Apropos G David Milton’s letter to the editor “Ayodhya’s legacy” (December 6), the demolition of the disputed Babri structure was undeniably condemnable, but holding L K Advani’s rath yatra solely responsible is unfair. Three “secular” politicians holding vital power positions between August 7, 1990 and November 2, 1990 played important roles here. On August 7, 1990, the then Prime Minister V P Singh announced the implementation of the Mandal Commission report — which had been kept pending for over two decades. His aim was to rob his rival Devi Lal of his OBC (other backward classes) vote bank, and to divide the Ram Janambhoomi Aandolan and the Hindu votes on caste lines. This forced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to pick up the “Mandir” issue and Advani, the then BJP president and a minister in the V P Singh government, decided to undertake the rath yatra.
But, in a show of might, the then Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Yadav, had Advani arrested in Samastipur on October 22. Mulayam Singh Yadav, the then CM of Uttar Pradesh, had trains and buses stopped to Faizabad, preventing kar sevaks from reaching Ayodhya. When, despite all these, thousands of kar sevaks miraculously managed to infiltrate into Ayodhya, many of them were gunned down by the state police. The fate of the Babri structure was in fact sealed on November 2, 1990 itself. Had these politicians not played their cards so recklessly, the structure would have perhaps been intact today. Ironically, the entire blame is being put on BJP, and not a single finger is pointed at V P Singh, Lalu Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav for their crucial roles in the demolition.
M C Joshi Lucknow
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