After all the ruckus about the Liberhan Report, just one lone voice in the media made any sense on the subject. That voice was R Jagannathan’s in the column he writes in DNA every week, and it aptly summed up all that most of us were thinking about anyway. Read his piece here.
The great thing about R Jagannathan’s writing is that it does not take a lofty, over-learned view of things. Most editors of most publication houses entrusted with the task of writing edits seem to want to show their readers how much they already know, how much they’ve already observed while you, the callous reader was looking elsewhere, and how much they still have to educate you. Jagannathan does not fall into that trap, and I have never seen his writing talk down on the reader.
Jagannathan’s premise, I am very sure, has already been echoed by a majority of the country that thinks about things seriously. Why a toothless report on an incident that happened 17 years ago with no Action Taken measures and with, frankly, hardly any substance on any matter? What is the average Indian supposed to make of a report that states what the country already knows and has seen so many photographs and video clips of? Surprise! Key figures in the BJP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and others were involved in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Another big revelation? The demolition was not a spontaneous act but a pre-meditated one.
Of course it wasn’t a spontaneous act. You don’t eye the Masjid sourly over your morning glass of cutting chai and say, “It’s ruining the skyline around here. Let’s pull it down.” Of course everyone of the aforementioned parties was involved; didn’t they confess with bluster and bravado after the act?
“Seventeen years of effort have yielded a mouse,” writes Jagannathan. “A close reading of the Report shows that Liberhan wasted everybody’s time and the taxpayer’s money in these 17 years. His disclosures do not add anything significant to our knowledge of what really transpired that day. He did not need 1,029 pages and Rs 8 crore to pronounce judgement on the Sangh Parivar, for the latter has never hidden its agenda from anyone.
After fulminating against all and sundry, Liberhan does not even clearly answer the central question: which specific individuals actually brought the structure down?”
A kick on the seat of the pants to Liberhan. Why I feel particularly cheated is because while this Commission was sitting on its rear end compiling notes and ordering takeaways for lunch, the country was rocked by ghastly terrorist bombings, one in the Bombay of 1993 courtesy Dawood Fucker Ibrahim. Since this demolition, and later, Godhra, the country has known no peace. So were we so far-off in expecting that some ghosts would be buried and some hard answers to an issue that accelerated the phenomenon of serial terror attacks on the country?
One more Commission required, then?
p.s.: On a tangent, but not much considering 26/11 just completed a year, 'Interval by Chacko' in Mumbai Mirror today is quite illuminating. Read here his take on portrayal of terrorists in Hindi films.