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Court can't solve Ayodhya tangle, says Advani

Court can't solve Ayodhya tangle, says Advani

Author: Anil Anand
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: April 11, 2001

Home Minister L K Advani told the Liberhan Inquiry Commission on Ayodhya today that the temple dispute could only be resolved through negotiations or legislation as a court verdict would not provide a solution to the problem.

"The BJP has always been of the view that the issue could be resolved through a negotiated settlement or a legislation. Litigation is not the answer to the problem,"Advani remarked in his maiden appearance before the 8-year-old Commission. His narrative of the events which led to the December 6, 1992 demolition of the disputed structure was an exercise in self explanation; aimed primarily at living down the hardline image that has haunted him all these years.

He claimed that initially he was opposed to taking out the 'Rath Yatra' as a means of mobilising public opinion on the issue: "My first reaction to the suggestion was that it was too theatrical and did not suit my temperament. I also felt that I was too prosaic a person for it."

The Home Minister described as "unfortunate" the common perception that the 'Rath Yatra' was aimed at fuelling communal passions. In defence of his decision to mount the chariot, he said even Mahatma Gandhi used the idiom of religion to communicate with the people. And Vivekananda had described religion as the soul of India.

He felt the demolition was the expression of the kar-sevaks' anger over the delay in the judicial process. "Maybe, they had a feeling that the movement leaders' dream of achieving their goal through the process of law would never be fulfilled. And in their impatience, they adopted a wrongful course," he argued.

"I only regard the act as painful which might have resulted due to my inability to assess the anger of those behind the demolition," Advani conceded. He concurred with Prime Minister Vajpayee's comments in his Kumarakkom musings that "wrongs of a medieval past cannot be righted by similar wrongs in modern times."

The Home Minister was categorical in his assertion that corrective measures could only be taken through legal means: " A political party or Government which is striving to strengthen the rule of law can never condone unlawful acts."

Striking a personal note, Advani, who is an accused in the demolition case, described December 6, 1992 as the most depressing day in his life. " I had seldom felt as dejected and downcast as I had felt on that day. I couldn't share the feelings of those who were ecstatic," he remarked in reference to the post-Ayodhya bonhomie in certain quarters of the Sangh Parivar.

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