The twenty-fourth year of denial of justice
On Dec 6, 2016, hundreds of activists from communist and other parties, human rights organizations, workers organizations, women’s organizations and student organizations marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar to protest the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya 24 years ago, on Dec 6th 1992. Over 25 organisations participated in the march and rally, which was initiated by the Lok Raj Sangathan along with these organisations.
The participants in the march carried placards and banners and raised rousing slogans demanding that those who were in power 24 years ago and had organized this heinous crime must be punished. Criminal parties have been guilty of the crimes of 1992, 1984, 2003, 2013 and many more events of state-sponsored violence. The call of ‘An attack on one is an attack on all’ reflected the unity of the participants in the rally. The rally was marked by spirited participation from youth.
The public meeting held at Jantar Mantar was addressed by over 20 speakers from the organizations involved in the joint action.
The meeting was moderated by Comrade Sucharita of the Lok Raj Sangathan.
In his opening address, S RaghavanPresident, Lok Raj Sangathan congratulated everyone and said that every year more than two dozens organizations unite to observe the day in a clear demonstration of unity. This unity needs to be further strengthened in the coming period. The demolition of the Masjid was jointly organized by the Congress and the BJP to break the unity of the people. We, the people, have to fight this conspiracy and for an end to state terrorism. He pointed out that all the arms of the state - the executive, legislature and judiciary - collude to organize such terrorist violence against the people. If the people want to end state organized communalism and terrorism, they have to unite against its very source. We cannot expect the state to take action against itself. People have to unite against this state which is communal and terrorist and fight for a new state that will ensure justice and rights for all.
He gave the example of the Liberhans Commission that was created on Dec 16, 1992 to investigate the demolition. It was to hand in the report of its investigations and conclusions within a few months of its formation. However, tellingly, the Commission submitted its report after only 16 years and 400 sessions later. Exhaustive evidence was gathered during the course of the investigation but no action was taken against those named guilty.
He cited the current example of demonetization undertaken by the BJP-led government. The government has justified demonetization by saying that it is meant to remove black money from the system and therefore, deal a blow to terrorist activities funded by such money. However, in actual fact, whenever people raise their voices against the government, they are labelled terrorist. In Kashmir, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and numerous other states including right here in Delhi, people, including the youth, are taking to the streets every day to protest against the anti-people actions of the government. The anger of the people against the government is increasing. The real terrorist of the world is the US state that launches military offensives against various countries including Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It funds terrorist activities in these countries and then labels the people of that country as ‘terrorists’. The only solution to end this global anti-people offensive is for the people to take up the fight against such oppression in solidarity.
From the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,Mohd. Ahmad said that no action had been taken against those guilty of the demolition of the Babri Masjid even though people have been raising this demand for the past 24 years. People are demanding justice; instead, there are talks of an out-of-court settlement. We demand two things in the main – that the court case be brought to a proper closure and that a decision should be taken to severely punish the guilty.
Shahid Ali of the United Muslim Front pointed out that the parties which organized this crime behaved as if they were above the law. The sequence of events raises questions on the whole system, including the Constitution. The state is communal but we, the people, are not communal and it is our duty to fight this communalism unitedly even in the face of conspiracies targeted at us.
On behalf of the Citizens for Democracy ND Pancholi commended all those present for their solidarity in demanding justice for this crime since so many years. He recalled the grave injustices committed against the people of this country which is a treachery against the country and called the events of 6th December as a black mark on Indian democracy. He asked all political parties to come forward in support of the fight for justice. He pointed out that both the BJP and the Congress were silent on the issue. He called on people to raise their voices till such time as injustice is not eliminated.
Comrade Phool Singh, President of the Jan Sangharsh Manch, Haryana, extended revolutionary greetings to all the organizations and people participating in the rally. He questioned the claims of freedom and democracy made by the Indian state. Nobody is safe from being persecuted by this state. But people are not keeping quiet; we are raising our voices against it. He was confident that the people will achieve freedom by walking on the path charted by Shaheed Bhagat Singh. We have to consistently raise our voices against the crimes of those in power and give rise to a powerful movement. He concluded by saying, “Our time will come and we will be successful! I congratulate all of you and we must remain in the forefront of this struggle. Our tributaries have joined to become a river and these communal rulers will not be able to last. Inquilab zindabad!”
A Syed, from the Social Democratic Party of India, said that our country is passing through a severe crisis. He condemned the fact that people are being persecuted on the basis of religion and the fact that law does not defend their rights. The demolition of the Babri Masjid was clear proof of this, as also the encounter killings. The issue of the Babri Masjid is not that of one masjid. It raises the question of right to conscience in our country and the role played by the judiciary and law machinery. He said that the rulers had placed the pride and freedom of our country at the feet of imperial powers.
Comrade Prakash Rao from the Communist Ghadar Party of India began his address by hailing the fact that people from various organizations, ideologies and faiths were present in the rally and were united in their fight against injustice. He went on to say that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a dagger that was pierced through the heart of all the people of our country, Indian society as a whole. It was not just an attack on people of the Muslim faith. This cold blooded attack on our people brought out starkly that that the Indian state is communal and terrorist. Krishna says in the Bhagwad Gita that if a ruler is unjust and a tyrant, then it is the right and duty of the people to overthrow such a ruler. We need to replace the current state and establish a new state in its place that will guarantee sukh and suraksha to all. In 1984, 32 years ago, blood flowed on the streets of Delhi. And these kinds of attacks on the people have continued ever since. The question before us is how to change the situation in favour of the people by organizing the people to fight for a new state in place of the present communal and terrorist state. We are trying to awaken the people and the state is directing all its efforts towards dividing the people or lulling them to sleep. The blood of the workers and peasants is being sucked dry. We must make the people conscious that governments may change, parties in power may change, but as long as the state remains unchanged, the lives of the people will only go from bad to worse. We need to look beyond the curtain.
