"Ayodhya campaign was not a mass movement; it was aimed at suppressing voices of sanity"
New Delhi: The Liberhan Commission report has come down strongly on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, accusing them of manipulating the common masses and turning them “into a frenzied mob, capable of acts of the greatest depravity... unparalleled in recent times.”
The report charges the RSS with running a parallel government that minutely supervised the smallest detail in the events leading up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, the BJP etc. collectively formed an “immense and awesome entity with a shrewd brain, a wide encompassing sweep and the crushing strength of a mob.”
To the “core group of thinkers” in this vast network, “the destruction of the disputed structure was only one victorious battle in their ongoing campaign against secularism and multicultural society, clothed in the garb of religion, regions, reservations, castes etc.”
Simultaneously, the report rubbishes the notion that the destroyers of the masjid were driven by any kind of lofty idealism or goal. Indeed, Mr. Justice Liberhan says the Commission came upon “indisputable evidence” that a rank of leaders had emerged in the BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc., who saw the Ayodhya issue as their 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.” Mr. Justice Liberhan is also emphatic that the Ayohdya campaign was not a people’s movement, as made out by its architects. Further, it did not enjoy the willing and voluntary support of the common person, who remained silent for fear of being labelled atheist or anti-Hindu, or worse, unpatriotic.
The judge has divided the organisations and persons responsible for the demolition into three groups.
The first one comprises radicals, who were instrumental in the assault on the masjid and who had the means to prevent the assault: “Without their participation, none of the events of, and leading up to, December 6, 1992, would have occurred.”
The second group consists of people who were not decision-makers but who were nonetheless guilty by virtue of “their sins of commission and omission.” These “pseudo-moderates,” among them Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, “portrayed the benign face of the Ayodhya campaign and gave false reassurances to the courts, the people, and the nation as a whole.”
In the third group, the judge places those who were “required by their statutory duties as officers of the State or as responsible leaders of the people to prevent [the demolition] or at the very least to register vociferous protests, in which they failed.” The judge criticises the “pseudo-moderates,” for whom defying the diktat of the RSS was impossible because that will endanger their careers.
Mr. Justice Liberhan attributes their complicity in the events leading up to the demolition to their eagerness to “inherit the political successes engineered by the RSS.”