Editorial: A Middle Path, What a Co-incidence!
…contradictory parts of the report make its fissures very visible. It takes morally very high stand when it comes to Vajpayee, becomes morally moderate in the case of other accused, for whom, including Vajpayee, no punitive action has been suggested and takes from moral to political stand when it says that politics and religion should not be connected…
There could be many sides to why the Liberhan Commission Report is what it is, indictment of 63 top leaders of the BJP, no recommendation of punitive action and a call for a law that outlaws connect between religion and politics. In a nutshell, it identifies culprits but at the same time exonerates them, in a way. Well, the most striking point in the report is that it brands former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ‘pseudo moderate’ and holds him responsible for demolition, not for being present at the site of destruction or ordering it but for leading the country to the point of communalism. The aforementioned contradictory parts of the report make its fissures very visible. It takes morally very high stand when it comes to Vajpayee, becomes morally moderate in the case of other accused, for whom, including Vajpayee, no punitive action has been suggested and takes from moral to political stand when it says that politics and religion should not be connected and there should be a law for preventing it. Constitution has already separated the two things by declaring India a ‘secular’ state, in the achievement of which every political party of this era is a considerable hindrance. So, if Vajpayee turns out to be ‘pseudo moderate’, there would be hardly any surprise if the report is taken as ‘pseudo judged’.
Well, the report, though of an independent commission, is likely to have its political after-effects due to sensitivity of the issue involved. The leakage of the report – ‘selective’ as had been charged by the BJP – caused much hue and cry and then tabling of the report that puts forth a middle ground (indictment but no punitive action), incidentally puts Congress in relatively comfortable position. If punishments were suggested by the Commission, BJP would have taken harder stand, leading to polarization of Hindus towards it and of Muslims to the Congress. Overall, Congress could be at a loss in this polarization. Now, with culprits not receiving recommendation for punishment of their wrong doing, Muslims might either stay with Congress or move to SP, but they would carefully weigh their options before taking a step.
Nonetheless, the report throws other surprise as well. It is balanced if viewed from perspective of two communities’ sentiments attached to it. Indictment of 63 saffron leaders is something that might soothe Muslims to a degree and no recommendation of punitive action to Hindus. The call that politics and religion should be separated and an attempt to connect them by any politician or political parties outlawed can be expected to humour a bit the supporters of secularism. But, the crux of the matter is that instead of appealing to any class, the report more successfully avoids arousing anybody’s sentiments to an unmanageable point. Which could have been difficult to attain otherwise. Anyway, this all is just a co-incidence.