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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reflections on Babri Masjid demolition post-Liberhan panel report

After taking as much time and causing as much delay that was possible, the report of the commission probing the Babri mosque demolition, is finally with the government.

Particularly, when the political climate is absolutely in Congress' favour and the party doesn't have to face elections for a long time, Retd Justice MS Liberhan has submitted the report that cost us over Rs 15 crore.

Many of us feel it's futile to discuss the Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid dispute and the Ayodhya movement now when the nation has moved forward, but it is still pertinent to set the record straight. We believed that it had to be a pro-Congress report and that's what the honourable judge has delivered.

The truth is that PV Narsimharao, his Home Minister SB Chavan and the Muslim leaders of Congress were responsible for the demolition of the mosque. Narsimharao was the supreme architect. The shrewd man let 'things take their own course' and found no reason to invoke president's rule when North India was boiling, though he immediately after dismissed the BJP governments in even MP and Himachal Pradesh for no apparent reason.

Narsimharao lied to the nation. He promised on live television that the mosque would be rebuilt, but gave ample opportunity to the Kar Sewaks to build the make-shift temple, and in process hurt the confidence of millions of Indians in the government and the official machinery.

He would not have been able to do so, had the Ministers in his government taken a firm stand. But the 'qaum farosh' leaders showed little remorse or action. Ministries were more important than the mosque or the faith of the minorities. Worse was to follow. Riots were engineered in Mumbai (and Surat) and Congress CM Sudhakar Rao Naik let the Shiv Sena mobs go on rampage in the metropolis.

Congress cleansed of communalists

Narsimharao represented the right-wing constituency within the Congress that existed from pre-independence era. As long as Nehru remained alive, he managed to keep them under check [to an extent] but leaders like Sampuranand, Purushottam Das Tandon, Govind Das and others were no less fundamentalist than the Togadiyas and Singhals of today.

In fact, the 'right-wing leaders' within Congress were much more intelligent and fundamentalist than those in BJP and even VHP today. They caused greater damage though spoke little. The manner in which not a single Muslim was appointed in UP police from 1947 to 1967 or the total abolition of Urdu from UP are just a couple of examples of this brand of Congress' communalism in the past.

It was this right-wing group within the Congress that was instrumental in keeping the communal cauldron boiling. In mid-80s, it reached it's peak. One positive aspect of the Ayodhya movement is that it not just gave strength to BJP but also ensured that such right-wing hardliners of Congress either got exposed or joined the BJP.

At least, 17 years after demolition of Babri Masjid, Congress is not left with any strong fundamentalist lobby within its organisation. It is back to the centrist path. And there is a distinct right-wing [BJP] that has also diluted its position, due to its strategic alliances [JDU etc] and electoral reversals. Some would say that India has also changed.

And where are the commanders of the demolition squad and those who gave war cries in that post-Rath Yatra period, today?

1. Kalyan Singh, the posterboy of Hindutva in the heartland, is today facing existential crisis

2. Uma Bharti is in wilderness, dumped by her party

3. Sadhvi Ritambhara is back to Ashram

4. Vinay Katiyar is a spent-force. Once he won't meet a Muslim, Today accepts Deoband's invitation

5. Bal Thackeray has lost even Mumbai to his nephew

6. Ashok Singhal is no longer the Sant Samaj's preferred leader, they understood him well

7. LK Advani is a defeated man, failed to lead his part to victory

8. Syed Shahabuddin, once the mascot of Muslim politics, is not even on the periphery. No one bothers about him. Mercifully, there is no talk of such dreadful and confrontation-oriented Muslim leadership in the country.

9. Obaidullah Khan Azmi has no takers now.

10. Murli Manohar Joshi. Who is he?

And an important point that one might forget is that, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the sole BJP leader, whose statements hardly came during the entire period,  had emerged among the other leaders, to become the Prime Minister of India.

Positive aspect after 17 years

This is a much better situation than the era when Congress was the only major political party but it used to have a very strong right-wing lobby apart from other openly anti-minority parties like Hindu Mahasabha. Congress-led state governments may not have be too secular or active, but at least, they are now forced to act in case of communal riots, that were earlier an annual feature through out the country.

Earlier, Congress' position was that it dictated terms and instilled sense of fear among Muslims. Its leaders felt that Muslims can't desert it and even if if they do, it will remain in power. Despite riots and absolutely no schemes for empowerment of Muslims, it blackmailed the Muslim electorate.

But post-Ayodhya movement, the alienation of Muslims cost the party dearly. A party that used to have 300-400 MPs reached a nadir of 138. However, under Sonia Gandhi, the Congress that was cleansed of leaders whose USP was their doublespeak, Muslims started returning to it and post-Gujarat, the party managed to get back to power. [Still, this Centrist, apparently pro-minority Congress, shies from acting on Justice Sri Krishna commission report]

Credit goes more to the secular silent majority, the Hindu masses, who understood the designs of those who turned Maryada Purushottam Lord Rama for political gains and to divide the nation on religious lines for the sake of power.

