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India: Will perpetrators of heinous crime be punished?

by Kashmir Times, 27 November 2009

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Editorial, Kashmir Times, 27 November 2009

Guilty men of Babri outrage

The much-delayed report of the one -man Liberhan Commission, as presented to the Parliament along with the Action Taken Report, which in essence is inaction report of the Congress government, does not reveal anything more than what was already known. The vandalism of the historic Babri mosque at Ayodhya by the Sangh parivar goons, planed, organized and executed by the parivar outfits and spearheaded by the top BJP leaders along with Kalyan Singh heading the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, on 6 December 1992 was described as national shame and an attack on the secular character of the country. The genesis of the Babri dispute was too well known to require any investigation by a commission of inquiry. Still the setting up of the Commission headed by Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan by the Congress government headed by Narsimah Rao, which apparently connived with the perpetrators of such a heinous crime due to its inaction, had raised the hope that justice would be done, the guilty men of the outrage will be brought to book and the injustice done to the country’s largest minority will be undone. The casual manner in which the entire issue has been handled is obvious from the fact that it took 17 long years for the Commission to come out with the report, simply narrating the chronology of events leading to the carnage and indicting those who were known to be perpetrators of the crime. After keeping the report in its shelf the Union government presented it along with the Action Taken Report (ATR) before the Parliament only after parts of it were leaked out to a newspaper and the BJP raised a ruckus in both Houses of the Parliament. Intriguingly the ATR does not indicate what action the government proposes to take against those responsible for the demolition of the mosque and raising an improvised Ram temple at the site. The demolition of the Babri mosque led to serious communal violence against the Muslims and other minorities and paid dividends to the perpetrators of the crime with BJP coming to power. Having tasted the blood, without any reprisal, the fascist communal elements went ahead with their communal onslaught changing the very character of the country’s polity.

The Babri demolition simply betrayed a fascist communal mindset which emerged soon after India’s partition in the wake of transfer of power and led to worst kind of communal holocaust. It was this mindset and the same forces which joined hands to demolish Babri mosque and along with it the country’s secular character, which was responsible for Gandhiji’s assassination in January 1948. The involvement of RSS and other Hindutva forces in physically eliminating the Father of the Nation was too well known. Those who joined the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhiji not only escaped any action but have since been raised to the level of national heroes with their portraits hanging in the Central Hall of Parliament along with those of Gandhi only and other freedom fighters. The ban imposed on the RSS was abruptly withdrawn allowing this fascist communal outfit to spread its tentacles and pollute the country’s polity and social life. Those responsible for communal riots and also for Gandhi’s murder went scot free and were even rewarded.

The Liberhan Commission has clearly indicted 68 top BJP, RSS, VHP and Shiv Sena leaders including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K.Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Bal Thakrey, Togadia etc for planning and executing Babri demolition. It has exposed the character of the fascist communal outfits in communalizing the country’s polity and spreading the cult of violence, intolerance and hatred.It is doubtful that the Congress government at the Centre will take necessary steps to ban these communal outfits and punish the guilty men of Babri outrage. The fate of Commissions set up in the wake of communal killings and other such communal outrages in the past is too well known. The report of the Srikrishna Commission set up to probe the atrocities on Muslims in Mumbai following the Babri demolition has yet to be implemented. The fate of other such commissions like those set up following the killings and other atrocities on Christians in Orissa has been no different to expect any action on the basis of the Liberhan Commission report. The perpetrators of the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat including the State chief minister Narendra Modi have still not been brought to book. And what about the Congress leaders involved in the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984?

Intriguingly, the Liberhan Commission has spared the then Congress government headed by P.V.Narsimha Rao for its inaction bordering on connivance with those planning and executing the demolition of Babri mosque. This erodes the credibility of the Commission in bringing out the whole truth. The Congress role in the events leading to the Babri demolition is too well known. In fact it was the Congress government in UP headed by G.B.Pant which was responsible for the creation of Babri dispute and it was the Congress government under Rajiv Gandhi which ordered the opening of the gates of the surreptitiously raised Ram temple at the Babri site.Had the Narsimah Rao government acted firmly by stopping the Rath Yatra of L.K.Advani and acting against the parivar hoodlums collected at the Babri site the destruction of the historic mosque could have been averted. Such prevarication in the past has been responsible for the rising communal fascist forces in the country who pose a serious threat to its secular character. By failing to act strongly on the basis of the Liberhan Commission report, both by banning the communal outfits and severely punishing those indicted by the Commission, the Congress government at the Centre will only expose its credentials as a party which lacks faith in secularism and has a soft corner for Hindutva forces.