Vaishakha 18 Vik Samvat 2066. Yugabda 511, 1 May 2009

1. FESTIVALS: Ganga Dashami, also referred as Ganga-Dashahara, celebrates the birthday of River Ganga – her descent on earth. The festival begins on the Amavasi day in the Hindu month of Jyestha and ends on the Dashami tithi corresponding to 2 June this year. The festival lasts for 10 days.The festival is of great importance in those places through which the Ganga flows, especially at Haridwar and Prayag (Allahabad). Ganga is worshipped in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal during this period. Ganga Dashami is an ideal opportunity to contemplate and usher in change and save Mother Ganga.
2. NEW BIOGRAPHY OF MADHAVRAO MULE: Muleji inspired many swayamsevaks - Mohan Bhagwat.: RSS Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat released the new biography of Madhavrao Mule (former Sarkaryavaha of RSS) in Mumbai on April 9. Releasing this Marathi biography written by Shri Suresh sathe ,Shri Bhagwat said if one has to properly understand goal of the Sangh and the inspiration to work for the country one must read the biography of Madhavrao Mule. “This is not just a book highlighting the life of Muleji, it is the life sketch of a dedicated Sangh worker,” he said. Muleji’s biography was first published in Hindi about 25 years back by late Lekhraj Sharma. This new biography highlights many hidden facts about Muleji, Shri Bhagwat added.
Veteran Sangh Pracharak Shrikant Joshi, Konkan Prant Sanghachalak Shri Bapusaheb Mokashi and writer Suresh Sathe also shared the dais.
3. VOTE HUNDRED PERCENT, BUILD PRESSURE ON HINDU ISSUES: RSS general secretary (Sarkaryavah) Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi appealed to Swayamsewaks to ensure hundred percent polling and create a pressure on Hindu issues using fully the rights the constitution has given. Swayamsewaks are voters too and as the Sarsanghchalak has said-we must ensure that largest number of people vote; that’s the way to address Hindu concerns.
In the first ever wide ranging interview to Tarun Vijay, (Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation), Bhaiyya ji Joshi, as he is popularly called, was emphatic that unless politicians who understand and appreciate nationalist issues like Kashmiri Hindus’ safe return to the valley, abolishing article 370, ensuring Ram Temple at Ayodhya, are elected, society won’t see the changes it aspires for.
He said he sees a wave of awakening amongst the voters and surely a pressure has to be built on Hindutva related issues using the rights constitution has provided.
4. 'INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION WAS LITERATE': The 4,000-year-old Indus Valley civilization that thrived on the Indo-Pak border might have been a literate society which used a script close to present day languages like Tamil, Sanskrit and English, reveals a new finding announced on April 23.
A group of Bharatiya scientists have conducted a statistical study of the symbols found in the Indus Valley remains and compared them with various linguistic scripts and non-linguistic systems like DNA and computer programming. They found that the inscriptions closely matched those of spoken languages such as Tamil, Sanskrit and English. The results published in the journal Science show that the Indus script could be “as-yet-unknown language”.
The scientists from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Indus Research Center in Chennai collaborated with lead author Rajesh Rao to develop models which helped comparing the symbols with present day languages.
5. DHARMA SANSKRITI SANGAM IN VARANASI: Noted saint Swami Avimukteshwaranand stressed the need for coordination among all ways of worship for ensuring peace in the world. He was inaugurating the Buddhist-Vaidik Mahasammelan at Nivedita Girls School in Varanasi on April 19. He said the God is one and there are various ways to reach Him. “This could be the basic foundation of unity among all the sects and faiths. It is good for the entire humanity that both the Buddhists and Vedics are coming together. This sangam will prove to be a milestone in achieving this objective. We need to do this work with patience,” he said.
Speaking at the Sammelan Prof. Geshe Navang Samtan, Vice Chancellor of Tibetan University said the reason of conflicts in the world is the clash between various cultures. He said terrorism could not be arrested without restoring peace, compassion, satisfaction and friendship in the world.
