By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi : A joint protest meeting was held near the Parliament House on Tuesday on the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid. The 450 year old Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 2022, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, by radical Hindus in broad daylight as thousands of security personnel watched. The meeting demanded justice for the iconic Babri mosque after the nation’s highest court definitively ruled on November 8, 2019, that the mosque was not constructed after demolishing a Hindu temple.
The meeting was held in defense of the unity of the people against the attempts to divide them on a communal basis. Lok Raj Sangathan, together with several other political parties and mass organisations, organised the meeting.
“Struggle Continues Against State Organized Communal Violence and State Terror!” and “An Attack on One Is an Attack on All!” were the prominent slogans displayed at the rally. These encapsulated the protest’s overall message. The participants waved banners with the phrases “Punish the Guilty!” and “Down with State Organized Communal Violence and State Terror!” that were erected on the barriers around the assembly.
Lok Raj Sangathan’s Sucharita conducted the meeting. She said we are told to forget about such dated incidents, she claimed. But how can we move past them when the state routinely orchestrates acts of communal violence?
In his speech, S. Raghavan, the president of the Lok Raj Sangathan, emphasised that the Babri Masjid’s demolition was permitted by both the Congress-led Central Government and the BJP-led UP Government at the time. Organizing the racial massacres that occurred in Mumbai after the destruction was completed was a crime committed by the Congress Party, BJP, and Shiv Sena. But despite the passage of time, none of them have received punishment. The court, the legislature, and the executive branch of the Indian government have all colluded to hide the heinous crime against our people and to defend the offenders.
In his address, S. Raghavan, President of Lok Raj Sangathan, pointed out that the Congress-led Central Government and the BJP-led UP Government at that time were both guilty of having permitted the demolition of Babri Masjid. The Congress Party, BJP and Shiv Sena were all guilty of organising the communal killings in Mumbai in the aftermath of the demolition. But none of them have been punished, after so many years. All the organs of the Indian state, — the executive, the legislature and the judiciary – have worked in collusion, to cover up the monstrous crime committed against our people and to condone the criminals.
He underlined that no one could stop such violent communal political groups from abusing the state’s institutions to carry out such heinous atrocities against our people. In order to demand that people have the authority to make decisions that have an impact on society and to keep our elected representatives accountable, he called for a broad movement for people’s empowerment.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr SQR Ilyas of Welfare Party of India recounted the nationwide, communally fueled hate campaign that was launched to prepare the Babri Masjid’s foundation for destruction. When the Supreme Court refused to punish the culprits responsible for the Babri Masjid’s demolition despite acknowledging that it was a criminal/illegal act, justice was not done. The Supreme Court even exonerated individuals who had freely admitted to organising mobs to carry out the illegal demolition.
According to Inam ur Rehman of Jamat-e-Islami Hind, the 30 year old black stain is difficult to remove. The myth that the Indian state was secular was also destroyed by the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The people in charge of organising it received ministerial positions in the government even after the state institutions had to declare that it was an illegal act. He claimed that the state orchestrates communal genocide and constantly seeks to separate people along racial or ethnic lines. The unification of our people against the multifaceted onslaught on our rights and way of life has evolved into one of their preferred methods of governance. He said in his closing remarks that we must speak out against injustice done to any group of people, whether they are minorities or majority.
Birju Nayak of the Communist Ghadar Party of India said that the Indian state is communal as can be seen from the fact that the top two political parties permitted the demolition while sitting in power in the state as well in the Centre. The top court has passed the order to build a temple on the demolished mosque. The constitution of the country He said that identifying communalism with a party is totally wrong. He concluded by saying that our struggle has to target both the main parties of the rulers, Congress Party and the BJP.
The goal of our fight must be to establish a truly democratic state where we, the people, will have the authority to make decisions that will influence our lives and punish anyone who infringes on our rights to life, to conscience, and to a dignified and secure existence, he said.
We have waited for justice for 30 years, according to Mohd. Shafi, National Vice President of SDPI, and justice delayed is justice denied. He asserted that the destruction of the Babri Masjid constituted an assault on democracy and the entire populace, not just Muslims. People’s basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education must be addressed by those in power, not by distracting topics that only serve to further polarise the populace.
He acknowledged Lok Raj Sangathan for organising this demonstration each year and said that his organisation will stand shoulder to side with LRS in the pursuit of justice.
The demolition of the Babri Masjid, according to Lok Paksh member KK Singh, was a serious attack on all people, not only Muslims. He claimed that assaults are occurring across all of India, not just against minorities. The employees, who happen to be from the majority group, are being oppressed and exploited by large monopoly firms. He claimed that the only way for racial attacks to end is for labourers and workers to take control.
Dr Anwar Islam of Samajik Chetna Manch highlighted the heinous crimes that were committed against the people and compared the rulers in India with devils. He said that workers and all oppressed people have to unite to change the situation.
Com Munna Prasad of the Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra stated that since public protest sites like Jantar Mantar are being withheld from us, we will have to begin protesting in meeting rooms. He made the observation that rising monopoly house dominance has coincided with an increase in the frequency of attacks on communities. He asserted that the focus of our struggle must be the Indian state, which he claimed ruthlessly infringed upon the most fundamental rights of our people in order to safeguard the greedy interests of the large monopoly corporate entities. Communal assaults against the populace can only be stopped if a state of workers and peasants is in power.
The meeting was jointly organized by Lok Raj Sangathan, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Social Democratic Party of India, Welfare Party of India, CPI (ML) – New Proletarian, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Citizens for Democracy, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, Jamat–e–Islami Hind, Lok Paksh, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, The Sikh Forum, Students Islamic Organisation of India, All India Muslim Majlis, New Democratic Party of India, Samajik Chetna Manch, Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, AIFTU (New), and Women India Movement.
At the meeting’s conclusion, protesters held up signs that reaffirmed the solidarity of our people and vowed to keep fighting to put an end to state-sponsored communal violence and state terror.