Hindu Vivek Kendra

1.1. The contents of the previous chapter (Chapter IV) bring out the distortions and contradictions in Indian politics, particularly that of the ex-Congress and Left parties, because of their lack of ideology and commitment to their professed principles. There is complete divorce between what most of them talk in private and what they declare in public and also between what they repeatedly declare and what they ultimately do. The greatest casualty has been truth. Nothing exposed this farce more than the Ayodhya issue. But the worst offender in this regard is the present government - particularly the Prime Minister, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao. The previous chapter, which brings out how the Rao Government had all the evidence to take a decision and yet did not, is only a preface to its devious conduct, particularly from May 1992 onwards. How the Narasimha Rao Government - and Shri Narasimha Rao himself -- who repeatedly charge the BJP Government in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP leaders with betrayal, actually betrayed everyone - its own Cabinet Ministers who worked to solve the issue, the Sants and the BJP-VHP-RSS leaders who met and trusted the Prime Minister, the leaders of the Muslim organisations, and finally the country itself - will be evident from the irrefutable facts that emerge partly from Chapter IV and fully from Chapter V and Chapter VI. The narration of the circumstances leading to the Kar Seva in July 1992 in the present Chapter and the circumstances leading to the Kar Seva in December 1992, will establish who betrayed whom and who was perfidious - the BJP, its Government in UP, the Sants, and the RSS Parivar, or the Government in Delhi and the Prime Minister himself'?

The background to the decision to resume Kar Seva in July 1992 

2.1. The barbaric massacre of Karsevaks by the Mulayam Singh Government in October-November 1990 had resulted in unprecedented anger and indignation all over the country. Yet there was no riot anywhere. The anger was only directed against the V.P. Singh Government at the Centre, the Mulayam Singh Government in Uttar Pradesh, and the pseudo-secular parties, and not against any particular community. Not a single Muslim wits hurt in any part of the country as a result of the firing on the Karsevaks in Ayodhya.

Installation of a Minority Government to avoid and defer elections because of the Hindu wave

2.2. As there was perceptible anger and indignation against pseudo-secularism and a sweeping Hindu wave in BJP's favour, no party other than the BJP was willing to face elections. A minority government led by Shri Chandrashekhar was sworn in in November 1990 with the support of the Congress Party which, despite Shri Rajiv Gandhi at the helm was unwilling to form a Government mainly because of the Ayodhya challenge.

The Ayodhya movement leaders and BJP help to bring down the national temperature 

2.3. One of the first acts of the minority Government was to reduce the temperature in national politics - a national task in which, it was the Ayodhya movement leaders and the BJP who helped more than anyone else. Despite the fact that the national atmosphere had swung in favour of the BJP, the BJP and the Ayodhya movement leaders planned for a peaceful Satyagraha at Ayodhya for Kar Seva. Although a more aggressive campaign could have been thought of, the BJP saw that it was not in the over all national interest.

Massive Satyagraha at Ayodhya - not a stone thrown at the, structure, no one hurt 

2.4. The Kar Seva Satyagraha at Ayodhya was massive - over 2,50,000 Karsevaks were arrested during the period from 6th December 1990. Not a single untoward incident took place, in Ayodhya or elsewhere; no one was hurt, not even a stone was thrown on the disputed structure. The Central Government handled the issue with equal responsibility, and sensing the public mood the Mulayam Singh Government too fell in line.

Kar Seva Satyagraha at Ayodhya, and talks between VHP and AIBMAC at Delhi 

2.5. Even as the Kar Seva Satyagraha was on, simultaneously talks were on between the VHP and the Masjid groups. An important participant, in fact, an inspiration and instrument along with Shri Sharad Pawar in the talks, was Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who was the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and a BJP leader. The Satyagraha did not affect the talks, nor did the talks impede the Satyagraha; both went hand in hand. (This can be easily contrasted with the AIBMAC pulling out of the talks on November 8, 1992 on the ground that the next Kar Seva date had been fixed - a frivolous charge which the Government has upheld as its own view too in its White Paper).

