Friday, November 27, 2009

Summary of Liberhan Ayodhya commission Report

Summary of the Conclusions of Liberhan Ayodhya commission of inquiry

Groups that are culpable

For the purpose of quantifying the culpability, the various persons and organizations named in this report at various places have been divided into three groups.

The first group represents those who bear the primary and the greatest responsibility. These people had complete knowledge of the events as they were scripted. These individuals and organizations were a part of the decision making process or were instrumental in the assault.

The second group consists of those who bear physical, ideological and intellectual responsibility. They were not decision makers and could not change the course charted by those bearing primary responsibility. These include those who portrayed the benign face of the Ayodhya campaign and gave false reassurances to the courts, the people and the nation as a whole. These are referred to as pseudo moderates. This is not to suggest that their objectives do or do not differ from the first group. The term is used to indicate the mode adopted rather than the ends they may have been trying to achieve. Pseudo-moderates had the construction of the temple on its primary agenda while the radicals were more fanatical about the demolition of what they called a national shame.

There are also those who bear tertiary responsibility. These people may or may not have been associated with Sangh Parivar or had any influence over the situation at all. Their complicity stems from their ommission rather than commission.

The blame or the credit for the movement must necessarily be attributed to Sangh Parivar. The Parivar is an extensive and widespread organic body which encompasses organization which address and assimilate just about every type of social, professional or other demographic grouping individuals. The parivar is a highly successful and corporatized model of a political party and has developed a highly efficient organizational structure.

The structure or the methods of the Sangh Parivar for aggregating substantial public base may neither be illegal nor strictly objectionable. But the use of this gargantum whole for the purpose of Ayodhya campaign was clearly against the letter and spirit of Indian law and ethos. The Sangh Parivar spent long years and mobilized its immense media clout and ensured least resistance to its designs. The attempts by pseudo moderate elements even within Sangh Parivar were predictably of little significance and were destined to fail, whether by design or otherwise.

As the inner core of the Parivar, the top leadership of the RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and the BJP bear primary responsibility.

The commission, having analysed tens of thousands of pages worth of press reports, books, official records and documentation, many hours of audio and video recordings and having observed witness is unable to hold psuedo moderates innocent of any wrongdoings. It can not be assumed even for a moment that LK Advani, AB Vajpayee or MM Joshi did not know the designs of Sangh Parivar. These pseudo moderates could not have defied the mandate of Sangh Parivar, and more specifically the diktat of the RSS, without having bowed out of public life as leaders of the BJP. They were not in control of the RSS and had absolutely no influence over the direction that they have been told to follow.

The BJP was an essential ingredient in the Parivar smorgasbord and essential to capture de jure power and authority, in furtherance of its goals of establishing the Hindu Rashtra. These leaders have violated the trust of the people and have allowed their actions to be dictated not by voters but by a small number of individuals who have used them to implement agendas unsactioned by the will of the common man.

Contribution of Muslim leadership

Selective communal Muslim leaders, obsessed with building personal or individual influence or following for enhancing their political influence and for self gain, were merely bystanders during the entire period and put dismal performance. The fanatic Muslim leadership were either completely complacent and had no substantial or effective leadership or were simply incompetent in projecting their own lopsided counter view to the people throughout the half century leading upto 6th December 1992. Their feeble attempts after 1983 to present a blinkered view of History were without researched substance and therefore possibly incapable of being believed.

The BMAC and later the AIBMAC never setup or presented any claim to the disputed structure in any negotiation with the intervention of any person or at any time and their stand was merely simplitor denial of the claims of the Sangh Parivar which too underwent changes and shifts and articulation with the passage of time. The Muslim and Hindu leadership's shrill cries echoed the divisive and mischievous sentiments which had been heard around 1947.

The Muslim leadership did little to counter the latent fears stoked by the RSS and VHP leadership and instead provided it with the opportunity to embark on what started as a defensive strategy. They provided rabid Hindu ideologues sufficient cause to instill fear into the common citizen of India. Whether the political Muslim leadership represented the views of the average Muslim citizen of India is highly doubtful. The elite political Muslim leadership constituted a class by itself and was neither responsible to, not caring for the welfare of those they purported to champion.

Those who pretend to speak for those who are the downtrodden, only highlight the differences between the people and prevent the integration of the people within the mainstream of the country. In any case, it is inexplicable why the people belonging to the same community which effectively ruled the country for centuries not too long ago should not endeavour, struggle, compete, thrive and succeed in all segments of national life like every other citizen of India, and without having to rely on their religious difference to seek special privilages.

