Post Justice Liberhan’s Report

Demolition of Babri Mosque is a scar in the history of Indian democracy which cannot be washed away. So mercifully at last after 17 years (probably a record), Justice Liberhan has given his Report after a grueling, and according to him, a non cooperative attitude of officials and stays by Courts. The validity of this explanation will naturally have to be tested after the Report is officially released.

But so far as its relevance for some inside information as to the origin, execution of this vile venture by BJP, VHP and their unholy nexus is concerned, it is unlikely that any new information would be disclosed. We had been seeing an ugly face of communal demon of these groups right from the start of Rath Yatra by Advani to the near mad frenzy encouraged by BJP leaders, when their goons were engaged in the despicable task of demolishing the Mosque. The specious excuse exercise now being put forward by the BJP leadership that though it made all preparations for a massive Rath Yatra with lakhs of sewaks and provocative speeches at the spot by Advani and more direct appeal to the mob to demolish the Mosque, it was only an oral exercise and was not meant to demolish, it is humbug. It is like pointing a double barrelled gun at an individual asking him to get aside otherwise it will shoot- a person might have been able to save himself, but the Mosque could not because it could not move itself- all actions pointed out a single point plan of demolition squad. Uma Bharti, one of the top leaders of the Sangh at the time openly and proudly owns it up. Advani, Joshi and other leaders have been charge sheeted, of course after a number of years for their prima facie guilty intention. All this material has been in public domain for years. So Justice Librehan is not going to add anything on this account. But till it is released, BJP is going on profaning its innocence, as it has already started doing by taking cover under the pretext of non publication of the Report.

In order to prevent BJP from indulging in flood gate of accusations, conjecture, it will be in the fitness of things if the Government of India was to immediately place the Report in the Parliament after the budget speech (it should not wait for budget to be passed-that will take weeks and add only to further cloud the matter.) Let the people read the report and take action accordingly. BJP has already been told by the electorate, where its communal poison can lead to it’s almost certain road of extinction in the future politics of the country. No, I am not expecting Liberhan Report to disclose any earth shaking information—my only point is that without publishing it, BJP is being provided a cover for self defence by taking the plea that unless the Report is public, there is no point in discussing the most horrible and shameful event of the free India. I had at that time publically proposed that the Government of India announces that December 6 should be observed a National Repentance Day when people will fast and pray for unity and welfare of all the communities. But it seems politics is a different cup of tea and the communal poison continued to grow.

The damage it has done to the psyche of Muslims is immeasurable and will always remain a permanent scar on our secular republic. Maybe the rout of BJP in the current general elections will serve as a small balm, but the scar will never be washed away.

But then nations have to move forward. Unfortunately the continuance of legal case in Courts for over a decade is only keeping the fire alive and a matter of embarrassment. Frankly any objective student of law will know that the litigation at the Allahabad High Court is a waste exercise and is only delaying the hollowness of the claim by BJP from being exposed. It is impossible to prove after 5000 years whether Lord Ram was actually born under the broad area covered by the mosque.

Then it is said that it can be proved that Mandir existed where mosque stood. So the mantra of Babri Mosque being Lord Rama’s birthplace is an impossibility built up only by the frenzy demonic wails inflaming communal passion. Though Masjid may only be  a furlong from the claim of Lord Rama’s birthplace, and even assuming that  improbability of proof, it will not advance the claim to the ownership of Masjid land.

Muslims may or may not wish to use the space if there was a Mandir at Masjid spot-but this does not mean that the Masjid will then automatically go to BJP. It will still be retained as the property of Masjid Board.

There is in law a formidable uncrossable hurdle in the way of BJP and its cohorts. It cannot be denied that Mosque existed for over 400 years and it was in possession of Muslims.

Any claim by BJP on whatsoever ground, either as Lord Ram’s birthplace, or a Mandir having been destroyed before Mosque was built is a non starter because of the bar of limitation to pursue this suit.   

I say this in view of the precedence of the case of Masjid Shahid Ganj situated in Lahore (Pakistan) versus SGPC decided by the Privy Council in 1940. Muslims failed to win back the Masjid built in 1200 and converted into a Gurdwara in 1760 as the 12 year period for filing a suit provided under limitation had expired. Whatever the nature of the title of the site under the Babri Masjid, by the very fact that it had existed for over 400 years before the suit was filed, would automatically non suit the VHP allies. The same bar of law of limitation will apply and the suit filed is therefore not maintainable and RSS and its cohorts can never claim any little to the Mosque site.

Let the BJP if it is seriously wanting to do some internal cleaning, refrain from wrong deductions from history of the past and culture to spread communal fires. A correct and impartial reading of history will show that the people who can look forward than backward can easily live with each other harmoniously. Surely we owe it to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Azad to restrain ourselves well in time.

The legal position is clear. It is only the weakness of political will that is responsible for the Ayodhya imbroglio to continue as one of the most festering sores within the country. By keeping the Ayodhya issue alive, the country has been kept from addressing its most urgent task-how to meet the challenge of the growing pauperization of the masses. And that includes both Hindus and Muslims, Christians and other minorities.