Monday, Jun 27, 2022

'It Was A Conspiracy Of The Sangh Parivar'

Transcript of the BBC Hindi special programme Aapki baat BBC ke saath with the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister on: ' Who is responsible for the demolition of Babri masjid?'

'It Was A Conspiracy Of The Sangh Parivar'

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Who is responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid ?

Kalyan Singh : My opening remarks are that I had no hand directly or indirectly in pulling down the structure. Despite that I accepted the responsibility, and due to whatever happened on 6th December 1992, I owned moral responsibility and resigned from the post of chief minister.

So far as the conspiracy is concerned, I was kept totally in the dark. I was deceived, it was a breach of trust by the entire Sangh Parivar, whether it be the VHP, Bajrang Dal or the BJP. They hatched a conspiracy and I was not told anything. You can gauge the depth of their conspiracy and secrecy by the fact that Mr Tej Shankar who was appointed by the Supreme Court reported that till 11:30 AM that day everything was normal and nothing was wrong there. Half an hour after his statement, the dome of the structure was pulled down.

BBC listener from Florida (America) : Were you used by the BJP to increase its vote bank and if you had wanted, the Masjid’s demolition could have been prevented? This is what finally led to the formation of BJP govt that is in Delhi today.

Kalyan Singh : Well the policy of the BJP for me as well as for all is - first use the person to the maximum and then throw him out. This is what was done with me. I had served this party with my blood and sweat for 40 years. It was reduced to a party of two MPs, it was due to my efforts that they were able to form a government at the Centre. In Uttar Pradesh, they merely had eight MLAs, I made them rule twice in the state. They used me and then threw me out of the party.

It was not about my wanting or not wanting to save the structure; I was kept in the dark, about what they were going to do on the 6th of December. Two leaders of the VHP - late Vijae Raje Scindia and now the Union minister for Home, Swami Chinmayananda - had given to me in writing that no harm would be done to the structure, on the basis of which, I had submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Kalyan Singh, you are saying that you were deceived, but you were the chief minister of the state at that time. Now you say that you had resigned, but the Central Govt said that your Govt was dismissed. Even after the demolition, when you toured the different parts of India, in you said in your speeches that you are proud that the structure had been demolished.

Kalyan Singh : No, no, as soon as the structure was demolished, I submitted my resignation to the governor, the Govt that was dismissed in UP was not there at that time. I had submitted my resignation at 5:15 PM, on 6th December 1992.

So far as my speeches after the demolition are concerned, I was speaking in keeping with the party line for which I had been trained for years but the truth is what I am telling you today.

BBC listener from Kanpur (UP) : Mr Singh, you have in the past been saying that you are dedicated to the politics of principles etc., I had heard on the BBC itself some years back, saying that you don’t care for the chair. Today do you see any role for yourself as a mediator in this Ayodhya problem ?

Kalyan Singh : I accept the fact that the lingering on of this dispute indefinitely is neither in the interests of the Hindus nor of the Muslims or of the country. There are only two solutions-either eminent personalities from both sides sit down and talk or if that is not possible then the court verdict should be accepted by all. The problem is that some organisations are openly saying that they would not accept the court verdict. Are they above the law? Such people are speaking against the law and the Constitution of the country as well.

It is the inflammatory speeches of the VHP, RSS etc., that are hurting the religious sentiments of the other community. Since the other community feels hurt, they react and this constitutes the real problem.

BBC listener from Kolkata : Mr Kalyan Singh, today you are saying that you are not responsible for the demolition. I remember that you had come to Kolkata after the demolition and had claimed credit for the demolition. Let me remind you that Mr Jyoti Basu had severely criticised you for this statement. Why are you blaming others today ?

Kalyan Singh : I am repeating that I had no hand directly or indirectly in pulling down that structure. Despite that I accepted moral responsibility for it. If the court takes any action against me on the basis of this moral responsibility, I will accept it. This is my stand, and I am not retracting from it.

BBC correspondent Ram Dutt Tripathi from Lucknow : Mr Singh, I was reporting the entire incident for the BBC and I would like to remind you that you had issued orders that no force be used against Kar sewaks, Sadhus-saints. When they climbed on the dome the police and the PAC stayed silent and even the Central forces were not allowed there. Don’t you think that it was due to your order that the kar sewaks grew in confidence and attacked the Masjid ?

Kalyan Singh : There were lakhs of Kar sewaks present there. The orders that I had given was to disperse them using lathi charge, tear gas or whatever force was required, but not to fire on them, as had the firing taken place thousands of kar sewaks would have been killed in such firing, and several lives would have been lost in the stampede. This could have led to large scale riots in the country. This was the reason for my decision. This was not done before hand but when I was informed of the situation on 6th. My notings are there on the file on that date.

