March 20, 2020
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‘There Are Sharp Stones There, The Ground Has To Be Levelled’

So said Vajpayee in Lucknow a day before the Babri demolition

‘There Are Sharp Stones There, The Ground Has To Be Levelled’
‘There Are Sharp Stones There, The Ground Has To Be Levelled’

On December 5, 1992, a day before the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Atal Behari Vajpayee addressed kar sevaks at Jhandewalan Park in Aminabad, Lucknow. An intelligence video recording of the speech, which Outlook accessed in 2005, shows a younger Vajpayee, with a body language that is buoyant, his mood upbeat and strident, and a tone that is sarcastic. A transcript of the speech:

Inaudible)...had to reach for the evening programme but because of several programmes and because of the several people in those programmes, he hasn’t been able to reach

“By doing kar seva, we won’t be disrespecting any court order, by doing kar seva, we will be obeying the SC order.”

Lucknow. He has to go to Ayodhya tomorrow. Many people along with Advaniji, Joshiji...(inaudible). Our Jaywantiben Mehta has returned from Ayodhya. It’s difficult to walk there (because of the crowds that have gathered). If the court decision (in the Ramjanmabhoomi matter) is in our favour, then the construction will be made easier. I don’t want to criticise the high court. I have no intention to get implicated in a defamation suit. But the 11th has been finalised for a decision. A case was also registered with the Supreme Court. Even the Supreme Court decision does not stop kar seva. In reality, the court has shown us the path to do kar seva (cheers from the crowd). There is no question of stopping. By doing kar seva in Ayodhya we will not be disrespecting any court order, by doing kar seva we will be respecting and obeying the Supreme Court order (cheers from the crowd).

It’s true that as long as the Lucknow bench of the court does not come to a decision, the Supreme Court has asked us not to start any construction work. But the court has told us that you conduct bhajan, kirtan programmes. And bhajan is not done by one person, bhajan is done together with others. It’s communal and we need even more people for kirtan. And bhajan and kirtan cannot be done while standing. How long will we stand? I met a Khadeshwari Baba at the Bateshwar fair. I asked him how long he has been standing. He said 12 years and added he would go on standing till the cows were protected in India. I told him we have done whatever remaining work had to be done in this regard in UP and that a bill for the same is pending with the Centre....

“People coming from the south have no idea of the northern winter. For their benefit, there may be a shamiana.”

(Abrupt cut in video) There were sharp stones that came out, no one can sit there (cheers from the crowd), the ground has to be levelled (cheers again), it has to be made fit for sitting. Arrangements for a yagya will be done, so there will be some construction. At least there will be a platform made. The Supreme Court has stopped any construction. But if we do bhajan, pooja, yagya, people doing these can say it’s winter. People coming from the south have no idea of the northern winter and for their benefit there may be a shamiana. The kar sevaks will decide together...I don’t know what will happen there tomorrow. I wanted to go to Ayodhya but I was told to go to Delhi and I’ll respect that order. But there’s a case in the SC, it has appointed an observer. He has been given facilities by the state government. The Centre can put a hotline and the SC can be in regular touch with the observer....

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