Indictment of Indian bureaucracy, complicity of IAS-IPS officers

From 1986 onwards until 1992, the anti-Muslim feelings were stoked and fiery speeches were delivered on a daily basis across the country. I remember the days when bricks carrying the name of Lord Rama were carried by Kar Sewaks and fiercely anti-Muslim slogans were raised.

I recall the public meetings and rallies were they would openly charge Muslims of everything bad that happened in this country. It hurt badly when one heard the term 'Babar ki Aulad'. It was all happening openly and almost everywhere.

Ritambhara, Uma Bharati, Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Mahant Avaidyanath and Ashok Singhal abused Muslims in rallies in each and every town in North India. But no Indian Civil servant dared to take action--either registering cases for inflammatory speeches or booking them under the provisions of Indian Penal Code for spreading communal hatred.

The bureaucracy was the silent accomplice. I must again reiterate that politicians, at least, have to face the voter every couple of years and also face anger of the society, but the bureaucracy that is educated and ought to uphold law and order, cunningly give the impression that the politicians rule the roost. On the contrary the bureaucrat lets things worsen and also escape any criticism or public scrutiny.

The collapse of the system is more because of the impotent and complicit bureaucrat. In 1984, Delhi was burning following the death of Indira Gandhi. Yes, Congress politicians were responsible. But where was the police officials and the district administration? Who held the officials responsible? Did any of them got punished?

The same was the case with 26/11. Not a single official got suspended. It is absolutely unbelievable situation. Power without any accountability. And Indian babudom has developed this system to perfection. The society just doesn't consider them accountable. Lot more can be said on the subject but I think this post is long enough to put a full stop now.


Yuyutsu said...

Very well written, Adnan. I had been waiting for your post ever since the 'leak' was first reported.

You mention a very valid point about bureaucracy not being accountable at all - even Liberhan, who was supposed to deliver his report in 3 months took 17 years and there's little in the report which we didn't know or which was unexpected.

On a brighter note, India has changed a lot since 1992 and the younger generation has moved on from the rhetoric of the 1990s. The only cause of worry is that 'leaders' like Kalyan and Mulayam/Amar Singh might use it to rouse passions again and play the Hindu-Muslim card. Kalyan, who was with 'Mulla Mulayam' till some weeks back has already become the 'pro temple' guy again.

I just hope the disgusting incident in the Rajya Sabha is a one-off - I don't understand why did SP guys raise 'Ya Ali' against 'Jai Sri Ram' (BJP guys shouting this without reason/logic was insanity as well) - was there a communal riot going on?

!!! said...


Could you comment on the basic moot issue itself...? Does the common Muslim - not the BMAC and Maulvi's -think its fair that a Ram Temple ought to be in that place instead of a structure which never was a functioning mosque nor has any religious sanctity except for that it was built by force.

Or do common Muslims actually think the same way as Sahabudin's...

This problem will not be solved by leaders unless there is a saner differentiated voice from the commoners. Rest is all politics.

Fundamentally - the common Hindu in my opinion - feels that fairness mandates that the Janamboomi be restored since its not just any xyz temple - but birthplace of a prophet. How wud muslims react if christain invaders had raised a church atop kabaa? Wouldnt they want some restoration today... Is it fair? One would understand equity had the place been visited or blessed subsequently by some great muslim saint or prophet himself. But the equity is nowhere even close. and nor was the place even a functioning mosque.
Now to take the legal course really means that the courts have to call Lord Ram to produce his birthcertificate and witnesses of place birth etc... is as good as saying 'to hell with yr psentiments'.
The common Hindu has basically just lost hope that anything will ever change...

Amit J said...

as always,objective and well written...keep up the good work....

Anser Azim said...

Saint Petersburg Mosque was restored in 1980 and survived in communist russia. It is sad that a historic mosque like babri Mosque, an Indian pride, was demolished in a secular and democratic India. I believe one day this mosque will be restored and the minorities will get their rights back that are enshrined in their constitution.

dr khan said...

"BEGANI SHAADI MEIN ABDULLA DIWANA". Respected writer you have pointed out the very right things but what steps should be taken by the "muslims" the sleeping community,EITHER blamming others or strenthnig himself. This is the time to organise ourselves socialy and politically, but how ? then see,study and learn from the "Daudy vohra"'s of Rajasthan and Gujarat.Educate our generation,with our golden PAST and modern portfolios, Identified the fake and bogus leaders of community, pull off all the differences among ourselves, embrace and accept all the section of the community,Form a National and State level Funds with the help of regular cotribution of every muslims, prepare "voluteers" amongS our youth,and so many other things could be done, but someone has to initiate all that with sincerity, during my college time I found tremendous success in organising a large section of the community in AGRA,but after 1991,when I left Agra as I have to join Govt. of other state my efforts washed away.

