Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, the principal of Shri Rama Vidya Kendra, got arrested by the police on Tuesday, following his school's re-enactment of the events surrounding the Demolition of the Babri Masjid. Bhat is a prominent member of the RSS in Mangalore (Karnataka), and the principal of Shri Rama Vidya Kendra situated in Kalladka village, near Mangalore. The event got surrounded by controversy as it had attended by Kiran Bedi, the current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
The climax of the play allegedly involved the bringing down of a huge poster of the Mosque. Chants of "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Bajrang Bali" got heard as a crowd of children rushed towards the "Mosque" and participated in tearing it down. Sources suggest that Kiran Bedi, far from getting disenchanted, actually praised the play and the re-enactment.
However, early on Tuesday morning, an arrest warrant had issued, and police picked up Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat. He got charged with "hurting religious sentiments" and "uttering words with the intention of hurting religious sentiments". It remains that we have to see how and when the case will go to court.
Mangalore, and the Tuluva/Konkan belt in which it sits, is a hotbed of communal unease. An influential Hindu majority has given rise to a strong saffron presence, as well as organizations such as the Sri Ram Sene, a Hindu fundamentalist outfit. This is in spite of a large and influential Muslim presence throughout the region. While wide-spread communal violence has not rocked the region in recent years, episodes such as this may spark concerns that the region is heading in that direction.