The Muslim leadership wittingly or unwittingly fulfilled the requirement of an adversary role for RSS and VHP to wage war. The Muslim leadership failed the community and its electorate not only in being able to put forth a logical, cohesive and consistent pov, within and outside the courtroom, but also failed to protect the life and property of the innocent massess who got caught up in the post facto riots. The Muslim leadership was conspicuous by its absence from the national debates and its failure to protect effectively against the events which were building up to a crescendo.

The Muslim leadership failed to highlight the extremely high handed and extra-legal methods adopted half a century ago to install the idols in the disputed structure or to open the locks on the gates. The sins of ommission of the Muslim leadership made the Sangh Parivar's task easier. The organizations and individuals who failed to effectively champion the cause of their constituents and of the neutrals who failed as an effective opposition are guilty at the tertiary level.

Role of High Court, Supreme Court

The intransigent stance of the High Court of Uttar Pradesh, the obdurate attitude of Governor, the inexplicable irresponsibility of the Supreme COurt's observer and the short-sightedness of the Supreme Court itself are fascinating and complex stories.

Historians, journalists, and jurists may - and should - explore these dimensions and tell these untold stories for the benefit of the current and unborn generations.

The Central Government was crippled by the failure of the intelligence agencies to provide an analysis of the situation. Supreme Court was misled by the pretentious undertaking given to it by the UP government and the leadership of the movement and the all-is-well reports by its rapporteur Tej Shankar.

About RSS, Parivar and other Hindu organizations

The single minded agenda of the RSS and VHP, and the extremely patient and focussed manner in which the handful of ideologues and theologians manipulated the common masses and turned them into a frenzied mob, capable of acts of the greatest deprivity agenda, is unparalled in recent times.

The events leading upto the 6th December were tainted by a joint conspiratorial enterprise. A rank of leaders emerged within BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajarang Dal etc who were lured by the prospect of power or wealth, who were neither guided by any ideology not imbued with any dogma not restrained by any moral trepidation. These leaders saw the Ayodhya issue as thier road to success and sped down this highway mindless of the casualties they scattered about. These leaders were the executioners wielding the sword handed to them by the ideologues.

The RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajranga Dal, BJP etc are collectively an immense and awesome entity with a shrewd brain, a wide encompassing sweep and the crushing strength of a mob. The leadership provided by these organizations in furtherance of the suspect theories of their founders was consistent and unabased.

The RSS, BJP and VHP core have turned the tables - they have redefined seularism and turned the definition on its head to mean the exact opposite of what it has always been held to be and understood all over the world. Their version of Secularism is neither benign nor tolerant of the ideals enshrined in our constitution.

It was not a movement, Demolition was not spontaneous

Ram Janmabhoomi movement is a misnomer to Ayodhya campaign. Rabble rousing organs of Sangh Parivar and inflamatory leaders were focussed on shaming the thinking masses into inaction and suppressing any voices of sanity or moderation that might arise. They were not focussed on tugging at the emotional heartsrings of the common man and building a consensus for a temple at Ayodhya.

The mobilization required logistic support and the amounts transacted exceeded many tens of crores of Rupees. The mode of assault, small number of Karsevaks who carried out the demolition, veiling of their identities, removal of idols and the cash box from under the dome and subsequent reinstallation in the make shift temple, construction of the makeshift temple, availability of material and instruments for demolition and the swift construction of the make-shift temple categorically leads to the conclusion and finding that the demolition was carried out with great painstaking preparation and planning.

All these things does not give credence to the claim that demolition carried out by Karsevaks spontaneously.

About Kalyan Singh Government

The Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh, its ministers and its mandarins supported the destruction with tacit, open, active and material support at every step, but did not make it part of the officially stated agenda. Kalyan Singh, his ministers and his handpicked bureaucrats created man made and cataclysmic circumstances which could result in no consequences other tha andthe demolition of the disputed structure.

There is no manner of doubt admissible in the culpability and responsibility of the chief ministe, his ministers and his cohorts who were handpicked to occupy selected posts. Paramhans Ramchander Das, Ashok Singhal, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Vamdev, KS Sudarshan, HV Sheshadri, Lalji Tandon, Kalraj Mishra, Govindacharya and others named in my report formed this complete cartel lead by Kalyan Singh and supported by the icons of the movement like LK Advani, MM Joshi, AB Vajpayee.

Chief Minister Kalyan Singh stood on guard against the possibility of any pre-emptive or preventive action by the Central Government or the Supreme Court of India or the other courts or any other institution. He and his trusted lieutenants spared no lie before the highest authorities of the land to befool them and to tie their hands with the niceties of our constitutional democracy.

Chief Minister, members of the Council of Ministers, the officials of the Government of the Uttar Pradesh systematically eliminated all impediments and the RSS, BJP and their allies filled the void with malevolence.

