November 24, 2020
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The Pseudo-Moderates

In this category the report places AB Vajpayee, Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani and says they cannot be 'exonerated of culpability'

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The Pseudo-Moderates

From the Report of the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry:
Chapter 14: Conclusions

166. The pseudo-moderate elements within the Parivar

166.1. The conundrum which faced the Commission during its long hearings and extensive fact finding efforts was to reconcile the stance of the public face of the Sangh Parivar with the actions which defied law, morality and political ethics.

166.2. On one hand, the leaders like AB Vajpayee, Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani, who are the undeniable public face and leaders of the BJP and thus of the Parivar, constantly protested their innocence and denounced the events of December 1992. Appearing as a witness before the Commission Advani sought to reiterate his anguish at the demolition of the disputed structure and was at pains to state that he had never made any inflammatory statement even during his Rath Yatras

166.3. On the other hand it stands established beyond doubt that the events of the day were neither spontaneous nor unplanned nor an unforeseen overflowing of the people's emotions, nor the result of a foreign conspiracy as some overly imaginative people have tried to suggest.

166.4. In such a case, the logical questions that beg to be answered are whether the pseudo-moderates  knew what was going on, whether they were in fact the prime movers of the show, whether they were in control of the Parivar and finally, could they have done anything to prevent the demolition and subsequent violence?

166.5. The Commission, having had the benefit of tens of thousands of pages worth of press reports, books, official records and documentation and having analysed many hours of audio and video recordings and having observed the witnesses, is unable to hold even these pseudo-moderates innocent of any wrongdoings.

166.6. It cannot be assumed even for a moment that LK Advani, AB Vajpape or MM Joshi did not know the designs of the Sangh Parivar. Even though these leaders were deemed and used by the Parivar as the publicly acceptable faces and the articulated voices of the Pirivar and thus used to reassure the cautious masses, they were party to the decisions which had been taken.

166.7. These people, who may be called pseudo-moderates could not have defied the mandate of the Sangh Parivar, and more specifically the diktat of the RSS, without having bowed out of public life as leaders of the BJP. They were not in control of the RSS and had absolutely no influence over the direction that they had been told to follow. The pseudo moderate leadership of the BJP was as much a tool in the hands of the RSS as any other organization or entity and these leaders steed to inherit the political successes engineered by the RSS.

166.8. The BJP was and remains an appendage of the RSS which had the purpose only of providing an acceptable veneer to the less popular decisions and a facade for the brash members of the Sangh Parivar. The much repeated and much denied remarks attributed to Govindacharya who called Vajpayee a Mukhota or a mask may be more appropriately applied to the BJP's top leadership at  the time collectively. Without leaders like Joshi, Advani and Vajpayee, the RSS might have been able co achieve de facto clout, but would not have been able to legitimize its hold on the Indian system by translating that clout into political success.

166.9. The BJP was therefore an essential ingredient in the Parivar smorgasbord and essential to capture de jure power and authority, in furtherance of its goals of establishing the Hindu Rashtra.

166.10. Be that as it may, the evidence that has been led before the Commission does not show that the pseudo-moderates were in charge of  the situation much less capable of changing the course that the campaign was taking. It stands proved chat the pseudo-moderates were charged with the task of projecting the RSS's decisions in the best possible light and co translate them into terms which would be acceptable to the general masses. The role of the BJP pseudo-moderates thereafter came co an end, and beyond acting as translators, could do little more.

166.11.These leaders cannot however be given the benefit of the doubt and exonerated of culpability. The defence of "superior orders" has historically never been available, and least of all to those whom the people have trusted and voted into power

166.12. These leaders have violated the trust of the people and have allowed their actions to be dictated not by the voters but by a small group of individuals who have used them to implement agendas unsanctioned by the will of the common person. There can be no greater betrayal or crime in a democracy and this Commission has no hesitation in condemning these pseudo-moderates for their sins of omission.




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