Balbir Singh, an enthusiastic Shiv Sena leader from Panipat, was one of the prominent Karsevaks that furiously claimed majestic dome of the historic Babri Masjid raising the slogans of Jai Sri Ram on December 6, 1992. The only goal of his life was to see a glorious Ram Mandir on the Babri mosque land.
But, today (December 6, 2017), he observed the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Babri mosque by repenting for his past actions and spreading the message of Islam among the non-Muslims.
Balbir Singh is one of the karsevaks that not only realised their crime, but also embraced Islam years ago. The same Balbir Singh is now popular as Mohammed Aamir, who spends most of his time by trying to convince non-Muslims why one should read Quran.
Singh’s transformation is all the more dramatic as he is known as the first karsevak on the dome to raze the Babri mosque for which he received a hero’s welcome as he returned to his home town, Panipat. Two bricks were carried back by him which are still kept in the Shiv Sena's office there.
However, the task of assassinating Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, a Muslim cleric in Deoband changed the course of Singh’s life. As per plan he reached Deoband. But, after listening to the religious sermons of the Maulana, Singh confronted him not as an enemy but as someone "who had sinned against the house of God."
It was then he embraced Islam. But the conversion has not been easy. Today, Aamir, has left his home town Panipat far behind to settle in Hyderabad where he is married to a Muslim lady. In another twist of fate, Aamir also runs a school to spread the teachings of Islam.
Aamir and his fellow karsevak Yogendra Pal (who is now known as Mohammed Umar) have vowed to construct and renovate 100 mosques during their lifetime as repentance for what they had done. “So far we have managed 40,” says Aaamir.
It isn't just Balbir Singh or Yogendra Pal who played key role in Babri demolition and then embraced Islam. Many other karsevaks too are doing their best to exorcise the memories of shame and guilt. Shive Prasad, a former youth leader of the Bajrang Dal in Ayodhya, is one of them.
Prasad had given training to about 4,000 karsevaks and he and his team had actively participated in pulling down the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
Within a year after the demolition, Prasad went deep into depression, suffering bouts of hallucination, blaming himself for having committed an "unforgivable sin." Prasad visited psychiatrists, tantriks and saints but there was no peace in his mind. For the next five years, he lived the life of a recluse and in 1997, he went to Sharjah to seek employment. In 1999, he formally embraced Islam in Sharjah and became Mohammed Mustafa.
Mustafa’s journey towards atonement has not been easy. He has been ostracised by his family and the Sangh Parivar has threatened to kill him should he ever return to India.
He demolished Babri that day; building mosques, spreading Islam today