Hindu Vivek Kendra

The power of Rama and Ayodhya understood more after December 6, 1992

1.1. The aftermath of Ayodhya revealed, as never before, the depth and strength of the Ayodhya movement. The culturally Anglicised elite of India alone came to regard the demolition as "a betrayal of the nation" and as "a national shame", but the ordinary people of India appear to have owned the demolition and welcomed it. All political parties in India which had functioned in a certain environment after Independence could not correctly gauge the popular sentiments that the Ayodhya movement commanded. Even the leadership of the Ayodhya movement and the BJP which whole-heartedly supported the movement could not entirely judge the intensity of the common man's sentiment on Ayodhya. The real strength of the Ayodhya movement became manifest only after December 6, 1992. Every political party save few, all intellectuals excepting a handful, and every English language newspaper invariably, not to speak of the Government controlled Doordarshan or the foreign media which had no love for any nationalist assertion, were all aligned on one side and the people of India on the other. And yet finally it is the ordinary people who overcame the unprecedented assault mounted by the pseudo-secular political parties, leaders and intellectuals. Is' that why Mahatma Gandhi kept on expounding the power of Rama and the virtues of Rama Rajya and held out both as the model Indian and model India respectively?

Popular indignation over the Government's and political parties' shrill reaction

1.2. The shrill reaction against the demolition orchestrated by the Government, and articulated by the Anglicised Indian intellectuals which singled but Ayodhya to discredit the Hindus, brought forth even greater indignation from the masses. The debate soon turned on what we mean by secularism, communalism, and nationalism. The Ayodhya incident awakened the Muslims to realise how from election to election they had been treated as nothing but ballot papers. This has set off an internal debate the like of which the community had not witnessed. The pseudo-secular parties soon realised that the ground swell was not in favour of their style of politics. They began to change their vocabulary. The Indian Communists who till the other day had derided Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna and harassed their institutions so much, so that the Ramakrishna Mission had to claim protective minority status, are now seeking refuge in Swami Vivekananda's view of Hinduism and India! This is how the nation stands changed in the post-Ayodhya era. Every action or omission of the Narasimha Rao Government has reinforced rather than undermined this transformation.

1.3. However, this ground swell was not visible to it or to its protagonists or the pseudo-secular parties when the Narasimha Rao Government began to respond to the demolition on December 6, 1992.

The Prime Minister calling the demolished structure a mosque invites riots in and out of India, and indignation from sonic Muslim nations

2.1. In his speech telecast over the Doordarshan on the night of December 6, 1992 the Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao called the demolition a national shame and said that what was demolished was a "mosque". This was notwithstanding the fact that the Government was fully aware that it was not a "mosque". In fact, the White Paper on Ayodhya issued by the Government admits on the very first page of the document that "In effect, therefore, from December 1949 till December 6, 1992 the structure had not been used as a mosque". Page after page of the White Paper refers to the structure as a disputed structure. And yet the Prime Minister consistently - as no other Prime Minister had ever done - labelled it as a mosque; and this he did even on December 6, 1992. The consequences of this deliberate act of the Prime Minister were terrible.

First, this was a great provocation to violence in India and against India in some Muslim countries because what was actually an abandoned structure was held out by the Prime Minister himself as a mosque, and that too on the Doordarshan. Secondly, this was an invitation for condemnation by Islamic countries. If, on the contrary, the Prime Minister had told the truth, the consequences would have been entirely different.

To tell the truth that it was not a mosque, meant endorsing the BJP view

2.2. Why then did the Prime Minister deliberately refer to the structure as a mosque? Simple. It was only the BJP, the VHP and the Sants who were calling the structure a non-mosque. If the Prime Minister had told the truth, he would have been hauled up by the pseudo-secular parties and by his own colleague, Shri Arjun Singh, for endorsing the BJP stand.

Decision to rebuild "the mosque", the decision to ban RSS, etc.

2.3. The very next day, 7th December, 1992, the Prime Minister announced two important decisions:

First, the decision to ban all communal organisations, without naming any. 

Second, the decision to rebuild the demolished structure.

Both the decisions of the Government were described by the entire press and political circles as forced by the internal tussle within the Congress. Each one of them was designed to thwart Shri Rao's second in command, Shri Arjun Singh, from challenging Shri Rao's position.

While the Prime Minister was promising to rebuild "the mosque" the Karsevaks were building the Rama Temple

2.4. But even as the Prime Minister was announcing the second decision, the Karsevaks were erecting the temporary Temple for Rama Lala at the very place where the central dome of, the disputed structure had been. A 5 feet high wall was being put up. The last dome of the disputed structure had fallen at 4.50, and Shri Kalyan Singh had resigned as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at 5.30 p.m. on December 6, 1992. The re-installation of Rama and the construction of the makeshift temple for the deity, all took place under the Central rule, ironically even as the Prime Minister was announcing the decision to rebuild the "mosque".