Earlier, in his introductory remarks senior Sangh Pracharak and patron of Dharma Sanskrit Sangam Indresh Kumar said Kashi and Sarnath are complementary to each other and both should take initiatives to save the society from crime, corruption, alien culture, terrorism and consumerism. He demanded to declare Sarnath a pilgrimage and scholarship to Buddhist students.
6. PEOPLE IN NORTH AND SOUTH BHARAT BELONG TO THE SAME GENE POOL: ICHR CHAIRMAN: Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests of blood samples from people in the Bharatiya subcontinent have confirmed that the human race had its origins in Africa and not Europe or Central Asia as claimed by a few historians.
The test has classified the people in north and south Bharat as belonging to one gene pool, and not different ethnic groups such as Aryans and Dravidians.
Giving the information, Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research D.N. Tripathi said geneticists from Pakistan had collected samples for genetics analysis of the people of Bharatiya subcontinent and sent them to cellular and molecular biology laboratories in the U.S.. Scientists in Pakistan concluded from the test results that the human race spread out of Africa 60,000 years before Christ. They settled in the subcontinent. Geneticists in Pakistan concluded that people living in the northern and southern regions of Bharat and those in the West Asian region were from the same gene pool, he added.
Asked about the argument of many historians tracing the lineage of people in North Bharat to Aryans, Prof. Tripathi said test results had proved this wrong. "We have the results of studies. The conclusion of some historians that Aryans came here 15,000 years before Christ does not hold water," he added.
7. SPY IN SKY TO AID INDIA’S TERROR WAR: Security forces can now look to the heavens for help in the war against terror.
Bharat on April 20 acquired Cold War-style sneak-peek capabilities with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launching a spy satellite from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The all-weather, 24-hour Israeli surveillance satellite will help security agencies monitor the country’s international borders and give early warning about any kind of troop build-up, infiltration attempts and even ballistic missile attacks.
Dubbed ‘RISAT-2,’ the spy satellite weighing 300 kg is capable of seeing through clouds and carrying out day-and-night, all-weather imaging.
8. GOEBBELSIAN SECULARISM: Punish Gujarat’s perjury promoters: The findings by the Special Investigation Team — appointed by the Supreme Court and headed by Mr RK Raghavan, the former CBI director — that the activist group Citizens for Justice and Peace fabricated ‘evidence’ relating to the Gujarat violence of 2002 are revealing. The SIT has found about two dozen key witnesses were tutored and made to sign template affidavits, printed out on the same printer. The witnesses gave bogus evidence about the alleged rape and murder of a pregnant woman, named Kauser Bano, whose stomach was apparently torn open and foetus pulled out. The SIT has concluded that this grisly and hideous incident simply did not happen. Another fictitious case related to witnesses who claimed to have seen bodies dumped into a well in the Naroda Patiya neighbourhood of Ahmedabad. Again, no corroborative evidence has been found and the SIT has reason to believe this incident too never took place. In a third case, the police was falsely accused of aiding the murderers of a British national of Gujarati origin. Finally, claims that Mr PC Pandey, Commissioner of Ahmedabad police in 2002, colluded with a mob in an attack on Gulbarga Society, a largely Muslim residential quarter, were also found to be untrue. The SIT has established that Mr Pandey was elsewhere at the time.
While bringing into question the credibility of Ms Teesta Setalvad, the leading light of the CJP, the SIT revelations also point to a carefully crafted conspiracy. The myth about the murder of a pregnant woman, which became the subject of impassioned essays and books, was used to dehumanise Gujarati Hindus. The mass dumping of bodies in a well and the role of the police were used to point to a pogrom-like situation, with the state killing its own people. In targeting Mr Pandey, key functionaries of the Government were sought to be put on the backfoot. An attempt was made to prejudice public opinion and subvert investigations into the Godhra carnage and its aftermath even before these started. All this implies something far more serious than the genuine errors or even the wild ranting of over-imaginative vigilantes. Ms Setalvad obviously had a political motive. As has been known since the Zahira Shaikh case, there is a documented history to her coercing and bribing of witnesses and, now, of promoting perjury. The charge that the Gujarat Police protected the killers of a British citizen was particularly audacious. It inevitably had diplomatic implications, with Ms Setalvad causing her British interlocutors to believe they were dealing with a rogue Government in Gandhinagar. To call this treachery would be mild. Ms Setalvad has been shown up as having an unusually perverted criminal mind.
