Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Political hypocrisy over Liberhan Commission report

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

No sooner did the story of the leak of the reports of Liberhan Commission come out in the open both houses of the Parliament turned into political war zones filled with chaos and mud slinging. The report which took only17 years! to come had indicted the entire top brass of the BJP including former PM AB Vajpayee, LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and then UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh. It also includes the name of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia, RSS chief KS Sudarshan.

Now, we would believe that this was enough for the Congress let UPA to nail the fragile BJP but no it is the Congress which has gone into the defensive. Reason, if Babri Masjid came down Congress was indirectly party to it. It allowed all the events leading to the December 6, 1992 event as it did not want to hurt the sentiments of the Hindus. The Congress' secular image fell victim to its vote bank politics as no national political party at heights of Ayodhya moment would have wanted to distance itself from the Hindus.

The Liberhan report also questions the action (or the lack of it) taken by of then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao. Many of his critics say that Narasimha Rao was a party to the demolition by turning a blind eye on the issue despite strong intelligence reports. True he should have taken some strong measures to prevent this but can any of his critics explain what those measures could have been. Trying to stop 1500000 fanatic religious men by force would have created a Indian version of the Tiananmen Square. A blood bath in Ayodhya would have definitely shaken the pillars of India. Narasimha perhaps took a bad but wise decision.

No political party in this country, certainly not the Congress has it's hands clean on the issue. If the Congress feels it has enough ammunition in the report to go for a kill on the BJP, it should do it. But if it puts its steps forward worried about the reaction of the Hindus (which it is definitely doing) it should not call itself to be a secular party. Secularism doesn't mean appeasing the minority in the foreground and making moves based on the mindset of the majority in the background.

It is not very surprising to see most of the BJP leaders having no remorse over the demolition of the Babri Masjid. After all this party grew from the ashes of the Ayodhya moment. Venturing outside the Hindutva territory has proved to be a catastrophe for the BJP since the 2004 polls where they were wiped out from their stronghold. BJP realises its existence lies in remaining a Hindu right wing party rather than taking a Centrist approach like the Congress.

Irony lies in the fact that it took 17 years for Liberhan Commission to prepare a report where most of the things stated could have been stated 17 days after the incident. The political leadership of both the government and the opposition should settle the issue outside the Parliament. In the Parliament it doesn't seem this issue will settle down in another 17 years.


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