Yayaver said...

Power without accountability of politicians or burecrats or Rights without duties of ctizens are mutually dependent on each other. The decay of BJP has shown that we have make good progress after 1990 economic liberalization. I was very little aware of extreme right wing inside congress. I was aware of such pro hindu leaders like Sampuranand, Purushottam Das Tandon, Govind Das just pro independence. Can you shed light on these leaders of a 'secular' party ?

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

rageaddict said...

Well it got them in line, didn't it?

Anonymous said...

Very nice and intrestingss story.

tasnim faruqi said...

It is amazing and shameful that nearly a year have passed and only 9 comments. Noted visionist Shiv Khera has rightly said that if something wrong is done to your neigbhour and you are silent spectator then you are next to face the music. I salute "lal salaam" and their "chalbo nai" slogan.
Ham aah bhi karten to ho jatey hai badnaam, voh qatal bhi kartey to charcha nahin hota...
Question is not of one mosque, but 3,000 of them. There has to be a stop somewhere. I also had a taste before Babri masjid and thank God am still in Noida and facing odds.
Have you ever seen people banging their head on rocks or tree-trunks. One will surely see that even children having swing on a leening branch...Think
May Allah give us more strength and guide us and our dear leaders..Ameen
Faruqi- photojournalist - noida - 09810315813

kavi said...

hi kavindra
i will say that u did a good work to explain all things widelly.i really like to be and end of this janmabhoomi-babri controvercy cos it hearts me a lot when ever i saw that we indians are fighting eachother.it is very painful it should be solved by our uncommunal leaders those who can give a good advice and can prepare our hindu and muslim communities to take a both side accepteble decison.it will make our country a haven.and i have a great hope of it that it will happend coz this is our motherland and we can not make her sad by our fullish act like we all are doing regullarlly.
it is the dark before dawn ! but the sun is about to rise.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is tariq, and im from mumbai. when barbari masjid was demolished i was a kid. But seriously, our islam says that allah loves peace. the muslim religion belives in spreading love and peace. If barbari masjid is a place where ram was born, then i would say that court should give that place to hindus. i do feel bad that we will lose the masjid. but the masjid will be happy at the end seeing smile on allah's children. who ever gets the place, whether is barbri masjid or ram temple, still it will be holy place and wont be wasted. either way, both the religions will be praising the ultimate god at the end and the place will be pure. We muslims do prey namaz on the road, when masjids are full. so ibadat of allah can be done anywhere, and kuran says spread love aand give respect to each and every individual, my hindu indian brothers are alot in numbers compared to muslim indian brothers. trust me i would love to make them happy instead. remmember we are five different fingers of 1 hand, we 1 is broken the entire nation will fall apart, we have to stand strong, cuz there are other nations which are putting their fingers accross us. allahis mercyfull, he will punish the evil souls. allah doesnt care's about masjid, he care's about his people. he will be happy, to see his children living happily and staying together and taking care. but if this was in my hand i wouldnt give this place to hindu's nor muslim, i would instead build an orphanage, for poor & homeless children, not only those, but also to old parents who are kickedout of the house, people who are dieng. people who need love and care. animals who are about to get vanish due to our selfish needs, (both ram the prophet & allah the almighty the creator of all) will be happy with this decision. AS for barbari masjid, i do feel sad since its my holy place. but cant do anything about it, since i was kid, but now since im an adult. the barbri masjid will always be in my heart and forever it will be. lets spread the love and peace, what islam says. lets all brothers agree with me and stay happily. we have alot of other problems in life, which we have to deal with. this is not an issue, its just an example, that we ourself are killing everything that is gifted to us, by the almighty one. we are ending our on world, with difference's. lets unite together and make this nation as a true icon.
may god bless us all, with peace, prosperity and love.

Anonymous said...

Hi ..... its sneha here ..... I dont understand why does India fight because of religion .... cant we have bot a mosque and a temple at the same place ... Are we not mature enough for this ..... but the Indian politicians nd religious fanatics just keep putting the blame on each other and the common man comes into the talks of these religious fanatics and starts riots ..... cant we be a little mature and end this once and for all......I just hope that this time India acts in a mature way and comes out with an amiciable solution ..... and if it doesnt its not going to do any good to anybody ...... ultimately its the innocent who will suffer .... the younger generation along with the elders should try to put an end to this.

Anonymous said...