It is nobody’s suggestion that there were no pre-meditated murders in Gujarat in February-March 2002. From the Godhra incineration of Hindu pilgrims to the retaliatory and counter-retaliatory killings that followed, hundreds of lives were lost. Justice may be delayed but it must be delivered. If individual officials or politicians had a role to play, they need to be punished. Indeed, the judicial process has already resulted in convictions. This does mean, however, that entire case histories can be manufactured and an activist cabal’s political prejudices can be allowed to come in the way of reality. Ms Setalvad needs to be tried for vilifying and framing innocent people.- The Pioneer Edit Desk 15 Apr
9. VISIT BY BHUTANESE FAMILIES TO SRI LAKSHMI TEMPLE ORGANIZED BY SEWA INTERNATIONAL AND HSS: Several Bhutanese families have recently been relocated to Worcester, MA by the International Organization of Migration (IOM) from refugee camps in Nepal. Sewa International and HSS helped these families visit Sri Lakshmi Temple. On April 18, 2009 HSS arranged a bus to drive these families from Worcester to Ashland to visit Sri Lakshmi Temple. In addition, several volunteers picked up families in 16 cars/vans. For most of them, this was their first visit to a Hindu temple since their arrival to the USA. In all, about 110 Bhutanese and 25 volunteers assembled at the temple the temple organizers held a special Sri Lakshmi archana. After the archana, the temple president Kumar Ji Nochur gave each of the families and the volunteers a beautiful 8x11” picture of the goddess.
10. $27BN FLOWS OUT ILLEGALLY EVERY YEAR FROM INDIA: Just when a partisan debate rages over the issue of billions of black money hoarded abroad by Bharat's corrupt, the country has been ranked fifth in the list of 160 developing countries suffering from the outflow of huge amounts of money through illicit channels.
A US-based organisation Global Financial Integrity (GFI) — its report -- 'Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-06' — which came out in December last year, has said total illicit financial outflows from India during the period averaged from a low of $22.7 billion to a high of $27.3 billion per year.
The GFI report is based on examination of trade and external debt data from 2002-06 maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
11. HELP THE CIVILIANS: Over 40,000 civilians have reportedly fled the no-fire zone (NFZ) in Wanni region, under siege by the Sri Lankan army, to government-controlled territory. This is a welcome development since Colombo had previously claimed that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) treated civilians in the region as human shields and did not allow them to shift to refugee camps. However, Colombo must extend the ceasefire as demanded by the United Nations to enable the rest of the civilian population to move out of the conflict zone if they wished to. UN agencies had estimated that over a lakh Tamil civilians are trapped in the region. The two-day ceasefire offered by the Sri Lankan government was too short a time for the evacuation of such a large number of people.
Colombo's figure for the number of civilians in the conflict zone is less than the UN's, and it blames the Tigers for civilian casualties. A pro-rebel website and human rights groups say that over 1,000 civilians in the NFZ have been killed in attacks by Sri Lankan defence forces. Both sides allege that the other side is using Tamil civilians as human shields. In the absence of independent sources, it is impossible to test the veracity of the charges traded by both the parties. The international community must step in immediately and make the warring sides see reason, to stop an immense human tragedy from unravelling in the region. The LTTE has pleaded to the International Committee of the Red Cross for medical supplies and for evacuating injured people. Colombo should facilitate the entry of the Red Cross to the region. It is necessary to involve international aid agencies in relief work since Colombo, represented in the region overwhelmingly by its armed forces, is seen as hostile to Tamils. Greater involvement by UN agencies may also help Colombo counter the LTTE claim that civilians have refused to shift to state-run camps because they fear for their safety.