Kar Seva on disputed site, under the rule of Shri Narasimha Rao

2.5. From the evening of Sunday the 6th December, 1992 to the morning hours of 8th December, 1992 it was under Shri Narasimha Rao's rule that the Kar Seva for temple construction took place. It was not under the rule of Shri Kalyan Singh. The 135 companies of Central Forces were the guardians for the Kar Seva. The White Paper of the Government lists phone calls after phone calls from the Home Ministry and the Home Minister to every official of the Uttar Pradesh Government, from the Chief Minister to the ADM of Faizabad, asking, pleading, and directing them to use the Central Forces. This was from 12.00 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 6, 1992. But after Shri Kalyan Singh resigned and Shri Narasimha Rao's Government ruled Uttar Pradesh through the Governor Shri Satyanarayan Reddy, the Central Government did not use these Central Forces! In fact, the Kar Seva started when Ayodhya was under President's Rule, which meant, the Prime Minister's rule. Why then did the Prime Minister not act? The Government's White Paper attempts a clever, but feeble explanation. It says:

"In view of the situation in RJB-BM complex and the presence of over 2,00,000 Karsevaks in aggressive and militant wood, the decisions about the timing of the entry of the Central Forces were left to the forces themselves."

2.6. Considering the fact that for 36 hours the Central Forces did not think it proper to act, would the same judgement not have held good for Shri Kalyan Singh also? How could Shri Kalyan Singh be faulted if he had decided not to fire upon the unarmed Karsevaks? As on the telling of the Government's own White Paper, the judgement of the Central Forces not to intervene from the evening of December 6, 1992 to the morning of December 8, 1992 to prevent the Kar Seva is justifiable, the decision of Shri Kalyan Singh not to intervene during the six hours on the afternoon of December 6, 1992 was also perfectly in order.

Court orders against Kar Seva violated only under the Central rule

2.7. Further, the violation of court orders - not to do any construction work or Kar Soya other than Kar Seva not amounting to construction - took place not when Shri Kalyan Singh was in office but under Central rule. The issue before the Prime Minister was not whether to shoot the Karsevaks, but who should order the shooting. While Shri Kalyan Singh refused to order - he said so - and paid the penalty - the Prime Minister is taking shelter under the refusal of Shri Kalyan Singh. Why did the Central Government not prevent the KarSeva? Or fire upon the Karsevaks? The reason is simple. No Government could follow such a course. Neither did Shri Kalyan Singh, nor would Shri Narasimha Rao. Does this not clearly justify the farsighted plan of the Kalyan Singh Government to delink the Kar Seva from the structure? If Kar Seva had been permitted under the delink plan, the Karsevaks would not have thought of harming the structure. And if it was right to "dismiss" Kalyan Singh for not having saved the structure, should Shri Narasimha Rao not have resigned for not having saved it either?

2.8. In any event, the important aspect of the Central rule over Ayodhya was the erection of the Temple though Kar Seva in violation of the court orders, even while the Prime Minister had been announcing the decision to construct the "mosque" at the very place.

Take-over of the site and arrests

2.9. On December 8, 1992 two moves took place, First, the Central Forces intervened at Ayodhya and took over the site; and second, Shri L. K. Advani and Shri M M Joshi were arrested along with S/Shri Ashok Singhal, V.H. Dalmia, Vinay Katiyar and Kum. Uma Bharati on frivolous charges.

Riots mostly unrelated to Ayodhya - it was more a context than the cause

2.10. During the period from December 7 to December l4 there were riots in different parts of the country. In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh many temples were destroyed and Hindus attacked. Not a word against the desecration came from any political party in India other than the BJP. Worst among the riot-affected states were Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam and Andhra Pradesh. The casualties in the Congress or Centre-ruled states were 907 and in the BJP-ruled states 154. The riots that followed were not. Hindu-Muslim riots, but clashes mostly between the rioters and the police. This view has not been contradicted, and the number of people who died in police firing indicate the truth. Again, the very fact that the riots were not widespread in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, but were more intensive outside also indicated that there were collateral reasons for the riots. In Bombay and Calcutta, the press has exposed the fact that the riots were provoked by local factors -- land disputes, private revenge, criminal gangs - and were unrelated to Ayodhya. Ayodhya provided the context, it was not the cause. It is important to recall in this context that even for a mosque far away, Al-Aqsa, there were riots in India in the early seventies, although no one in India was responsible for what happened in Jerusalem, the riots here run to a pattern.

