Hindu Vivek Kendra
A RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE PROMOTION OF HINDUTVA
   
CHAPTER - VI
THE CONDUCT OF THE NARASIMHA RAO GOVERNMENT: CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO THE KAR SEVA AND DEMOLITION ON DECEMBER 6, 1992

1.1. The circumstances that led to the outburst of the Karsevaks who destroyed the Babri Masjid are an important and instructive part of the current history of India. While the implications and consequences of this event are important in the context of the future of India, what led to this event is an equally important area of study for not just historians, but political parties as well. The profane manner in which the Central Government and the Congress Party have explained the event - as an act of betrayal and a violation of the court order - and the equally profane manner in which the other pseudo-secular parties have described the event - as the failure of the Central Government to protect the "mosque" ignores the history of this country as well as the brooding national mind that had been held in check for too long. What happened at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 has as its background the highly provocative context in which the Kar Seva took place.
 

Demolition, not inspite of court orders or the actions of Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, but precisely because of them

1.2. The chronology and narration that follow will establish that the demolition took place not despite the court orders or the efforts of Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, but precisely because of them. To put it in brief, the Karsevaks were impelled to demolish the structure by the provocative actions of the Certral Government, by its taking refuge under an aloof judiciary, which in turn was dealing with the question as if it was an ordinary property dispute which could be handled by the usual adversary procedures of bilateral litigation. The forces of unreason were met with equal anger by the Karsevaks. The Narasimha Rao Government knew well that this emotive issue involved the people at large, and not just a handful of leaders. But the object of the Government was to deal not with the people which it left to the Uttar Pradesh Government to tackle, but to score over the leaders of the Ayodhya movement by holding the Courts against them. The chain of events and circumstances that inexorably led to the demolition, and how the strategy of the Prime Minister to turn the tables on the Ayodhya movement boomeranged on the disputed structure, are explained in this chapter.
 

The threefold objective of the Narasimha Rao Government's strategy on Ayodhya was:

i. to force a confrontation between the Court and Uttar Pradesh Government and use that to sack the latter;

ii. failing that, to force a symbolic Kar Seva and to discredit the Ayodhya movement; and

iii. either way, to give a clear signal to the Muslim leaders that Shri Narasimha Rao is wholly with them

1.3. The Prime Minister's strategy to deal with the Ayodhya movement, explained in detail in the succeeding paragraphs, was conditioned by and aimed at three specific objectives. This strategy was obviously designed after the Prime Minister came under severe attack from his second in command, Shri Arjun Singh, that the Prime Minister was soft on the BJP. So the Prime Minister had, as of political compulsion, to prove his secular credentials by designing a strategy that would rule out such a charge. The strategy of the Prime Minister had the following three objectives:

* First, to force a confrontation between the Courts and the Uttar Pradesh Government, secure an adverse order from the Courts like contempt or receivership against the Uttar Pradesh Government, and then dismiss it;

* Second, if and when that failed, to force a symbolic Kar Seva again through the Courts and thereby discredit and humiliate the leadership of the Ayodhya movement and the BJP; and

* Third, either way, to give a clear and unambiguous signal to the Muslim leaders that it is the Congress - and the Prime Minister - alone who could help them to maintain their hold over their community.

The overall purpose of this threefold design was to checkmate Shri Arjun Singh who was accusing the Prime Minister of being soft on the BJP. Thus, the entire approach of the Prime Minister to Ayodhya was conditioned by his personal political compulsions, intra-party difficulties, and electoral objectives of attracting the Muslim block votes. That this strategy greatly compromised the Courts and also peace and tranquillity of the country did not appear to matter to the Prime Minister at all.
 

The Prime Minister foists an impossible task on the Ayodhya movement in order to prevent the construction and to enforce the Court orders 

1.4. The Prime Minister chose to act clever when utmost sincerity was demanded of him as a national leader. He forced on the Ayodhya leaders the impossible task of enforcing the Court order banning the Kar Seva, and was enjoying the sadistic pleasure of putting his political adversaries in a tight spot. What the Prime -Minister expected from his design was construction in violation of Court orders, which he could easily use for fixing the Uttar Pradesh Government and the BJP, and sacking Shri Kalyan Singh. But neither he, nor anyone else could anticipate the mass fury that consumed the very structure that his party had held out as synonymous with secularism. If anyone did put the structure into danger at the hands of Karsevaks, it was the Prime Minister himself; he accomplished this by devising a plan that was to politically reward him and his party, and put the Ayodhya movement on the defensive. The disciplined leaders of the movement were willing to swallow the humiliation for the time being as they had done in the past, though not in such acute manner; but not the Karsevaks for whom the cause of the temple and the values that the movement symbolised mattered above everything else.
 

The Prime Minister changes his tone and tack immediately after the Kar Seva pressure eased

2.1. The moment the Kar Seva pressure on the Central Government eased due to the Sants' decision to stop the Kar Seva on July 26, 1992, the Prime Minister made a statement in the Lok Sabha completely changing his tone and tack.
 

The disputed structure becomes "mosque" again

2.2. In the appeal to the Sants and Mahants which was read to the Karsevaks in Ayodhya on July 24, the Prime Minister had pleaded for the stoppage of the Kar Seva "so that the problem of the disputed structure could be resolved in a time-bound manner". In fact, the choice and use of the word "disputed structure" in the appeal was deliberate, as, on the previous day, the Sants had objected to Shri Narasimha Rao referring to the structure as a "mosque", unlike the previous Prime Ministers who had always labelled it as a disputed structure. The Press reports indicated that the Sants were happy with the Prime Minister using the agreed expression "disputed structure" instead of the word "mosque". However, in his statement in the Lok Sabha on July 27, 1992 the Prime Minister having secured the Sants' consent to stop the Kar Seva by accommodating them for a day with the word "disputed structure" went back to the word "mosque". So the disputed structure became a "mosque" again.
 

"Solution of the disputed structure in three months" becomes "efforts to solve in three months"

2.3. Second, while the Prime Minister had told the Sants that "the problem of disputed structure could be solved in a time-bound manner" in the three months period given by the Sants, his statement to the Lok Sabha was that "the efforts to resolve the dispute could be proceeded within a time-bound manner", thus indicating that there could be no solution in three months.
 

The Prime Minister's commitment to the Sants to clear the way for Kar Seva held back from the public

2.4. Third, the Prime Minister had told Pujya Shri Pejawar Swamiji that he wanted the Kar Seva suspended to enable him to remove the hurdles in the way of the Kar Seva, which indicated that he had agreed to delink the Kar Seva from the dispute on structure; but, in his statement to Lok Sabha, there was not a word on removing the impediments in the way of Kar Seva. Pujya Shri Pejawar Swamiji has testified on how he met the Prime Minister and what transpired.

"Swamiji met Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao at his residence in Delhi at his instance, when Swamiji was proceeding to Badrinath for Chaturmas. Shri Narasimha Rao desired that Swamiji should presuade the Dharmacharyas to stop the Kar Seva as ordered by the High Court. Swamiji said that he would try, provided all impediments in the way of Kar Seva are removed. The Prime Minister said he would try after the Kar Seva is stopped."

Not a word in the statement to the Lok Sabha that he had given such a commitment on Kar Seva.

2.5. Thus, having got the Sants to agree to what he wanted the Prime Minister obviously changed his track.
 

VHP refutes Prime Minister's statement immediately

2.6. Shri S.C. Dixit, a VHP leader, while speaking in the Lok Sabha on July 28, the day after the Prime Minister's statement, refuted the Prime Minister's version and said: "There is difference between Prime Minister's understanding and that of the Sadhus on what transpired between them and this should be cleared before any negotiation. The Sadhus and Mahants will give three months time to the Government to solve the problem after which the process of negotiation will no longer be binding on them."
 

