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Why 17 Years? Why Not In 2004?

MJ Akbar raises some obvious but pertinent questions on the Liberhan Commission report in the Times of India:

The 1989 BJP versions of Varun Gandhi were full-throated, not muted, in their slogans as parties sought votes with a rhetoric that has been subsequently banned: Mandir wahin banayenge! and Mussalman ke do sthaan, Pakistan ya kabristan! No one hid anything: We shall build a temple on that precise spot! Muslims have two options, either Pakistan or the graveyard!

...What was there left to inquire into?

And then he provides the answers:

Every government between 1992 and 2004 had a vested interest in delay. The minority governments of H D Deve Gowda and Inder Gujral could not have survived a day without support from the Rao-Sitaram Kesri Congress. (Mrs Sonia Gandhi was not party president then.) Neither Gowda nor Gujral would have wanted a report that indicted their benefactors.

The BJP-led coalition that ruled for six years had the guilty on its front row... Justice Liberhan could have punched mortal holes into the BJP front row when it was in office.

But, as he notes, there remains a curiosity question:

. Why did he not submit his report in 2004? Admittedly Dr Manmohan Singh was finance minister in the Rao government, but he had nothing to do with the politics of Babri. 

MJ Akbar raises some obvious but pertinent questions on the Liberhan Commission report in the Times of India:

The 1989 BJP versions of Varun Gandhi were full-throated, not muted, in their slogans as parties sought votes with a rhetoric that has been subsequently banned: Mandir wahin banayenge! and Mussalman ke do sthaan, Pakistan ya kabristan! No one hid anything: We shall build a temple on that precise spot! Muslims have two options, either Pakistan or the graveyard!

...What was there left to inquire into?

And then he provides the answers:

Every government between 1992 and 2004 had a vested interest in delay. The minority governments of H D Deve Gowda and Inder Gujral could not have survived a day without support from the Rao-Sitaram Kesri Congress. (Mrs Sonia Gandhi was not party president then.) Neither Gowda nor Gujral would have wanted a report that indicted their benefactors.

The BJP-led coalition that ruled for six years had the guilty on its front row... Justice Liberhan could have punched mortal holes into the BJP front row when it was in office.

But, as he notes, there remains a curiosity question:

. Why did he not submit his report in 2004? Admittedly Dr Manmohan Singh was finance minister in the Rao government, but he had nothing to do with the politics of Babri. 

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