Talks snap formally, with the fall of the Chandrashekhar Government

2.6. The Chandrashekhar Government had specified the only relevant issue - whether a Hindu structure existed at the site before the mosque - for determination and the talks proceeded with highly productive results. But with the fall of the minority Government, the ongoing interaction between the two sides under the aegis of the Government also got suspended. The next meeting of the two sides was scheduled for 24-25 January 1991. But the Masjid groups and their representatives absented themselves on the 25th.

Parliamentary elections, and the mandate to build Rama Temple at Ayodhya

2.7. The General Elections were called in May 1991 and fought by the BJP on the Mandir issue and all that flowed from it, namely, on the issues of secularism, communalism and nationalism, besides Swadeshi. Halfway through the election process (when nearly half of the country had already gone to polls), the nation faced a great tragedy - Shri Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. This acted as a turning point in the electoral process - the Congress emerged as the single largest party in Parliament with 246 seats and the BJP second with 119 seats. The Economist wrote that 'the winner came second'. This was how the Ayodhya issue dominated the electoral scene in 1991. The minority Congress Government under Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao assumed office at Delhi in June 1991 and the BJP Government under Shri Kalyan Singh assumed office at Lucknow. It was the admitted position that the BJP Government in UP had an electoral mandate, in fact, a democratic obligation, to help build the temple at Ayodhya after removing all hurdles to the construction. Thus from being a subject of agitation, the objective of the Ayodhya movement had become the part of the Government's democratic responsibility. This marked a qualitative change in national politics, as compared to the period from 1984 to June 1991 when Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Shri V.P. Singh and Shri Chandrashekhar were successive Prime Ministers.

The present Government's advantage over its predecessors

2.8. Thus, as compared to the previous Prime Ministers, Shri Narasimha Rao had an advantage - the advantage of an electoral verdict and, in fact, an electoral mandate for the Rama Temple at Ayodhya. Although the verdict was secured by the BJP as its mandate, it was nevertheless a people's verdict. In any negotiation to solve the dispute, this mandate would have been a rational argument for a neutral government to help to solve the, problem. Thus, the present government was placed in a relatively advantageous position to effect a solution as compared to the earlier Governments. (As would be seen later, far from using this advantage the Narasimha Rao Government worked to defeat it as part of a political strategy to humiliate the BJP and see to it that the BJP does not redeem its electoral commitment.)

BJP works on non-agitational alternatives; Kalyan Singh Government's plan with a vision

2.9. In view of the national problems, particularly on the economic front, the BJP extended the most constructive cooperation to Shri Narasimha Rao and his Government. In fact, this support was at a cost to the BJP itself. Again, considering that there were other alternatives like dialogue between VHP and AIBMAC as the Chandrashekhar Government had initiated, and legislative and acquisition options for solving the Ayodhya problem and commencing the Temple work, the BJP was intent on pursuing such non-agitational options. With this objective, 'the BJP pursued a line without agitational programme on Ayodhya during the period from July 1991 to June 1992. But being in power only in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP could not pursue both the options. Because the first alternative was not in the hands of the BJP as being a party to the dispute and a protoganist of the Temple' and not being in power in Delhi, it could not have recommenced the dialogue on its own. But with the limited constitutional and legal authority it had for pursuing the second alternative, that is, for acquisition if not legislation, the Kalyan Singh Government in UP chalked out a plan with a vision which, in the short ran, reconciled its mandate with the stand of the Masjid groups and all major political parties on the dispute regarding the Ayodhya structure.

The Kalyan Singh Government delinks Kar Seva from the dispute as to the structure, consistent with the stand of all parties 

2.10. The Uttar Pradesh Government divided the Ayodhya issue in two parts, more accurately in two phases.

The first phase was the commencement of Temple construction on the land adjacent to the disputed structure; and the second phase was the resolution of the dispute regarding the Babri structure.

