1. Gopal, Anatomy of a Confrontation; Rao, Ayodhya 6 December 1992; Noorani,
The Babri Masjid Question, 1528–2003.
2. Communalism in India refers to social divisions based on the belief of religious
difference and is often used to describe the religious tension between the Hindu and
3. I am using the term spatial practice to designate the multiplicity of processes that
occur at the monument to produce its meaning. I am therefore diverging from Henri
Lefebvre’s more limited use of the term, which describes the material production of
space. Michel de Certeau’s notion of spatial practice, as the everyday practices of lived
space, defined by multiform-resistant procedures, is closer to my use of the term. See
Lefebvre, The Production of Space, 33; and Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 96.
4. After the destruction of the Babri Masjid in December of 1992, religious riots
claimed two thousand lives, and in related communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 be-
tween one thousand and two thousand people, mostly Muslims, were killed.
5. Gopal, Anatomy of a Confrontation; Guha-Thakurta, Monuments, Objects,
Histories, 268–303; Oza, “The Geography of Hindu Right-wing Violence in India”;
Desai, Slouching towards Ayodhya.
6. Nandy, Trivedy, and Mayaram, Creating a Nationality; Engineer, Politics
of Confrontation; Hansen, The Saffron Wave; Deshpande, “Communalising the
7. Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.”
8. This strategy of chronological ordering and synchronic framing is not neces-
sarily contradictory and can offer a robust understanding of how the meaning and
function of monuments have changed with time and are adapted to the present con-
cerns of Indian society. Exemplifying this kind of strategy are Davis, Lives of Indian
Images; Deshpande, Creative Pasts; and Thapar, Somanatha.
9. Gopal, Anatomy of a Confrontation, vii, 11.
10. Foucault, The History of Sexuality, 95.
11. Ibid., 94.
12. Foucault, “Truth and Power,” 61.
13. Legg, “Beyond the European Province,” 267.
14. Mitchell, Colonising Egypt; Wright, The Politics of Design in French Colonial
Urbanism; Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire.
15. Among these scholars is Stephen Legg, with his compelling examination of the
colonial construction of New Delhi in relation to its double, Old Delhi. See Legg,