“The universal and absolute law is that natural justice which cannot be written down, but which appeals to the hearts of all.” …….Victor Cousin
Shri Rajiv Gandhi had facilitated the unlocking of Babri Masjid in past and it was the turning point in Babri dispute. Many years later, less than a few minutes after he had been walking unhesitatingly into the crowd at Sriperumbudur, there was a deafening sound. A bomb spluttered to life and exploded in a blinding flash. A bomb and a female suicide bomber on Indian soil plucked him out of his life. Everything changed for Rajiv Gandhi, his family and nation as well. Several others died with him. Bits of their clothing were seared onto their bodies, but most of it had been burnt off. It was macabre; a scene from hell.
And something of a different nature happened with prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who, according to authentic reports, enjoyed the process of demolition of Babri Masjid watching on TV without taking any action to limit or control the worst tragedy of Indian history. By the time he died in Dec, 2004, he had become so unpopular that as his funeral pyre burnt there was no one to stop stray dogs that attacked his remains.
In an article in the Indian Express, Mr Vinay Sitapati author of the book “Half-Lion: How P V Narasimha Rao Transformed India” claimed that , his family wanted the body cremated in Delhi. “This is his karmabhoomi”, Rao’s son Prabhakara told then prime minister Manmohan Singh. “But Sonia’s closest aides ensured that the body was moved to Hyderabad.” As a dispassionate observer of history, one could call it an example of natural justice. In his last days the Congressmen tried to keep him away from party meetings because they feared that his misdeeds could harm the party. Nobody could have imagined that a man who has been a freedom fighter, intellectual, linguist, economist, chief minister of a state, central defence and external affairs minister and ultimately prime minister of a great country, one who was credited with initiating economic liberalisation and privatisation in the country, was lost to ignominy and oblivion. And Congress Party did never fully recover politically since then.
And now the Old Man of Indian politics, the important person of almost inert Margdarshak Mandal, the hero of Babri Tragedy is now being pushed to centre stage to face the music of slow but sure churning wheels of Justice and his nemesis. The Supreme Court of India has issued a directive to complete the trial against BJP leaders accused of conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid. His story is a pathetic fable of laws of Karma and it could mean many things to many people. The denouement of his career is something that would send the chill through the spine of those who forget that there is a Supreme Power that maintains everyone’s account. He had built his career and revived the almost insignificant BJP on the rubbles of Babri Masjid. His slogan is still echoing in the county skies – “Ram Mandir Waheen Banega.” Ram Mandir would be built in its place and nowhere else. And if two years later, L K Advani got indicted for the demolition of the structure in Ayodhya, life would have come full circle for him and for many of his admirers.
He was the real architect of the movement that led to the demolition of Babri Masjid. It was his rath yatras that led to mass hysteria for asserting the Hindutva identity during the late 80s and early 90s. It was Advani who had played up the kamandal card so well throughout the tumultuous period between 1989 and 1992 that saw him rising and rising to terrible heights. He was holding the Muslims responsible for all the bloodshed that followed. As early as January 1993 he was arguing that if Muslims were to identify themselves with the concept of Hindutva there would not be any reason for riots to take place.
The same L K Advani changed colors like chameleon and became a fan of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. What a tragic fall and ludicrous turn of career! It brought him from the high and mighty pedestal the events had put him up. He had become a caricature of his former self. It was one Narendra Modi who had prepared his Rath Yatra Itinerary. It was Narendra Modi – the prime minister who later forced his political oblivion into a redundant group called Marg Darshak Mandal. It was Advani who had saved Narendra Modi when prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpaye had decided to dismiss him. The wheel has come to full circle.
Advani and company would face the grilling of court while the present rulers of BJP would use these day to day court events to their advantage. The pot of Hinutva is back on burner. The poor old geriatrics would be presented as martyrs of Hindutva and nothing would fall into their lap to console the stress they would be undergoing.
These oldies are approaching their final yatras, either caused by the old age decrepitude or through court verdict as and when it arrives.
For the accused of Babri Masjid demolition this court directive is a “tryst with destiny” and for the nation it is a “tryst with history.”
By Naim Naqvi
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