Surveying the official stand of all political parties on the Ayodhya issue, it was evident that no political party in India was opposed to the construction of the Temple at Ayodhya and every party was for construction of the Temple without demolishing the disputed structure. The disagreement was only on how to deal with the structure. The non-BJP parties were for resolution of the fate of the disputed structure by dialogue or by judicial adjudication. There being virtual national consensus on building the temple without affecting the existing structure, the Uttar Pradesh Government, acting with great wisdom and foresight, decided to delink the immediate issue of construction from the long term issue as to the fate of the structure. This was possible because the architectural plan and engineering charts showed that it would take not less than two to two and half years for the construction on the adjoining site to be completed, and this time lag could be used to decide the fate of the structure by negotiation, and judicial adjudication or opinion, or by legislation. This sensible proposal which hurt no one's interests or sensibilities was conceived after considerable thinking. In fact, the White Paper issued by the Narasimha Rao's Government admits on the very first page that from 1991 the Temple movement aimed at construction leaving the disputed structure intact.

Uttar Pradesh acquires 2.77 acres of land in front of the structure, including 2.04 acres from VHP itself for construction and Kar Seva 

2.11 In order to implement the proposal to delink the immediate issue of Kar Seva from the ultimate fate of the disputed structure and to enable the Kar Seva and construction to proceed without any impediment, the Kalyan Singh Government issued two Notifications on 7th and 10th October, 1991 acquiring a total of 2.77 acres in front of the disputed structure. This was for the purpose of promoting tourism and providing for amenities to tourists which was later explained in court by an affidavit as for construction of the Temple. The objective of the acquisition was to make available the 2.77 acres after acquisition to the Ramajanmabhoomi Nyas which was in charge of construction of the Temple. The acquisition was so designed that a substantial area abutting the structure as well as the access to it was left intact. Again, out of the 2.77 acres, 2.04 acres was acquired from the VHP itself which had earlier acquired it by purchase or gift from the previous owners. This 2.04 acres was included in the acquisition Notification with the knowledge and consent of the VHP so as to perfect its, title and so that no one could later raise any title dispute about the 2.04 acres. Thus, the land acquisition of the Uttar Pradesh Government was mostly in respect of the land belonging to the VHP and only about 20% of the acquired land could be said to be disputed land out of the total acquisition of 2.77 acres.

The acquisition challenged, and subject to interim injunction that set at naught the object of the acquisition during the pendency of the case 

2.12. This politically wise and constitutionally acceptable acquisition order was also challenged in Writs in High Court and Supreme Court. The result was interim injunctions by the High Court, and later by the Supreme Court, allowing the acquisition and possession to take effect, but, preventing its use for purposes of constructing permanent structure and alienation. The Allahabad High Court order dated 25th October, 1991 and the order of the Supreme Court dated 15th November, 1991 virtually set at naught, at least so long as the said orders operated, the very object of the acquisition, namely, to allow the Kar Seva and construction on the land adjoining and in front of the structure and delinking it from the decision as to the structure. Thus, the objective to overcome the immediate problem of construction and to get adequate time for dialogue and discussions, and if that did not yield result, for legislative solution, was thwarted through judicial injunction.

The UP Government, the BJP and the Supreme Court expected the High Court to take up eye case for final disposal in December 1991 

2.13. The UP Government and the BJP thought that the Writs against the acquisition would be decided expeditiously, considering the narrow issue involved - whether the acquisition offended the religious rights of Muslims and whether it was colourable. They, therefore, decided to await the outcome of the Writs. The Writs were expected to be disposed of by end 1991 itself. This is evident from the order of the Supreme Court dated 15th November 1991. This order was passed by the court when two more Writs challenging the acquisition were filed in the Supreme, Court, even though two similar Writs were pending against the acquisition in the Allahabad High Court on which the High Court had passed injunctions against the alienation of and permanent construction on the land. The order of the Supreme Court read:

We are of the view that when the High Court has already entertained the matter, made an interim order and as stated at the bar, is staking the case for renal disposal sometime in December of this year, it may not be necessary and justifiable to transfer the writ petition pending before the High Court to this court. On the other hand, appropriate directions regarding interim arrangement may be made and three petitions transferred to the High Court for analogous disposal.