The world expects the Sri Lankan government to adhere to internationally accepted human rights norms. Unfortunately, the record of Colombo leaves much to be desired. Both parties have ignored warnings by UN commissioners that war tactics employed by Colombo and the LTTE resulted in immense hardship to civilians and could be classified as war crimes. Colombo must not lose track of its international commitments as its armed forces fight what it believes to be the final battle in an ethnic war that has lasted a quarter of a century. (Editorial, Times of India, 22 April 2009)
12. HINDU SCHOLARS ASK FOR ‘KIRTAN’ AWARD AT GRAMMYS: Hindu scholars are calling on Grammy Awards bosses to add a new category for traditional Bharatiya music at the annual awards ceremony. Officials at the Universal Society of Hinduism are urging Grammy bosses to include ‘Kirtan’ as a field for future awards shows, beginning in 2010, and reports
“In 2009, there were Grammys awarded in 110 music categories, covering 32 fields, including pop, rock, rap, country, new age, gospel, jazz, folk, world music, Hawaiian, Latin, reggae and blues, and we now think Bharatiya music should be included,” said Rajan Zed, Hindu scholar adding “Kirtan is attracting large audiences in USA and Canada, and many other countries of the world, resulting in various new albums and creation of star kirtan artists. There should be Favorite Kirtan Artist of the Year award at the Grammys.”
He felt that the ‘kirtans’ have a meditating effect. “The powerful healing and transformational energies of these ancient chants in help to calm and focus the mind. It’s a sacred and spiritual experience that takes one to the state of deep meditation,” stated he.
13. US-BASED BHARATIYA AUTHOR DEBUTS WITH RECORD ADVANCE: Sarita Mandanna, a US-based Bharatiya author, has created ripples in the publishing world as her ‘Tiger Hills’ has received the largest advance Penguin India house has so far paid for a debut novel.
David Godwin Associates Ltd, the Britain-based literary agency, has sold Tiger Hills to Penguin Books-India for an undisclosed amount.
David Godwin Associates spokesperson Sophie Hoult refused to divulge the exact amount but said the deal was in seven figures.
Hoult said Tiger Hills, “a sweeping popular novel set in India between 1878 and the Second World War, was a cross between an Indian version of The Thornbirds and Gone with the Wind”.
14. SIKH SANGAT CRITICISES IMPOSITION OF JAZIA ON SIKHS: Rashtriya Sikh Sangat criticised the imposition of jazia on the Sikhs in Pakistan by Taliban. In a press statement issued in New Delhi Sikh Sangat international president Sardar Gurcharan Singh Gill demanded immediate withdrawal of the tax and warned the Government of Pakistan of stronger protests world over. Talibans have levied the jazia on Sikhs, before occupying the houses of Sikhs kidnapping one Sardar Jaiwant Singh. The Sikhs were forced to pay Rs 20 millions.
15. SANGH SHIKSHA VARGA BEGINS IN KERALA: The first Sangh Siksha Varga of RSS in Kerala began at G Ramachandran Public School at Neyyattinkara in Thiruvanantha-puram on April 20. The School is situated in a large 10 acre compound, which is the residential property of the Gandhian Sri G Ramachandran.
Inaugurating the 20-day Varga, which comprises of 360 swayamsevaks from four districts of Kerala, Bhagini Mythili, a disciple of GR and a devotee of Swami Yogananda Paramahamsa, said she was happy to be host to dedicated youth who are together trained to serve the nation.
Sangh Shiksha Vargas in various parts of Bharat will be held in May/June with tritiya Varsha statrting on May 10 at Nagpur.
16. BHARAT, CHINA MAY SEE LARGEST GAINS IN IMF QUOTAS: India, China, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico will see some of the largest gains in their quota shares in the International Monetary Fund to bring them closer to their evolving position in the world economy.
The five nations are among 54 members who will get an increase in quota shares of 4.9 percentage points, 135 countries will see an increase in voting share of 5.4 percentage points due to the combined effects of the increase in quotas and basic votes.