The VHP maintains its position, stated on July 26, 1992, that if the problem is not solved within 3 months, the Kar Seva will commence in November

2.7. The VHP's decision to call off the ongoing Kar Seva on July 26, 1992 was subject to the express announcement that it would be resumed at the end of the three month period. It has consistently maintained this position. The published news reports make the VHP position explicit:

26th July, 1992 While announcing the suspension of the Kar Seva, Shri Ashok Singhal said: The next phase of the karseva could be around October or early November. By then the three months time-frame that the Prime Minister has sought from the VHP to find a final solution would be over.

28th July, 1992 Shri S.C. Dixit told the Lok Sabha that after the three months period, the process of negotiation will not bind the VHP.

21st Sept., 1992 Shri Ashok Singhal said that the Temple Renovation Committee would meet on October 30-31 to take a decision on continuing the Kar Seva and that the VHP was ready to cooperate with the Government while being fully ready for confrontation.

29th Sept, 1992 4000-5000 Sants are expected to congregate in Delhi on October 31 to finalise the timing of the Kar Seva which Is likely to take place In November.

16th Oct., 1992 The Counsel for the Uttar Pradesh Government told the Supreme Court that "we have assurance that nothing would be done on the Government acquired land till the end of November 1992".

18th Oct., 1992 The VHP leaders made an appeal to the Prime Minister to clarify his stand on the disputed Ayodhya shrine to ensure smooth passage of the proposed Dharma Sansad meet on October 31.

20th Oct., 1992 Shri Ashok Singhal made it clear that no further time limit would be given to the Prime Minister after October 23, and that the temple construction would start very soon. The meeting of Dharma Sansad has been called on October 30 to decide the course of action.

27th Oct., 1992 The RSS said that the three months period requested by the Prime Minister for thrashing out an amicable solution had lapsed with no perceptible results achieved by the Government. 

28th Oct., 1992 The VHP said that Kar Seva will resume by November end. 'As far as the VHP is concerned, the November 8 round will mark the end of the dialogue. It has been left to the Dharma Sansad to fix the exact date.

2.8. Thus the VHP was never in doubt, and never left anyone in doubt, about what the 3 months period was for and when the Kar Seva would recommence. On 26th July, 1992 when the Kar Seva was suspended, the VHP had made it clear that it would resume Kar Seva in November. Ignoring everyone of these facts, the White Paper of the Government says that the decision to resume the Kar Seva announced on October 30-31 was sudden and inexplicable and was a unilateral course to disrupt the negotiations. This is a false statement. There was nothing sudden or inexplicable about the announcement on October 30-31 about the resumption of Kar Seva. The announcement was totally consistent with the stand taken by the VHP from day one after the July Kar Seva, namely, that it would resume Kar Seva in November.
 

The hydra-headed strategy of the Prime Minister to deal with the Ayodhya issue and to corner the Ayodhya movement leaders, the BJP and the Uttar Pradesh Government

3.1.1. The multi-pronged strategy of Shri Narasimha Rao to deal with the Ayodhya issue was aimed to achieve the threefold objective (explained in Para 1.3) and to corner and fix the Ayodhya movement leaders, the BJP and the Uttar Pradesh Government for his political gain over his rivals in his party. He played a petty political game in respect of a major national issue. The hydra-headed strategy of the Prime Minister was:

* First, to delay and use the delay as a method of passing time; and delay the start of even the dialogue between the VHP and the AIBMAC.

* Second, when the delayed dialogue started, to keep it going without breaking and to no solution - so as to mark time.

* Third, to use different and independent channels (as Shri V.P. Singh had done) and circulate different proposals with no intention to own any, and when any proposal made any headway, to disown it and, in the process, make the open talks a farce.

* Fourth, to attempt to divide and wean away some of the Sants so as to divide the Ayodhya movement.

* Fifth, to hold back the evidence collected by the Special Cell headed by Shri Naresh Chandra, the public disclosure of which would have settled the issue. 

* Sixth, to take public positions that made the Government clearly and overtly anti-Temple.

The unfoldment of the Prime Minister's strategy took him closer to Shri V.P. Singh who had employed most of the very means, and failed, during the year 1990. Even after having known what Shri Chandrashekhar did between December 1990 and February 1991 Shri Narasimha Rao chose the V.P. Singh method of multiple agencies instead of the open dialogue as the only method. Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, thus, appeared to be an anagram for Shri V.P.Singh.
 

The revival of VHP-AIBMAC dialogue - delay as a method of dealing with the Ayodhya issue

3.2.1. Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao promised in the Lok Sabha on July 27. 1992 that he would "revive the efforts in this regard by the previous Government that had remained unfinished".
 

For Shri Chandrashekar, it took 20 days to start, but for Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, it took 70 days!

3.2.2. The promise to revive the dialogue was made on July 27, 1992 and the actual revival of the dialogue was on October 3, 1992, that is, 70 days thereafter, this was to revive from where it stood suspended and not to start anything afresh like talking to the two sides and make them agree to participate in the dialogue. In contrast, Shri Chandrashekhar was sworn in: on November 10, 1992, and the first round of dialogue between 'the VHP and the AIBMAC had taken place by the 1st of December, 1990, that is, within just 20 days. His Government could get both sides not just talk, but agree on what to talk and also to what end.

3.2.3. Shri Narsimha Rao had no such untreaded area to begin with. The dialogue could have been restarted from where it was left within a couple of days, if the performance of his predecessor Government was any guidance. And yet the Rao Government took 70 days to recommence from where it stood suspended on 6th February, 1991. This is how Shri Rao lost mm than two thirds of the time he had secured from the Sants to solve the issue.
 

"Record not available" - an absurd alibi for the delay

3.2.4. As to how the Rao Government managed to delay it so long, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who participated in the talks in 1990-91 and also in 1992, has said in his testimony, that "even the delayed dialogue commenced only under pressure from Parliament, and not by the volition or initiative of the Government". He further said that "the reason given for the delay was that the records of the previous dialogue were not available! It was a mockery."
 

Another reason given for delay - 'Getting the documents authenticated' - is false; authentication was mostly over in February 1991

3.2.5. In attempting an explanation of how this delay occured, the Government ended by telling a blatant lie. The White Paper says:

"As a follow up measure, a special cell set up in the Prime Minister office which started its work of collection, authentication and examination of the record relating to the negotiations started by the previous Government..."

How blatant a lie it is, is demonstrated by the last para of the "Note on the negotiations relating to Ramajanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute during 1990-91" made Government itself. It reads as follows:

"For the authentication of the archaeological and historical documents, letters had been written to the National Archives of India, Archaeological Survey of India and the Indian Council of Historical Research. The National Archives and the Archaeological Survey of India returned the documents after due authentication. The Indian Council of Historical research authenticated the documents pertaining to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, but have so far not authenticated the documents relating to the BMAC. As regards the revenue and legal documents, the process to authenticate these could not be completed since there was a sudden change in the political situation consequent on the announcement for elections to the Lok Sabha."

3.2.6. Thus the authentication of historical and archaeological documents was completed and the legal and revenue documents were in the process of identification even prior to-the announcement of 1991 General Elections.

3.2.7. The White Paper writers were obviously unaware that the Note extracted above was also prepared by the very Ministry of Home Affairs which prepared the White Paper. 

3.2.8. So, delay as a method of dealing with the Ayodhya issue was one of the methods employed by the Narasimha Rao Government.
 

To keep the dialogue going without breaking and to no objective or solution, so as to mark time

3.3.1. The purpose of the dialogue initiated by the Narasimha Rao Government was the dialogue itself. Testifying to the difference between the dialogue that took place during December 1990-February 1991 and the dialogue under the present Government, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who participated in both, and who, in fact, was instrumental in organising the first, testified as follows:

"When the dialogue was started in December 1991, Shri Chandrashekhar set a very clear objective. The objective was to settle the dispute and for that purpose we have to refer the issue, whether a Hindu structure existed prior to the disputed structure, to the Supreme Court under Article 143. The dialogue is to secure all evidence to make the reference and to reduce the area of difference. He was very clear about what was expected of the dialogue."


