Hindu Vivek Kendra

Srikrishna Commission Report
Chapter III

1.1 "As far as the December 1992 phase of the rioting by the Muslims is concerned there is no material to show that it was anything other than a spontaneous reaction of leaderless and incensed Muslim mobs, which commenced as peaceful protest, but soon degenerated into riots. The Hindus must share a part of the blame in provoking the Muslims by their celebration rallies, inciting slogans and rasta rokos which were all organized mostly by Shiv Sainiks, and to a marginal extent by BJP activists."

At various places the Commission has mentioned about various Muslim organisations, and in many cases it has criticised the police for not seeking intelligence information on them. It has also said that the police stations should have a Urdu reading member to keep a tab on what is written in that press. Under the circumstances, it is not clear how the Commission has denied any role to the Muslim organisations for their role in fomenting the riots. Also see our comments on para 4 of Chapter I.

On the issue of the action of the Municipality against the illegal structures and the action by the police against the criminals, the Commission, even while accepting that they were not targeted against a particular community, says, "Some of the Muslim extremists and fundamentalists seized upon this opportunity to canvass that their religious interests were at stake and that Muslims were being subjected to systematic attack. This call to religion found a ready response amongst the Muslim youth. This explosive mixture was ready to be ignited." (Para 1.2(iv) Ch II, pg 9). If this is correct, then obviously there were some organisations that were behind the cause of further alienation of the Muslim community.

Stray incidents by the Hindu community have been converted by the Commission into a rule, and it is on this basis that it blames the Hindus for the retaliation that they have taken. If the Muslims had not acted, and if the government had taken firm action, would the retaliation have taken place? The Commission has also not gone into the reasons why the media, political leaders and ministers, has falsely reported that the Muslims were targeted in December. It has mentioned some politicians belonging to the Congress party and who were ministers at the time, for interfering with the police functioning in Vol II, but not in Vol I. It has not held any reporter or publication for this distortion. In fact, it has accepted in totality the evidence presented by media persons who have been guilty of the exaggeration of the police bias.

One journatlist, who is in the anti-Hindutva bandwagon, wrote the following prior to the report being made public: "The evidence before (the Commission) also destroyed the theory put forward by ‘progressive intellectuals’ and Muslims that the violent outburst by Muslim youth after the demolition (of the Babri structure) was not communal but aimed only at government property and personnel. Muslims attacked as many as 57 temples between December 6 and 8 and killed six policemen." (Jyoti Punwani, "Judging by silence", The Telegraph, April 25, 1998.)

1.2(i) "Turning to the events of January 1993, the Commission's view is that though several incidents of violence took place during the period from 15th December 1992 to 5th January 1993, large scale rioting and violence was commenced from 6th January 1993 by the Hindus brought to fever pitch by communally inciting propaganda unleashed by Hindu communal organizations and writings in newspapers like "Saamna" and "Navakal". It was taken over by Shiv Sena and its leaders who continued to whip up communal frenzy by their statements and acts and writings and directives issued by the Shiv Sena Pramukh Bal Thackeray. The attitude of Shiv Sena as reflected in the "TIME" interview given by Bal Thackeray and its doctrine of "retaliation", as expounded by Shri Sarpotdar and Shri Manohar Joshi, together with the thinking of Shiv Sainiks that "Shiv Sena’s terror was the true guarantee of the safety of citizens", were responsible for the vigilantism of Shiv Sainiks. Because some criminal Muslims killed innocent Hindus in one corner of the city, the Shiv Sainiks "retaliated" against several innocent Muslims in other corners of the city."

The Commission has mischievously divided the events of January to indicated that the first phase was over by Jan 5. Looking at paras 1.8 and 1.10 of Chapter II, page 14, it is clear that even on Jan 6 and Jan 7, the Hindus were at the receiving end. On Jan 7, the Commission reports that stabbing incidents accounted for 16 Hindus dead and 41 injured, against 4 Muslims dead and 12 injured. The Radhabai Chawl incident happened at 0030 hours on Jan 8. Further more, it is at Chapter II, para 1.11 (relating to the events of Jan 8) at section (ii) that the report says, "The Hindu ‘backlash’ commenced." Various inconsistencies in the report have been mentioned earlier.