17. NEW RULE ON RELIGIOUS CONVERSION OF CHILDREN IN MALAYSIA : In a major step to ease inter- faith conflicts that have strained race relations, Malaysia banned conversion of children without both parents' consent, days after an ethnic Indian Hindu woman challenged her estranged husband's move to change their kids' religion to Islam.
After a cabinet meeting, the administration of new Prime Minister Najib Razak decided that children of parents where one of them opts to convert, must be raised in the common religion at the time of marriage.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Nazri said that in the new decision any spouse who has been converted into Islam would also have to fulfil his or her marriage responsibilities according to civil marriage laws.
"Religion should not be used as a tool to escape marriage responsibilities. Conversion is not a ground for the automatic dissolution of a marriage," he told reporters.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of a number of legal spats that have mushroomed in this multi-cultural country with complaints of discrimination by non-Muslims as the Islamic shariah courts rule in favour of Muslims, while civil courts say they don't have jurisdiction to hear judgements by shariah courts.
18. KIDWAI NAMED HSBC INDIA’S COUNTRY HEAD: Naina Lal Kidwai has been given a larger role at Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in its Bharat operations. Hitherto Group General Manager and CEO of HSBC India, Kidwai now becomes Group General Manager and Country Head of HSBC India.That would make Kidwai chairman of the eight HSBC Group companies in Bharat.
19. MURTHYS PLEDGE WEALTH FOR SOCIAL WELFARE PROJECTS: Taking a leaf out of investment moghul Warren Buffett's social initiatives, Infosys co-founder and chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy intend to give their monies to those working in three sectors - basic healthcare, basic education and basic nutrition.
"There are lots of fabulous initiatives in the field being executed by some wonderful people to address the issues that interest us," said Murthy. "So, Sudha and I will give financial help to these people rather than doing it directly."
20. BHARAT, US STOP NEPAL FROM AXING ARMY CHIEF: Nepal’s beleaguered army chief Gen Rookmangud Katawal will now live to fight another day as his arch enemy, the ruling Maoist party, has decided to tread with caution after pressure from Bharat and the US.
“The party has asked the government not to take a hasty decision since there is tremendous pressure from Bharat and the US,” Maoist lawmaker Chandra Prakash Gajurel said after the top leaders of the party met to study the developments.
The switch came after indications that the Maoists’ biggest ally in the coalition, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), would not support the firing of the army chief.
21. SONAL SHAH HEADS OBAMA’S OFFICE OF SOCIAL INNOVATION: Sonal Shah, who formerly led Google Global Development Initiatives, the philanthropic arm of, has been appointed head of the new Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House, the Obama administration informed.
The naming of Shah follows closely two other high-profile appointments of Indian Americans in the Obama administration: Vivek Kundra, the nation’s first chief information officer; and actor Kal Penn, the new associate director for the White House Office of Public Liaison.
22. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Shri Som Parasher and Nelelam from UK. Pravaas: Vishwa Vibhag Samyojak Dr.Shankar Tatwawadi is in UK after his pravas to Kenya, South Africa and Bharat.
23. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves you with ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. - Gautam Buddha
S Gurumurthy
The manner in which a bold initiative to unearth Indian black money lying abroad was aborted by the then Congress Government in the 1980s was suggestive. Then, as now, the party leadership acted as if it had skeletons to hide
Switzerland was accused of giving shelter to black money and there has been a lot of inflow of such wealth from India and other countries of the world.” This is not Mr LK Advani speaking in an election rally but the Swiss Ambassador to India briefing the media in New Delhi last year. The occasion was the 60th anniversary of Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty. Admitting that Indian black money gets hoarded in his country, he added that the new law in Switzerland would not stop it but control it “up to a certain limit”.
The Swiss diplomat authentically answered the first of the FAQs, that is, whether lots of Indian monies are really stashed away in Swiss banks. Swiss banks are not the only secret destination. There are 37 such shelters in the world, says US Inland Revenue. The secret owners of the monies operate in secrecy — venal businessmen, corrupt politicians and public servants, drug lords, and criminal gangs like the D-company. These slush monies are the financial RDX for terror, besides weapons of mass destruction of national and global finance. That there is secret money is no more a secret. Only the amounts and the owners of that money are secret.