"Keep the talk going, shall see later what we want out of it", says Shri Rao 

3.3.2. Shri Shekhawat continued: "Shri Narasimha Rao was a contrast. When I asked him what was the objective of the dialogue and what should be its direction, he said: "We shall see that later, for the present, keep the talks going." 

3.3.3. It is not that Shri Shekhawat was saying all this after the event. As early as October 18, 1992 the Indian Express had reported about the manner in which the dialogue was going on. The report which was never contradicted read:

"The VHP and BJP leaders have begun to demand clarification from the Prime Minister because they feel that he is simply marking time through the current dialogue. Sources close to Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the only BJP leader to participate in the dialogue, indicated that he is unhappy with the stance adopted by the Government which he finds in sharp contrast to the straight-forward approach of his friend Mr. Chandrashekhar who had undertaken a similar exercise during his tenure as Prime Minister."

"Sit outside -the Room", S/Shri Pawar and Shekhawat are told, and "keep advising" 

3.3.4. Shri Shekhawat also revealed a stunning fact about how he was involved in the dialogue of 1992.

"The idea being to continue from where the dialogue stood suspended, I was requested to involve myself, but not participate, in the dialogue. How was it possible? The suggestion was that Shri Sharad Pawar and myself would be sitting in the room next to the Hall where the dialogue would be on and as and when need arises some one would come out and consult Shri Pawar or me. While I refused to be involved that way, Shri Subodh Kant Sahay strongly protested and said that both myself and Shri Pawar should participate in the dialogue."

Mercifully the two were allowed to participate in the talks.


To use different and independent channels and circulate different proposals, with no intention to own any so that the open talks become a farce 

3.4.1. This was a strategy borrowed directly from Shri V.P. Singh. There were at least four Ministers from Shri Narasimha Rao's cabinet who were involved in negotiations, as distinct channels - Shri Sharad Pawar, Shri Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, Shri Kamalnath, and even Shri Balaram Jhakar at some stage. A group of journalists and a top intelligence official were also involved in crucial formula making.

3.4.2. Different persons were approached to moot varying formulae for settlement. This included even very distinguished personalities like Pujya Pejawar Swamiji and the former president, Shri R. Venkatraman.
 

Efforts through Pujya Shri Pejawar Swamiji and Shri R. Venkatraman

3.4.3. In his testimony Pujya Pejawar Swamiji says as under on his involvement:
 

i. After Chaturmas, in September 1992, Swamiji had another meeting with the Prime Minister at the latter's instance.

ii. At the meeting, the Prime Minister explained the developments to Swamiji and suggested that the temple could be built 10 feet away from the disputed structure.

iii. In response, Swamiji said that no one would accept the suggestion.

iv. Later, Swamiji met Shri. R. Venkatraman, the former President of India, at Madras. Shri Venkatraman suggested that out of the three domes, two domes could be given to the VHP for constructing the Temple and the third would be kept "as it is" as a national monument. Swamiji said that this could be kept as a national monument.

v. Swamiji conveyed to the Secretary to the Prime Minister that the proposal of Shri R. Venkatraman could be considered if permission for Kar Seva was given.


Shri Kamalnath meets Shri Advani and Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, but Prime Minister disowns the emerging solution 

3.4.5. Shri L.K. Advani the Leader of the Opposition has testified to the efforts that were made by Shri Kamalnath, the Minister of State for Environment. The summary of Shri Advani's testimony is as under:

a. Shri Kamalnath began meeting Shri Advani in July 1992, and discussed the Ayodhya issue on many occasions - the last such discussion being in the 2nd week of October 1992.

b. This prompted Shri Advani to tell the Prime Minister sometime in July 1992 that Shri Kamalnath had been meeting him on the Ayodhya issue to which the Prime. Minister said "okay".

c. Subsequently, Shri Kamalnath met Shri Advani on many occasions in September and October 1992. In the meetings, particularly in September/October 1992

i. Shri Advani told Shri Kamalnath that the Central Government should expedite the acquisition case in Allahabad.

ii. He told the Minister of State that if the judgement was in its favour the VHP could start construction, and even if it went against, as 80% of the acquired land belonged to VHP, construction could start on that part of the 2.77 acres.

iii. Shri Kamalnath said that Shri Advani's perception was not correct.

iv. The next day, he said that that was not possible and it was wrong to express optimism about a favourable judgement.

v. Two or three days later, that is, on 8th or 9th October 1992, the Minister came back and suggested that if the centre acquired the land, "we can bypass the courts".

vi. He also said that Uttar Pradesh Government having acquired the land for tourist purposes and intending to use it for temple, there was a flaw in the case.

vii. Shri Kamalnath then asked: "suppose the Central Government acquires the land for building a temple and gives it to the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas on the condition that the structure was not touched till there was a judicial verdict, would it be acceptable?"

viii. Shri Kamalnath's suggestion was that the dispute as to the structure could be settled by agreement or judicial verdict.

ix. Shri Advani said that there was nothing wrong with the proposal except that for "judicial verdict", he would suggest "due process of law" as there could be a legislative solution also which Shri Kamalnath found acceptable.

x. The next day or the day 'after that, at the Prime Minister's instance, Shri Nanaji Deshmukh of the RSS met him. When Nanaji mentioned to him the Kamalnath proposal, the Prime Minister said that "there is no such proposal".

xi. When Shri Kamalnath met Shri Advani the latter referred to the Prime Minister's remark to Nanaji to which Shri Kamalnath's reply was that perhaps the Prime Minister had thought of the proposal as his trump card and its premature revelation had possibly upset him.

xii. At this stage Shri P.R. Kumaramangalam who was also a negotiator, disapproved of the Kamalnath proposal and told Shri Advani that the Prime Minister had not authorised Shri Kamalnath to make any effort on Ayodhya.

xiii. At that stage, Shri Advani washed his hands off all negotiations.

3.4.6. Even as Shri Kamalnath was negotiating with Shri Advani, he also mentioned the same formula to Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and the latter also agreed that it was a workable solution.

3.4.7. On November 11, 1992, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat told the Indian Express that "too many cooks were spoiling the broth. Shri Advani approved of the Kamalnath package after discussing with VHP and RSS." He also confirmed that "the Prime-Minister said that he was not aware of any package".
 

Efforts through the medium of three journalists and an intelligence official 

3.5.1. Three leading journalists came from the National Integration Council meeting on November 23, 1992 to Keshav Kunj, the RSS headquarters at Delhi, and met Professor Rajendra Singh, a top leader of the RSS. They had after meeting the Prime Minister, brought with them a draft agreement between the Government and the VHP. The draft agreement provided as follows:

a. The Phase I of Temple construction will commence on the 2.77 acres with the construction of Singhdwar for which plans would be submitted.

b. During the Phase I construction, status quo shall be maintained about the disputed structure and the disputed area other than the 2.77 acres.

c. The maintenance of the status quo shall be the joint responsibility of the Ramajanmabhoomi Nyas, the Uttar Pradesh Government and the Central Government.

d. An observer appointed by the Supreme Court shall monitor the safety of the disputed structure.

e. While the Phase I construction is in progress the Government of India will try to get the dispute about the structure settled through bilateral negotiations or other means. 

3.5.2. An identical proposal was given by a top ranking Intelligence official also. The three journalists and the IB official concerned had direct access to the Prime Minister. Professor Rajendra Singh has testified to this effect. This proposal too fell through as obviously the Prime Minister having first agreed appeared to have retracted later. 

3.5.3. So whatever the proposal in circulation, they followed the prescription of delinking the Kar Seva from the structure which is a BJP solution, and the only practical one - to divide the issue between the immediate need and the ultimate issue. But the obituary of every proposal of which the Prime Minister must have been fully aware, whether authorised by him or not authorised, was pronounced by him alone.

This is how different proposals were mooted through different channels, and the Prime Minister finally disowned everyone of them.
 

Attempts to divide the Ayodhya movement leadership 

3.6.1. The Prime Minister also attempted to divide the Ayodhya movement, not just through known operators like Chandra Swami (whose intimacy with the Prime Minister is a matter of public knowledge), but also personally.
 

