Statement on the 29th Anniversary of Babri Mosque Demolition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 6, 2021) – Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group committed to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, reminded the Indian judiciary on the 29th anniversary of Babri Mosque’s demolition, that denial of justice and failure to hold people responsible for criminally razing down the mosque and lawlessness which followed, was its “biggest failure.”
On December 6, 1992, the historic mosque was demolished by Hindu extremists affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Shiv Sena in full view of the national and international audiences, television and print journalists.
The violence that followed the incident killed thousands of people, mostly Muslims. But after nearly three decades of tortuous legal process, the Supreme Court of India in November 2019 unjustly handed over the disputed site to Hindus to build a temple, legitimizing one of the most criminal acts of destroying a Muslim place of worship in the history of independent India.
In its judgment, the court also termed the demolition of Babri mosque a “calculated act.”
“During the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which was constructed over 450 years ago,” said the order of the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
Nevertheless, the judgment paved way for targeting of other Muslim religious sites especially in Kashi and Mathura in the Uttar Pradesh state.
In November 2020, a special court in India ignored glaring evidence and acquitted 32 accused, including senior RSS and BJP leaders like former Union ministers Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti of criminal conspiracy, thus denying justice to more than 200 million Indian Muslims.
While acquitting the RSS and BJP leaders, the CBI court not only ignored the previous Supreme Court orders, but also the findings of the Liberhan Commission which was set up by the government of India in 1992 to probe the demolition of the mosque.
The Commission had concluded that the demolition of the Babri mosque was meticulously planned. The Commission had said the mobilization of the cadres of RSS, Bajrang Dal, BJP and Shiv Sena in Ayodhya was neither “spontaneous or voluntary” but “orchestrated and planned.” The Commission in its report named over 60 people – including senior BJP leaders Advani, Joshi, Bharti and A B Vajpayee, RSS and VHP leaders, bureaucrats – as “culpable” for “leading the country to the brink of communal discord.”
“Both the verdicts by Indian courts in 2019 and 2020 delivered victory to hate, bigotry and chauvinism, which intensified the Hindu nationalist efforts to turn India into a Hindu majoritarian nation in an attempt to reduce minorities especially Muslims to second class citizens. These judgments also caused the Indian judiciary to be perceived as a tool of political power” IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed said.
“The dark day of December 6 will continue to remind us of the denial of justice to more than 200 million Indian Muslims,” IAMC President Syed Ali said. “It will go down in history as the biggest failure of the Indian judiciary to uphold the rule of law,” he added.