Thousands march in New Delhi demanding justice and punishment for the guilty
From 2.00 pm on December 6, people started gathering at Mandi House Chowk in New Delhi. They came from all parts of the city. They were young girls and boys in their teens, as well as older men and women. They were people following different religious beliefs. They spoke different languages. They had come to boldly express their determination to safeguard the unity and solidarity of our people and oppose the divide and rule policy of the ruling class. They had come to participate in a powerful protest march to demand that those guilty of organizing the demolition of the Babri Masjid be punished for this monstrous crime against our people.
December 6, 2019 marked the 27th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid. Right after the demolition, people all over the country came onto the streets in powerful protest actions. Every year since then, on this day, people have come onto the streets demanding that those guilty of demolishing a historic place of worship and organizing communal massacres all over the country must be severely punished. The fact that 27 years have passed, and no action has been taken, has only increased the determination of our people to carry forward the struggle to secure justice through to the end. This was reflected in the spirit of the people participating in the march of December 6, 2019.
Inscribed on a massive banner at the head of the march were the slogans:
“Punish those guilty of the demolition of Babri Masjid!”
“No to communal and divisive politics! For peace, unity and well-being of our people!”
In an atmosphere surcharged with emotion, the people began their protest March at 3 pm sharp. They marched in an extremely disciplined manner, holding colourful banners and placards. Youth volunteers ensured that no provocateur could disrupt the march.
The streets of New Delhi reverberated with the slogans “Punish those guilty of demolishing Babri Masjid!” “State terrorism down down!” “Punish those guilty of the genocide of 1984, the communal massacres of 1992-1993, the Gujarat genocide of 2002, and the Muzzafarnagar massacre of 2013!” “No to Mockery of Justice in name of “Complete Justice!” “Down with the politics of divide and rule!” “Unite to put an end to state organized communal violence and state terror!” “The Indian state is communal, not our people!” “No to the attack on right to conscience!” “An attack on one is an attack on all!”
Hearing these full throated slogans, people came out of their offices in large numbers, along the route of the march. What they witnessed was truly special! They could feel the pent up anger against the injustice of this system, in each of the participants. The cry for justice resonated with the feelings in their own hearts. Hundreds of people joined the march on the way. When the marchers reached Jantar Mantar, the venue for the public rally, they were greeted by hundreds of people who had directly come to the venue of the rally from different parts of the city. Many had come, attracted by the posters announcing the rally that had been put up all over the city.
A huge stage had been set up for the public rally. A large banner bearing the slogans of the march provided an impressive backdrop.
The proceedings were conducted by Birju Nayak and Siraj Talib. Birju Nayak first called upon Shri S Raghavan, President of Lok Raj Sangathan to come to the stage. He then announced, one by one, the names of leaders of participating organisations and requested them to come to the stage.
The protest march and rally was jointly organised by Lok Raj Sangathan, Social Democratic Party of India, Welfare Party of India, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, Popular Front of India, Lok Paksh, United Muslim Front, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, Citizens for Democracy, NCHRO, Students Islamic Organisation, Campus Front of India, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, New Democratic Party of India, Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, The Sikh Forum, CPI (M-L) – New Proletarian, All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Delhi), All-India Imams Council, National Women Front, Women India Movement, Delhi People’s Forum, PCRO and others.
Those who addressed the rally included S Raghavan, President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Dr SQR Ilyas of Welfare Party of India, Tasleem Rahmani of Social Democratic Party of India, Comrade Prakash Rao of Communist Ghadar Party, Mohammed Sakib of Popular Front of India, Malik Mohtasin Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, Comrade KK Singh of Lok Paksh, Adv Shahid Ali of United Muslim Front and Abdul Rashid Agwan of All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat.
In addition, present on the stage were, Mohammed Suleman of Indian National League, Arjun Singh of Delhi People’s Forum, Pratap Singh from Sikh Forum, Ansar Indori from NCHRO, D.R. Sori of New Democratic Party of India, Santosh Kumar of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Maj Salan Maniyar of Student Islamic Organisation, Com Narender from People’s Front-Delhi, Advocate Mohammed Anwar from APCR, Arif Saifi from AIMIM and Adv ML Ravi from Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi.
Speakers at the rally condemned in one voice the role of the two principal parties of the ruling class, the Congress and BJP for the demolition of Babri Masjid. All of them reiterated that the destruction of Babri Masjid was not only an attack on the people of the Muslim faith, it was an attack on all the people of our country.
They recalled that the Liberhan Commission and the Srikrishna Commission had pointed to the involvement of political leaders at the highest level in the demolition and ensuing violence. However, no action has been taken against any of them even though 27 years have passed.
They expressed indignation at the fact that the criminal cases against those responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid have been gathering dust in CBI courts. Those who were in charge of protecting the monument, of protecting people’s lives have not been held accountable. The principle of command responsibility has been completely ignored.
Speakers pointed out that the Supreme Court in its judgment of November 9 declared the placing of idols inside the Masjid in 1949 and the destruction of the Masjid in December 1992 as illegal acts. They questioned how the Court could then decide to hand over the land on which the Masjid stood to the party representing the idol of Ram Lalla.
