Come clean


The indictment of top BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders by the Liberhan Commission for their role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid was not unexpected. The entire nation knew that L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi,  Kalyan Singh and others who have been named by the commission were responsible for the most shameful assault on India’s secular credentials on Dec 6, 1992. The Ayodhya movement, launched by the party and blessed by the RSS, had laid the ground for the demolition and the actual event was choreographed by the leaders. All the Hindutva organisations participated in it with gusto. The commission has done well to expose the chicanery and double talk on the surface and the planning and co-ordination that lay behind the event. The theory of spontaneous action by a frenzied mob resulting in the demolition had always lacked credibility and it has now rightly been nailed as untrue.

Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was considered the most moderate and acceptable face of the BJP, has also not been spared by the commission. Though the report has not directly indicted him, it has pinned responsibility on him too, along with others, for violating the trust of the people and being dictated to by the rabid elements in the Sangh Parivar. The term ‘pseudo-moderates’ used by the commission is apt because BJP leaders have often used moderation as an opportunistic ploy to suit their political ends. They have always sworn by the Ayodhya movement while contradictorily distancing themselves from the act of demolition of the Babri mosque.

The report, which has been tabled in parliament, after the controversy over its leakage to the media, has documented the entire script, from the run-up to the finale, and is an important historical record. But the exoneration of the Central government of P V Narasimha Rao detracts from its value. The Rao government, by refusing to take effective preventive action, was also responsible for the action. By ignoring the Rao government’s inaction, the commission has opened itself to accusations of partiality. The government however has accepted the findings in their entirety and should take follow-up action on them. It also provides the BJP with an opportunity to come clean, drop the forked tongue, repent the damage it did to the secular idea which is the corner stone of our nationhood and join the national mainstream.

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