Shri Chandra Swami's attempts

3.6.2. As early as August 22, 1992, Shri Ashok Singhal of the VHP charged Chandra Swami with trying to create a rift among the VHP leadership.
 

Attempts through emissaries

3.6.3. A telling incident of the Prime Minister's attempts to divide the Sants from the VHP' and to create a rift in the leadership of the movement has been testified to by Pujya Shri Vamdeoji, Chairman of Ramajanmabhoomi Nirmana Krama Samiti. According to Vamdeoji, he had a meeting with the Prime Minister at the latter's residence on 5th October. He was accompanied by Swami Viyogananda, Ramakrishna Das, and Ramte Yogi. The Prime Minister bluntly told Swamiji that the Temple would be constructed but only outside the existing structure. This he stressed thrice. Swamiji concluded from this that there was no point in meeting the Prime Minister again. Accordingly, he told the Sant Sammelan on 30-31 October that he personally would not meet the PM even if pressed to do so by the Sammelan.
 

On 10.11.1992 An emissary of the Prime Minister came to Ayodhya at 6 p.m. and invited him to see the Prime Minister. Vamdeoji refused, in view of what the Prime Minister had already and categorically told him in their meeting on 5th October.

On 12.11.1992 The Home Minister's emissary (Mahesh Pathak) came to Mathura and requested Vamdeoji to see the Prime Minister. He refused again.

On 25.11.1992 Shri Ved Prakash Vaidik, an emissary of the Prime Minister, came to Vrindavan at 2 p.m., and invited him to see the Prime Minister. Vamdeoji refused again.

On 26.11.1992 At 8 p.m. three persons - Shri Rajeev Tyagi an MP and emissary of Shri P.R. Kumaramangalam, Shri Pradeep Mathew, an ex-MLA, and Shri Gokul Chand Sarpanch - came and asked Vamdeoji to meet the Prime Minister. Vamdeoji refused and said that the Kar Seva date would not be changed. He said that if they allow Kar Seva on 2.77 acres, talks about the structure can go on.

On 30.11.1992 Mahant Seva Das of Faridkot met Vamdeoji at Ayodhya and pleaded for change of the date from December 6.

Vamdeoji said, "It is impossible."

The Mahant said, "Sant Mahatma should take over the work in their hands; the VHP should be excluded from construction work."

At this point Shri Giriraj Kishore of the VHP came. He said, "If the Congress declares the site as Ramajanmabhoomi in Parliament, the VHP will withdraw. Then Sants can construct the Temple according to the plan. VHP has no objection at all."

Then Mahant Seva Das said, "I have come after meeting the Prime Minister. The Government would not permit construction on 2.77 acres, nor declare it as Ramjanmabhoomi."

Pujya Vamdeoji closed the discussions thereafter.


Yet another attempt

3.6.4. The most explicit attempt by the Prime Minister to divide the movement - which attempt he made personally - has been testified to by Swami Paramahans Ramachandradas. He has testified:

i. Towards the end of November 1992, he received through emissiaries many invitations from the Prime Minister to meet him alone.

ii. Being the head of the Ramajanmabhoomi Nyas he could not accept to meet the Prime Minister alone, and so he avoided meeting the Prime Minister.

iii. Then came a letter from the Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath, Shri Shantanandji Maharaj, in which he had said that the Prime Minister wanted Rama Mandir to be built by the Sants, so politicians must be excluded and only Sadhus should be involved.

iv. After seeing the letter of the Shankaracharya who was an elderly Sant, Swami Paramahans felt that perhaps the Prime Minister was seriously thinking of getting the Mandir built only through the Sants.

v. Therefore, Swami Paramahans changed his mind and informed the Maharaja of Ayodhya who said that he would accompany the Swami to meet the Prime Minister.

vi. Swami Paramahans refused to go by the Government plane and informed the Delhi office of the VHP to pick him up from the Airport. He straight away went to the Prime Minister.

vii. The Prime Minister said that without disrespecting the court order, the VHP could have Kar Seva on so much land as was undisputed. He also said that if the political elements were excluded, the Prime Minister would support any initiative to construct the Temple.

viii. Swamiji said: "The Sants gave Prime Minister time not only for 2.77 acres, but to decide the matter regarding the entire complex. But on August 15, the Prime Minister declared the structure as Masjid." To which the Prime Minister said that he had never used the word "Masjid". Then Swamiji remind him of the letter he had written to him to protest against his declaration, which remained unreplied.

ix. Swamiji said: "I do not say that you are dividing the Sants, but all say that you are following divisive tactics. I am also getting the same doubt now."

x. Swamiji further said: "Please talk to me only that much which I can speak to the press and the public."

xi. He continued: "I have never spoken untruth; we had not given you time to decide the acres which was always in our possession for 43 years. We have had Shilanyas in that area. We are going to have Kar Seva there and no one can stop it. You may even shoot me, but we will have Kar Seva." The Prime Minister did not reply. 

3.6.5. The Indian Express of 26.11.92 reported the news about the unpublished meeting of Swami Paramahans with the Prime Minister and said:

"Paramahans told the reporters here on Wednesday that the Prime Minister had offered to support any initiative to construct the temple provided political elements are not involved in it. The religious leader who had been flown by a special plane [this is not correct] from Ayodhya told Mr. Rao in his half an hour talk that it was impossible to exclude the VHP from the Temple building efforts."

This report, which directly implicated the Prime Minister in attempts at excluding the VHP, was not contradicted by anyone.
 

Swami Chinmayananda's public charge against the Prime Minister

3.6.6. It is not that the Prime Minister started playing the divisive game only in late November 1992. Even earlier, as Shri Ashok Singhal had already charged, Chandra Swami was at it in the month of August. A similar position was taken in public by one of the Sants and an important Ayodhya movement leader, Swami Chinmayananda, in early November 1992. Swami Chinmayananda said that "Senior VHP leaders and Sadhus were no longer prepared to negotiate with the Prime Minister, on the Ayodhya dispute" and charged Shri Narasimha Rao with "trying to create divisions among members of the committee of religious leaders set up to negotiate and holding meetings with softie of them individually".
 

No denial by Prime Minister or any one

At no point, either personally or in public, the Prime Minister contradicted the clad or even the impression that he was trying divisive means.

3.6.7. Thus, the Prime Minister tried every trick in his book - from Chandra Sward to Mahant Seva Das to the Shankaracharya Shantanadaji Maharaj - to divide the Ayodhya movement leaders, but drew a complete blank.
 

Withholding of the evidence collected by the Naresh Chandra Committee, the public disclosure of which could have solved the dispute

3.7.1. As detailed in Chapter IV, the Special Cell led by Shri Naresh Chandra had compiled overwhelming evidence in regard to:

a. the fact that the disputed structure was built by demolishing a temple;

b. the Islamic Shariat permitting the abandonment, demolition, and removal of mosques; and

c. the practice in Islamic countries of such abandonment, demolition and removal. For reasons best known to it, the Government did not think it fit to make a public disclosure of this evidence.


Taking positions that made the Government stand clearly hostile to the Ayodhya movement

3.8.1. The Prime Minister who was supposed to take a neutral position while undertaking to solve the problem clearly took an anti-Ayodhya movement line.

3.8.2. He repeatedly declared that the disputed structure was a "mosque".

On 15.7.1992 He told the Lok Sabha that the Government will not allow the demolition of the "Babri Mosque now, or two or three years hence".

On 10.7.1992 In the National Integration Council meet he referred to the disputed structure as a mosque.

On 24.7.1992 After the Sants had protested on the earlier day, he used the word "disputed structure" in his appeal to the Sants.

On 27.7.1992 Again, the Prime Minister changed over to referring to the disputed structure as a mosque - in his statement in Rajya Sabha. He also reiterated the Congress Party pledge to build temple without disturbing the mosque.

On 29.7.1992 In his statement to Lok Sabha also, the Prime Minister used the word "mosque"

On 15.8.1992 In his independence day speech, the Prime Minister said "We want a temple at Ayodhya, but masjid must not be broken."