Thus the Supreme Court expected the High Court to take up the acquisition Writs for final disposal in "December of this year" that is December 1991. It is on this ground the Supreme Court rejected the plea for transfer of the Writs pending in the High Court to the Supreme Court, but, instead made the reverse order - transferred the three Writs filed against the acquisition in the Supreme Court to the High Court for "analogous disposal", that is to say, for final disposal in December 1991.

The delay in Allahabad High Court - December 1991 gone, and so also January 1992, February 1992, March 1992 and even April 1992

2.14. Thus the Ayodhya movement leaders and the BJP had every reason to expect that the acquisition case would be finally heard in December 1991 by the Allahabad High Court. It was not heard in December, 1991 not in January 1992, or February, or March, or April, or even May 1992. (In fact, as would be seen later, the hearing by the High Court concluded on November 4, 1992 and the judgement was delivered, as if scheduled, after the Kar Seva on December 6, 1992 which resulted in the demolition.) Thus the Ayodhya movement leaders, the UP Government and the BJP anxiously waited for the High Court to conclude the hearing. The hearings were prolonged day after day, week after week, and month after month, in spite of the fact that a special Bench was exclusively hearing the matter.

The UP Government wants the decision one way or the other, as even an adverse decision could help construction

2.15. The Ayodhya movement leaders and the UP Government wanted the High Court only to hand in the decision one way or the other because even an adverse verdict striking down the acquisition would also hand over the possession of 2.04 acres out of the total acquisition of 2.77 acres back to the VHP. The Kar Seva and the construction could commence on this 2.04 acres and, if it did, the Kar Seva would be automatically delinked from the fate of the structure which could be settled during the time of construction on the 2.04 acres which would take not less than 2 years. But curiously, even an adverse judgement was not forthcoming. All that happened was delay.

2.16. If this was the position in respect of a Writ petition which is a summary remedy, the case of the title suits filed in the years 1959 and 1961 could be well imagined. They had all continued to remain frozen in a state of suspended animation for decades already.

While the BJP and the UP Government battle for peace in Ayodhya, the Prime Minister is in deep slumber from July 1991 to April 1992, doing nothing, virtually nothing 

2.17. While the judicial proceedings were going on at snails pace, and gave no hope of reconciling the mass urge on the Ayodhya issue with the judicial pronouncement on the acquisition case, the Narasimha Rao Government had virtually forgotten the Ayodhya issue. From July 1991 to April 1992 the Prime Minister did nothing, virtually nothing. This despite the fact that the BJP was giving constructive cooperation to this Government, at great political cost to itself but, in the national interest. The Prime Minister should have, as he alone could have, pursued the efforts of Shri Chandrashekhar from where they had come to an abrupt end. But he was totally unconcerned about this highly sensitive and emotive national issue despite the fact that the Ayodhya issue had become the agenda-setter in national politics since 1989 and had become the most dominant election issue, in 1991.

Sants meet Shri Narasimha Rao in May 1992 to remind him of his responsibility and to announce the decision of Kar Seva in July, and plead with him to restart the VHP - AIBMAC dialogue

2.18. The total inaction of the Prime Minister compelled the Sants (who had decided at their meeting in Ujjain in the first week of May 1992 to start the Kar Seva from July 9, 1992) to sock a meeting with the Prime Minister. The meeting was arranged by Swami Chinmay-ananda (who is also an MP) through Shri Jitendra Prasad, adviser to the Prime Minister, on May 9, 1992. The Sants who met Shri Narasimha Rao were: Mahant Avaidyanathi, Vamdeoji Maharaj, Paramahans Ramachandradas, Mahant Nrityagopal Das, Swami Paramanandji, Swami Chinmayananda, and Pujya Shri Pejawar Swamiji. The meeting took place at 9.00 p.m. Swami Chinmayananda, Mahant Avaidyanath, Vamdeoji Maharaj, Pujya Shri Pejawar Swamiji and Paramahans Ramachandradas have testified as to what transpired at the meeting. The Sants told the Prime Minister:

i. "Nearly a year has passed after you became the Prime Minister and you have not even called us for a discussion.

ii. That is why we, on our own, sought this meeting with you as it should not appear that we are acting unilaterally.

iii. We have taken a decision to start the Kar Seva from July 9.

iv. We wanted to tell you this so that you will not say later that we did so without telling you.

v. You seem to have no place for Hindus in your mind - all your thinking seems to be centred on minorities.

vi. You have shut our mouth from even talking on Mathura and Varanasi by making a law that penalises anyone who questions the present status of those places with three years imprisonment."