Ban on RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal etc.; the dismissal of the BJP Governments

2.11. On 10th December, 1990 the Central Government banned the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal along with Jamait-e-Islami Hind and Islamic Sevak Sangh, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.

2.12. On 15th December, 1992, the BJP Governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were dismissed on flimsy grounds just to quell the dissent against the Prime Minister in the Congress. This action of the Government was widely condemned by the Press and the public.

Struggle for Darshan of Rama Lala again shows the power of Sri Rama 

2.13. The discontent against the Government manifested in the demand for Darshan of Rama Lala in Ayodhya. Here, too, the local authorities permitted the Darshan, but Shri Narasimha Rao feigned that he was unaware of the permission. The, local authorities, however, confirmed that they had acted on Centre's instructions conveyed via Lucknow. This candour on the part of local authorities was followed by stoppage of the Darshan. This in turn led to irresistible popular demand for Darshan; the reaction was threatening to become popular resistance when it was defused by a judgement of the Allahabad High Court permitting the Darshan of Rama Lala.

The Government move to build the Temple through an independent Trust has no takers

2.14. Another fall out of Ayodhya events of December, 6, 1992 was the acquisition of the entire Ayodhya complex by the Narasimha Rao Government by an Ordinance on January 8, 1992 for building, through a Trust, a Temple for Rama and for rebuilding, through another Trust, the demolished "mosque". For days before the actual move, the idea was floated, and it hid no takers. Yet the Government went ahead and presented a fait accompli; even then, it has no takers - neither among the Muslim leaders nor among the Hindus. In fact, the Prime Minister has tried through his emissaries, and personally also, to approach leading religious heads to head the Trust for Temple building. No one was willing. The Prime Minister personally met Shri Jayendra Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, for this purpose. The Shankaracharya told the Prime Minister that he would not head the Trust. He was equally emphatic that if all the Sants in the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas were included in the Trust, he would have no objection to be in the Trust. Before anyone else could react to the Narasimha Rao Government's proposal to rebuild the mosque, the Kanchi Shankaracharya had warned the Government not to revive the problem by attempting to rebuild the, mosque. The text of the Indian Express report read as under:

"Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamy of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham has expressed the view that the move of the Government 'to rebuild the disputed mosque' at Ayodhya would amount to 'reviving an issues closed fortuitously."

In a statement to the Indian Express, the Sankaracharya said that although the 'unexpected incidents have shocked many in the country', the issue is now closed. In a carefully worded response, especially in the context of the Government's move to rebuild the demolished structure, the Sankaracharya implicitly advised against it and indirectly referred to it as "reviving the problem." The following is the text of his statement:

"The unexpected incidents in Ayodhya on December 6, have shocked many in the country. There has never been two opinions on the need to find an acceptable solution to the Ayodhya issue. But the unexpected incidents at Ayodhya have put a full stop to the issue. Because of what happened at Ayodhya, there are tensions in some parts of doe country. The important mason for this tension is 'all politics'. At least hereafter the politicians should not attempt to revive the problem and if they refrain from doing so, that would be their greatest service to the nation. The people of India mush forgetting the unpleasant happenings, live as brothers - not like Vali and Sugreeva, but, like the ideal brothers, Rama and Lakshmana. This is our prayer to the Almighty."

Afterwards, Pujya Pejawar Swamiji and other Shankaracharyas also came out against the Government's idea of rebuilding the mosque. Now, even after two months, there are no takers for the Narasimha Rao Government's Sarkari Rama Temple and a Sarkari Babri Masjid. In fact, the Economic Times editorially mocked at the idea of the rebuilding the mosque as "Narasimha Mosque" - not the Babri Mosque.

Ayodhya movement now a multidimensional struggle

2.15. Thus between 7th and 15th December, 1992, the Narasimha Rao Government exhausted all its measures against the RSS, the VHP and the BJP - including ban, arrests, dismissal of the State Governments. But far from such measures undermining the Ayodhya movement, they created indignation and revulsion against the Central Government and also the pseudo-secular parties. In these ways the aftermath of the Ayodhya incidents of December 6, 1992 transformed the Ayodhya movement into a multidimensional struggle against the pseudo-secular parties and the present Government. A clear polarisation is taking place with the BJP emerging as the mainstay of national politics, and the national scene featuring the BJP versus the rest as the political agenda of the future. The ban on the BJP rally at Delhi, the curbs on BJP's political activities in several parts of the country, and the proposed legislation against use of religion in politics aimed against the BJP, have already enlarged the Ayodhya struggle into a massive ideological tussle between the BJP on the one hand and the Congress and ex-Congress parties along with their left allies on the other. The issues that are firmly on the national agenda are: What is nationalism? What is communalism? What is secularism? Thus the aftermath of December 6 shows that our great nation is coming into its own.

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