Babri Masjid martyrdom Day
Mohammad Jamil


On 6th December 1992, Babri Masjid was demolished by thousands of Hindu fanatics. Muslims throughout the world express their grief and observe martyrdom of the mosque every year on this day. More than 2000 people were killed in the ensuing riots following the demolition that broke out in many major Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad. In Gujarat, state officials and police were directly involved in the violence, which had been admitted in the report. The groups most directly responsible for that violence against Muslims included VHP, the Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, collectively forming Sangh Privar. The then Congress government at the Centre, headed by late Narasimha Rao, had promised to rebuild the mosque within 100 days, but that did not happen. One should not pin any hopes on the Congress because be it Kashmir issue or break-up of Pakistan, Congress had played despicable and ignominious role in exacerbating the issue.

Evidence suggests that before becoming prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had started his election campaign from Babri Mosque, which was locked up under the orders of the court because some extremists Hindus had placed statues there. Rajiv along with his supporters broke open the locks and worshipped in the mosque. And BJP naturally had to go further to score the point over the Congress. Anyhow, India has inflicted many wounds on its minorities. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits (low caste Hindus), all have suffered in equal measure, and are not allowed to lead their lives according to their faith and culture. On December 6, 1992 Babri mosque was demolished by Hindu nationalists despite a commitment to the Indian Supreme Court that the mosque would not be harmed. The commission of inquiry was established in 1992, and it gave its report after 17 years.

It has to be mentioned that Lucknow bench of Allahbad High Court gave the verdict on 30th September 2010 that ran into 10,000 odd pages. The High Court ordered that the land around the disputed site would be divided into three parts, one for Hindus, another for Muslims and the third for Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu sect and an original litigant in the case. Anyhow, it was not final verdict, as it could be challenged in the Supreme Court. But Hindu extremists are defiant and are not willing to accept the verdict in that they want the entire premises for constructing the temple. India boasts about independence of courts and administering quick justice, but what is the benefit when these courts cannot implement their own verdict. Western media is also all praise for the ‘Shining India’ but Hindu fanatics continue perpetrating atrocities on Muslims, Christians and even Dalits - lower caste Hindus. This knocks the bottom of pretense of India being a secular state, and the largest democracy of the world.

Muslims had the right to appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgment of the high court. Tremendous pressure was exerted on the Muslim leaders that no one should file an appeal with the Supreme Court, but Muslim side filed 7 appeals in May 2011 to lay claim over the whole of Babri Masjid site and also adjoining plots which cover the Ganj-e-Shaheedan (Martyrs Compound) as many of the Muslim martyrs lie buried in these graves after attaining martyrdom over the cause of Babri Masjid. On 9th May 2011, the two-member bench of the Supreme Court expressed surprise as to how Allahbad High Court could divide the title among three litigants? Anyhow, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on 30th September 30, 2010, had ruled that the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was built on a site after demolishing a temple on it way back in 1528, and that the spot where a makeshift temple to Ram Lulla was built after razing the mosque in 1992 was indeed where Hindu god Ram was born.

While admitting the appeals by all the parties, the apex court allowed worship at the makeshift temple at Ayodhya and restrained all the parties from carrying out any religious activities on the 67.703 acres of land that was acquired by the central government around the disputed site. In August 2011, the Supreme Court admitted two more petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya. A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R. M. Lodhat tagged the petitions to the main case. One would not know how much time Indian Supreme Court would take to give the final verdict, and whether it would also procrastinate to avoid the head on collision with the extremists and fanatic Hindus. On December 1992, Liberhan commission was set up by the Government of India to probe the circumstances that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It has been longest running commission in India’s history with several extensions granted by various governments.

The Commission was expected to submit its report within three months. Reportedly forty-eight extensions were sought, and after a delay of 17 years, the commission submitted the report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 30 June 2009. In 17 years of its proceedings, the commission recorded statements of several politicians, bureaucrats and police officials including Kalyan Singh, late Narasimha Rao, former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and his colleagues Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati as well as Mulayam Singh Yadav. On 23 November 2009, the media reported on the contents of the report, which had been leaked before being presented in the Indian Parliament. It indicted top BJP leaders as being actively involved in the meticulous planning of the demolition of the mosque. The report implicated 68 people, including L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Kalyan Singh, the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

The report accused the RSS of being the chief architect of the demolition. The Justice Liberhan Commission Report and Action Taken Report (ATR) on it were tabled in the Lok Sabha on November 24, 2009. The Commission has identified the Kalyan Singh-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh as the key to the execution of the conspiracy to demolish Babri Masjid. Justice M.S. Liberhan termed Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi as pseudo-moderates, pretending to keep a distance from the Ram Janambhoomi campaign when they were actually aware of the whole conspiracy. The report said: “They have violated the trust of the people...There can be no greater betrayal or crime in a democracy and this Commission has no hesitation in condemning these pseudo-moderates for their sins of omission”. In an interview, Liberhan clarifying his remarks about Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that leader was equally responsible for the misdeeds of the party. But none of them have been implicated and punished. This will suffice to expose independence of the judiciary and India’s secularism.