Forget Indians making merry of Mendis and Murali at Kanpur, the stranded but the most-awaited climax of the Sangh Parivar v/s Gandhi Parivar is back to action as the country closely watches. In what could be a decisive blow to the NDA in general and Sangh Parivar in particular, the Congress opted for the Final Powerplay which led to the nation-wide attention back on the 17 year old unfinished match between the Sangh Parivar and the Gandhi Parivar. Sangh Parivar top order and stalwarts like A B Vajapayee, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, second fiddle players from Shiv Sena and substitutes from the Bhajarang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad were at the receiving end from Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan Commission, with adjectives like 'pseudo-moderates' coming their way. Naturally, the publicized report has opened up a stern debate from Parliament to any of the YOU NAME IT 'patli gali' in India.
The report has not got any 'surprise-surprise', the involvement of the Sangh Parivar leaders, particularly L K Advani's role in instigating the mob, which till yester-morning was a popular belief, has now been justified, which will remain as a dark blot on the Sangh Parivar. Though A B Vajapayee's indiction has surprised many a people, getting his name cleared by further process, if any, will not do the Sangh Parivar a world of good. Already shattered by internal disputes, lack of leadership & alliance and recent electoral debacles, the Sangh Parivar has now got to face the brunt of the judiciary, not to forget the wrath from the public, particularly the Muslim brethren.
What options do the Sangh Parivar now have to choose from as face saving exercise(s)?
1. Concede it's stand and accept defeat, which is highly unlikely
2. Rake up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
3. Rake up the Bofors scandal and eviction of Quattrochi which would hit the Congress where it hurts the most, i.e. the Gandhi family
4. Dig some big but relatively low-profile scams like the Madhu Koda scandal and Spectrum scam
5. Hold the Govt. at 'gunpoint' on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai
6. Rally behind the Govt. on the Afzal Guru hanging and Kasab's speedy trial
Except for the 1st one, all the others share a equal possibility.
Amongst all this chaos, what is surprising is the issue of farmers' sugercance pricing that has gone under the carpet. Could the unity in the opposition camp over the sugercane pricing episode be a valid reason for the Liberhan report to be 'secretly publicized'? It's a tough call to take, especially, when the PM is on a high-profile visit to the USA. Assuming that the untimely leak of the report was not intentional, which is what the claims are from the Home Ministry and Justice Liberhan, it speaks highly (?) of the level of secrecy and security maintained by our system when it comes to reports that are of national significance. How can one trust that the records pertaining to our defence, high-profile criminal and terrorist records will be safe in the custody? Such questions will go unanswered amidst the helm of political vendetta.
The report is also likely to draw stark criticism for the reported eviction of the then PM Mr. P V Narasimha Rao, who remained a mute spectator to the entire episode on and before December 6 1992. The debacle was followed by claims from the Congress Govt., that, they had gone by the assurance of the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Kalyan Singh, to provide full security and safety to Babri Masjid which never happened. Though the report now suggests that there was nothing Mr. Rao could do constitutionally to stop the axing of the Babri Masjid, he, being the head of the country, did have to own up moral responsibility and prevent the situation from deteriorating. Sadly, that did not happen and even more sad is, he has been let go scott-free. But the report terming the demolition of the Babri Masjid as 'Neither spontaneous nor unplanned' would ensure that the top brass of the Sangh Parivar are up for some dreadful nights for the next few weeks.
With December 6, which is observed as 'Black Day' by the Muslim brethren and 'Vijay Diwas' by the Sangh Parivar just round the corner and the Liberhan Commission report out and accessible to the public through electronic media, the possibility of unruly behaviour as the debate takes centre-stage cannot be completely ruled out. As responsible citizens and understanding the real challenges of the nation like terrorism from cross-border, poverty, corrupt leaders, lapses in administration by the bureaucracy, the onus of remaining united at this crucial juncture lies solely on the civil-society. A divided house and a vulnerable civil society is indeed detrimental and will only attract further attacks from the enemy. Unity amongst the Hindu and Muslim brethren would be a fitting reply to the 'Mandir-Masjid' politics.