People's Democracy

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


No. 49

December 09, 2012






Redouble Resolve to Strengthen India's Secular,

Democratic Foundations


TODAY is the 20th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid by the RSS/BJP led combine of communal forces. On every 6th of December, since 1992, the country hangs its head in shame recollecting the vandalism and destruction of the Babri Masjid.  Amongst all others, this memory highlights the disastrous consequences of having a rabidly communal outfit assume the reins of State power. It is inconceivable that the Babri Masjid could have been destroyed the way it was without the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.  The complicity and the patronage provided by the government not only allowed but aided the gravest assault on India's secular democratic foundations.


Nothing illustrates this fact more than the verdict of the  designated court which chargesheeted the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Para 59 of the Court's order of September 9, 1997 states:


"From our description it is concluded that  in the present case a criminal conspiracy to demolish the disputed structure of Ram Janam Bhoomi/Babri Masjid was hatched by the accused persons in the beginning of 1990 and was completed on 6.12.92. Sri Lal Krishan Advani and others hatched criminal conspiracies to demolish the disputed premises on different times at different places. Therefore, I find a prima facie case to charge...." (the list continues with many people, including Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambari etc.)


Though subsequently when these communal forces assumed the reins of the central government with the BJP leading the NDA coalition, they tried their best to manipulate this chargesheet and seek the exclusion of Advani, the then deputy prime minister and home minister. However, on May 7, 2012, the CBI informed the Supreme Court that these charges cannot be dropped. A full twenty years later, justice has been denied to our Republic as those responsible for such an attack on the secular foundations of our country have not been brought to book. Justice delayed is justice denied. The legal proceedings continue to remain before the judiciary. Likewise, nothing tangible has happened on the report  of the Liberhan Commission of Inquiry. 


The modern secular democratic Indian Republic emerged on the basis of the syncretic ethos that truly represents Indian culture and tradition. The spread of communal poison and sharpening of communal polarisation that deepens the virus of strife and bloodshed only destroys this very Indian cultural ethos. The irony and agony lies in the fact that such destruction is done in the name of protecting and advancing Indian ethos.


Having led the `rath yatra’ for the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya that left behind a trail of bloodshed and strife, Advani made an amazing claim in the Lok Sabha in 1999 that the demolition of Babri Masjid had jolted him “personally”. “It was unfortunate. It shouldn’t have happened”. However, he hastened to add, “I am proud of the Ayodhya movement”.


Soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid,  Advani gave a call for a national debate on secularism. He outlined the BJP’s conception in a set of two articles (The Indian Express, December 27 & 28, 1992). Though these were a painfully laboured attempts to whitewash the BJP’s brazen violation of law, the capitulation of the assurances given by it to the Supreme Court and the National Integration Council and to disguise the pre-planned and rehearsed destruction of the Babri Masjid, three `covenents’ of BJP’s definition of secularism were advanced.  On today's occasion, let us examine them.


(a) "Rejection of theocracy". This means the automatic upholding of not only democracy but also secularism. However, does the BJP today repudiate what their Guruji Golwalkar had said: "In Hindustan  exists, and must exist, the ancient Hindu nation, and nought else but the Hindu nation. All those not belonging to the national, i.e., Hindu race, religion, culture and language, naturally fall out of the pale of real national life".


The BJP has not disowned this till date. This only means that they continue the efforts at misleading the people and attempting to camouflage the real RSS intention of transforming the modern secular democratic Indian Republic into a rabidly intolerant `fascistic’ “Hindu Rashtra”. 


(b) "Equality of all citizens irrespective of faith". The BJP's commitment to this concept can be understood only if they, once again, repudiate what Golwalkar said about all those non-Hindus living in our country as legal citizens inheriting India’s rich plural legacy as much as Hindus themselves.  Golwalkar had said that non-Hindus “have no place in national life, unless they abandon their differences, adopt  the religion, culture and language  of the nation, and completely merge themselves in the national race. So long however as they maintain their racial, religious and cultural differences, they cannot but be only foreigners".  Does the BJP repudiate this today?


(c)  "Full freedom of faith and worship". It is, indeed, ironic that he had advanced this precept of BJP’s concept of secularism soon after the wanton destruction of the Babri Masjid! After the Gujarat carnage of 2002 and its constant efforts to return to RSS basics, it is unlikely that the BJP will repeat such a perfidy. The BJP's sincerity can be understood, once again,  if only they are willing to repudiate what Golwalkar said:


"The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture  and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea except the glorification of the Hindu religion and culture, i.e. of the Hindu nation, and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or they may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment - not even citizen's rights. There is, at least  should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation, let us deal as old nations ought to and do deal with the foreign races who have chosen to live in our country".


Not too ingeniously, Advani had then deliberately left out of his definition of secularism, its scientific foundation, the separation of religion from politics and the State. As long as this is not adhered to, secularism in the sense of equal rights to all  belonging to different faiths cannot be ensured. In evading this, Advani is only echoing, once again, Golwalkar: "With us, every action in life, individual, social or political is a command of religion…Indeed  politics itself becomes...a small factor to be considered and followed solely as one of the commands of religion and in accord with such commands. We in Hindusthan  have been living such a religion (Hinduism)."


The BJP’s call for a national debate on secularism, which it periodically keeps reiterating, is nothing but a ruse to mask its real intentions of functioning as the political arm of the RSS and working for the realisation of the RSS agenda of transforming the secular democratic Indian Republic into their vision of a rabidly intolerant fascistic `Hindu Rashtra’.  


In the supreme interests of Bharat – i.e., India – such a diabolic agenda needs to be foiled. Any remembrance of December 6 will have a meaning only if the resolve to checkmate and defeat  these forces is  strengthened.  Ancient wisdom that has filtered down the centuries  tells us that "for the evil to succeed, the good only has to be silent". This 20th anniversary is the appropriate occasion for all Indian patriots to redouble their resolve, to break such silence.

(December 6, 2012)