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Bitter truths about Babri Masjid cases
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman

O P SharmaThere are myths and there are facts. And myths sometimes overwhelm people so much that they start taking it as facts. And the greatest myth that has clouded facts in the country regarding Muslim leadership is that they are seriously desirous of the resolution of the entangled issue of Babri Masjid soon and fast. The reality is stark different. Muslim leadership, whatever remains in the country, has never tried to get the issue solved. It is quite different thing that they have always vociferously tried to get the credit for whatever some people are doing.

It doesn’t seem that Muslims live in this country, says OP Sharma, the man who is selflessly following the Babri Masjid cases in Supreme Court, Lucknow High Court and Liberhan Commission. He says that Muslims have done nothing in the case of the Babri Masjid issue, be it Babri Masjid Action Committee, Babri Masjid Coordination Committee and any such other committee. He claims that everyone is claiming the credit of whatever is happening on the Babri Masjid front, despite having contributed nothing.

OP Sharma believes that there seems to be only one Muslim in the whole country, Aslam Bhure, a poor man who is following the cases in different courts despite his extremely poor economic condition. He says that though every Muslim organization claims to resist and counter Hindu fundamentalists of Sangh Parivar and counter its moves on Babri Masjid, practically nothing has been done. He says that it is his view that Muslim community has made it a habit to bear the brunt at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists. Sharma adds that there are good number of cases in progress before various courts relating to this great problem, but nobody has ever tried to find out the state of affairs in this long pending litigation.

With no help from any quarters, Sharma has been selflessly pursuing numerous cases on the Babri issue in different courts. Sometimes alongwith Aslam Bhure and sometimes alone, he appears before trial courts and the High Court at Lucknow whenever the matters were listed there. It is a very long history of his involvement in these matters with no help from any quarter financially, legally, socially or any assistance from any Muslim lawyer, he says. Sharma says sarcastically that he has the impression that Muslim lawyers or Muslims in general have no interest, attachment, liking, devotion to the cause of the nation in general and their own community in particular.

When asked about the Sangh Parivar and its tactics in demolishing the Babri Masjid, he says that these people have always tried to fool the masses and courts including the apex court. He says that these people are followers of Goebbeles who believed that repeatedly told lies become ‘truth’ one day. He says that they have always spoken lies in front of courts and the people of the country. He says that when former chief justice of Supreme Court Justice Venkatchalayah convened court at his residence at five in the morning following the demolition of the Babri Masjid, I requested the court to order the appearance of Venugopalan, counsel of these people. When the court was convened later at 8 the same morning, he appeared and told the court he was very sorry and his client misled him and that his head hangs in shame. He said that Supreme Court has passed severest strictures against BJP. He says nine judges bench of the apex court in SR Bommai case upholding the constitutional provisions of secularism as basic features of the Constitution mentioned the ‘BJP as an illegitimate element having no right to exist as political party’.

Sharma says that these people have always lied before the court, before people and before everyone and have never felt ashamed of what they are doing. He said that their cases of falsification and cheating are numerous. Giving an example, he said that when Kalyan Singh acquired 2.77 acres of land adjacent to the Babri Masjid, I filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the acquisition. You cannot use any acquired land without any public purpose. They said that they want the land for public purpose and only for bhajan and kirtan. But somehow I came to know that their site plan of the temple included that place also. I got the stay order that the government cannot allow any construction except for a temporary purpose. They had started construction from 9 July 1992. They said they were constructing temporary structure and nothing more. I filed application that they are telling a lie. And all commitments and undertakings filed by Kalyan Singh are false and wrong. They will destroy everything and keep aside their claims, affidavits and everything.
The Supreme Court appointed a three member commission to find out as to what sort of construction was going on there. The commission reported that they are constructing a very, very pucca platform and this can be used for the construction of the temple also.