On 10.11.1992 The Prime Minister assured the AIBMAC that the Government will not allow Kar Seva and the law will take its course.

3.8.3. Thus the Prime Minister had consistently taken a blatant pro-masjid approach - an attitude that could hardly create any confidence in the Prime Minister among the leaders of the Ayodhya movement or the Karsevaks.

It was this deliberately conceived strategy of the Prime Minister ultimately led to the disastrous result of preventing the Kar Seva on the disputed land, but ensuring the demolition of the disputed structure.
 

Sharp deterioration in the relationship between the Prime Minister and the BJP

4.1. The conduct of the Prime Minister at the time of the Kat Seva in July 1992 and from October 1992 onwards showed a contrast. While during the July Kar Seva, he sought and took the advice of the BJP/RSS leaders including S/Shri L.K. Advani, A.B. Vajpayee and Prof. Rajendra Singh, during the months of October and November, particularly towards the later half of November, he showed a perceptible distate for the suggestions and pleadings of the RSS and the BJP leadership.

4.2. There could be political reasons for this.

* First, Shri Arjun Singh had been targetting the Prime Minister - in fact, aiming at Prime Ministership - and accusing him, without naming him, of being soft on the BJP.

* Second, the BJP, which had extended co-operation of an unprecedented kind from a principal opposition party to a ruling party, revised its views on the Prime Minister and began opposing him from October, and particularly from November 1992.

4.3. First, Shri L.K. Advani who had earlier praised Shri Narasimha Rao as the best Prime Minister after Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, revised his opinion after the Stock Scam and the Solanki-Bofors Scandal, and publicly came out against the Prime Minister on October 18, 1992, accusing him of abetting corruption and saying that Ayodhya and corruption would be the nemesis of the Rao Government.

4.4. Second, the BJP came out with an official statement on November 6, 1992 characterising the Narasimha Rao Government as "a national disaster" and pledging to oust it.

4.5. Thereafter the things were never the same again. To what extent the relationship de-terioriated was evident from the fact that the last time Shri Narasimha Rao met Shri L.K. Advani was on November 18, 19.92. During the most critical run up to the Kar Seva on December 6, the Prime Minister had no communication of any kind with Shri Advani. 

4.6. Apart from the fact that the Prime Minister no more thought well of the BJP in the context of his own survival, according to Shri Advani, there could be another reason also. The Prime Minister was perhaps advised that since a showdown was inevitable with the Ayodhya movement ultimately (in view of the Congress Party's and the Prime Minister's pledge to preserve "the mosque"), why not have the showdown right now than some time later and nearer the elections? This is yet another reason, according to Shri Advani, why the Prime Minister, who was in regular communication with him, completely snapped his links with him from November 18, 1992 and never met or spoke to him. But even here the Prime Minister, according to Shri Advani, was inscrutable. 

4.7. Shri Advani, wanting to be sure that because of any personal angle which could have prompted the Prime Minister to keep away from him, the cause is not affected, suggested to his senior colleague Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee that he meet the Prime Minister. Shri Vajpayee did. But, according to Shri Advani and as is obvious from subsequent events, nothing came of that meeting too.

4.8. Thus, the irresistible inference from these developments is that the Prime Minister had really decided to confront the Ayodhya movement without seeming to do so. Was it because he thought that from the intra-party and electoral points of view, it was politically wiser to confront than to so conciliate with the BJP? It seems so. The totality of the Prime Minister's hydra-headed strategy was to give the appearance that he was working for conciliation while he had already decided on a confrontation.
 

The circumstances leading to the announcement of Kar Seva on October 30 and 31, 1992

5.1. As already explained, the Kar Seva announcement on October 30/31, 1992 was not a sudden or new development. It was the affirmation and confirmation of a decision that had already been publicly and repeatedly stated by the Ayodhya movement leaders from July to October almost every fortnight. In fact, on the very day the Kar Seva was suspended (26 July 1992) the VHP told the Karsevaks that the Kar Seva would be resumed in November after the three months deadline expired.

5.2. The principal reasons which led to the Kar Seva announcement were:

a. The Prime Minister changing his tone and tack after the meeting with the Sants in July 1992 and disowning and moving away from his assurances.

b. The inexplicable, in fact, intentional delay in the re-commencement of the VHP-AIBMAC negotiations.

c. Negotiations with the object of marking time, and with no attempt to resolve the dispute.

d. The Prime Minister using different channels of private negotiations to float different proposals and ultimately disowning all of them.

e. Direct and indirect attempts by the Prime Minister to divide the Ayodhya movement leadership.

f. The Prime Minister taking, an overt position in favour of the AIBMAC and against the Ayodhya movement, among other things, on building the temple without disturbing the "mosque".

g. Holding back the evidence collected by the Special Cell appointed by the Prime Minister, instead of making it public and using it to solve the problem, so as to justify the Prime Minister's public stand repeatedly taken that the Temple must be built without touching the "mosque".

The cumulative effect of all these factors compelled the Sants and the VHP to confirm on October 30 and 31, 1992 that the Kar Seva would commence not in November as repeatedly stated by the VHP in public, but in December, particularly on December 6, 1992. There was no surprise about the announcement at all. Only if the Dharma Sansad had decided not to do Kar Seva or to defer it, it would have been surprising. The date of the meeting of the Dharma Sansad in which over 5000 Sants were expected to participate, and eventually did was fixed as October 30 and 31, 1992, on September 29, 1992, that is, over a month earlier. So the Kar Seva announcement was no sudden or unexpected decision. 

5.3. But the White Paper published by the Government makes this announcement which it charges as sudden, inexplicable and deliberate - as intended to disrupt the negotiations and force a confrontation. This is clearly false in the face of the known facts.
 

Frantic efforts by the BJP, the VHP and the Sants to get the Central Government to delink Kar Seva from the disputed structure, and determined efforts by the Government to thwart the delinking

6.1. The far reaching move of the Uttar Pradesh Government to delink the Kar Seva on 2.77 acres from the disputed structure had been thwarted by the interim injunctions which the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court had issued at the time of the Kar Seva in July 1992. It continued to remain crippled by the interim orders as the hearings continued in the Allahabad High Court, day after day and month after month. As a result, the final disposal which even the Supreme Court expected to take place in December 1991, did not happen in July, nor in August, nor in September nor even in October 1992. Thus even a year after the Supreme Court expected the judgement on the land acquisition Writs, things stood in October 1992, where they had been in October 1991.
 

Delay in High Court judgement unexpected and inexplicable

6.2. Despite the fact that a well-meaning and the only practical solution had been caught in the maze of court proceedings, the Uttar Pradesh Government, the BJP, and the Ayodhya movement leaders were always clear that whether the judgement finally went in favour of the acquisition or against it, the Kar Seva could commence. As even if the judgement went against it, 2.04 acres out of 2.77 acres acquired being owned by the VHP, it would revert only to the Ayodhya movement and the Kar Seva could commence on that. By the time the Kar Seva decision was formally announced on October 30 and 31, 1992, the hearing on the acquisition Writs had virtually come to an end. Eventually, the hearing was concluded on November 4, 1992 and the court reserved its judgement on that day. Considering the importance of the matter and the narrow issue involved, no one expected that the judgement would not be delivered even by December 6, 1992. The Sants, the VHP, and the BJP were clear that whenever the judgement was delivered, no force on earth could stop the Kar Seva on the 2.77 acres if the court upheld the acquisition, and on 2.04 acres out of it if the acquisition was struck down.
 

The High Court judgement is delayed despite the Supreme Court request in August to expedite it

6.3. But that is where the catch was. The judgement which was reserved did not come, despite the expectation to the contrary, before December 6, 1992 and finally came, much too late, on December 11, 1992. This was despite the fact that after the July Kar Seva, the Supreme Court in its order dated August 4, 1992 had clearly spelt out how an expedited judgement of the Allahabad High Court was necessary. The Supreme Court had said:

"It is also appropriate that the High Court should decide the case most expeditiously as, indeed, we were told that the High Court is doing its best to expedite the disposal of the case. In view of the matter, it is not necessary to withdraw to this court, the proceedings now being beard by the High Court. The High Court will deal with and dispose of the matter most expeditiously."