The Prime Minister who remained silent for most part spoke to the following effect: "I want early solution, and temple construction. But the issue has got mixed up in politics. Politics should be kept away. Dharmic matters should be resolved in dharmic ways. I seek your blessings to resolve it."

To which the Sants responded:

"We can keep politics away and find a solution. Proceed from where Shri Chandrashekharji left by arranging to recommence the dialogue with the Muslims".

The meeting ended with the Prime Minister giving no indication as to what he would do. He did not ask the Sants not to commence the Kar Seva.

The Prime Minister does nothing even after that - even during May and June 1992 

2.19. The Prime Minister did nothing even after the Sants had pleaded with him on May 9, to continue from where his predecessor had left. He did nothing throughout the months of May and June, 1992.

Kar Seva commences on July 9, 1992

2.20. It was under these circumstances that the Kar Seva commenced on July 9, 1992. This set off furious activity in Courts and in Parliament. The Kar Seva went on for 17 days, from July 9 to July 26. Nothing untoward happened in Ayodhya or elsewhere. There was no turmoil anywhere except in Courts and in Parliament.

The July 1992 Karseva was not a snap decision, but a culmination of 21 months history of judicial delay, and Inaction, and neglect by the Prime Minister 

2.21. Thus, the Kar Seva in July 1992 was not a snap decision of the Sants taken in Ujjain in May 1992'. It had a background extending balk to the earlier Kar Seva in October L990 - a 21 month run-up. The culmination point of the events from October 1990 was the July Ku Seva, namely,

* the Kar Seva Satyagraha in December 90- January 91; the efforts of the movement leaders to reduce the national temperature;

* the VHP-AIBMAC talks in December 90 - February 91 and their abrupt end;

* the General Elections and assumption of office by the Narasimha Rao Government;

* the electoral mandate and obligation of the Uttar Pradesh Government to build the Temple, and the constructive cooperation to the Narasimha Rao Government by the BJP;

* the Uttar Pradesh Government's far-sighted strategy to delink the structure from the Kar Seva;

* the acquisition order to implement the delinking;

* the interim orders of the court stifling the very purpose of delimiting;

* the Supreme Courts expectation that the High Court would take up the issue for final hearing in December 1991;

* the BJP, the UP Government and the movement leaders anxiously awaiting month after month the High Court decision, and nothing happens till April 1992;

* the Prime Minister, as if impervious to the whole Ayodhya issue, does nothing for a year;

* the Sants' decision in May 1992 to recommence the Kar Seva;

* the Sants' meeting with the Prime Minister in May 1992 to announce the Kar Seva decision and, ask him to restart the VHP-AIBMAC dialogue from where his predecessor had left;

* the total and admitted inaction of the Prime Minister even thereafter, and neglect of, an explosive issue.

This is what led to the July 1992 Kar Seva. It was no sudden development or snap decision. It was a culmination of a 21 month history - history of judicial delay, and inaction, and neglect of a highly emotive problem by the Prime Minister himself.

The Prime Minister remains unconcerned till July 23, 1992

2.22. That the Prime Minister took no initiative in the matter till he met the Sants on July 23, 1992 has been implicitly admitted by the Government in its White Paper on Ayodhya. The White Paper in the chronology on Ayodhya first mentions Shri Narasimha Rao's name in the Ayodhya settlement efforts only in July 1992. (See Para 3.10 of the White Paper)

The events from July 9 to 26 - typical response of the courts, political parties and the Government

2.23. The reaction of the Government, the courts, and the non-BJP opposition parties was typical. The chronology of the events is very instructive.

8th July, 1992 Shri S.B. Chavan warns the Uttar Pradesh Government that the Central Government has constitutional obligation to perform.

9th July, 1992 The construction of platform from Singhdwar commences at Ayodhya.