Kalyan Singh's government was the essential component needed by the Sangh Parivar for its purposes. On assuming office, he embarked on a focussed mission to replace the administrative and police officers who were inclined to resist a change in the status quo or who demonstrated the slightestt hesitation in conniving, supporting or collaborating with the new de facto leadership which was gradually taking control in Ayodhya and Faizabad.

These postings and transfers had the singular intent, purpose and effect of smoothening the ride for the demolition which the RSS and BJP had made a part of their election campaign. This was the plank on which they had managed to secure the Chief Ministership for Kalyan Singh and this was the test case which resurgent RSS, BJP and VHP wanted to make a success of.

The second step was to ensure that the hands that wielded the battons and carried the guns were friendly to Karsevaks and did not pose any potential threat to the Karseva. This gratuitous dismantling was secured by posting raw untested personnel or trainees and sympathetic provincial armed constabulary in the twin towns. They were exposed to the religious fervor and harangues of the eloquent RSS and VHP preachers. They had been turned into uniformed karsevaks rather than protectors.

The hands of these troops were tied by the Chief Minister's unequivocal orders to the rank and file that they were to desist from the use of force or resort to firing in any circumstance against the karsevaks or their leaders. The orders were also allowed to be interpreted as a forbearance of use even of less deadly methods such as tear gas or the plain old lathis. Instead of using the riot shields to oppose the violent karsevaks, they were actually handed over willingly to them by the police personnel.

The electronic measures including closed circuit televisions, metal detectors etc were intentionally rendered inoperative and ineffective by the administration to ensure anonymity of the miscreants and easy access to the disputed structure. Senior police officers allowed the destruction and refused to identify those henchmen even before the commission.

The state government leaked the information that the police personnel had been hobbled and would not react or retaliate under any circumstances into the public domain. All the categories of Karsevaks were aware that they were at zero risk from the state's agencies.

The only non manageable variable, from the Sangh Parivar point of view was the possible deployment of central forces in the state, either at the behest of the Central Govenment or sanctioned by the Supreme Court. This threat was also neutralized by senior and well respected individuals stating blatant lies on oath before Supreme Court, apart from protesting against even the stationing of central paramilitary forces sent.

The Supreme Courts' observer, who was handpicked by the High Court of Uttar Pradesh, did not alert the Court about the unfolding duplicity. Even at the moment that the domes were being pulled down, he was not at the spot, having been delayed by his family members whom he had brought along to witness the spectacle.

To sum up, December 6th 1992 saw a state of Uttar Pradesh unwilling and unable to uphold the majesty of the law. The ennui followed from the very office of the Chief Minister downwards and infected the state's minons down till the bottom. The state had become a willing ally and co-conspirator in the joint common enterprise.

The civil service in the state actively abetted the demolition of every democratic safeguard provided in the constitution. The police and bureaucrats of the state actively connived and curried favour with the Chief Ministe and the Sangh Parivar by systematically paralyzing the state machinery. They were the executors of the designs of the RSS, VHP, BJP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc.

About media

The reporting of events in 1992 was possibly not as tactful and mature as it could have been. In reporting, some sections of the media overshot the restraints of common place prudence and were perceived as inimical to one or the other side of the dispute.The close patronage of certain newspapers, journals and other electronic media by one or the other interested groups tended to expose them to the allegation of malice and bias against others.

As soon as the assault on the structure commensed, the journalists were subjected to systematic harassment and they were not only prevented from carrying on their duties as chronicles of the events, but were also instilled with a real fear for their own safety. The reporters were confined to small rooms or molested or otherwise threatened so that their attention was less on the events they were supposed to cover, and more on their very survival.

Some small sections of the media were possibly guilty of incitement or malicious reporting. The media was a protogonist in the build up to the events of December 6th. It was also a victim of the events of the day.

The Sangh Parivar used the media masterfully in its campaign. A part of the media lent itself willingly to being used throughout the Ayodhya campaign. The inflammatory speeches of the more vocal elements were gleefully reported and sensationalized. The liberalized and newly launched mass media organizations at the time, including private satellite channels stoked the need for feretting out newsy items which could be reported. Media savvy Parivar go the maximum public exposure and canvassed its agenda - or atleast the BJP sanitized version of its agenda - to the entire country. The journalits were equally happy at having access to the material which was capable of weaning the masses away off the staid goverment run television networks or the old school print media.

The media at that time revealed a clear bias in either direction. The media was polarized to be friendly and inimical to the interests of the Parivar. The media managers of the Parivar were conscious of the fact that while their actions would be projected in a positive light by one section of the media, the other sections were going to be far more critical.

On 6th December 1992, media personnel were attacked by Karsevaks at the same time as the commencement of the assault on the disputed structure. The attack was primarily against jouranlists who were carrying recording equipment. The cameras, video recorders and the audio recorders were smashed up and even the exposed films and used tapes were systematically destroyed.

[Contributed by mksri]

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