No Justice unless those in Command are held Responsible
The Supreme Court has ordered the CBI Special Court to deliver the final verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case by 30th September. Several senior leaders of BJP, RSS, Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini stand accused in this case, including Lal Kishan Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Ritambhara. All of them have been accused of having conspired to demolish the 15th century mosque on 6th December, 1992, and of having delivered hate speeches against Muslims prior to the demolition.
Irrespective of whether the accused individuals are held to be guilty or innocent on 30th September, justice would not be delivered on that day. This is because the act of demolition of Babri Masjid was not just a conspiracy hatched by a set of individuals.
The demolition of Babri Masjid was without doubt a pre-meditated and well-planned act. It is true that several of the accused persons were present at the site and delivered speeches calling for the demolition of the mosque, allegedly to liberate the birthplace of Lord Ram. However, to portray it as an act planned and led by this group of individuals is to cover up the truth.
It was a conspiracy in which both the Congress-led Central Government and the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh Government were involved. The UP Government let Babri Masjid be destroyed after having promised the Supreme Court that it would prevent it. The UP police was ordered to stay far away from the site on the day of the demolition. The Central Government deliberately took no action to prevent this criminal act, ordering its security forces not to intervene.
What were the Chief Minister and Home Minister of UP doing at that time? What were the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India doing in the days prior to the demolition? What transpired in the meetings they must have chaired during that time? None of these have even been investigated. This is because no case has been filed against those responsible for maintaining law and order and protecting the historic monument.
The operation of covering up the truth began on 6th December, 1992, the very day of the demolition. The UP police filed two different FIRs that day, one against unnamed karsevaks, and the other against politicians who were present at the site. The first FIR conveys the impression that it was a spontaneous act carried out by large numbers of people who had gathered there. The second FIR suggests that it was an organised conspiracy by the political leaders who were present there.
As many as 49 cases were filed. However, no case was made out against the BJP, which was in charge of the UP Government, or against the Congress Party, which was in charge of the Central Government. Who really conspired to demolish Babri Masjid, and for what aim, was covered up.
More than 27 years have passed since the crime was committed. The issue has been converted into a dogfight between the Congress Party and the BJP. Congress-led governments have tried to pin the blame on BJP leaders. BJP-led governments in UP and at the centre used all kinds of delaying tactics. The case moved from one court to another, between Lucknow and Rae Bareilly.
Advani was declared to be innocent in September 2003, when he was the Deputy Prime Minister of India. In July 2005, when the Congress Party was in charge of the Central Government and Samajwadi Party was in charge of the UP Government, charges were re-framed against Advani and the other accused individuals. The CBI took the case to the Supreme Court in March 2012.
There was no progress in the case for many years following the victory of BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Then in 2017, the Supreme Court ordered invoking of conspiracy charges against Advani and 20 others, and asked the court in Lucknow to try this case within a period of two years.
To understand the true nature of the conspiracy, it is necessary to analyse the political situation prevailing at that time. The 1980s was the decade when the banner of “free market reform” was unfurled by the Anglo-American imperialists. The Indian big bourgeoisie was preparing conditions for dumping the “socialistic pattern” which it had promoted till then and embracing the “free market” prescriptions.
Communalisation of politics in Assam and Punjab, army assault on the Golden Temple, genocide of Sikhs in November 1984 and imposition of army rule in Punjab were part of the diabolical plan implemented in the eighties. The destruction of Babri Masjid in December 1992 marked the “scaling up” of the diabolical tactics tested in Assam and then in Punjab to the whole country. Both the ruling and principal opposition parties in Parliament colluded to set people at each other’s throats. The political aim was to divert the working class and people, set them against one another, and create conditions for launching an all-sided anti-social offensive under the banner of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation.
The campaign to destroy Babri Masjid and build a Ram temple in its place was part of the plan executed by the ruling class and its principal parties. The executive, legislative and judicial arms of the State coordinated their activities to inflame communal passions around this issue (see Box on Historical Facts).
Those guilty of the demolition of Babri Masjid include the Central Government headed by Narasimha Rao and the UP government headed by Kalyan Singh. Until and unless those in command are held responsible, there will be no justice. Far from ensuring justice, all official efforts have so far been aimed at hiding the truth from the people. The verdict on 30th September will not be any different.
People of different religious faiths had been living amicably in Ayodhya for many centuries in pre-colonial times. The first recorded Hindu-Muslim dispute there took place around 1850. It was incited by the British colonial rulers to divide the people and take over Awadh from the then ruler, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.The dispute was settled quickly, with a written agreement approved by the Nawab, which laid down the rules of worship by Hindus and Muslims.After the Ghadar of 1857, the British rulers tore up that written agreement.They erected railings around Babri Masjid to prevent anyone from entering the premises. They concocted the lie that Babri Masjid was built after destroying a Ram temple in that site and published this in the Faizabad Gazeteer.They initiated a legal case in the Faizabad civil court.
After the end of colonial rule, in the night of 22nd December, 1949, an idol of Ram Lalla was placed inside the mosque. Prime Minister Nehru and the government he headed allowed the propaganda to be spread that this idol had appeared as a result of a miracle.
In 1984, Vishwa Hindu Parishad announced plans to build a Ram Temple at the site where Babri Masjid stood, claiming it was the birth place of Ram. The leadership of VHP included both Congress and BJP veterans.
In 1986, prompted by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Faizabad district court ordered the gates of Babri Masjid to be opened for worship by Hindus. In 1989, just before the next General Elections, the courts allowed “Shilanyas” (foundation ceremony for a new temple) at the site. Rajiv Gandhi, who had led the Congress campaign in 1985 with the slogan “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan!”, launched the campaign for the 1989 General Elections from Faizabad, promising “Ram Rajya”. BJP leader Advani launched a rath yatra from Somnath Temple in Gujarat to mobilise support for the construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
Big capitalists pumped in crores of rupees into the coffers of the VHP for pursuing the Ram mandir movement. Bricks marked with religious symbols were collected from over 2,00,000 villages for the construction of the temple. This campaign carried on for three years, culminating in the destruction of Babri Masjid.