29 years after the demolition of Babri Masjid:
In defense of the unity of workers and peasants against the ruling capitalist class

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 1 December, 2021
Babri_masjid_Joint-demonstration
Joint demonstration to demand punishment to the guilty of Babri Masjid demolition (file photo)

The ruling capitalist class is using all the weapons in its arsenal to break the growing unity of workers and peasants against the privatisation and liberalisation program. Spreading fear about “Islamic terrorism” and “Sikh terrorism”, advocating revenge against Muslims for crimes committed by kings hundreds of years ago, spreading lies and unleashing violence against religious minorities– these are some of the many diabolical methods that are regularly deployed by the rulers, to set people against each other.

There is an urgent need to defend the unity of workers and peasants and all democratic forces, against the all-sided onslaught of the monopoly capitalist class, on the right to secure livelihood, human rights and democratic rights. The unity of the people needs to be defended from the attempts of the ruling class to divide us on a communal basis. In this context, it is extremely important to draw the lessons of historical experience, including and especially the lessons from the demolition of Babri Masjid, whose 29th anniversary falls on 6th December, 2021.

Source of the Problem

The most important lesson to be drawn is about the source of the problem of communalism and violence targeted at people of a particular religious faith. A great deal of confusion is created by the ruling class and its parties to hide the truth from the people.

Babri Masjid, a 15th century monument, was razed to the ground in broad daylight on 6 December, 1992. It was immediately followed by communal violence in many parts of the country. Thousands of people, both Muslims and Hindus, were killed in the violent attacks organised by parties in charge of the central and various state governments.

The official line of the Indian state is that the demolition of Babri Masjid was carried out by a large number of unidentified kar sevaks, driven by their devotion to Lord Ram. The truth is that the demolition of Babri Masjid was pre-meditated and planned well in advance.

Lakhs of devotees from all over the country had been assembled in Ayodhya. The security forces were ordered to stay far away from the site. Prominent members of Parliament were among those who provided on-site supervision of the process, calling Babri Masjid a symbol of past slavery of Hindus to Muslim rulers.

An erroneous and harmful line of thought is that BJP and the Sangh Parivaar alone are to blame for the problem of communalism and communal violence. Both BJP and Congress Party colluded and competed in the divisive political campaign to build a Ram Temple where Babri Masjid stood.

The Congress-led Central Government and the BJP-led UP Government at that time were both guilty of having permitted the demolition of Babri Masjid. Congress Party, BJP and Shiv Sena were all identified by the Srikrishna Commission as having been involved in the communal killings in Mumbai in 1992-1993. Yet no action has been taken against any of these parties. What do these facts show? They show that the ruling class was behind the crimes that were committed. The aim was to set Hindus and Muslims against each other, so as to destroy the unity of the exploited classes against the liberalisation and privatisation program.

The “Ayodhya Dispute”

The seeds of the dispute were sown by the British rulers more than 160 years ago. Awadh was one of the most active centres of the Ghadar of 1857, in which Hindus and Muslims united to overthrow British rule. Following the brutal suppression of that mass uprising, the colonial rulers wrote in the Faizabad Gazetteer that Babri Masjid stood on the spot where Lord Ram was born and that it had been constructed after demolishing a Ram temple.

Following the end of colonial rule in 1947, the Indian ruling class persisted with and further developed the divide and rule tactics learnt from the British. They kept the Ayodhya dispute festering, to be exploited when needed.

The campaign to build a Ram temple in the exact spot where Babri Masjid stood was launched in the 1980s. The Congress government headed by Rajiv Gandhi permitted Shilanyas to be performed and BJP leader Advani launched a Rath Yatra to Ayodhya.

All the organs of the Indian state — the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, have coordinated their activities to cover up the true aim and the true identity of those who organised the crimes committed 29 years ago.

While admitting that the demolition was an unlawful act, the judiciary has legitimized the claim, unsupported by any evidence, that the land on which Babri Masjid stood is the birthplace of Lord Ram. Moreover, the verdict that Advani, Joshi, Bharati and other individuals charged with having led the demolition are not guilty, legitimizes the official claim of the ruling class that it was a spontaneous act carried out by large number of devotees. The judiciary has in effect condoned the demolition and covered up the role of the trusted parties of the ruling class.

Conclusions

One of the most important lessons from historical experience is that it is not a particular party or religious organisation which is responsible for communalism and communal violence. The ruling class is responsible. The party running the government is merely a management team entrusted by the ruling class to carry out its agenda. The management team can be changed through periodic elections.

Regardless of which political party is in charge, communalism and communal violence are preferred weapons to smash the unity of the people and impose the dictate of monopoly capitalists.

The struggle against communalism cannot and must not be seen as being separate from the struggle against the monopoly capitalist agenda of liberalisation and privatisation. Those who treat it as a separate struggle, of Secularism against Hindutva, are making the serious mistake of ignoring the class interests underlying the politics of communal division.

People who are targeted on the basis of their religious identity have every right to organise themselves in defence of their lives, their beliefs and forms of worship. To call them communal or accuse them for “mixing up religion and politics” is to turn truth on its head. It is a form of blaming the victims instead of the guilty.

The struggle against communalism must be directed against the ruling class and its trusted parties, including both BJP and Congress Party. It must be directed against the State which defends the dictatorship of the capitalist class over the toiling majority of people.

We, the people, must persist with our demand that all those guilty of communal crimes must be punished, no matter what positions they may be occupying in the power structure. Those in charge must be held accountable and punished for failing to defend the people’s right to life and right to conscience.

We must wage the struggle for justice with the aim of ending the rule of the capitalist class and establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule in its place. We must build a new state that respects and protects the right to conscience as a universal and inviolable right of every member of society. Such a state will ensure that any individual, group or party that violates anyone’s right to conscience or any other human right is promptly tried and severely punished.

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