, which was held on January 22.
The post began with the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and said “Life comes a full circle…How!!”
Recounting the day of the Babri Masjid demolition, she said the 1992 IAS batch were at their foundation course at Mussoorie when news about the developments in Ayodhya started to slowly reach them.
“A very spontaneous meeting was organised, but very discreetly and by invitation only. My staunch Nagpur roots were considered good enough for an invitation. At the meeting venue some probationers were chanting Jai Shri Ram and pedas were being distributed. I remember eating one full Kesar peda. On the very cold night of December 6, 1992, I knew that the happenings in Ayodhya were the beginning of something very positive, very powerful and very auspicious,” she wrote.
Manisha further said when the news about the meeting was leaked, they were served notices and that the incident was reported on the front page of a major newspaper. “It was said that lumpen communal elements are infiltrating the IAS. 1992 batch was termed disappointing, comprising mainly of easily excitable small towners - whatever had happened to the posh , smart, privileged kids of the Lutyens and such like? Whatever is happening to Secularism? they said,” the post read.
It concluded with the IAS officer saying that she ate another peda to mark the occasion of the consecration ceremony of the temple. “The day will dawn tomorrow, 22nd January 2024 - with the Ram Lalla pranprathistha at Ayodhya and the declaration of a national holiday to enable everyone to join the celebrations. Today, on the eve, as I eat another Kesari peda I remembered the seminal December 6 moment and the very positive, auspicious powerful feeling it had invoked,” it added.
Speaking to TNM, former Army and IAS officer MG Devasahayam said, “Secularism is a fundamental principle and basic structure of the Constitution. By being communal and celebrating the demolition of the Babri Masjid, she has violated her oath. Appreciating the temple is one thing, but recollecting and celebrating the demolition after 30 years is a crime. She has no moral authority to be in such a high position. There are a number of Muslims and Christians in the state that she is working in. Irrespective of politicians, the civil services must be neutral, non-communal and secular. She has put the IAS to shame and has disgraced the Constitution of India.”