6.4. This was in August 1992. But despite the Supreme Court order the High Court took its own time to conclude the final hearing on November 4, 1992, reserved the judgement which was badly needed before December 6, 1992, and did not deliver it even as late as 25th November, 1992.
 

The judgement does not come even after a further request by the Supreme Court in November 1992

6.5. At this stage, the Supreme Court, which had greater appreciation of the sensitive nature of the issue, again passed an order on 25th November, 1992 as under: 

"If any constructive response is coming from the State Government, we might in order to strengthen the hands of the State Government in handling the religious groups, consider making appropriate request to the High Court in the matter of a need for a most expeditious decision of the matter" (Para 9 of the order).

6.6. The foregoing assurance by the Supreme Court suggested five distinct possibilities:

a. That a request by the Supreme Court to the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court meant that the judgement regarding the land acquisition shall be delivered well before 6th December, 1992. (After all, the hearings in that case had been completed as far back as 4th November, 1992 and the judgement had been kept pending in reserve for weeks thereafter.)

b. Once the judgement was delivered, the orders staying construction activity would automatically get extinguished.

c. If the acquisition was upheld, the U.P. Government would have all of 2.77 acres to allow the construction; if the acquisition was quashed, the Ramajanmabhoomi Nyas would have 2.04 acres of land (the portion that had belonged to the Nyas before the acquisition proceedings had taken place) to carry out the Kar Seva.

d. It became obvious that, either way, the Karsevaks would get all the opportunity to do real and genuine Kar Seva on the 6th December and thereafter.

e. And once the Karsevaks got involved in Kar Seva, conserving and protecting the disputed structure thereafter would offer no problem whatever, and the State Government would be able to fulfil its undertakings given to the Supreme Court, the National Integration Council, and the High Court in letter as well as in spirit.

Therefore, neither the State Government nor the other leaders had any hesitation in giving a categorical and clear undertaking to the Supreme Court that no Court Order would be permitted to be violated. However, when the U.P. Government's undertaking had been placed on the Supreme Court file, to the shock and dismay of the respondents, all that the Supreme Court ordered was as follows:

"SHRI VENUGOPAL ALSO RECALLED TO US THE TERMS OF THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF THE ORDER MADE ON THE 25TH NOVEMBER, 1992 TO THE EFFECT THAT IF ANY CONSTRUCTIVE RESPONSE WAS FORTHCOMING FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT, WE MIGHT CONSIDER REQUESTING THE HIGH COURT FOR AN EXPEDITIOUS DECISION OF THE MATTER. SHRI VENUGOPAL SAYS THAT THE STATE GOVERNMENT BY ITS PERFORMANCE IS NOW ENTITLED TO COURT'S CONSIDERATION OF THIS PRAYER.

INDEED, IN A MATTER OF THIS NATURE, IT IS NEITHER ADVISABLE NOR PRACTICABLE TO TELL THE HIGH COURT WITHIN' WHAT TIME-FRAME IT SHOULD RENDER A JUDGEMENT; BUT HAVING REGARD TO WHAT WAS SAID ON PREVIOUS OCCASION, WE REQUEST THE HIGH COURT TO CONSIDER THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE PARTIES AND THE REQUIREMENTS OF JUSTICE AND BESTOW ON IT. SUCH THOUGHT IT MIGHT CONSIDER PROPER."

In effect then, the Supreme Court just backtracked. It did not issue any request to the High Court that could strengthen the hands of the U.P. Government. In fact, what it ultimately ordered emboldened the High Court to become totally impervious to the pleas of urgency, and to decide to give its judgement only on December 11, 1992.
 

The Ayodhya movement and the BJP leaders plead for at least the operative part of the judgement

6.8. This is what was happening in the court, particularly in the Supreme Court, to a request to get the High Court to pass an early judgement. Outside, throughout the period subsequent to the announcement of the Kar Seva on October 31, 1992, the dialogue by the Sants, the RSS leaders, the VHP leaders, and BJP leaders centered around the single plea that the Central Government should request the Allahabad High Court to deliver the judgement, at least the operative part of the judgement, before December 6, 1992 so that the Kar Seva could go on. Scores of meetings took place throughout the month of November 1992 among different persons from the Ayodhya movement and the Ministers in Shri Narasimha Rao Government, including the Prime Minister Rao himself. 

6.9. Specifically, the meetings that took place between the BJP, Ayodhya movement  leaders, and independent personalities on the one hand, and the Central Ministers on the other, were as follows:

On 2 November 1992 S/Shri Sharad Pawar and P.R. Kumaramangalam with Prof. Rajendra Singh (RSS), Shri Moropant Pingle (RSS) and Shri. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (BJP), at Bombay

On 8 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Swami Chinmayananda.

On 12 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Shri L.K.Advani.

On 17 November 1992 Shri S.B. Chavan with Shri L.K. Advani.

On 18 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Shri L.K. Advani.

On 19 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Shri Kalyan Singh.

On 20 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Prof. Rajendra Singh.

On 25 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Swami Paramahans Ramachandradas.

On 30 November 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee.

On 3 December 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Prof. Rajendra Singh.

On 5 December 1992 Shri Narasimha Rao with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh.

6.11. In all these meetings, the leaders of the movement pleaded for just one thing - let the Uttar Pradesh Government and the Central Government jointly approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for expediting the judgement. In fact, Shri Advani on 18th November 1992, Shri Kalyan Singh on 19th November 1992, and Prof. Rajendra Singh on 20th November 1992 and 3rd December 1992, appealed to the Prime Minister to take steps to ensure that if not the whole judgement, at least the operative part of the judgement, was pronounced before December 6, 1992. This plea was on the premise that the Kar Seva could go on peacefully and lawfully even if the judgement or the operative part of the judgement went against. This was not something which the leaders merely told the Government of India in private; it is their publicly stated position also. Shri Kalyan Singh publicly appealed to the Allahabad High Court on 18th November, 1992 to deliver at least the operative part of the judgement.

6.12. One of the last ditch effort was made by Shri B.P. Singhal, a National Council Member of the, BJP and a former bureaucrat. He spoke to Shri Naresh Chandra, the head of the Special Ayodhya Cell in Prime Minister's Office, on the morning of December 5, 1992, and both of them agreed that on that afternoon the Uttar Pradesh Government would plead before the Allahabad High Court that it deliver at least the operative part of the judgement, and the Counsel for the Central Government would support the plea. But when the Uttar Pradesh Government moved the application pleading as agreed, the Counsel for Central Government failed to turn up in the court, with the result that the application made by the Uttar Pradesh Government was summarily dismissed.
 

The meetings with the Prime Minister were a farce, he had already decided to thwart the Kar Seva

7.1. The only sensible solution to the Ayodhya issue pending the sensitive issue of the disputed structure was to delink the karseva, and allow the construction to go on without affecting the structure. But that that was not found acceptable to the Central Government, which raised grave questions about the Government's intentions in the matter. 

7.2. Whenever the BJP leaders or the Uttar Pradesh Government proposed the issue of Kar Seva being delinked from the disputed structure, the Prime Minister- and the Home Minister had no rational objection to that, but wanted the Uttar Pradesh Government to consent to moving the Supreme Court under Article 138(2) of the Constitution. When this suggestion was made to Shri Advani by the Prime Minister on 18th November, 1992 and by the Home Minister on 17th November, 1992, Shri Advani said that while BJP could not agree to invoking Article 138(2), that would not solve the immediate problem of Kar Seva, and that Kar Seva had to be delinked. Again, Shri Advani suggested that the Central Government could refer the matter for judicial opinion by the Supreme Court under Article 143 and need not insist on the Uttar Pradesh Government's consent. In fact, Shri Kalyan Singh told the Prime Minister that the Uttar Pradesh Government could not be party to the move under Article 138(2). He urged that Kar Seva be delinked and permitted. Even as late as 22nd November, and 24th November, 1992, Shri Advani publicly pleaded that the Kar Seva should be delinked from the structure.
 