But how large could be such stolen Indian wealth hoarded in Switzerland so far? Specific estimates of this later. Before that, here is a side show, but a relevant one.
An apology would be in order. For, I figure in this show. In late 1980s, at the behest of an English national daily, while investigating a corporate scam, I had attempted to trail the Indian currencies stashed abroad. In the course of the probe, I had contacted Fairfax, a US investigative firm. Impressed by its skills, I persuaded the Government of India to engage the firm for the task. Fairfax agreed to work for a slice of the black wealth uncovered by them as fee. According to the Swiss sources then, the Indian money stashed in Swiss banks was estimated around some $300 billion. That was enough to excite the Fairfax to go for the kill.
But, soon my efforts landed me in jail on March 13, 1987, when the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested me on charges that later turned out to be bogus, but were enough to stop the probe. The whole nation knew then that real reason why rulers struck was their fear that the probe had targeted the Bofors pay-off and secrets monies of the ruling family abroad. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, moved honest and bold civil servants like Vinod Pandey and Bhure Lal out of the probe and eventually sacked the then Finance Minister VP Singh, who had authorised the efforts.
The chain of events that followed led to corruption emerging as the major issue in the 1989 poll in which Rajiv Gandhi, who had wiped out the Opposition in 1984 election, was defeated, and VP Singh became the Prime Minister. But there is a big lesson in these developments that often goes unnoticed. And that is the way the bold national interest initiative to unearth the Indian black wealth abroad was aborted clearly confirmed that the ruling party was mortally afraid of any probe into secret monies abroad. This fear haunts the Congress even today. That is why the 1987 episode is relevant now.
Now cut to the main story.
Illicit monies are the dirty outcome of modern capitalism. But, after the 9/11 terror attack, the United States realised that not just the buccaneers in business but terrorists like Osama bin Laden could hide their funds in secret havens and use them to bomb the world. Campaigns against dirty money as high security risk commenced with the path-breaking research done by Raymond W Baker, a Harvard MBA and a Brooking scholar. His research was published in a book titled Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System in 2005.
This set off intense debate in the US as the exposure linked dirty business and black money with terror and national security. Raymond Baker had estimated, using authentic data, tools and reasons, the tainted wealth stashed in banks at $11.5 trillion to which, he found, one more trillion was getting added annually. He added that in the process the West was getting an annual bounty of $500 billion from the developing countries, including India.
Global Financial Integrity, a global watchdog headed by Baker to curtail illicit money flows, has recently brought out detailed estimates of the black money hoarded in secret havens from different countries. GFI research shows that during the period from 2002 to 2006, annually $27.3 billion was stashed away from India, making a total of $137.5 billion for the five-year period (the Executive Report of GFI in on ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries 2002-2006’ Economists’ version). That is, in just five years, Indian wealth amounting to Rs 6.88 lakh crore was smuggled out of India. This gives clue as to how much Indian money would have slipped out of India in the last 62 years, particularly during the Nehruvian socialist regime when the income tax (97.5 per cent) and wealth tax (almost equal to the income earned on investments) together constituted double the income earned!
It is undisputed that the Nehruvian socialist model had forced huge sums of Indian money out of India. So the amount of Indian black money stashed away in the last 60 years — estimated at from $500 billion (Rs 25 lakh crore) to $1400 billion (Rs 70 lakh crore) — do not seem to be wide off the mark. Economists call it flight of capital. This is the Indian people’s money stolen away from them.
See the consequence even if part of it is brought back. A portion of it would make India free from all external debts which is now over $220 billion; India will transform into an economic superpower; some 10 or 15 Indian Rupee could buy a US dollar which today 50 Indian Rupees cannot. A litre of petrol on our roadside would cost some Rs 15 or even less, against today’s 40 plus; the cost of imports in rupee terms would be down to a third or half; India’s entire infrastructure needs can be funded; India will become so energy efficient and cost-competitive that exporters may need no sops at all; India will lend to — presently it borrows from — the world. India’s housing can be funded at affordable cost; rural poverty can be wiped out... The list is endless. -- The Pioneer 21 April 2009.
