The report is not public and there are only titbits being shared with the people – people who are still waiting for justice for what happened 17 years ago, people who lost homes, families, dignity. People who became ‘others’. If it is being kept under wraps, then how are newspapers mentioning who has been indicted and for what? Here is the rogue’s gallery:
- L K Advani: For the rath yatra he took out to mobilise support to build a Ram temple where the masjid stood, and, on the fateful day, for failing to control the crowds he had helped mobilise
- Murli Manohar Joshi: Was present on the platform near Babri with Advani
- Uma Bharti: At the site, had reportedly expressed joy when the mosque was pulled down
- Sadhvi Rithambara: Allegedly incited mob
- Ashok Singhal: Was present, allegedly incited the frenzied mob
- Kalyan Singh: Was CM of UP, failed to control BJP’s kar sevaks
- Faizabad district officials: Severely indicted for their role during the demolition.
- P V Narasimha Rao: The PM of the Congress government at the Centre who allegedly failed to act in time and prevent demolition
It took 17 years, 399 sittings, 100 witnesses, 48 extensions and Rs 9 crore, most of this money was spent on staff salaries.
I am also angry that newspapers are making it into a Muslim issue. It is a Muslim issue in as much as the community was targeted during the riots, but the onus of justice is on the government, the judiciary, and the country. Indians, every Indian, must be involved in the process.
There were several people affected and many activists who worked to get justice. Now one of the reports in the TOI has a headline that has the gall to state: “Delay robs Liberhan report of fizz”. This is not some cola we are talking about. Did they talk about losing the fizz when the saffron fellows went hammering at the mosque? Did they mention that raking up an old Mughal era ‘wrong’ took away the fizz? No. In those days TOI had stopped covering the Srikrishna Committee hearings. This is a matter of national interest and national justice. You want your Response Department to get cola ads, try some other trick.
The judge says he is now free.
No, he is not. He has a responsibility since he has mentioned that the report got delayed due to the non-cooperation of some people. He will have to see it through. That is what the judiciary is about. It is not there to warm some benches in court. Should the government fail to act or act selectively, then he must be in the forefront to question it. This is not some private gupshup session where you can allege things but not give a damn about making those alleged culpable.
Has anyone noticed how the Times of India that flashes “Let truth prevail” on its masthead has started writing alleged in every report?
Worse, the 'alleged' is in italics. Is a newspaper not supposed to have the courage when it reports something? Does it only want to save itself from legal action should the situation arise? It alleges even for civic cases. I wonder how the reporters feel about their hard work and investigative skills going to waste. This is doubting your own women and men doing the legwork and making you the big newspaper you claim you are.
I have also seen columns with this execrable word. Don’t the columnists have any convictions? Aren’t their opinions important enough to them? Of course, there are some lightweights who become turncoats all too easily, but even so after all claims to be frank and fearless I cannot understand why they don’t protest.
A Times of India gem from the main front page report: “Incidentally, half of India’s T-20 squad was in primary school when Justice Liberhan was tasked with the probe.” What has it got to do with the Commission? Was any member of their families affected or part of the brigade that engineered the riots? There were several young people in this country who were children then, most have never been to primary school.
Another TOI nugget: Its Times Global page has a little homily over it: ‘Love all nations alike’! I think Karan Johar is their subconscious guest editor…