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Now Advani accuses Rao for the demolition

Union Home minister LK Advani has taken a U turn yet again in his deposition before the Justice Liberhan Commission of inquiry. While appearing before the commission on 15 May he accused Narasimha Rao government for the demolition of Babri Masjid. He accused Narasimha Rao of ‘using judiciary as an instrument to thwart people’s will’ and delaying an early verdict by the Allahabad High Court on the Ram Janambhhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute which ultimately led to the demolition of the mosque at Ayodhya on 6 December 1992.

Advani who is now feeling relieved after charges against him were dropped on 4 May by Special CBI Judge (Ayodhya episode) Shri Kant Shukla in the Babri demolition case along with 20 other accused blamed the centre for not taking any step at any point of time to request the Allahabad High Court to deliver an early judgment. He said before the commission that 'Even though the government was conscious that certain aspects of the Ayodhya dispute could not be resolved through judicial process, they always avoided this by saying 'let us wait for the court orders'. Advani also said before Justice Liberhan that 'Atal Behari Vajpayee and the then RSS chief Rajju Bhayya had met the then prime minister Narasimha Rao to urge him to request the High Court to deliver its judgment early.’

After almost a decade of fooling the innocent Hindus in the country, the BJP is desperately thinking to rejuvenate the Ram Mandir card once again. Whenever it sees any danger to its survival or its governments at the centre or the states it again starts deliberating over the reincarnation of the issue.

The demolition of the Babri Masjid was a great feat for the party and its leaders including the home minister Advani, HRD minister MM Joshi and firebrand sports minister Bharati who had taken the task of arousing the people and bringing them on the streets for an issue that rarely played any political role till the onset of the BJP on the political horizons. Advani was the person who was neck deep involved in the demolition of the some 500-year-old mosque. He along with Joshi, Uma Bharati, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore and other frontal Sangh leaders went all out to arouse the people. They all were involved in different rathyatras carried out by the BJP and other Sangh outfits and even went on to gather karsevaks from every perceivable part of the country where they could find any willing person to join them in their heinous plan. And their postures after the demolition flashed from Ayodhya conveyed everything. The laughing and gay pictures flashed by the media do not require any proof of their rejoicing over the demolition. Photos of Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharati embracing each other are enough proof of what they felt while destroying the mosque.

But the greatest irony for them is that now after accomplishing such a ‘great feat’ they are trying to avoid being branded as the ones who led the demolition drive. Instead they are running for cover from any fallout of their acts in Ayodhya. It is not Advani alone who is maneuvering in such manner, all other high profile accused in the Babri demolition case including MM Joshi and Uma Bharati are also following him in no different fashion.

Almost a month back while deposing before the same commission on 15 April Advani had said that the Babri demolition was unfortunate and painful and that he seldom felt as dejected and downcast as he felt on that day. The next day he claimed the Babri Masjid a de facto and de-jure temple.

Advani it seems with his strong legal team is taking the judiciary for a ride. He has been teasing the law and judiciary alike while appearing before the commission. He is trying to change the course of law while appearing before the court in his capacity as the home minister. Liberhan Commission has been less of a probe into Advani's role in the demolition and more a stage for his political expositions on the nature and justification of the temple movement. He is furthering his cause for the mandir construction than deposing before the commission for a crime.

It is to be noted that Advani ignored the commission's summons for nearly four months before deciding to appear in April. He has appeared before Justice MS Liberhan four times and each time has tried to give a new twist to the demolition case. He has not uttered a single word denouncing the people who razed the historical mosque though he had to retract a few times while appearing before the commission. One of the retractions was on the vital issue of whether the VHP planned the kar seva of 6 December 1992 in coordination with him. He first denied that there was any such coordination and claimed to know about the kar seva program only on 31 October 1992. When the counsel confronted him on this point he had to back track.

Meanwhile a journalist MS Ruchitra Gupta who was an eyewitness to the demolition also appeared before the commission and pooh-poohed the claim made by the home minister. Ms Gupta who had gone on 6 December to Ayodhya on that fateful date and was manhandled by some kar sevaks, told the commission that Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharati were aware of the possible happening. She said that when the mosque was being demolished these leaders were sharing sweets among themselves and hugging each other. She also told the commission that Advani was advising the kar sevaks to lay on the ground so the security forces could not approach Ayodhya.

In the meantime the future of the Commission that was set up by Rao government early 1993 is in limbo. If the sources are to be believed the government may refuse to extend its tenure. The commission was formed for a period of six months and its tenure is being extended every six months by successive governments at the centre. The term of the current 16th extension expires on 30 June and if the prevailing mood in the corridors of power is any indication, the possibility of denying another extension could not be ruled out.

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