10th July, 1992 Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah vacation judge of the Supreme Court sitting for the first time in his residence, asks the Uttar Pradesh Government for details of the construction.

There is an uproar in Lok Sabha. The house is adjourned.

11th July, 1992 Shri Kalyan Singh and Shri S.B. Chavan meet. Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, sitting at his residence again, warns that any permanent construction is liable to be demolished.

12th July, 1992 Shri Chavan visits Ayodhya and says that the Government would await the views of the court. But the newspapers report: "He went into the sanctum sanctorum where he was offered prasad, a garland and a Ramnami dupatta (scarf)."

13th July, 1992 Shri Chavan tells Lok Sabha that the Uttar Pradesh Government has violated court orders but the Government would wait for the judiciary's view.

14th July, 1992 Shri Chavan tells Rajya Sabha that the Babri structure would not be allowed to be touched.

15th July, 1992 The Allahabad High Court bans further construction without prior permission. But the VHP refuses to stop the construction.

The Prime Minister tells the Lok Sabha that Government will not allow the demolition of the mosque "now or two or three years hence".

The Prime Minister invites VHP leaders for talks.

The Supreme Court directs the Uttar Pradesh Government to file an affidavit on whether any permanent construction has been made.

The Central Study Team which went to Ayodhya certifies that the mosque is structurally sound but the construction under way is not temporary.

16th July, 1992 The Counsel for Uttar Pradesh Government tells the Supreme Court that the Sadhus have gheraoed the Government officials and prevented them from visiting the site, and so the affidavit could not be filed.

17th July, 1992 Shri Chavan promises to consult the party leaders to make up his mind if the violation of court orders continued.

VHP says: "42 years ago the courts had taken up the responsibility of deciding this issue but could not. Now the Karsevaks will."

18th July, 1992 The talks between Uttar Pradesh Government officials and the Sants to stop the Kar Seva end in deadlock. A large number of Sikh Karsevaks perform Kar Seva.

The National Integration Council fails to reach a consensus.

19th July, 1992 The Faizabad administration rules out use of force to secure compliance with court orders as it will lead to large scale violence and eviction of Karsevaks will he next to impossible.

AIBMAC threatens to march to Ayodhya if construction does not stop in 10 days.

The Prime Minister sends S/Shri V.N. Gadgil and Vasant Sathe to meet the RSS leaders.

20th July, 1992 The DM of Faizabad opens fresh negotiation with VHP leaders to secure compliance with High Court orders. Faizabad lawyers go on strike to support the construction. Shri Chavan tells Lok Sabha that "the Government has contingency plan to deal with the situation".

Muslim Karsevaks perform Kar Seva in Ayodhya.

21st July, 1992 Shri Kalyan Singh warns against centre sending forces and says that use of force against Karsevaks will lead to law and order crisis. The Supreme Court orders the Uttar Pradesh Government to disclose the nature of the construction.

22nd July, 1992 The Supreme Court offers to consolidate the cases and refer the issue whether temple could be constructed on the acquired site to a larger bench for day to day hearing and decision, if the Uttar Pradesh Government agrees to stop construction.

The Prime Minister meets the BJP leaders, S/Shri L.K. Advani, A.B. Vajpayee and M.M. Joshi besides Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia. S/Shri Advani and Vajpayee suggest to the Prime Minister to call the Sants and talk to them.

The Prime Minister wants suspension of the Kar Seva.

23rd July, 1992 The Prime Minister meets the Sants. The details of the meeting as testified to by the Sants are described later.

The Supreme Court gives time till 27th July to the Uttar Pradesh Government.

24th July, 1992 The Prime Minister appeals to the Sants and Mahants to stop the construction work so that the problems of the disputed structure could he solved in a time-bound manner.

25th July, 1992 The Prime Minister assures Shri Ashok Singhal through an intermediary that he would take personal interest and solve the problem in 3 months after talking to both sides.

26th July, 1992 VHP stops the construction. But Shri Ashok Singhal hints that the next Kar Seva could be around October or early November.