The Prime Minister had decided to go for confrontation

7.3. But all this was a cry in the wilderness. All these meetings had no value; it was mere charade. The Prime Minister had already decided a line, the line of confrontation. But he was giving the very opposite impression, namely, that he was all for a settlement and that the BJP and the leaders of the movement were the law-breakers. The negative line pursued by the Prime Minister - to delay the dialogue and other efforts; to mark time by dialogue; to operate through multiple channels to no solution; to divide the Ayodhya movement; to hold back and put in disuse the evidence collected; to take overt position against the movement's' objectives and demands - ultimately left him with no option, but to sink more and more into the quagmire of confrontation.
 

The Prime Minister tells the AIBMAC - Kar Seva will not he permitted 

7.4. Consistent with that strategy, the Prime Minister assured the AIBMAC delegation as early as 12th November, 1992 that he "would not allow the Kar Seva and that the law would take its course"; and even before that, on 9th November, 1992, he decided to call a National Integration Council meet - the third exclusively devoted to Ayodhya. 

7.5. Subsequently, in the third and fourth weeks of November, massive and continuous reports appeared in the Press about a contingency plan the Government of India had designed - it meant the dismissal of the Uttar Pradesh Government.
 

The Central Government seeks an alibi from the court to act, but does not get any 

7.6. This contingency plan commenced with an application moved by a private party before the Supreme Court, seeking to appoint the Central Government as the Receiver of the disputed structure and 2.77 acres, and to punish Shri Kalyan Singh for contempt.

On 20th November, 1992, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Central Government asking the latter to clarify its stand on Kar Seva.

On 22nd November, 1992, reports appeared in the Press that the Central Government was expecting the Supreme Court to pave way for the next step.

On 23rd November 1992, the National Integration Council gave Shri Narasimha Rao free hand to deal with the situation.

On 24th November 1992, Shri Narasimha Rao declared that the Kar Seva was illegal and that the Central Government would implement the court orders. He also charged that the organisers had asked the Karsevaks to reach Ayodhya by 27-28 November 1992.

On the same day, the Attorney General pleaded with the Supreme Court that the court should do something as the next two days were vital. The court refused.

The newspapers reported the movement of Central forces to Ayodhya.

On 25th November, 1992, the Supreme Court refused to appoint the Central Government as Receiver.

Movement of troops had started on 19th November, 1992. By 27th November, 135 Companies of Central forces were stationed in Ayodhya, and Uttar Pradesh Governor visited Delhi setting off speculations about dismissal of the State Government.

The Prime Minister asked Shri Vinay Katiyar, MP (Faizabad) and leader of the Bajrang Dal, whether there, was a way to start the Kar Seva without violating court orders so that he, that is, the PM could get a few days more. Shri Katiyar answered in the affirmative. In confidence he explained that a portion of the platform adjacent to the former police outpost was outside the 2.77 acres, and that construction could be started there. But on 28th November the Attorney General asked the court to prevent the Kar Seva from being performed there also. The Supreme Court did not accept that plea. The Attorney General could not on his own have known of a plan which had been disclosed in confidence to the Prime Minister. Quite clearly, the latter had sought Shri Katiyar out merely to elicit any alternatives the Karsevaks may have open to them, so that he could have all of them blocked, and thereby deal a decisive blow to, the credibility of the Ayodhya movement.

7.7. Thus, the resolve of the Government to prevent the Kar Seva was evident from the course of events, notwithstanding the charade of negotiations and talks the Prime Minister was having with the Ayodhya movement leaders.
 

The strategy of the Government in the final stages of the confrontation designed in November

8.1. The Central Government strategy was evident from its conduct:

a. To keep the forces in readiness so that if the Supreme Court passed any adverse order, the Uttar Pradesh Government may be sacked on the ground of violation of the court order.

b. To ensure that by not cooperating with the State Government in delinking the Kar Seva by pleading for an early judgement by the High Court, the State Government is made wholly responsible for implementing the court orders, that is to say, that it should be made obligatory - but impossible - for the State Government to implement the court order on construction.

c. If the Uttar Pradesh Government does not eventually implement the court orders on construction, get political mileage and even dismiss the State Government thereafter.


The Prime Minister see the Ayodhya issue as only a poll problem, as a tussle between the Congress and the BJP

8.2. The Narasimha Rao Government obviously enjoyed the predicament of the Kalyan Singh Government to enforce the ban on construction of the Temple when it was, by its election mandate, obliged to build the Temple at Ayodhya. This was to heckle and to throw the BJP on the defensive - a politically sound strategy but, ethically and from the stand point of national interest, a disaster. The Narasimha Rao Government thus did not look beyond the political advantages it could get out of the difficulties of the Kalyan Singh Government.

8.3. In short, the Congress Government led by Shri Narasimha Rao saw the Ayodhya issue as only a tussle between the BJP and the Congress. And Shri Narasimha Rao also saw in it the opportunity to outwit Shri Arjun Singh. Thus Shri Narasimha Rao and his Government did not, arid could not, see beyond or rise above, the political advantages that would accrue to them by their acts or omissions, regardless whether such acts or omissions were for the larger good or not.
 

The strategy of the Ayodhya movement leaders in the final stages

9.1. When it was becoming clear that the Central Government had taken a confrontations line, the movement leaders and the Uttar Pradesh Government were working through the Supreme Court for an expedited High Court order. Because if it were an adverse order, Kar Seva would be legal as already discussed. They were hoping for the judgement before December 6, 1992, especially after the order of the Supreme Court dated 23rd November 1992. In fact, when it was announced that the High Court would deliver the judgement on December 11, 1992, the Margadarshak Mandal directed on December 5, 1992 that the Kar Seva not amounting to -construction would go on upto 10th December 1992, and that from December 11, 1992, after the judgement came out, the possibility of construction could arise.
 

Kar Seva Yatra by Shri L. K. Advani and Shri M. M. Joshi

10.1. When the BJP saw that the Narasimha Rao Government had become totally insensitive to the aspirations of the Hindus and stood against construction even when it was delinked from the structure, the party decided to send Shri L. K. Advani and Shri M. M. Joshi on a yatra to explain the position of the party and its Government to the people and to participate in the Kar Seva. Shri Advani commenced his yatra from Varanasi and Shri Joshi from Mathura.

10.2. The yatra received unprecedented response. The yatra was more to expose the Central Government's designs than to mobilise the Kar Seva. In fact, on the third day of the yatra, the two leaders had had to appeal to the Karsevaks to defer their departure to Ayodhya because of the unprecedented rush of Karsevaks to Ayodhya.
 

Unprecedented rush of Karsevaks to Ayodhya

11.1. The Kar Seva had been planned for 18 days from December 6, 1992 onwards. December 5, 1992 was the day of Gitaopadesh by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. The organisers had planned the inflow of Karsevaks so as to spread it throughout the 18-day period. But seeing the press reports of a contingency plan of dismissal of the Kalyan Singh Government, most of the Karsevaks who were to come later rushed to Ayodhya. An unprecedented number, over 75,000, had reached Ayodhya by December 4, 1992. The VHP had to issue an appeal asking the Karsevaks to stay where they were and not to move towards Ayodhya. The unmanageable number of Karsevaks as a result of provocative actions land speeches of the Central Government and pseudo-secular parties and leaders, was one of the important reasons for what happened on December 6, 1992.
 

Every one knows what happened at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, but many and certainly the pseudo-secular parties and rulers do not know why it happened 

12.1. The highly provocative structure on the one hand, government's calculated strategy to use courts to thwart Kar Seva and the provocative speeches of the pseudo-secular leaders in Parliament, set the stage for an emotive outburst.