Hi sneha, nothing can be done with elders in india, they are rotten eggs/tomatoes. To be honest i researched alot, im 26 years old now, also have seen from past more then 7 years, alot of hindu leaders have also pulled down church's on alot of places. its just the pleasure for this politicians and way to attract people's votes. frankly speaking, BJP, SHIV SENA, are majorly responsible for this. i saw one website, showing the chart of this 2 political parties after the incident of barbari masjid, the shiv sena is lost and the place is taken by amazing raj thakery, cuz he is the politician, who faught his own way back from the scratch that too twice, its like he has changed the symbol of life saying "life never gives the opportunity twice", he made shivsena. now he made mns. BJP atal bihari, i grew up reading his poems, never taught that a** h**** is the same as shiv sainicks. well anyways, they suck big time. im hurt and upset tough, but its ok. I still would give the land to hindu's whether or not even if its ram's junmabhumi place. Infact ill support all hindu's for getting that place so they can build their temple. at the end, infact ill feel better, deep down inside trust me. just wanted to let all those people know, im proud to be muslim, im proud to be maharashtrian, im proud to be indian, im proud to be human & im proud to be the miracle of the Almighty, like we all are, irespective of our religion.

Tariq Ali

safeeruddin said...

there are knowledgeless peoples.....

Sudhansu said...

I just wanted to know if Hindu's staying in Pakistan & Bangladesh have similar rights or not? Can they go to the court of law and demand as a right to rebuild temples that were destroyed in the respective countries? Even if they can, would they be allowed to live?

Now as a hypothetical case lets assume all the above was possible, the big question, would the decision be what its going to be in the Indian court of law? (As we all understand Congress's vote-bank politics we all know that the Congress Party will ensure that the decision goes in favor of the muslims)

Anonymous said...

Sudhansu to be honest, if you want to be very practical, i can be as well... with all the things happened in the past, but im not just like you. brother you belong to the group of shiv sena.

Anonymous said...

No Temple NO Mosque.....Build One Government Hospital there.....

sona said...

At regular frequency ,non issues come to the forefront in this country. To modern India it hardly matters if Ram was born there or a couple of miles away! How many of those who are fighting for a judgment know what he stood for or care.

Anonymous said...

Hi.........its me payal why we all guys use to forget tht we are indian 1st.why "ali" comes in diwali & why "ram" comes in Ramjaan we are single we are "INDIAN" no hindu no muslim.we are single we are human.please i request u all or divide mat karo dharam & cast k naam pe

Dr Salahuddin said...

FOR ALLAH'S SAKE FORWARD IT TO Babri Musjid Action comettee.

SUMMERY: Do settelment with BJP. Give them piece of land even 1/3rd with respect and dignity. Ask for 10% reservation by Parliament as for SC/ST till the reservation is there in India.
There is inherent risk in going for Supreme court, we may loose 1/3rd place too. MOB 9860076909

Archana said...

As I said on my blog related to the Ayodhya verdict, this court case was for controlling a piece of government land by 3 groups of individuals. Hence, I don't see much point in supporting any of these 3 groups. If they can build both the mosque and the temple and co-exist peacefully, that's the best solution.

I feel the Hindu community should help their Muslim brethren to build the mosque.

But in m view, the more important case is that of Liberhan Commission's report on Babri Mosque demolition. I feel the people of India - Hindus, Muslims, atheists and others alike, should demand from the government that the people mentioned in the report should be severely punished for demolishing a religious structure which was also historically important.

The real test of the government and the judiciary is not in settlement of land in Ayodhya verdict, but in punishing the leaders responsible for demolishing the mosque at Ayodhya and if possible, grant some financial assistance to he mosque building committee so that he mosque can be built without any problems.

It is unfortunate that in their irresponsible attempts at provoking the public into violence by making divisive statements about the Ayodhya verdict, the English and Hindi media, the political leaders and so-called educated elites are overshadowing the real issue that is demanding action on Liberham report, punishment of the responsible leaders and grant of money to the mosque building committee.

Umra said...

One does yearn for an amicable settlement to the issue but one gained with honor on all sides.

Goutham said...

Dear Brother,

"Ayodhya Mathura Maya Kashi Kanchi Puri Avanthika sapthika mokshadyika"

Its a shloka in Sanskrit it says those 7 places are most sacred places for Hindus. I totally agree that there was Mausq standing in taht place for almost 400 years and it hurts the sentiments of Muslim brothers when demolished. But think about Hindu's point of view it hurts Hindus more than Muslim. Because for muslims it is just another place for praying but for Hindus its the 1 among the 7 most sacred place just like Mecca and Madena for you. Why my Muslim brothers with broad mind should gift the land to Hindus and win the hearts of corers of Hindus . If Muslim does that defiantly number of people who suspect integrity of Muslims will come down drastically.

Good luck
Vande Mataram..