Mr L K Advani, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has more faces than one can keep count of. In his latest blog he has shed some new drops of tear for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. But this time the tear drops are less dishonest [do note the difference between saying less dishonest and more honest]. This time they are shed for his party than for the Masjid and one community of people whose sentiments are connected with it.
To the extent Mr Advani has shed the tears for his party, they are not crocodile tears. His latest blog is an attempt to justify his earlier apology for the demolition of the Masjid. Below is a quote from the blog:
‘Some colleagues had criticized me for the above statement [about his being apologetic for the demolition] saying: “Why are you being apologetic about the development?.” My reaction was: “I am not at all apologetic. Indeed, I am proud of my association with the Ayodhya movement. But I am extremely sad that our party’s credibility has been badly dented by the happenings of December 6.’ [Emphasis in the original]
The explanation given is quoted below:
‘I wrote in my article: “I felt sad that a meticulously drawn up plan of action, whereunder [sic] the U.P. Government was steadily marching forward towards discharging its mandate regarding temple construction without violating any law or disregarding any court order has gone awry (because of the demolition). If the exercise contemplated had now been short-circuited in a totally unforeseen manner the organizations involved in the movement can be faulted for not being able to judge the impatience of the people participating in the movement, but they were certainly not responsible for what happened that day.”’
What you understand from this explanation is left to you. What I understand is this: Mr Advani is trying to change his mask once more. ‘No, I was not apologetic for the demolition, but for the dent it created in the party’s image.’ Unfortunately that is a worse change for an old man whose age should have made him wiser. Not politically wiser, but really wiser.
Let us not forget that what the same Advani said in 1990.
‘The Ram Janmabhoomi movement is the biggest cultural movement in history to unite crores of Indian hearts and assert the emancipation of Hindu culture against the onslaught of medieval vandals and pseudo-secular and pseudo-intellectual elements.’ [Advani’s lecture at Himachal Bhawan, New Delhi, 13 Aug 1990, published in Organiser, 2 Sept 1990] Note that Indian culture is equated with Hindu culture in the statement. Note also the veiled ‘onslaught’ against the descendents of ‘medieval vandals’ and secularists as well as intellectuals.
Let us not forget that Advani’s 1989-rath yatra unleashed “across the country the lumpen element of organised communalism into mainstream politics. It brought out the visceral viciousness of the anti-Muslim sentiment which fuels Sangh Parivar communalism…” [Mani Shankar Aiyar, Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist]
Let us not forget that a police officer who escorted Advani said on record that Advani was among those who watched nonchalantly from a VIP-secure enclosure the criminal demolition of the Masjid.
Let us not forget that Advani can appease any community as he pleases. [Minority appeasement is supposed to be the sole prerogative of the other political parties in india, according to Advaniji.] For example, Mr Advanis said more than once, “I deeply value the contribution of our Christian brethren both to India’s freedom struggle and to India’s nation building in the post-Independence era.”
Referring to the imprisonment of 7 Bahais in Iran, Advani is reported to have said: “The attitude of a country and a nation towards minority religion is the touchstone of how civilized a country it is…” [The Hindu, 26 Dec 2010]
Which is the real face of Advani ji? A tougher problem for me is: Why doesn’t age teach him real wisdom?
PS. While copy-pasting Mr Advani’s blog I discovered that he is using American English rather than British English. Anti-colonialism or chamchagiri with America?