12.2. The result was demolition - an unexpected act. The Government's efforts to prevent the construction succeeded, but only at the cost of failure to prevent demolition. The structure was demolished, not inspite of the court orders, but because of the court orders, and despite the efforts of the organisers. The role of the organisers is now a matter of public knowledge. They certainly wanted the structure to go though not the way it went. The observer appointed by the Supreme Court reported to the court on December 6, 1992 that "no construction took place" on that day. It is precisely because no construction took place that the destruction happened.
 

Demolition - the historical and immediate provocation

12.3. The historical and immediate provocation for the demolition may be summarised as below:

* The general and growing Hindu resentment against pseudo-secularism and minority appeasement;

* The allergy of most political parties to Hinduism and the consequent loss of national identity;

* The political effect implicit in the Babri structure which is an invader's victory monument;

* The deliberate pseudo-secular attempt to ignore the truth and clothe it with religious sanctity;

* The identifying of a mosque structure in Sri Rama's birthplace as a symbol of minority rights and secularism;

* The insulting interpretation of Sri Rama and the Ramayana by Marxists under the cover of secularism;

* The characterisation of Babar as secular and the Ayodhya movement as communal;

* Ignoring that the bipartite legal systems cannot solve a mass politico-religious issue;

* The admitted incapacity of the courts to decide the Ayodhya issue and yet insistence on a judicial verdict;

* The tendency of courts to expedite the proceedings that would prevent the Kar Seva, but to delay the proceedings that would help it;

* Ignoring the continuous Hindu struggle for their holy place in Ayodhya;

* Ignoring the fact that for 37 years till 1986 the idol of Rama was behind bars and under lock at Ayodhya - a most provocative sign for any Hindu;

* Forcing the Hindus to fight for everything on Ayodhya - from taking out Rama Shila yatras to Shilanyas to Kar Seva even without touching the structure;

* The attempts of V.P. Singh to divide the Ayodhya movement;

* The issue of the Ordinance and its withdrawal by Shri V.P. Singh under pressure from Marxists and Muslim fundamentalist leaders;

* The massacre of the unarmed Karsevaks by Mulayam Singh to prevent the Kar Seva;

* The suspension of the dialogue between VHP-AIBMAC after the fall of the Chandrashekhar Government;

* The total neglect by the Narasimha Rao Government of the Ayodhya issue for a whole year;

* The thwarting of the Uttar Pradesh Government's move to delink the structure from the Kar -Seva in order to make construction possible;

* The extraordinary delay in the High Court verdict on the acquisition of 2.77 acres;

* The Prime Minister going back on the assurances to the Sants in July 1992;

* The neglect of the issue by the Narasimha Rao Government even after July Kar Seva;

* The strategy of keeping the talks going to no end;

* The Prime Minister's design to divide the Ayodhya movement;

* The refusal of the Central Government to help expedite the judgement of the Allahabad High Court;

* Ignoring the fact that the December 1992 Kar Seva was the third after the, October 1990 massacre, the Satyagraha in December 1990, and the July 1992 Kar Seva;

* The strategy of rendering the construction impossible;

* The eagerness of the court to hold midnight and holiday sittings to prevent the Kar Seva; 

* The provocative speeches of pseudo-secular parties in Parliament.

12.4. The cumulative effect of all this produced a volcanic explosion at Ayodhya which could not have been controlled except by an understanding system - the Government, the courts and the political parties.
 

A spontaneous reaction, not pre-planned

13.1. The demolition of the disputed structure was an uncontrolled and, in fact, uncontrollable upsurge of a spontaneous nature which was provoked only by the callousness of the Government in dealing with the Ayodhya issue without understanding the sensitive nature of the issue; it dealt with it as an inter-party tussle between the BJP and the Congress. A straightforward Government could have tackled it differently. But the Narasimha Rao Government chose to be cunning and conceited where the greatest understanding and sincerity was warranted.

13.2. When the demolition took place, the Prime Minister charged the movement leaders with conspiracy, criminal intent, and perfidy, in an effort to conceal the fact that the demolition was just the echo of all that he and his colleagues and comrades in ideology had said and done in the months and days preceding the Kar Seva. He even charged the Ayodhya movement leaders with pre-planning and conspiring to demolish, only to retract from the charge later. More than anyone else, it was his own Home Minister who, three weeks after the Prime Minister had alleged a conspiracy, denied it. Shri S. B. Chavan stated categorically that the demolition was not pre-planned. The Pioneer newspaper carried the following report on January 3, 1993:

Union Home Minister S. B. Chavan sprang a surprise on Friday when he stated that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was not pre-planned. He said that the intelligence agencies, too, had not given any inkling of what was to happen on that fateful day.

"In fact, we have been consistently saying that if we had any prior information, we would definitely have taken preventive steps," he pointed out, adding, "Even on December 6, the observer appointed by the Supreme Court in Ayodhya reported that everything was peaceful".

The Union Home Minister, however, told journalists that the entire incident was being probed by a commission of inquiry and he could not comment on it.

When told that Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had stated that the demolition was pre-planned, Mr. Chavan reacted strongly, saying, "The Prime Minister never made such a statement". He charged the media with twisting facts and explained that the Prime Minister had actually expressed his apprehensions and stated that it had appeared that the December 6 incidents could have been pre-planned.

In an obvious change of stance, the Home Minister repeatedly clarified the Prime Minister's statement, but hastened to add that it was for the inquiry commission to arrive at a conclusion.

What is not pre-planned can only be spontaneous.

That it is the spontaneity of the Karsevaks' reaction which wiped out the disputed structure, cannot be denied even by the Narasimha Rao Government.

Appendix XIV of the Government's White Paper cites the Home Minister's Statement in Parliament on 18 December, 1992: "On 6 December 1992, initial reports from Ayodhya indicated that the situation was peaceful. However, between 11:45 and 11:50 hours about 150 Karsevaks suddenly broke the cordon and started pelting stones at the police personnel. Equally suddenly, about 100 Karsevaks broke the RJB-BM structure. About 80 Karsevaks climbed the domes of the structure and started damaging them. At 14:40 hours, a crowd of 75,000 Karsevaks was surrounding the structure and many of them were engaged in demolishing it."
 

Saintly restraint shown by the Karsevaks in the past, not just on once, but on four occasions

15.1. The Karsevaks had in the past exercised saintly restraint in the face of all provocations - not once, but four times. First in November 1989, at the time of Shilanyas. Second in October 1990, at the time of the first Kar Seva; Third in December 1990, during the Kar Seva satyagraha. And last in July 1992, at the time of the previous Kar Seva which lasted for 18 days. Despite the gravest provocations, the Karsevaks were peaceful even when bullets hit them.

15.2. It was only when their patience was tested beyond the tolerance limit of even saints, by an insincere and insensitive Government, a judicial system that is not equipped or qualified to adjudicate on such issues, and a heckling polity dominated by pseudo-secular intellectuals, parties and leaders, that they reacted by being defiant and irrepressible. The degree of their pent up anger can be gauged from the manner in which they disregarded the appeals of the BJP-RSS-VHP leaders not to harm the structure, and from the determined manner in which they overcome the efforts of RSS volunteers to physically restrain them and push them back.
 

Swami Vivekananda - on reconstruction of ravaged temples

16.1. What happened was not desecration, as only a non-mosque if it could ever be so-called was removed. How it happened was certainly a digression from the Hindu ethos. But Swami Vivekananda, whom even the Marxists have begun to revere as the model for modern India, obviously thought differently. This is what he says about the reestablishment of the destroyed Hindu temples:

"Temple after temple was broken down by the foreign conqueror, but no sooner had the wave passed than the spire of the temple rose up again. Some of these old temples of South India, and those like Somnath in Gujarat, will teach you volumes of wisdom, which will give you a keener insight into the history of the race than any amount of books. Mark how these temples bear the marks of a hundred attacks and a hundred regenerations, continually destroyed and continually springing up out of the ruins, rejuvenated and strong as ever! That is the national mind, that is the national life-current. Follow it and it leads to glory."


 
Home
Back to Index
Top