Press Note: December 6, New Delhi
On the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, on December 6, citizens and activists from many organizations have come together in a joint rally from Mandi House to Parliament.
The demonstration and rally are being jointly organized by Lok Raj Sangathan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Popular Front of India, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Social Democratic Party of India, Welfare Party of India, Jan Sangarsh Manch Haryana, Sikh Forum, United Muslim Front, Citizens for Democracy, Insaf, CPI (ML) - New Proletarian, Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Student Organisation, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Hind Mazdoor Sabha (Ghaziabad), Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Campus Front, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Delhi), Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, NCHRO, Student Islamic Organization, Fraternity Movement of India, All-India Minority Christian Front, All-India Imams Council, Citizens Against Hate, Ambedkar Samaj Party and the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties.
On this day, 25 years ago, a crowd of people led by top politicians attacked the monument and razed it to the ground. The demolition of Babri Masjid was not the act of an enraged mob, as portrayed by those in power. It was a pre-meditated exercise, for which the then BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh and the Congress-led government at the Centre were both jointly responsible. Preparations for it were being systematically carried on for nearly three years preceding it. The destruction of Babri Masjid was followed by large-scale communal violence in Mumbai, Surat and other cities. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives.
The Lieberhan Commission, set up to enquire into the destruction of Babri Masjid, presented its report after 17 years and named leaders of both the BJP and Congress Party as being part of the guilty. The Srikrishna Commission, set up to probe the violence in Mumbai, pointed to the involvement of the BJP, Shiv Sena and Congress Party in organizing communal killings. 25 years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, justice remains denied to the people. No government has taken any step to punish those guilty of destroying a historic national monument and of inciting communal violence, in which thousands of Indians died.
The Supreme Court began hearing on 5th December to adjudicate on the ownership of land where Babri Masjid once stood. The highest court will not be taking up the question of providing justice and punishing the guilty. This is a travesty of justice. Justice demands that those responsible for the destruction of a national monument and the loss of thousands of lives are punished before the issue of ownership of the land on which the Babri masjid stood is resolved. There can be no justice without punishing the guilty!
The demolition of Babri Masjid laid bare the fact that the communalization and criminalization of politics and unleashing of state terrorism had reached a new peak. It revealed the chilling truth that ruling and main opposition parties can commit murderous crimes with impunity to mobilise votes for themselves and serve the interests of the big corporate houses who finance them. So-called elected governments can completely abrogate their responsibility of protecting the lives of people and their rights. People do not have any mechanism to hold their elected representatives and state officials to account or punish them even when they commit the most terrible crimes against the people. People are thoroughly marginalized in the present political process. People are powerless.
The current political process needs a thorough overhaul. It should be made people-centric. At present, political parties of the ruling establishment act as gatekeepers to power, preventing the people from playing a decisive role in running the affairs of the country. This has to end.
We firmly believe that our people are not communal. It is the State which is communal. People who are targeted on the basis of their religious identity have every right to organise and defend their community. Victims of communal violence are not to be blamed for uniting as a religious group.
The 25th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid is an occasion for all women and men of conscience to unite in support of the demand for justice. We are gathering in thousands across several cities. We will defeat the efforts of the ruling establishment to break our unity on the basis of religion!
We will defeat all attempts to fan the flames of Hindu-Muslim conflict! We will unite and carry forward the struggle to put an end to communal violence and all forms of state terrorism! We will uphold and defend the inalienable right to conscience of every human being! Our unity alone can save India from disaster!
Punish the Guilty!
An attack on one is an attack on all!
Sampradayik hinsa ka ek hi ilaj,-- Lok Raj! Lok Raj!
Issued by Joint Coordination Committee of Participating Organisations
Contact: Birju Nayak, 9818575435