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Take lessons from Babri conspirators: BJP urged
By M. J. Akhter, Lucknow

History does not repeat itself only, it is also to take lesson. This is what Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mr. Ghayasuddin Kidwai reminded the ruling Bharatia Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council when the upper chamber of the State Legislature was discussing the admissibility of a motion condemning an alleged conspiracy against the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), a national heritage.

Main opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders, including Ramasrey Vishwakarma, Ram Saran Das Gujar, Khawaja Haleem, Balram Yadav, leader of the opposition Ahmad Hasan, an ex-police officer were harsh on the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh coalition government for defaming the prestigious institution of AMU by portraying it among the people as a centre of Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) activities. The BSP leader simply served a notice to take a lesson from what had happened to the public figures who were part of the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992.

In his forthright speech, Mr Kidwai tried to derive a logical conclusion that whosoever conspired for the demolition of the over 465-years-old Ayodhya's Babri Masjid was punished by Almighty God. He said Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who condemned ‘the act of terrorism’ and the violent destruction of the place of worship is adorning the high office of the Prime Minister of the country, while Mr P.V .Narasimha Rao, the person who was then Prime Minister and remained a mute witness to the tragedy by watching the event on TV, is now facing jail term. Former Union Home Minister Mr Buta Singh, who ‘illegally’ facilitated Shilanayas of a temple on the disputed Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya also stands condemned and convicted. 

Similarly, Mr Kidwai said, former Congress Chief Minister Bir Bahadur Singh faced untimely and sad death in Paris and an all-powerful Internal Security Minister at that time, Mr. Arun Nehru, is in the dog-house. Last but not least the towering BJP leader Mr. Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister of U.P at the time of demolition of the Masjid is in pathetic state of affairs.

Mr Kidwai said all this shows that there is a ‘Super Power’ who takes care of things to teach people and it is us who must learn lessons. Many more names of leaders and officials could be added to the list, who played a crucial role in the Babri Masjid demolition, shunning their official responsibility. They are now in great woe.

Urging the BJP leaders to take a lesson out of these developments, the BSP leader said Aligarh Muslim University is a heritage of the whole country and by defaming it, you are lowering the image and prestige of the country in the eyes of the world. He alongwith other leaders denounced the ‘conspiracy’ to close down the university for indefinite period by using all dirty tricks against the institution which Sir Syed Ahmad Khan established. 

The opposition leaders narrated the tale of the ‘innocence’ of the students and ‘malicious’ role of the officers and the administration. To drive their points home, they said that people must know that out of over 18 thousand, over ten thousand students are non-Muslims and they all live in perfect harmony, mostly in hostels on the campus. It is playing of politics which was creating problems in the otherwise tranquil campus. 

Leader of the House and Housing and Urban Development Minister Lalji Tandon's reply, in opposing the admissibility of the adjournment motion, was in fact beating about the bush only. As expected, he did not subscribe to the feelings of the lawmakers. His point of contention was as to why so much hue and cry was being raised for the AMU when such raids and police action in other universities including the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) did not attract such a huge public outcry.

The Government rejected the demand of a judicial enquiry into the whole episode, including the role of the Intelligence officers, police and the administration, and the incidents leading to the trouble. Mr. Tandon evaded a reply as to why AMU authorities were not taken into confidence before the raids and even if there was police action why the Vice Chancellor was not informed about the development for 36 hours.

Earlier, the Government both at the State and at the Centre was quite disturbed and failed to understand how the AMU and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) issues had snowballed into a major controversy as there was agitation in almost all parts of the state and almost every leadership came out against the Government's apparent bid to defame the SIMI.

The apprehension that the BJP Government's action against SIMI and AMU was malafide got currency particularly when over-enthusiastic officials of the Home and Police department showed the press video recordings of the statements of the persons arrested in connection with the ‘anti-social act’ despite knowing fully well that this type of statement had no judicial value. The showing of the video and subsequently appearance of the contents in the newspapers was of no use except to serve the purpose of their masters who wanted to demoralize Muslims through this propaganda, feel Muslim leaders.
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