Truth can be suppressed for a while. It can be delayed. But, it can never be buried!
The ghosts of Babri masjid demolition are back to haunt top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. Pushing their “Hindutva” agenda which places premium on being a “Hindu” and all that he stands for, the right wing BJP backed construction of a Ram temple in place of a mosque constructed by the Mughal invader Babur in Ayodhya centuries ago claiming the site to be the place of birth of Lord Ram.
The mosque structure was brought down by a mammoth crowd of kar sevaks (volunteers) campaigning for construction of the temple, on December 6, 1992 displaying brute force and total disregard for law of the land. The day came to be known as the “Black Friday” following forcible demolition of the mosque and large scale manhandling of journalists and others.
Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, the one-man Commission, appointed to look into the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya has indicted top BJP leaders including former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee; former deputy prime minister and home minister Lal Krishna Advani and former BJP president Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi for their complicity in the demolition of the mosque to pave way for construction of the proposed temple, according to the first part of an exclusive report appearing in the national daily “The Indian Express.”
Vajpayee, Advani and Joshi projected themselves as heroes of Babri mosque demolition to their constituency on one hand and on the other they feigned ignorance when it came to investigation. Their greatest indictment, to my mind, comes from the fact that all three of them went underground for a week after the demolition of the mosque. As home minister, Advani is believed to have used his influence to scuttle investigations to extricate himself from this case. Advani also embarked on a “Rath yatra” across the country to collect funds for the temple. His procession was, however, aborted in Bihar by the then chief minister of the state, Lalu Prasad Yadav.
According to the Indian Express report, the Commission of enquiry has sufficient evidence to show that “the entire build-up was meticulously planned. And, there was nothing to show that these leaders were either unaware of what was going on or innocent of any wrongdoing.”
The report is also critical of Muslim leaders who failed to represent the spirit and welfare of the community they claimed to represent. The report is expected to be presented in the parliament during this winter session.
The demolition of Babri Masjid triggered communal riots across the country. The commission of enquiry was set up 10 days after the demolition of the mosque. The commission submitted its report after 17 years and 48 extensions of its term on June 30 this year.
The enquiry commission report is said to have indicted the entire top brass of the Sangh Parivar, the right wing formation including leaders of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shiv Sena.
The Babri mosque demolition took place during the Congress regime headed by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao who drew a lot of flak for his inaction. The commission of enquiry is said to have absolved him as the centre could have acted only on the request of the state government in such a situation as “law and order” is a state subject.
The subsequent government of The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by the BJP carried out excavations at the site to prove existence of remains of a Ram temple at the site. Some of the alliance parties felt uncomfortable with this. The Congress and the BJP were trying to make points and counter points on this based on the findings of the excavation.
Though remains of the temple became a rallying point, my common sense tells me that proving the existence of a temple or otherwise proves nothing. Rama was a prince. He would have been born in a palace not a temple. If he was born at the spot being claimed to be Ram Janam Bhoomi or birth place of Ram, we should be looking for the remains of a palace—not temple.