I feel that by my action, I prevented a large scale blood shed in the country, and I saved lives of thousands, still if you feel I am guilty, I accept this verdict.

I resigned from my post at 5:15 PM on 6th DECEMBER, and the Central Govt took over, even then the construction by the Kar Sewaks continued for two more days. On the 7th of December when the Kar Sewaks continued the construction, the Central Govt, did not resort to any firing which means that the decision taken by me was followed by the Centre as well.

BBC listener from Delhi : When the Babri Masjid was demolished you were the Chief Minister of UP, and it was your responsibility to protect it, why don’t you accept it ?

Kalyan Singh : See, it was a conspiracy of the Sangh parivar and I was kept in the dark, still I accepted moral responsibility and resigned .

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: But Mr Singh, you have said earlier in the programme that you were with the BJP ideology for 40 years; that you were with the Ram Janam Bhoomi movement, who kept you in the dark about the Masjid demolition ?

Kalyan Singh : The entire Sangh Parivar, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishan Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, all of them kept me in the dark. These leaders kept on talking about superficial issues with me. The affidavit which I was asked to submit before the court was on the basis of the letters of Chinmayananda and late Vijae Raje Scindia, which pledged protection to the structure and that no new construction would be done in the disputed area. These letters had clearly stated there would be a token kar sewa on 6th December.

I had trusted all of them, and they made me submit an affidavit before the Supreme Court, that the structure would be protected, which did not happen, even the new makeshift Hindu structure that came up was in contempt of court. I was handed a sentence of one day, and a fine of Rs two thousand; I have complied with both of them.

But look at these Sangh and BJP leaders, they do not have the courage to stand up and face the truth. They should have the courage to come out with the truth and accept the moral responsibility and say that yes this has happened.

Instead they are issuing clarifications everyday in their defence, giving contradictory statements. Look at L K Advani, I have myself read four types of different statements that he has made before the Liberhan Commission.These lack moral courage to stand up and speak the truth.

BBC listener from Hardwar : Deputy Prime Minister Advani has said today that the narrow minded definition of Hindutva is not acceptable ? Narrow minded or broad minded what is the definition of Hindutva ?

Kalyan Singh : See, do not go by the definition given by Mr Advani. In Gujarat when more than two thousand innocents were murdered; the wombs of pregnant women were torn apart to kill the unborns by throwing them in the fire - it was defined as Hindutva by Narendra Modi. Both Advani and Vajpayee had defended this version of Hindutva.. Was this Hindutva ? It was pure fascism. Hindutva is a philosophy based on tolerance and peace for all.

But the Hindutva of BJP is communalism, fascism, and murders of innocents. Their Hindutva philosophy is for votes only.

BBC listener from Oman : Mr Kalyan Singh, you were not only the Chief Minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished, you again became the Chief Minister later, heading the BJP Govt. If you say that this was a conspiracy, why don’t you reveal the names of the conspirators today on this prestigious programme, when you are being heard by millions.

Kalyan Singh : Ok if you feel so, I am telling you the names of the conspirators -- The RSS sarsangchalak (chief) at that time Rajinder Singh (Rajju Bhaiya), present Sarsangchalak K S Sudharshan, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishan Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, and Mr Ashok Singhal, and Giriraj Kishore of the VHP. It was the collective conspiracy of all these.

So far as the Liberhan Commission is concerned, if it summons me - I will go.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Singh today you are saying that if the Liberhan Commission calls, you would go. But till the time you were in BJP, you evaded the summons and did not appear before the commission on one excuse or the other ?

Kalyan Singh : No, then I was faced with a different scenario. A case is also pending against me in the court of law therefore if I had said something in my deposition in the Liberhan Commission, that would have been quoted in the court as well.

But today I am saying that I will tell the names in the Rae Bareli Court, and if the Liberhan Commission calls me I have no objection in going.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: But Mr Singh, you can give a suo moto statement before the Liberhan Commission.

Kalyan Singh : No, an argument is going to take place before the Commission on 21st, I will see whether I have to go then.

BBC listener from Sultanpur (UP) : Mr Singh, in this programme, you have been evading responsibility that was on you as the Chief Minister to protect the Masjid, why did the police and other security forces remain silent spectators to this barbaric incident ?

