Congress book blames Sangh parivar for Babri demolition, defends Rao

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - A book published by the Congress to mark its 125-year history lays the entire blame for the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition on the Sangh Parivar and contends that the then central government headed by P.V. Narasimha Rao took several steps to control the difficult situation.

The book, “Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation”, that has been edited by senior party leader Pranab Mukherjee, says the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had launched a campaign since the

mid-1980s to “liberate” Ram Janambhoomi, demolish the mosque and build a temple at the Ayodhya site.

The book contends that the Rath Yatra organized by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani in 1990 enhanced communal tensions”.

On December 6, 1992, the VHP organized a huge rally of volunteers in Ayodhya and demolished the Babri Mosque while top BJP leaders looked on. Kalyan Singh, the BJP Chief Minister of UP, and BJP leaders at the Centre had repeatedly assured the Supreme Court and Parliament that the structure would be protected. In fact, the destruction took place with the collusion of the state government, says the book.

It says that destruction of the mosque unleashed large-scale communal violence, the most extensive since the partition of India”.

The book says that the union cabinet sacked the Kalyan Singh ministry on the very night of the demolition.

A red alert was sounded in most parts of the country and the army staged flag marches in sensitive areas with curfew being clamped in several towns. The choice before the government was - firing on the crowd which would have led to a violent Hindu backlash; non-intervention which would leave communal forces unchecked. On Dec 7, the government announced a ban on all communal organizations, the book says.

The book, which has a chapter on Rao, says the major achievement of his government was the implementation of economic reforms which the party had outlined in its 1991 election manifesto.

It says that it was creditable that the Narasimha Rao was the first prime minister from outside Nehru-Gandhi family to complete his full term.

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