The attack on Ram Janma Boomi / Babri Masjid at Ayodhya ought to be condemned. If it is the work of Pakistan based terrorists, India should demand that they be handed over to India, though this will not happen.
When I first heard the news, I called up my Bombay office and alerted my staff to be safe against any potential communal violence. So far there has been none, and I fervently hope that everybody has the common sense to not indulge in riots.
Fortunately, Tamilnadu has not had any major communal violence. During the demolition of Babri Masjid in Dec'92 I was studying in Kilakarai, a small village in coastal Tamilnadu with almost 95% Muslim population. There was palpable tension in the air, but no riots and no crowds chasing the Hindu Students. In the four years I spent in Kilakarai, I never felt any bias towards Muslims or hatred towards Hindus. From my experience in living in small towns of Tamilnadu, I can vouch that this is the case in most places. I studied for a year in Little Flower Higher Secondary School, a Christian school, in Kumbakonam. We were taught Thiruppavai and Thiruvembavai (hymns in praise of Lord Krishna)and sent to participate in competitions held in nearby Uppiliappan temple. Communal violence was hardly heard about in Tamilnadu till 1998 Coimbatore episode. Even that did not spread state wide and was contained. All this means Tamilians can be proud of themselves as a tolerant society.
But scratch the surface and you will find a different story. There is no communal violence in Tamilnadu, because most of the Hindus identify themselves based on caste and only then on religion. That is my theory anyway. There is no Hindu vote bank in Tamilnadu. There are Thevar, Vanniar, Dalit, Nadar vote banks, but no consolidated Hindu votebank. This the reason why BJP finds it hard to break into Tamilnadu. They are not able to consolidate the Hindus into a single vote bank.
Casteism has strong roots in Tamilnadu. Any Tamil who is reading this would have heard these statements, "Iyer pasangala Nambadha (never trust Brahmin Boys", "Thevarunnale aruva thaan (If you are a thevar, you will be violent)", "Naadaru ennaikkum avanga aalungalukku thaan help pannuvaru (Nadars will help their caste men only)" and such. The biggest riots in Tamilnadu have been casteist in nature be it the Mudukulathoor riots of 1957, or the Thevar-Dalit clashes during 1990s. In a labor struggle gone awry, 44 women and children of Dalit community were burnt alive in the clashes in Kilavenmani in 1960s, but hardly anybody remembers this incident as it is never mentioned or remembered in Main Stream Media.
Even in the supposedly enlightened environs of Engineering Colleges, I have felt these divisions. Similarly I have heard the GM of my previous company, berate Ambedkar as a mere translator of British Constitution and not one who wrote the Indian Constitution (of course, after confirming that I belong to a forward caste).
So this is my theory, there is hardly any communal violence in Tamilnadu, because we are still fighting on casteist lines.