People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 50

December 13, 2009



Perpetrators Must Be Brought to Book



THE discussion on the Liberhan Commission report in both houses of parliament witnessed the most brazen shameless defence by the RSS/BJP and their tentacles of their wanton destruction of the Babri Masjid. Far from showing any remorse or expressing any regret, they continued to exude pride at the fact that the Babri Masjid has been demolished. Their laboured effort was to show the inconsistencies in the Liberhan report on matters completely extraneous to the evidence on the basis of which the Commission has reached its conclusions and the consequent recommendations.


On page 917 of the report, in para 158.10, the Commission summarises its findings and conclusions by saying �The claim made by leaders of the movements and the icons from political or social organisations does not carry conviction to conclude that the demolition was carried out by kar sevaks spontaneously out of sheer anger or emotion. The mode of assault, the number of kar sevaks who carried out the demolition and the constraints of the space to accommodate the number of people, veiling of the identity of the kar sevaks entering the domes, the removal of idols and the cash box from under the dome and subsequent re-installation in the make shift temple, construction of the make shift temple, availability of instruments and materials for demolition and for the swift construction of the make shift temple categorically leads to the conclusion and finding that the demolition was carried out with great painstaking preparation and pre-planning.�


This is exactly what the entire country had internalised from that every day -- December 6, 1992.  On the one hand, the RSS/BJP claim that they have not demolished the Babri Masjid and that it happened due to anger and frustration of the kar sevaks assembled there. On the other hand, they refuse to condemn or denounce the demolition. This in itself clearly shows that there is no remorse and hence they feel emboldened to not even offer any regrets for an action which they themselves claim they did not want to happen, ostensibly. This convoluted logic in itself proves their culpability of executing to perfection a preplanned exercise. In fact, the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh had claimed precisely this in a speech at Kolkata soon after the demolition by proudly stating that if he had given the job to contractors they would have taken many days but his kar sevaks had achieved the objective in five hours.


The Liberhan Commission's weak defence of the then P V Narasimha Rao led Congress government came in for an all round criticism. Though the Congress leaders said that as a party they had apologised for the inaction of the then government, and also that they had paid the political price for not discharging their responsibilities in protecting the Babri Masjid and the secular democratic foundations of modern India, their secular credentials will be tested on the basis of the action that they should now take as a consequence of the findings of the Commission. Their track record on this score is abysmal. The country has seen the fate of the Sri Krishna Commission report on the Mumbai riots, we have seen the fate of the Nanavati Commission report on the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. During the last forty years we have seen the fate of the Justice Jaganmohan Reddy Commission on the Ahmedabad riots of 1969, Justice D P Madan Commission on Bhiwandi riots, 1970, Justice Vithayatil Commission, Justice Jitendra Narain Commission, Justice Venugopal Commission etc on various communal riots that took place in the country. On every such occasion, no effective action against the guilty was ever taken. It must be noted that in all these commissions on communal riots, the RSS has been singularly mentioned as the main perpetrator.


This colossal denial of justice does little to bolster the confidence of the people in the credibility of our political system in modern India. This Congress-led UPA government will be tested on this score on the basis of the action that it will now propose on the recommendations of the Liberhan Commission. The Action Taken Report placed in the parliament is woefully inadequate to generate any such confidence amongst the people. This requires a serious relook by the government.


This however may be too much to be expected from the government given its own track record of soft Hindutva and pale saffron that was in display in the past. The opening of the locks of the Babri Masjid, the Shilanyas performed by Rajiv Gandhi launching his election campaign, the Shah Bano case which was a clear appeasement of Muslim fundamentalism etc contributed in legitimising and providing greater credibility to Hindutva communalism. This must now change, if the Congress and the UPA government intend to unequivocally and uncompromisingly uphold the secular democratic foundations of modern India.


The people of India must rise unitedly to ensure that the perpetrators of Babri Masjid demolition, who actually aim to transform the character of modern India from a secular democratic republic into a rabidly intolerant fascistic `Hindu rashtra', are brought to book.