Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Empower Center to preempt law and order Breakdown: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today demanded that a law be enacted in Parliament empowering the Government of India to deploy its forces anywhere in the country to address major public order problems that lead to the breakdown of the Constitutional machinery. In fact, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission had made such a recommendation.

Addressing the media, Dr. JP described the Liberhan report on the Babri Masjid demolition makes “much ado about nothing.” The learned Justice had taken 17 long years to present a report full of conjectures and guesses without any solid evidence to nail any culprits for Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992. The criminal cases registered after the mosque demolition continued to be pending even to this day with none having been convicted. “The report testifies to the Lok Satta contention that criminal investigation in India continues to be antediluvian and needs to be thoroughly reformed. The Lok Satta has all along been advocating formation of an independent criminal investigation authority and independent prosecution machinery.”

The Lok Satta President maintained that the Government of India had clearly failed to act even when the danger of unruly mobs damaging or demolishing the mosque was evident to everybody. There was some merit in the argument that use of force against lakhs of people who had assembled in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 was not resorted to because of fear of heavy casualties. The Government of India, however, could not be exonerated on that pretext since other remedies were open to it.

The Government of India could have preemptively dismissed the Kalyan Singh Government and brought the State under President’s rule under Article 356. Its failure to invoke President’s rule on the pretext the Governor had not recommended such a course of action did not hold water. Article 356 provided for Central intervention on its own even without Governor’s recommendation. The Government of India, which had abused Article 356 repeatedly, chose not to invoke it when it was clearly warranted.

Much earlier, the Union Government could have exercised its powers under Article 256 to direct the State to ensure that administration is carried on in compliance with the laws made by Parliament or the State legislature. In addition, Article 355 says that it shall be Union Government’s duty to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and it can send forces to maintain public order.

Dr. JP said it might be difficult to pinpoint criminal responsibility on leaders like Atal Behari Vajypaee, L. K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi for the demolition of the mosque. They had, however, dismally failed politically.

“The roots of the 1992 tragedy lie in the politics of hatred assiduously propagated by major political parties for electoral gains. The mosque demolition and the subsequent communal riots could be directly traced to the climate of frenzy, hatred and intolerance promoted by the BJP and its front organizations. It is time we realized that the politics of hatred preached on the basis of region, religion, caste and language by any party will undermine the country’s unity and integrity and sound the death knell of democracy.”

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