It is not a lone case, he says. They have deceived the court time and again. They are never tired of falsification. They had assured the court and filed undertaking and commitments that the protection of Babri Masjid-Ramjanam Bhoomi is the responsibility of the state and it will be protected at any cost. Following the demolition the Supreme Court found that there was blatant, deliberate and intentional disobedience and flouting of orders by Kalyan Singh, the then UP chief minister and his government. The court observed regarding the demolition by Sangh Parivar, that, ‘it demolished public faith in the accepted constitutional institutions and weakened people’s resolve to solve issues by peaceful means.’ It went on to say, ‘It will destroy respect for the rule of law and authority of courts and seek to place individual authority and strength of numbers above the wisdom of law.’ Sharma said that the court initiated contempt proceeding against Kalyan Singh, the then UP chief minister and in a landmark judgment awarded him imprisonment for a day and asked him to pay fine of Rs 2000. Passing strictures against Singh the court said, ‘There has been a flagrant breach of that undertaking. There has been willful disobedience of the order.’

OP Sharma adds that these people are making all sorts of noises in front of the Liberhan Commission of inquiry that is probing the incidents leading to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. He adds that these people claim that they are the followers of Ram but they are flouting every rule. He adds that in Ramayna it is stated that, Raghukul riti sada chaliayi, pran jaye par vachan na jaye, meaning that it has been practiced in Raghukul dynasty that they will sacrifice their life but not back out of their promise. But these so-called Ram bhakts have been violating their oaths, undertakings and commitments at the fall of a hat in the courts for building their political temple in the guise of Ram Janambhoomi.

But he says that when these people who have no evidence of any temple being on the Babri land, are doing everything to win the cases and are appearing before every court and inquiry, Muslim leaders are sleeping and daydreaming despite having strongest evidence to win the case. He said that no Muslim leader has ever taken any interest in the cases being heard in different courts. He says that these so-called community leaders are actually not aware of even the cases being followed in the courts.

The man has been involved in more than two dozen cases in different courts including cases against the acquisition of 2.5 acres of land, petition for the safety and protection of Babri Masjid, petition with prayer to pass strenuous orders restraining the BJP government and Sangh Parivar not to cause any damage or injury to Babri Masjid, seeking orders to restrain the Sangh Parivar not to cause any harm to the persons of Muslim community and their properties, seeking orders restraining the Sangh Parivar not to cause any damage to the graves, mazars, mosques and other Muslim religious places, praying after the demolition to rebuild the Masjid at the very same place and prosecution of Sangh leaders including Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharati, Bal Thakrey and Kalyan Singh and others.

When asked about the leaders who have been claiming every breakthrough in the case to be a result of their struggle, he says that these leaders have tried to destroy and weaken the Babri case. He says that Shahbuddin has never appeared before Liberhan Commission, he is not involved in any court case on Babri Masjid. Sharma claims that once Shahabuddin claimed that Sharma, referring to himself was his counsel. He says that it was a totally false claim and when he inquired, Shahabuddin couldn’t answer him. About Jeelani, he says that though he lives in Lucknow, he has rarely bothered to take any interest in the cases.
When asked about Muslim Personal Law Board and its leaders, Sharma says that once a Mumbai leader asked him to write to Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasimi on the status of different cases of Babri and his problems. So he wrote a letter to the Board president, informing him of all the cases and their status in the courts, but he has not received any reply from him so far. He says that when he contacted Qazi, he said that he has not read the letter so far. He says that someone introduced him to Dr Manzoor Alam of the Institute of Objective Studies and he assured him to assist in different ways. But he only tried to increase his problems by asking him to get involved in different other issues including cases on Qur’an burning and Kanpur riots. He says that he used to invite him for different meetings and never did anything. Then fed up with all these he said that he is a busy lawyer and has no time for mere meetings.

But Sharma is all praise for Aslam Bhure and says that he seems to be the only Muslim in the country who has devoted his life for the cause of the Babri Masjid. He is poor, but pious and committed Muslim, he says.

Sharma says that people believe that he is being paid hefty sums by Muslims for his involvement in Babri cases. He says that once a judge in Lucknow said that Mr Sharma you tell me about the timing of your flight and I will arrange a convenient time for hearing. Sharma told the judge that ‘My lord, I come by non-AC three-tier coach, stay in cheapest hotel and come to the court on rickshaw.’ Sharma says that he spends every penny from his own pocket. He says that once VHP people asked me: Sharma you are a Brahmin and a bhakt of Ram, then why you are opposing us? He told those people that Ram never taught the demolition of any mosque. He says I asked them as to which Ram you worship, one who was born in Ayodhya or one who resides in everyone’s heart. Ram who lives in the heart never taught to demolish a mosque or killing of people for fulfilling one’s political ambitions.

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