Jobs @ MG
Whom the gods wish to destroy...
|The editor of The
Statesman, an Indian national daily publsihed from Kolkata and Delhi,
wrote this piece in the paper’s edition of 17 June 2001
If at some stage, Home Minister, LK Advani decides to write his
autobiography, he must not forget to record both the happiest day of his
life – 30th October, 1990 when saffron flags were hoisted on the Babari
Masjid and the most painful day of his life, when the same Babari Masjid
was demolished on 6th December, 1992.
The Liberhan Commission have the RSS/BJP leaders over a barrel and is
forcing them into errors by simple pursuit of truth. On his last
appearance before the Commission, Advani deposed that on 18 October 1990,
VP Singh spoke to him on the phone and told him that some ray of light is
visible, why can’t we convert it into full light? Then you and I can
perform kar seva. This is after he accused VP Singh of losing the chance
to solve the Babari Masjid issue in 1990. How? Because says Advani, he
withdrew the Ordinance to acquire land surrounding the Masjid and hand it
over to the VHP for temple construction.
VP Singh has asked to appear before the Commission again to clear his
position but he has already answered Advani. No one needs to strain
intelligence to understand that if land around the Masjid were made
available to the VHP, access to the Masjid would be blocked. As for the
offer to do kar seva, VP holds that there was plenty of space to build the
proposed temple in Ayodhya. He said if the temple were built away from the
mosque he would join Advani in performing kar seva there. Why Advani, a
very clever politician, should make such a mistake is not clear except
that perhaps he is expansive, secure in the knowledge that the criminal
prosecution is virtually at an end with the refusal of the BJP government
in UP to issue another notification correcting the earlier one.
Emboldened by Rajnath Singh’s refusal, Advani now says he is proud of
his association with the great Ayodhya movement; at the same time he
describes the demolition of the structure as unfortunate. He denies it was
a mosque because idols of Ram were installed inside it and puja was going
on there by a court order. The facts, not in dispute are the following:–
a) the Masjid was a functioning mosque and namaz performed regularly until
the night of 22 December, 1949.
b) That night, idols of Ram were surreptitiously introduced into the
mosque thus desecrating it. As a result namaz stopped. That did not make
it a disputed structure.
c) The affidavit of the UP government confirms all this. It adds that the
Masjid stood on Wakf land; mosque and land were notified as a Sunni Muslim
Wakf by 1944.
d) The local magistrate locked the doors of the Masjid to prevent a
communal clash over the installation of the idols within. Rajiv Gandhi in
quick succession agreed to appease fundamentalist Muslim opinion by
reducing the Supreme Court's landmark judgment in the Shahbano case to a
nullity, while appeasing fundamentalist Hindu opinion by removing the
locks and allowing puja be-fore idols illegally and surreptitiously
e) On these facts it is not understood why the Rao Government's White
Paper should insist that all references to the Babari Masjid should be to
Ramjanmabhoomi- Babari Masjid structure or complex.
To sum up, the Babari Masjid was a fully functioning mosque registered as
such in administrative records until it was desecrated in the darkness of
night, by deceit and fraud. No Hindu, proud of his traditions of
tolerance, fairness and decency would claim that in these circumstances
the mosque suddenly became a disputed structure or as Advani earlier
maintained, a de jure temple. Or as some clown has suggested, two domes of
the Masjid should have gone to Hindus and the third to Muslims! This is
akin to dividing up the carcass after a murder.
The Masjid’s ownership was never disputed. Assuming, for the sake of
argument that it was, who claims the right to demolish it on that ground?
Under what provision of law is disputed property fair game for anyone so
minded to demolish it? Can I have an answer please?
Advani describes the forcible and criminal destruction of the Babari
Masjid as unfortunate. This must be the understatement of the century gone
As I suggested in the Caveat published on 13 April 2001– Misuse of
Religion is Endemic! – it is cowardly and unworthy to misuse religion.
The excuse may be the approaching elections in UP. The Election Commission
say they will be held in February 2002. Will this lunacy have a free run
for the next eight months or is Rajnath Singh planning to go to the
electorate earlier, in October?
I do not know why this is happening. Can it be that those whom the gods
wish to destroy, they first make mad!
- CR Irani