Could P. V. Narasimha Rao have Saved the Babri Masjid from Collapsing?

On December 6, 1992, Narasimha Rao woke up at 7 in the morning. Usually he used to get up earlier, but that day was late because it was a Sunday.
Image Credit: BBC News
Image Credit: BBC News

On December 6, 1992, Narasimha Rao woke up at 7 in the morning. Usually he used to get up earlier, but that day was late because it was a Sunday. After reading the newspaper, he spent the next half an hour walking on the trade mill. After this his personal doctor K. Srinath Reddy has arrived. The two continued to chat in Telugu and English while Rao's blood and urine samples were taken.

After that Reddy went to his house. When he opened his television at 12.20 in the afternoon, he saw thousands of kar sevaks climbing on the domes of the Babri Masjid. At 1:55 am the first dome had fallen down. Suddenly Dr Reddy thought, the Prime Minister is a heart patient, the heart operation in 1990 had almost made him retire from politics.

Rao's silence in the cabinet meeting

After this Narasimha Rao allegedly locked himself in a room. At 6 pm, Rao called a cabinet meeting at his residence. Arjun Singh writes in his autobiography 'A Grain of Sand in the Glass of Time', "During the whole meeting Narasimha Rao was so bewildered that not a word came out of his mouth.

Image Credit: BBC News
Image Credit: BBC News

Everyone's eyes turned to Jafar Sharif as if You are asking them to say something. Jafar Sharif said that the country, the government and the Congress party will have to pay a heavy price for this incident. Makhan Lal Fotedar started crying at the same time but Rao kept silent like a fetish."

Request to save at least one dome

Earlier, when the Babri Masjid was being demolished, the then Union Minister Makhanlal Fotedar had called Narasimha Rao and requested him to do something immediately. Makhan Lal Fotedar writes in his autobiography 'The Chinar Lives', "I requested the Prime Minister to ask the Air Force to fire tear gas shells from Chetak helicopters stationed in Faizabad to disperse the kar sevaks present in Ayodhya.

Rao said, 'How can I do that?' I said that in such emergency situations, the central government has all the power to make whatever decision is necessary. I begged him, 'Rao Sahib, at least save one dome. So that later we can put it in a glass cabin.' And tell the people of India that we tried our best to save the Babri Masjid. The Prime Minister remained silent and after a long pause said, Fotedarji, I call you again.

Image Credit: BBC News
Image Credit: BBC News

Rao directly responsible

Makhan Lal Fotedar writes, "I reached the cabinet meeting 15 or 20 minutes late. Seeing everyone there, I took a dig, 'Why is everyone talking?' On this Madhavrao Scindia said, 'Fotedarji, you do not know that the Babri Masjid has been demolished?' I looked at the Prime Minister and asked, 'Rao Sahib, is this correct?' The Prime Minister could not meet my eyes. Instead of him, the Cabinet Secretary replied that this is correct. I told Rao in front of all the cabinet ministers that he was directly responsible for this. The Prime Minister did not say a word.

Rao's cabinet members wanted his downfall

Sitapati says, "Two demolitions were planned in November 1992 – one of the Babri Masjid and the other of Narasimha Rao himself. The Sangh Parivar was trying to demolish the Babri Masjid and Narasimha Rao, their rival in the Congress. Rao knew that Whether Babri Masjid fell or not, his opponents definitely wanted to see him out of 7-RCR. At least five meetings of CCPA were held in November 1992. Not a single Congress leader in them said that Kalyan Singh should be sacked."

Sitapati further explains, "Rao's officers were advising him that you can remove a state government only when there is a breach of law and order and not when there is a possibility of breach of law and order. The thing being the Babri Masjid collapsed. As for the story of Rao performing the puja, Kuldeep Nayyar himself was present there. He says that this information was given to him by socialist leader Madhu Limaye, to whom this was told by one of his 'sources in the Prime Minister's Office."

Vinay Sitapati says that his research shows that it is wrong that Narasimha Rao was sleeping or worshipping at the time of the demolition of Babri Masjid. Naresh Chandra and Home Secretary Madhav Godbole confirm that they were in constant touch with him and taking every minute of information.

Political miscalculation

Journalist Kalyani Shankar, who was close to Rao, believes that Narasimha Rao's role in the Babri Masjid demolition can be called a political miscalculation at the most. Advani and Vajpayee assured them that nothing would happen. The Supreme Court also refused to take receivership to the Center. It is the right of the state to send security forces there or not. Kalyan Singh did not even send security forces there. lamps."

I asked eminent journalist Saeed Naqvi whether Narasimha Rao's role, in this case, should be called a political 'miscalculation or 'error of judgment' at the most? Naqvi reply, "Was Rao as well as his Home Minister a victim of this? And in the evening, senior officials of the Government of India were roaming around with tilak on their foreheads as if celebrating this event, what would you call it? "

Image Credit: BBC News
Image Credit: BBC News

Mukherjee criticised Rao

Pranab Mukherjee further writes, "Later when I met Narasimha Rao in private, I listened to him very well. I said, was there no one next to you who didn't warn you about the dangers to come? Did you? Couldn't imagine the global reaction to the demolition of Babri Masjid? At least now let's take some concrete steps to pacify the hurt feelings of Muslims. When I said this, as usual, there was no expression on their face. But I worked with him for many decades and got to know him. I didn't need to read his face. I could clearly feel his sadness and despair."

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