As Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan is happening, it has brought out old wounds of those who opposed the Ayodhya Andolan and demolition of the disputed structure. Shekhar Gupta, who now runs The Print, has shared some information on how their coverage of the demolition and Hindu-shaming cost them. Gupta was the editor of Gujarati edition of India Today back in 1992.
In a tweet, Sheela Bhatt, the then-senior editor of the magazine, said that in December 1992, the magazine ran the cover story “Rastra nu Kalank” (Nation’s Shame), calling the demolition of the disputed structure at Ram Janmabhoomi as a shame, a blot on the nation. She added that the magazine had to close down as people of Gujarat retaliated the coverage.
We launched the Gujarati edition in Oct 1992. Within 6 weeks, our circ rose to 75k. After this Ayodhya headline and coverage there was an avalanche of protest letters. In the next 4 weeks, circ fell to 25k. The edition died, as our marketing head had predicted. https://t.co/6URhdY99P9— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) August 5, 2020
Shekhar Gupta quoted Bhatt’s tweet and wrote that the Gujarat Edition of India Today was launched in October 1992. In six weeks the readership rose to 75,000 copies which was a huge deal at that time. However, when they published the report with the said headline, shaming the people and calling the demolition a national shame, their office was filled with an avalanche of protest letters.
Gupta further stated that in the next four weeks, their readership fell to mere 25,000 and eventually they had to close the Gujarat Edition. He also mentioned that their marketing head at that time predicted that the Gujarat edition would die soon after seeing the response to the coverage.
Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan
Bhoomi Pujan for Bhavya Ram Mandir has been completed in the presence of PM Narendra Modi, CM Yogi Adityanath, RSS head Mohan Bhagwat and many other leaders and saints on 5th August 2020. The construction will take around 3.5 years to complete. The historic event marked the culmination of the centuries-old struggle for Hindus to claim the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the most sacred sites for the Hindu faith.