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The day Babri was martyred
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow
|Independent India has witnessed two most heinous crimes: one was committed on 30 January 1948 when father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a fanatic Nathu Ram Godse and the other one on 6 December 1992 when a frenzied mob of Kar Sevaks pushed the historic Babri Masjid into the pages of history.
On 30 January 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead in cold blood and on 6 December 1992 ideals very close to his heart were killed. Babri Masjid was standing in Ayodhya not only as a symbol of our composite culture and tradition but above all as the symbol of tolerant and accommodative nature of our culture and traditions.
The thughs of Shiv Sena,Bajrang Dal and VHP demolished the very ideals of Indianness' i.e. Sarva Dharma sambhav (Equal respect to all religions) and Vasundhaiv Kutumbkum (The whole earth is a family). They harmed the Muslims physically and hit their sensitivities,but actually they did a great disservice to the Hinduism and hurt the very spirit of this great and ancient religion of tolerance and accommodation.Thus they hurt more to Hindus and Hinduism than to Muslims and Islam. Too na mit jayega Iran ke mit jane se Nashae mai ko talluq nahim paimane se (Iqbal)
The way thugs in the garb of 'Kar Sevaks' were allowed to converge on Ayodhya from every corner of the country and the central forces were kept about 7 km away from the disputed site was indicative of the fact that the Masjid was deliberately left at the mercy of those who have gathered there to demolish it, and once the mob mentality was created the dilapidated structure was doomed. Statements of Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Paramhans Ram Chandra Das, Ashok Singhal and Vinay Katiar etc., who were camping in Ayodhya, were indicative that this time the Kar Seva will not be token 'but something concrete will be done.'
On 5 December former Prime Minister VP Singh with many JD and communist leaders were arrested at Ram Sanehi Ghat in Barabanki district while they were heading towards Ayodhya to have a first hand information about what was actually going on. Speaking to this correspondent he expressed his doubt that on 6 December the Kar Sevaks may storm the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya with no resistance from police and para-military forces as they are working under the DM Faizabad who will follow the instructions of Chief Minister through the Home Secretary. In Lucknow the Chief Minister will tender his resignation owning the moral responsibility. In that case what the central government will do? The Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister took his doubt very lightly and shot back that the contingency programme is ready and the situation will be controlled within five minutes.
The whole world has seen that VP Singh, who knows BJP and its leadership as the palm of his hand, was right in his assessment and Narsimha Rao and Shankar Rao Chavan were either living in fool's paradise or they were having some secret pact with the saffron brigade.
On 6 December I reached Ayodhya with PM Damodaran of National Herald and Nayar Zaidi, the press photographer, about 11 AM. Babri Masjid was barricaded. Kar Sevaks were being addressed by Raj Mata Scindia 'You have my blessings, the blessings of a mother' is what she was saying when I reached there.The frenzied Kar Sevaks were raising the slogan of Jai Shree Ram every now and then. Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Raj Mata Scindia, Moreshwar Save, Vinay Katiar, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, VH Dalmia, Ashok Singhal etc. were present on the dais. There was a competition-like situation to provoke the Kar Sevaks. Supreme Court in general, and Chief Justice Venkat Challaiah in particular, were the main targets. It was only and only Justice Venkat Callaiah who had seriously tried to save the Babri Masjid by taking at least six affidavits from UP Chief Minister, Principal Home Secretary (Now Jharkhand governor) and other officers that no harm will be done to the disputed structure. He had even deputed a chief judicial magistrate to camp in Ayodhya and report directly to the supreme court in case its directives are violated.
At about 11.45 a few young Kar Sevaks in their early twenties stormed the Masjid. CRPF jawans, very small in numbers, tried to stop them but were over powered. By then the mob dashed to the Masjid. Wooden barricades were uprooted and used as a tool to beat the jawans and climb the boundary wall. Within minutes it was free for all.
At about 12 in the noon the fourth pillar of democracy i.e., Press was attacked. I was busy watching what was happening in Babri Masjid. I saw that Sanjay, a press photographer, was being beaten by the Kar sevaks i reached to his rescue and asked the kar sevaks to stop beating him as he is a journalist, one of them cried 'Yeh bhi sala patrakar hai' (even this rascal is a journalist) and a few boys started beating me too. One of them snatched my note-book. Few RSS workers in their full dress reached the site and saved me from these boys. I ran towards the nullah in front of the Masjid and crossed it to reach the fields that were barbed. I jumped the barbed wire but got my leg injured by the iron. Somehow I reached the basti, climbed over the roof of a house and started waiting for the police to come to open fire to fulfill the commitments made by the Chief Minister, Principal Home Secretary and the promises made by BJP leadership in Parliament, in Supreme Court and in the National Integration Council but nothing of this sort happened .By 2.30 PM the first dome of the Masjid was brought down and by 5 PM it was all over. No firing no lathi charge no water cannon and the Babri Masjid was demolished.
How I came back to Faizabad; how I reached Lucknow; what happened after wards is entirely a personal matter.. However I want to put on record my gratitude to Waseem Bhai (JD leader and ex-MP), my colleagues and the driver of my vehicle, Shri Ram, Qaumi Awaz's correspondent in Faizabad, Kirpa Shankar Pandey, and another JD leader, Ms Naina, without whose help I couldn't have reached Lucknow safely to meet my waiting editor Usman Ghani Saheb, Papa, Ammi brother, sisters, wife and children.
Abhi baqi hain patton par
jale tinkon ki tahreeren.
Yeh woh tareekh hai bijli giri thee
jab nasheman par.
Pictures belie the spin doctors’ new discovery that Advani & co. were protecting the Babri Mosque on 6 December 1992: from left:
Sadhvi Rithambra exhorts the crowds at 3 pm: ‘Ek Dhakka Aur do, Babri Masjid Tor do’;
Advani and Joshi acknowledging the crowds shortly before the demolition began; Advani on his way to Ayodhya declares ‘we will be performing kar seva with bricks and shovels on the 2.77 acres of disputed land;’Uma Bharati hugs Joshi as the third and last dome comes down at 4.45 pm and says: ‘It is the most blissful day of my entire life, I keep pinching myself to see if I am awake’; next day (7 December): VH Dalmia, Advani, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, Joshi and Kalyan Singh being produced at the special magistrate’s court in