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Babri demolition was necessary: Kalyan Singh
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
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December 23, 2006 21:14 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president and former Uttar Pradesh chef minister Kalyan Singh admitted on Saturday that demolition of the 464- year old Babri Masjid was necessary to build the much debated Ram temple in Ayodhya.

He was speaking on the first political resolution proposed by colleague Sushma Swaraj at the party's national council meet. The resolution on 'UPA government's politics of vote bank and appeasement' was seconded by Singh before being adopted by the house of more than 2000 national council members.

Significantly, even as Singh has been denying his involvement with the demolition conspiracy at various judicial forums, including the court, he did not hesitate to proudly proclaim, "The day we decided that Ram temple would be built, it was clearly understood that the disputed structure (Babri Mosque) would have to go; and it needed to go."

He went on to add, "It lent a great sense of pride and was not a matter of shame at all when this was done, exactly 464 years after Mughal emperor Babur had ordered his army commander to pull down the Ram temple and erect the Babri mosque."

Even as he maintained that the Ayodhya temple was not on the party's political agenda, he claimed, "It was a national issue and a symbol of Hindu assertion."

Singh did not mince words in declaring that he had no hope of a legal solution to the temple tangle - "I do not see any possibility of any mutual settlement on the issue either."

He sought to point out, "I remember the then Janata Dal leader Shahabuddin declaring that Muslims would relinquish their claim to the disputed Ayodhya site if it was proved that  a temple existed there before the construction of the mosque in the 16th century; but now that the excavations carried out by Archaeological Survey of India had unearthed enough evidence to that effect, Shahabuddin was not to be seen anywhere."

Discomfiture on account of Kalyan Singh's observations was visible on the face of party president Rajnath Singh, who at his end believed in pursuing the middle path laid out by party doyen and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

However Kalyan Singh, during whose stint as UP chief minister the mosque got pulled down, was at his old vitriolic that used to dominate his speeches in the pre-1992 era.

While embarking on the question of 'Muslim appeasement', he went to the extent of giving a call for 'aggressive Hindutva by reigniting passion for the religion'.

He was of the view that time had come when every Hindu door should be emboldened with this  slogan � 'Hindutva par hame garva hai; Ram Mandir Hindutva ka pran tatva hai' (we take pride in Hindutva; Ram temple is life and blood of Hindutva).

Apparently keen on gaining brownie points over Rajnath Singh -- who had displayed more balance in his approach to Hindutva -- Kalyan not merely flayed the UPA government for what he termed as 'the politics of Muslim vote', but pointedly blamed Muslims for the rising terrorism in India.

Unlike Sushma Swaraj who sought to repeatedly emphasise that BJP distinguished between nationalist Muslims and those engaged in Islamic terrorism, Kalyan sought to label the entire community as a sympathising with terrorism.

"Tell me one Hindu who has been involved in the on-going terrorism in the country; not only terrorists themselves but even those providing shelter to Pakistani terrorists were also Muslims," he asserted. "That is why I do not believe in the oft repeated theory that terrorists have no religion or caste."

Accusing the Congress of playing 'soft' on terror, he said, "Even after the Supreme Court verdict against Afzal Guru, who was found guilty of conspiring the attack on Indian Parliament, the Congress party was dithering on his death sentence because its leaders felt that Afzal's hanging would displease Muslims of the country."

He went on to add, "If Muslims of the country really feel that way then I am afraid we will have to do much re-thinking on their loyalty to the nation vis-a-vis a terrorist."

Significantly, Kalyan drew repeated applause from the gathering.

Vehemently opposing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] proposed 15-point programme for upliftment of Muslims in the wake of the Sachar Committee report, Kalyan said, "If the package had included all sections of the poor irrespective of caste or creed, I would have happily accepted it.; but such a move aimed simply at garnering Muslim votes would end up in yet another partition of the country and we will not allow that to happen at any cost."

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