Justice would be delivered, no matter what. That was what echoed from the Supreme Court recently when it reminded of the essentiality of bringing before the law those involved in the conspiracy of Babri Masjid demolition that took place twenty five years ago.
The moment is indeed a glad one for those believing in the law and order system and the Judiciary. During the present time of repressive governance with those like Modi and Yogi Adithyanath in power, when secularism has become an outdated term, the apex court observing that the Babri Masjid demolition was a major sin that undermined the foundation of secularism, is sufficient to establish that it’s the values enshrined in the Constitution that forms the fundamental basis of the nation and not the political ideology of those in power. The highly significant verdict of the bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Rohinton F Nariman reflects the moral rage over the delayed progress of the case and failing so far, to penalise those involved in the incident. Babri Masjid demolition was one of the most barbaric chapters in the history of independent India. A large crowd of Hindu Karsevaks demolished the 465-years old masjid on December 6, 1992 right in front of the security forces tearing the secular state into pieces and leaving all democratic institutions as silent spectators.
According to the judgement, 15 persons including senior BJP leaders like L K Advani, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Rithambara will face conspiracy charges in the Babri case. The Supreme Court retrieved the conspiracy charges against Advani and others that was dropped earlier by the Rae Bareli Special court and Allahabad High Court on technical ground. Not only has the case been revived, the apex court also pointed out the dirty games played by the CBI and the UP government at different stages. The Supreme Court which defied the claims that were obstinately put forward to protect the culprits at any cost, ordered the clubbing of the two trials currently going on in Rae Bareli and Lucknow trail courts and directed it to be completed in two years. The apex court ordering a time bound completion of the trial and stating that the judges presiding over the case won’t be transferred till the trail is concluded might be because of foreseeing the possibility of the offenders attempting to further delay or sabotage the case.
While the secular parties and Muslim organisations naturally welcomed the SC verdict, there have been no reactions from the BJP. Meanwhile, Union Minister Uma Bharti who is set to face trial has reacted sharply to the Opposition that demanded her resignation. She asserted that she was ‘proud’ of having participated in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and that she wouldn’t resign. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attempted to trivialise the matter by saying that ‘no new situation has arisen’ after the court verdict and that many of the ‘Congress Chief Ministers will have to quit’ if following the charge sheet in the case was the rule. The fact that the BJP leaders ruling in the states and at the Centre have to comprehend is that the saffron politics is strongly backed by the muscle power of communal politics that has been fostered through Ram temple movements by expanding the base and seizing power. What Modi and his saffron squad reaps today was sown by Advani and Joshi in the past.
The Ram Rath Yatra by Advani threatening to erect a Ram temple on the site of Babri Masjid penned a horrific history stained in blood. It was the communal Fascism unleashed by Advani, Ashok Singhal and Vinay Katiyar that led to the obliteration of the 16th century masjid on the bank of River Sarayu and building of a temporary temple in its place. If those involved in the brutal act by violating the clear warning of the Supreme Court and taking law into their hands, aren’t held accountable at least for once, it would blatantly establish the absence of a law and order system and the fact that anybody was free to carry out any act as per their wish. It was to prove the otherwise that the apex court ordered to retrieve the charges against Advani and Joshi, both in the sunset of their lives and neglected by the party. The verdict therefore might be a heavy blow to Advani and others who dream of spending the rest of their lives peacefully in Rashtrapati Bhavan or any other high official posts. When the law nudges though slightly, the prominent leaders of a destructive political experiment that transferred the power into the hands of those who were mere RSS pracharaks, it can be seen as a warning at least once that all those who led a sinful public life would end up with the same fate.