On Jan 6, there were 18 stabbing incidents, in which there were 14 Hindu casualties and 2 Muslim. On Jan 7, there were 54 stabbing incidents, in which there were 57 Hindu casualties and 16 Muslim. On Jan 8, there were 66 stabbing incidents, in which there were 40 Hindu casualties and 45 Muslim. From then onwards, the Muslim casualties increased.

The Commission talks about the writings in Saamna and Navakal. But nowhere does it make any mention about the writings in the Urdu papers. The lawyers for Shiv Sena had asked the Commission to get the necessary papers, and review them by getting them translated. While it did this exercise in case of Saamna and Navakal, it refused to do so in case of the Urdu papers. In addition, the Commission has not taken into cognisance of the role of the English media and some so-called secular Marathi media in exaggerating the actions of the police in controlling the December riots. That there was this exaggeration is accepted by the Commission in Chapter II, para 1.4, page 12. The Commission does not mention specific sections of the media which falsely accused the police of targeting the Muslims when they were on the streets in December.

The Commission has come to its conclusions of the Shiv Sena ideology on the basis of the interview in TIME magazine. This interview consisted of about ten questions, with a question of about eight words, and an answer to each in ten words. This is what the American media calls sound bites. There is no chance to develope one’s thinking in such a short space. Balasaheb has been interviewed in the Indian media quite extensively. The words of Balasaheb is supposed to have used in the Time magazine interview should have been compared with what he said in these other publications. In the judgement on a petition to prosecute Balasaheb for his views as expressed in Saamna, the High Court judges opined that what Balasaheb was referring to were Muslims who were working against the nation, and not the whole community.

Moreover, there is a great deal of inconsistency in the then TIME magazine reporter’s version of why she could not produce the original tape. She said (Vol II, para 7.2, page 171) that she had destroyed the same, when she changed her job from the magazine to a TV channel. However, according to the police office, Shri V N Deshmukh (Vol II, para 4.15, page 163), she had said at the time that she had sent the tape to the magazine in the USA. The Commission has commented that ‘there was no follow-up action taken in this matter at all to compel her to produce the audio cassette.’ Given the nature of the interview, and the controversy it had created at the time it had appeared, one would have thought that it would have been prudent on the part of the reporter to have kept a transcript of the full interview. It is obvious that either the police officer or the reporter is telling a lie. The Commission should have identified the guilty person in such an important issue. It is pertinent to point out that the Commission has held both the reporter and the police officer in high regard as far as their depositions are concerned.

The Commission refuses to accept the accept as valid the doctrine of retaliation in terms of responding to events that have happened at another place. Under the same criteria the Commission should have come down heavily against the Muslims for responding to the destruction of the Babri structure which had happened in Ayodhya. Hence, it was not at all justified for the Muslims of Mumbai to have come out on the streets and destroy temples in Mumbai. Yet the Commission has completely rationalised the actions of the Muslims in Mumbai, and has said that they were spontaneous and initially peaceful.

1.2(ii) "There is no material on record suggesting that even during this phase any known Muslim individuals or organizations were responsible for the riots, though a number of individual Muslims and Muslim criminal elements appear to have indulged in violence, looting, arson and rioting."

This is an example of white washing the role of the Muslim community and many of its organisations, which have been instrumental in creating a ghetto mentality amongst the Muslims. And if there was no Muslim organisation that was responsible for the riots, why has the Commission mentioned about the intelligence failure with respect to the Bombay Muslim Action Committee? And why does the Commission feel that the police should have a Urdu reading person at some of the police stations to keep a tab about the writings in this section of the media? In trying to rationalise, the Commission has become inconsistent.

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