A joint rally by more than 20 organisations was held at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on 6th December, 2021, on the 29th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya. The rally was organised to reaffirm the unity and solidarity of our people and to demand that those guilty of organizing the demolition of the Babri Masjid be punished for this monstrous crime against our people.
The organisers of the rally were Lok Raj Sangathan, Citizens for Democracy, PUCL (Delhi), , Jamat– e–Islami Hind, Lok Paksha, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, NCHRO, Popular Front of India, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, All India Lawyers Council, APCR (Delhi Chapter), Dalit Voice, Desia Makkal Sakhti Katchi, The Sikh Forum, Students Islamic Organisation of India, United Muslims Front, All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, Social Democratic Party of India, Welfare Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) – New Proletarian and the Communist Ghadar Party of India..
On this day, 29 years ago, a 15th century monument, the Babri Masjid, was razed to the ground in broad daylight, under the watchful supervision of the Congress Party government at the centre and the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. The official line given by the Indian state has been that the demolition was carried out by frenzied mobs driven by their devotion to Lord Ram, demanding the building of a temple for Ram at the very same spot. The justification given for this was that the demolition was inspired by the desire to avenge the slavery of Hindus under Muslim rulers in past centuries. Thousands of people, both Muslims and Hindus, were killed in the communal violence that followed, in Mumbai, Surat and other cities, organised by the political parties in power at the centre and in the states.
The events of December 6, 1992 were not an act of spontaneous frenzy. It was pre-meditated and meticulously planned. Communal passions had been systematically whipped up by both the Congress Party and the BJP. Lakhs of kar sevaks had been mobilised from all over the country and brought to Ayodhya. The security forces were under orders to keep away from the site, while prominent members of parliament were seen urging the mobs and supervising the criminal act.
Every year on 6th December, Lok Raj Sangathan and other organisations have been unitedly organising protest actions, demanding that those guilty of demolishing a historic place of worship and organizing communal massacres all over the country must be severely punished. This year’s joint action reflected the increased determination of all the participating organisations to carry forward the struggle for justice through to the end.
A huge banner at the backdrop of the stage bore the slogans: “The struggle to punish those guilty of the demolition of Babri Masjid continues!”, “This is the only way to ensure peace and solidarity!”, “An attack on one is an attack on all!”
“Down with state organized communal violence and state terror!”, “Defend the unity of our people!”, “Punish the guilty!” slogans such as these could be seen on banners around the meeting.
Representatives of the participating organisations addressed the rally.
S Raghavan, President of the Lok Raj Sangathan welcomed all those who had gathered on this occasion. Recalling the divisive political campaign that had led up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the massacres that followed, he explained that it brought home the reality that we, the people of this country, have no power to prevent the criminal political parties entrusted with running the state from carrying out such diabolical crimes against us. We have no power to take decisions that affect our lives. Lok Raj Sangathan was formed to take forward the struggle to punish the guilty and ensure that decision making power is vested in the hands of the broad masses of people, he explained. We have to strengthen our unity and advance the struggle, he said.
Mohammed Shafi of SDPI pointed out that the struggle against communalism is a part of the struggle of the exploited, the workers and peasants, dalits, tribals, religions minorities, women and communists, against the attacks on our right to speak our views, right to organise and protest against injustice, the right to livelihood and a life of dignity. It is a part of the struggle we are waging today against the blatant sell out of our people’s assets to the big corporate houses. Dividing us on a communal basis is the way in which they want to break our unity and smash our struggle, he explained. He warned the rulers that they will never succeed in breaking our unity. People will not tolerate crimes like the demolition of Babri Masjid, he warned the rulers.
Dr S Q R Illyas, President of Welfare Party of India, expressed his wholehearted support for the slogan – ‘An attack on one is an attack on all!’ The anti – CAA struggle showed a positive trend of various sections of people coming together precisely in this spirit. He re-iterated that the demolition of Babri Masjid was very much a pre-planned conspiracy; it was carried out in broad daylight and there is no lack of evidence as to who was responsible for it. We all need to be vigilant against the ‘divide and rule’ policy that our rulers have inherited from the British. It is the duty and responsibility of the Indian state to protect all places of worship and every person’s right to worship, he said.
Parvez Ahmad of Popular Front of India condemned the hate campaign being carried out by the rulers and stressed on the need to unite and fight against it. He drew attention to the targeting of the Muslim community and the incarceration of Muslims under the UAPA. He gave the example of the determined struggle of the kisans, by which they had forced the government to repeal the three anti-kisan laws. We have to persist in our struggle for justice, he passionately declared.
Advocate Shahid Ali of the United Muslims Front congratulated LRS for relentlessly taking up the question of punishment of the guilty, every year. He said that the state has the responsibility to protect all places of worship from being attacked, and must be held accountable for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. He condemned the state administration for not preventing persecution of Muslims for offering Namaz in open areas where they had been permitted to do so earlier. He denounced the attempts being made to spread communal division by raking up issues like Mathura and Kashi. He made it clear that even though the courts have pronounced their verdict, this is not necessarily the final judgement. It is the people who will judge the criminals and punish them. He upheld the slogan “An attack on one is an attack on all!” and pledged that “Not only will we fight for justice till our last breath but we will also ensure that coming generations continue the fight!”
Inamur Rahman of Jamat–e–Islami Hind questioned the kind of democracy we have, in which people are arrested and tortured for speaking the truth, while the real criminals go scot free. He called on everyone present to unite in the struggle against the anti-national and anti-social agenda of privatisation and sell-out of our public assets.
N D Pancholi of Citizens for Democracy saluted Lok Raj Sangathan and all other organisations who have gathered to demand justice. It is not a conflict of Hindus against Muslims, he pointed out, but of the rulers against the vast majority of people. It is the rulers who benefit by spreading lies and dividing us. He expressed confidence that the wrong judgement of the court will be reversed one day due to people’s pressure.
Spokesperson of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, Prakash Rao, said that when the Babri Masjid was demolished, the CGPI had vowed to unite all the people of India to fight for justice. He emphasised that we need to know who our real enemies are, who are spreading wrong ideas in our midst. It is not Modi and Shah who are the real rulers. The real rulers are the big monopoly capitalists like Tata, Ambani, Birla, Adani, etc. It is the ruling class which organised the campaign to demolish Babri Masjid. Their aim in organising communal violence was and remains to smash the unity of workers and peasants and safeguard their rule. They carry out atrocities on workers, peasants, women and youth in broad daylight in this so-called democracy. In 1947, it is this class of big capitalists who came to power, not the people. The present Constitution was written by those who came to power in 1947 – not the toiling people! We need a new kind of democracy, in which workers and peasants will be rulers and will deprive the big monopoly capitalists of the right to exploit the people. He congratulated all those who have been coming together year after year, in the struggle for justice. Demanding that those who demolished Babri Masjid must be punished, he concluded with the slogan “Inqilab Zindabad!”
K K Singh of Lok Paksha said that we need to bring in a socialist society, where there is real freedom for the working people. It is the big capitalists who are our main enemy. He denounced the use of UAPA against people fighting for justice and called for unity of all the oppressed.
Others who addressed the rally included Shashank Singh of All India Lawyers’ Council, Naresh Gupta of People’s Front and D M Kamble of Dalit Voice.
The rally concluded with the participants expressing their resolve to strengthen political unity against communal violence and all forms of state terrorism and continue the fight for justice till victory.