Reviewed by ASIF ANWAR ALIG
AYODHYA: 6 December 1992, by P.V. Narasimha Rao, Penguin Books India Pvt., Limited, 11, Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi- 110 017( India), pp317, Indian Rupees 395/-, Hard.
|The Book, Ayodhya: 06 December 1992|
ndian democracy encountered its first crackdown on December 06, 1992, ever since the inception of its constitution, with the demolition of the historical Babri Masjid. The monument remained bone of contention between both the Muslim and Hindu community leaders since the nation was readying itself for independence from the British rule. It was a religious movement turned political revolution turned chauvinism that resulted into gothic vandalism. Its consequences were religious intolerance that earmarked the Indian democracy to see its vault face more than a decade ago.
The Ram Janam Bhoomi Movement indeed instigated hatred and destined India to be a failed state. While the hooligans were giving final touches to their plans they were about to furnish their modus operandi.
|Reviewer Asif Anwar Alig|
They knew that the center and the state governments were in hallucination, in tiffs that seemed not to be resolved amicably. Both the governments lingered into the delinquent legal complexities, obeying the federal democracy of the nation while the kar sewaks did their work peacefully because in this case U.P’s the then state government proved more prudent.
Ironically, even after encountering this biggest setback Indian democracy is acknowledged as one of the second largest political systems in the world.
With the secular intention in its nature and practicality unlike what is usually being projected on occasions is a matter of doubt and prejudice. Religious sanctum sanctum is pivotal in the lands of believers so does India that has been skewed upon the mammoth fancies of sentimentalism. India is graded as one of the mysterious lands in the history of religions because it is the only country that accommodates unaccountable religions of the world.
Interestingly the constitution of India claims that religion doesn’t play any role in the political anecdotes of the state unlike its generosity towards religious harmony for its inhabitants. But the country hasn’t developed any effective mechanism of governance without the equal share of its religions—in the absence of this clause.
|Babri Masjid on the day of demolition|
eligion still has a say in Indian politics applied through unique means like politicizing it, seeding the pillars of communalism rooted upon religious disharmonies and et al. It depicted on December 06, 1992 when politics equally shared with the religious hatred. Religion has no role to play either in the governance or in the constitutional processes still it was brought into fore at the center stage to mobilize a community against another for reaching the corridors of power by the right wing politicians under the guise of Hindutva cause.
The darkest phase of India’s history and the utter shame its democratic governance promulgated on the day a particular group of believers chased the home of their co-inhabitant’s God by invading their matter of faith through vandalizing it belonging to the Muslims was a cowardice act acknowledged as a crusade against this minority community. Hindus forcefully entered into the home of their rival’s God Babri Masjid, hijacked it, broke down the essence of faith, liquidated the ascent of unity in diversity and demolished the structure as per their plan merely to accommodate their own God that was, their religious leaders claim, homeless since birth. To their records and a matter of coincidence the Hindu God was born at the same place thousands of centuries ago (exact data and its authenticity is still doubtful) where the mosque was constructed in the Mughal era.
|Former Indian Prime Minister P.V Narasimha Rao|
The kar sewaks ravaged the monument that was one of the finest examples of Mughal artistry. Babur might haven’t read the history of the birth of Hindu God if he would have studied it he could have surely changed his plans.
The demolition of Babri Masjid was the single political mistake of the then ruling Congress party and its leader P.V Narasimha Rao who is the author of this book Ayodhya: 06 December 1992. The sad incident left the Indian democracy into catch22situation. On the wake of the state and central government’s tussle the demolition act was the biggest breakthrough of communalism in the democratic system of governance of India.
While the mosque was demolished the central government was unable to save it, agrees Narasimha Rao and confesses through this posthumously released book, because of the constitutional perplexity complied the then Congress government at the center to obey the constitution and remain a silent spectator: a puppet in the hands of democracy.
The outcome was dearer to the Congress party that could have done extra constitutional efforts to save the historical mosque. This mistake doomed its political fortune in the years to come. The demolition of Babri Masjid by the kar sewaks was not merely rooted upon a biased sentimentalism but a brainchild of a hidden motive that has already been seen by all post demolition. The sentimentalism provoked the seeds of the communal politics in India. It strengthened the rightist politics and its ambition to materialize its political aspirations rooted upon the Hindu sentimentalism, which paved the way for their access to the corridors of power.
|Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh|
The book under review, Ayodhya: 6 December 1992 is a political confession. Though it sums count-by-count details of an array of the events that proved as an Achilles hill for the secular fabric of India, it also notes a bizarre historical narration intended upon an honest escapism by the author P. V Narasimha Rao under whose premiership the demolition act was carried upon. The book notes in brief an entire chronology of the historical mistakes that turned into biggest political blunder of the Indian democracy on December 06, 1992. Rao wrote this book in the mid 90’s when he stepped down as prime minister, and it is published posthumously as per his wishes.
The book, being a confession note, is the key to understand one of the major political moments of the modern Indian history. It recounts the intricacies and dangers of exploiting religious sentiments for a narrow political benefit that was being used by the perpetrators of disharmony.
Through reproducing major and minor court decisions on Babri Masjid and the communication that Rao had with the then chief minister of U.P. Mr. Kalyan Sigh, as Rao claims, the state government had assured the Home Ministry which he brought into the attention of all concerned and Rao declared that he was stick to the constitutional hypothesis. Rao confesses in the pages of the book that he emphatically tried to save Babri Masjid but failed, which was a biggest setback for him in particular and the Congress party in general. He reprints the dialogues between both the community leaders, who were adamant to their rhetoric. The issue, as he explains, burgled on the egos of Hindus and Muslims but no amicable solution was seen because of the stubbornness of both the communities.
o government, since independence, could sort out the dilemma of Babri Masjid until it was demolished in Rao’s regime. This book has a detailed note on the steps taken by the central governments prior to him and the role of the state governments on this matter. By reproducing the evidences and the chronology of events since December 23, 1949 till December 06, 1992, Rao draws a sympathetic approach towards the Muslim community.
P. V. Narasimha Rao’s posthumous concerns for the minorities are aimed to prove himself a scapegoat of the political bigotries and proves that not him but the then chief minister of U.P., Kalyan Singh be blamed for this saddest happening that shattered the image of India. Mr. Singh was the part of a hidden plot that was being solely politicized to make mockery of the constitution, politics, emotion, sentimentalism and Hinduism at par.
|Recent issue of Eastern Crescent Magazine|
This book details the leanings and hidden motives of a shaken leadership. The dubious role played by the then chief minister of U.P Mr. Kalyan Singh is proved. Still there is ample scope to read between the lines on why Rao should not be blamed as an equal preparatory instrument for according the motives of the Hindu mindset.
This political blunder was the part of the dark phase of Indian polity that saw its dead face on the constitutional corpse when the intruders of humanity mishandled religion.
Rao has tried to justify his stand but still the readers have enough scope to look beyond his words and confessions.