As part of research for my book, Ayodhya: City of Faith, City of Discord, I was looking for reportage of the decades leading up to the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in the 1980s, as well as the coverage of the firing incident in Ayodhya in 1990 that killed at least 16 kar sevaks. This incident and its widespread manipulation in mass media by the RSS-VHP-BJP led to Hindu masses rallying behind their cause of “liberating” the Ram Lalla idol from the 16th century Babri Masjid.

Those years of early Hindutva mobilisation were when Jan Morcha, already popular in the region, made its mark as a fearlessly independent Hindi newspaper that stuck to facts over the RSS propaganda which was being peddled by most Hindi and some English dailies.