By Latheef Farook
Lal Krishna Advani, who spearheaded the campaign ‘rath yatra’ called chariot procession from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya on September 25, 1990, whipped up anti Muslim feelings , got the five centuries old Babri Masjid in Ayodhya destroyed and divided communities, was chosen for India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
This coincides with the inauguration of the Ram temple where Babri Masjid once stood in Ayodhya. This shows that in India lawlessness ,hooliganism and violence by Hindutva fascists were also honored with highest award . It also signals the Grand Success of destructive Communal Politics
In fact Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself was accused of committing genocide of Muslims in Gujarat in February 2002 and was declared persona non grata even by United states.
However the President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi mocked the Centre’s decision to confer the Bharat Ratna to BJP leader LK Advani, saying that the “graves of the dead are nothing but stepping stones”. Owaisi also attached a map of India, showing the “places affected by Advani’s Rath Yatra
It was Advani who first brought the Babri Masjid issue to the forefront of the BJP’s strategy and politicised it to achieve power. His extremely dangerous ‘rath yatra’ crusade against Indian Muslims whipped up religious sentiment, polarised society, generated passions and stirred Hindus and Muslims with pernicious results.
On 6 December 1992, RSS cadres gathered in the Babri mosque premises on the premise of conducting a religious ceremony marking the laying of the first bricks for constructing a Ram temple – on the site they believe was the birth place of Rama- hero in the epic Ramayana. Advani, who was at the site, together with other BJP, VHP and RSS leaders, instigated the organised mob.The RSS, BJP, VHP and Sangh Parivar, youths professionally razed the mosque to the ground. Groups of jubilant RSS supporters paraded through the narrow lanes chanting obscene slogans against Muslims.
Then congress government in the centre, headed by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao didn’t take any precautionary measure to protect the Babri Masjid or to prevent the outbreak of communal violence. He is also to be honored with Bharat Ratna award.
The demolition of the Masjid triggered off nationwide religious riots between Hindus and the country’s Muslim minority, killing, according to official sources, more than 3,000, mainly Muslims although the exact number killed countrywide will never be known.The bloodshed was the most serious threat to India’s secular identity since independence in 1947.
Explaining the conspiracy, Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande said in April 2001, that the demolition was a pre-meditated and well-planned exercise carried out by experts who knew “structural engineering” – apparent from the fact that the domes of the mosque fell from the base.
At a secret meeting at the residence of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit chief Vinay Katiyar, on 5 December 1992, attended by Advani, the plan was finalised to bring down the mosque. Mahant Ram Narain Das, who was the priest of the makeshift Ram temple in 1992, disclosed that: “ Advani, Uma Bharati and others gave fiery speeches to instigate kar sevaks to pull down the mosque.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charge-sheet set before the Rae Bareli court stated that L. K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Vinay Katiyar, and VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambara delivered inflammatory speeches at Ayodhya which incited kar sevaks to demolish the mosque.
But in its judgment, the Rae Bareli court ruled that Advani, would not be tried but the seven remaining defendants facing charges of inciting a Hindu mob to demolish the mosque, spreading hatred against Muslims and communal frenzy leading to rioting, killing and destruction.
The judgment went against the weight of the entire evidence and violated the law as declared by the Supreme Court. It also raised questions as to how the Magistrate separated the case against Advani from the rest, even though the charges and the evidence against them were almost similar.
Some legal experts described the court proceedings as a complete eye wash while one lawyer said ‘Advani will have to examine his conscience and ask whether it is fair that those who followed him should be charged while he should get off scot free’. The lawyers were stunned at the double standards of the court order as the general perception was that Advani, as deputy Prime Minister and Union Home Minister misused the government machinery to gain relief. Describing the judgment as a gross miscarriage of justice, the Indian media said it was no “honourable acquittal”.
Advani has been a Hindu fascist since his early days in Karachi where he was born, and was a RSS organiser during the partition of India in 1947 before moving into Rajasthan. In 1951, he became the Jana Sangh secretary in Delhi and was later elected President of the Jana Sangh after which he joined the BJP. Even as India’s deputy Prime Minister, he attended the RSS-BJP meeting to finalise the campaign to build the Ram temple.