Prafull Goradia
Human hands could not have brought down the strong stone walls of the Babri edifice. To do that and clear the debris overnight required more than enraged kar sevaks
By rejecting Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav’s accusation that the Babri edifice was demolished by the Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has betrayed his ignorance. On July 11, 1991 The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 came into operation. The legislation prohibited the conversion of any place of worship from its character as it existed on August 15, 1947. There was, however, one exception made and that was Ayodhya. To quote the relevant section of the Act, “Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the place or place of worship commonly known as Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh.”
The obvious motive of the Narasimha Rao Government was to secure its posture of secularism; to forbid any change whatsoever in any place of worship in the country. Secondly, the Government kept all options open with regard to Ayodhya where it could do what it liked. The fate of the Babri edifice thus began to be sealed in July 1991. On the fateful day of December 6, 1992, I happened to reach the VIP terrace opposite the Babri edifice by 10.40 am. Most of the senior leaders of the BJP, the RSS and the VHP also came to this terrace. The tenor of the conversation I heard was: Let us hope that after today’s kar seva the popular mood would compel the Muslim community to give up its claim over the edifice. When by noon a large number of youth climbed the domes of the edifice there was consternation. The young men had no effect whatsoever except that they scratched the domes hard enough to show up the colour of sand.
Subsequently came the news, through the several police officers who were present, that a number of men were systematically attacking the edifice walls just below the domes with the help of crowbars. When some leaders questioned the police about their inaction, the reply was that they had instructions not to intervene without a threat to human life. Incidentally, no Minister of the Uttar Pradesh Government was available to contact.
Within the next hour came to the terrace two Press photographers who had been beaten, bruised and bleeding somewhat. Their cameras had been snatched away because the men with the crowbars did not want to be photographed. That is when I realised that those men were Government servants and not kar sevaks who would be proud to be photographed whereas Government servants would be afraid. The town of Ayodhya was overcrowded with people, perhaps, two to three lakh in number. At 2:30 pm there was an audible sigh by the people which signalled that one of the domes had fallen. From where I was, I could not see it collapse. I did however witness the fall of the other two domes at 3:40 and 4:30 pm. There were tears of joy in the eyes of some of the VHP leaders. The Sangh leadership was neither jumping with joy nor sad with anxiety. By and large, the BJP veterans looked stunned as if blood had flowed out of their veins.
At 5:30 pm all of us came down from the terrace and began wending our way to where our cars were parked. The ten 30-feet walls were still standing as they were in the morning. All they had lost were their domes. Uncannily, not all these years since then have I ever seen a photograph of the Babri edifice without its domes. The earliest next picture was that of the Ram Lalla mandir in a tent hastily established by the Central Reserve Police. It was published in the dailies of December 9, 1992.
Clearly, the 10 enormous walls were demolished during the next 60 hours after 6:00 pm by when the Kalyan Singh Ministry had been dismissed and the President had taken over the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Which means that the walls were demolished by the representatives of the Central Government. Human hands could not have brought down the strong stone walls. To do the work and clear the debris fast mechanical devices, probably belonging to the CPWD, were used.
For the next fortnight, the BJP could not decide whether to claim credit for the demolition or deny its role or to admit its ignorance. Meanwhile, one of its prominent leaders wrote an article in a national daily that the 6th was the darkest day in his life. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao went on the television the same night, condemning the demolition and promising that he would re-build the masjid. Actually there was no need to rebuild the whole edifice since only the domes had been destroyed. Contrary to his promise, the walls were razed to the ground. Obviously, the Prime Minister had found an enthusiastic accomplice in Mr Kalyan Singh, although I surmise, without the knowledge of his senior partymen. He, therefore, became a virtual persona non grata thereafter and was finally expelled from the party. -- The Pioneer 1 May 2009