This chronology brings out the feverish activity when the pressure of the Kar Seva was on. The moment the Kar Seva was stopped, things went back to square one. This was true of the Government as well as the courts. Invariably, the courts got activated only when Kar Seva was announced or under way, and the moment such pressure eased, the court proceedings too returned to their original speed. Again, the courts acted, as it were, only to prevent the Kar Seva and not to expedite the case.

The Sant-PM meeting on 23 July, 1992. The Sants give 3 months time for solution of the dispute as to the structure

2.24. The Sants who met the Prime Minister on 23 July, 1992 have testified about how the meeting came to be arranged and what transpired at the meeting. The summary of their testimony is as under:

i. The Prime Minister did nothing from May 9, 1992, when the Sants met him last, to July 9, 1992 when the Kar Seva started.

ii. The Prime Minister spoke to the RSS leaders to get the Kar Seva suspended; but the RSS leaders asked the PM to talk to the Sants.

iii. The Sants were brought to Delhi by the UP Government plane on July 23. The PM had sent cars to the Airport. The Sants met the PM late in the evening.

iv. The PM said: "The situation in the country is tense; the Lok Sabha is not functioning. The opposition is attacking me as a silent spectator of the violation of the High Court orders. The Congress is also opposing me. The Muslims too are turning against me. I request that the Kar Seva be stopped. I will try to solve the problem."

v. The Sants said: "The Babri structure is a symbol of slavery and it must go. In the face of the Shah Bano Case and Cauvery case how could it be said that the Hindus alone are violating court orders."

vi. The PM did not answer.

vii. The PM then said: "I am attacked on all sides. Please give me some time. I will continue where Shri Chandrashekhar had left and solve the problem in four months."

viii. The Sants said: "We have no trust in the Congress or in you, because you have lost the capacity to tell the truth on this issue on account of vote politics. But we are prepared to give three months time as you are honestly and sincerely confessing your difficulties and promising to resolve the issue. However, four months is inauspicious as Shri V.P. Singh took four months time and it ended in violence; therefore, three months."

ix. It was agreed to by the PM that "if we get proof from the evidence submitted by both sides that a temple was demolished to build the mosque, the place would be given to the Hindus; and that things would proceed from where the Chandrashekhar Government had left".

x. The Sants said: "You are calling the disputed structure a mosque which no Prime Minister has done. How could it be a mosque where pooja goes on?"

xi. The PM said: "I do not remember; I will have to check up the Lok Sabha proceedings."

This is how the meeting ended and, as explained later, the Kar Seva was suspended by the Sants.

Kar Seva suspended, things back to square one, the Prime Minister changes track and the Supreme Court drops the idea of transfer of the cases

2.25. The moment the Kar Seva pressure eased, things were back to their frozen state. The Prime Minster's speech in the Lok Sabha on 27th July, 1992 was at variance with what he had told the Sants on 23rd July, 1992. The Prime Minister told the Lok Sabha: "The Sadhus were coming in the way of stoppage of construction. The Chief Minister (of UP) said he could not shoot them. A constitutional hurdle had to be overcome... I called them in the interest of the nation. They alone could be instrumental in stopping the work" (Indian Express, Madras Edition, 27th July, 1992). The Prime Minister had not told the Parliament what the Sants had said. The Sants had clearly told the Prime Minister that they were giving three months to start from where Shri Chandrashekhar had left, and to solve the problem by handing over the site to the Hindus if evidence was produced to prove that a temple existed before the mosque was constructed. This is precisely what the Prime Minister withheld from the public and the Parliament.

The Supreme Court too, finally and on August 4, 1992, dropped the offer to transfer the acquisition cases to itself and decide them again because, according to it, the cases in Allahabad High Court were far advanced. Even the Uttar Pradesh Government which had filed the application for transfer felt that way and did not insist on the transfer on the premise that the High Court cases had advanced too far. Instead, the Supreme Court appointed a 3-member Commission to probe the construction and report whether there had been any violation.

And for months thereafter, nothing moved. That inspite of the fact that while concluding its order the Supreme Court had directed: "The High Court will deal with and dispose of the matters most expeditiously."

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