He reminded everyone that the real enemy of the people is the state and not just this or that political party. He also vigorously denounced the US state as being the biggest terrorist entity in the world which tried to set the Indian people against our brothers and sisters from Pakistan.
On behalf of the Popular Front of India, Mohd.Arif spoke of the need to remind our coming generations that the demolition of the Babri Masjid symbolizes the communalism of the state. People from different religions are attacked based on the agenda of those in power. He said that the people of India are not communal and they want peace and justice instead. He also said that the people will not remain quiet and will continue fighting for justice.
PK Shahi from AIFTU (New) asked who was behind the incidents of 1992 and many more before and after those. He said that the people need to understand the issue and until all the people of our country come together, nothing will be solved. He asked people to reason where the country is standing and come forward to fight for justice.
S. Q. R.Ilias from the Welfare Party of India pointed out that the Liberhan Commission had clearly brought out the fact that the demolition was a planned one. But the Liberhan Commission report was thrown into the dustbin. Those who supervised the demolition were promoted and some have even become deputy Prime Ministers! He pointed out that the issue did not concern just Muslims and many people have raised their voices. He argued that there is no evidence that the BabriMasjid was Ramjanmabhoomi. This falsehood was spread by the Sangh Parivar. The PM at the time, Narasimha Rao had promised that the Babri Masjid would not be harmed. Hence, even more than the BJP, the Congress is to be held responsible for the tragedy since it was in power at the Centre.
From the United Sikh Mission, BaIjit Singh said that the events of 1992 happened because we, the people could not prevent 1984. “We raised the slogan ‘Ek par hamla, sab par hamla’ even then. The state perpetrated 1984 and 1992. How can we ask the same state for justice? Why do we not come together and rule? All of us should come together and rule the country. We are those that bring freedom, be it for us or for others. We want the best for everyone. I appeal to all of you to come together. We will be attacked again and again if we do not come together.
Professor Sidhantkar from the CPI-ML, New Proletarian, said that denouncing the Congress and BJP was not enough. He said that both parties have to be rejected. Those who were responsible for 1992 were rewarded and moreover the Congress and BJP consistently attack people in all corners of the country from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari. He declared that unless we bring the working people together, such incidents will keep taking place. Keeping in mind that this is the centenary year of the Russian revolution, we should move forward in our struggle.
Poonam from the Purogami Mahila Sangathan said that we cannot rely on the state to give us justice. She pointed out that the government keeps talking about ‘loktantra’;it means the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. But we know that the rule is not of the people but of the capitalists and the ruling parties are their managers. Overnight, the Babri Masjid was destroyed. The ruling parties repeatedly organize violence, they were responsible for 1984, 2002 and many more crimes. The 150 big business houses are in power and the parties work only for them. We need to understand that the source of terrorism is the state that does not care for the people of this country. We need to come together to fight this. Inquilab zindabad!”
Mohd. Anwar from the APCR said that people seek justice and there are many people working for civil and human rights. The state always divides people on communal lines and by isolating this or that organization as terrorist. He said that we need to come together to fight this criminal state.
Abdul Rashid Burwan from the All India Muslim Majlis said that it is said that the Constitution of our country is based on the values of freedom, justice, equality and fraternity. But the reality is that Babri Masjid was attacked when the Constituent Assembly was in session, in 1949, under the Prime Ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru! Hence, the Babri Masjid issue is not 24 years old. It is a barometer that indicates where our country is and whether it is making progress or falling behind. Today, people from all around the country are raising their voices. It is the need of the hour to keep this fight for justice alive. Some say that we should forget the Babri Masjid issue but we must continue the fight for justice.
Laik Ahmad from the Student Islamic Organization said people of the country witnessed 1984, then 1992 and then 2003. He pointed out that if the BJP is responsible, then the Congress is also equally responsible for these acts of violence. He called for the need for a new political struggle and said that the poor, those from the marginalized communities, the Dalits and the adivasis were all together in this and if they all came together, they would form the majority in this country. He said that all organizations demand justice but it is not granted because those who commit crimes against people and spread hate today are in power. Only if those who want freedom come together, then a new political order can be set up.
Vishal from the Naujawan Bharat Sabha said that fascist powers shed false tears when people are killed and that it is necessary to stand together against them to give a fitting response. It is necessary to become one with the people and rise above religion and caste.
The stirring words of the speakers were summarized in the end by Comrade Sucharita who said that we must keep in mind that what happened 24 years ago, was done by the Congress and the BJP together at the Centre and State. It shows that the Indian state is communal. Secondly, after all these investigations and all these years have passed, there has been no action. This is because this was a state organized crime, an act of state terror against the people of our country. State sponsored violence is meant to break the unity of people and strengthen the agenda of the multinational corporations who dominate this state. We need to set up a new state in which those who commit heinous crimes against the people are given proper punishment. Our message today, 24 years after the demolition of Babri Masjid is ‘Ek par hamla, sab par hamla’, ‘Down with state organized communal violence and state terrorism’ and ‘Long live our continued unity in the fight for a new state and society!’