The Supreme Court admits that no party had documentary proof of ownership of the site. Speakers questioned the basis on which the court decided to hand over the land on which Babri Masjid stood for so long, for the construction of a Ram temple.
The Supreme Court has declared that there is no documentary evidence that Babri Masjid was being used by Muslims for prayer from the time of its construction in 1527 until 1856 when British colonial rule was established over Awadh. Speakers pointed to the ridiculousness of demanding documentary proof that the mosque was used for prayers for 330 years, since the time it was constructed. Why else would a mosque exist and be maintained, if not for offering prayers?
Speakers pointed out that the Supreme Court judgment cites records made by the British colonial authorities who deliberately falsified history as part of their divide and rule strategy. It is a well-known fact that the British rulers deliberately destroyed documents relating to the history of our people, after crushing the Great Ghadar of 1857, with the aim of erasing our history and rewriting it to justify their rule. It was the British rulers who spread the lie through their Gazetteers that Babri Masjid had been built after destroying a temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Speakers expressed their anger at the judgment of the Supreme Court, which asks the government to allot 5 acres of land elsewhere in Ayodhya for the purpose of building a mosque. They declared that people had not been fighting for 27 years for 5 acres of land! People were fighting for justice, and that the Supreme Court judgment was nothing but outright injustice in the name of ensuring “complete justice”. They reiterated their demand that the Supreme Court review its verdict to build Ram temple at the site of Babri Masjid.
Speakers pointed out, that everyone is being asked to accept this verdict, in the name of preserving communal harmony. However, there can be no justice until those guilty of committing crimes against humanity are punished.
Addressing the rally, Comrade Prakash Rao, spokesperson of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, said that this joint rally is a declaration that the people of our country will never ever give up the struggle for justice, no matter how great the sacrifice we have to make. It is the Indian state which is communal, not the people of our country. We reject communal and divisive politics. We stand for peace, unity and well-being of our people. This joint march and rally is the answer of the people of our country to parties sitting in Parliament, whether ruling or opposition, who claim that “justice has been done” and “people have accepted it”. Gross injustice has been done in the name of ensuring “complete justice”. People of our country refuse to accept this injustice.
The demolition of Babri Masjid was a dagger driven into the hearts of all the people of India by the ruling class and its state. The aim was to smash the unity of our people and maintain its anti-popular rule. Prakash Rao pointed out that during the great Ghadar of 1857, our people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, came together under one banner to liberate our country from colonial rule. Maulavis, pundits, granthis and priests went to gallows for this lofty cause. The British learnt the lesson that in order to maintain their rule, they had to set Hindus and Muslims against each other. They instituted the policy of divide and rule. It was the British who started the dispute in Ayodhya. As long as Awadh was ruled by the Nawab, there was never a fight between Hindus and Muslims over Babri Masjid. When the British took over Awadh, they started writing in their gazetteers that the Masjid stood at the very place where Lord Ram was born, and it was built after destroying a temple dedicated to him. They deliberately organised communal clashes over the issue.
It was this politics of divide and rule that led to partition of India in 1947, the effects of which are being felt to this day in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. After Independence, a lie was perpetrated – that Muslims divided India. The truth is that it was the British who organised the bloody partition of our country. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs all fought and sacrificed their lives to oust the British. This country belongs to all of us.
In the Great Ghadar of 1857, in the revolt of 1913-1915 organized by the Hindustan Ghadar Party, and in all the struggles of our people for independence from colonial rule, people of all religious faiths fought shoulder to shoulder. This is the real history of our people.
Prakash Rao pointed out that the Indian ruling class has further perfected the policy of divide and rule. The course the ruling class is pursuing is disastrous for our country and people. We must not forget that the US imperialists are deliberately targeting the people of the Muslim faith worldwide, as part of their strategy to establish their domination over the whole world. They have destroyed various countries, and they want to destroy India as well. Our ruling class has shown that it cannot be depended upon to defend the unity of our people.
He concluded that we need to move forward for the navnirman of our country. We have to organise workers, peasants and all toilers, people of all religious faiths for the navnirman of India so that sukh and suraksha can be guaranteed to all the people.
People listened with rapt attention to the speakers. No one left the rally site. Those from the media who were covering the rally were heard saying to one another — “Everyone who has come here, is conscious of why he or she has come. Look how disciplined they are!” Media persons asked some of the youth participants — “is unemployment not a bigger issue than what you are fighting for today?” The youth answered — “Unemployment is definitely a very big issue and the struggle to end unemployment has its place. But today, we have come together to fight against the injustice that was done 27 years ago, and once again, on November 9, 2019. We are fighting for justice, and against the divide and rule policy of the rulers. We will never give up this fight! ”
From the day the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute on November 9, 2019, the ruling class and its parties have been carrying on incessant propaganda that people have no choice but to accept this verdict. The ruling class has tried to terrorise the people into silence. The militant march and Rally organised on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid shows that these efforts of the ruling class and its political parties have failed. People of India will continue to fight to ensure that the guilty are punished and justice is done. The people will follow the example of the Ghadaris. They will unite under one banner, irrespective of their religion, to fight for justice and for a society in which prosperity and security will be guaranteed for all.