Kalyan Singh : No they were not silent spectators. We had worked on a three ring security corridor to save the structure. But the uncontrollable crowd of thousands broke through. We did not fire on them. Who knows that had there been firing - thousands would have been killed and the structure would also not have been saved. At least, lives were saved.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Singh you said that the crowd was uncontrollable. But you had already handed over 43 acres of adjacent land to the VHP, and that is why lakhs of people were there. Don’t you think it was a mistake or a judgemental error ?

Kalyan Singh : No, it was not an error. My decision was based on the promise given to me by all the senior leaders of Sangh and BJP that it would be a token kar sewa. Even when the matter went before the Supreme Court, it did not ban the Kar Sewa.

The letters of the Union Home Minister at that time Mr Chavan, are still there in which he had asked the state government to make arrangements for water, medicines and other facilities for the Kar sewaks. This is what we did.

BBC listener from East Chamapran (Bihar) : Mr Singh, you had even filed a false affidavit before the court that you would protect the Masjid. Today you are saying that those who conspired and pulled down the Masjid are sitting in the government in Delhi. Why don’t you tell their names in the court ? Does this not mean that you are now saying all this because you are out of power and now you need the votes of Muslims ?

Kalyan Singh : I have never believed in the politics of vote bank or caste. So far as the question is that where was I when all this was happening, I am saying that I was kept in the dark. I was made to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court by these people only.

It was decided in the Central office of the Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS) that late Vijae Raje Scindia and Swami Chinmayananda will give a written submission. On the basis of that the affidavit was drafted.

It is true that I could not protect the structure for which I have accepted moral responsibility.

BBC listener from Baroda (Gujarat) : Mr Kalyan Singh, when you were in the BJP, you used to say that BJP has not demolished the Masjid, now when you are out of the BJP, you are saying it is the BJP which demolished the Masjid. Were you saying the truth then or today? What is the truth ?

Kalyan Singh : No, at that time I had not discussed who was responsible for the demolition. Today I am saying that BJP leaders are responsible for the demolition. At that time I was silent, it is true, but that was for the party discipline. Today I am clearly speaking the truth.

BBC Q : Mr Singh, don’t you think that your silence on the issue for seven years after the demolition was political opportunism ?

Kalyan Singh : No, I don’t think it can be termed as political opportunism. It was a different situation then, but today I want the world to know the truth.

BBC listener from Kullu (Himachal) : You were silent when you were in BJP, had you been a patriotic Indian, you should have spoken up. Was your silence a greed for the chief ministership ?

Kalyan Singh : Well I will only say that I had the courage to speak up. Leaders of today do not have the courage to speak for truth. I am reiterating that I accepted moral responsibility despite the fact I had no direct or indirect role in the demolition. Other leaders just try to tighten the noose on other’s necks. Today I am speaking as there is no restriction on me.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Singh today you are saying that there is no restriction on you. But after the demolition you were hailed as Yug purush by the BJP and you toured the country ? How did you feel then ?

Kalyan Singh : I was used as a pawn by the BJP who wanted to exploit this issue for electoral gains. They thought they could project me as a hero so that later they could make me zero politically. But they were mistaken, they are heading for a political zero in Uttar Pradesh.

Last time they had won 176 assembly seats, this time they have 76 seats and in the next assembly elections, they are not going to have more than 16-17 seats.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Singh do you now regret that it would have been better if you had not have been a part of the Sangh Parivar :

Kalyan Singh : Well, I do feel sometimes that it would have been better if I had not been a victim of their conspiracy.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Kalyan Singh, it is said in political circles that you had grown bigger than the party, you had stopped listening to the top leadership, that is why you are out of the BJP now ?

Kalyan Singh : This is totally false. Till the time I was with the BJP, I was a loyal soldier of the party. I obeyed all orders like a disciplined party man and till the time you are in the party you cannot disobey.

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Singh you have said that you were kept in the dark about the Masjid demolition, and the affidavit was prepared in the RSS central office. What did the leaders like Mr Vajpayee, Advani etc., say to you after that

Kalyan Singh : What could they say and with what face. It was over, the structure had been pulled down. Let Mr Advani today say whatever he wants. I want to ask him, why he distributed sugar there, when the structure was pulled down ?

In the Bangalore session of the BJP in 1993, how and why did Mr Advani call 6th December 1992 as "Liberation Day" in his presidential address and why did Mr Vajpayee endorse this address ?

Nagendar Sharma, BBC: Mr Singh, I once again ask you, will you say all this in the Court and in the Liberhan Commission?

Kalyan Singh : If the Liberhan Commission calls me, yes I will say this.

Transcript courtesy, BBC Hindi Radio