A civil ser­vant, who saw the de­mo­li­tion of Babri Masjid from the clos­est power-prox­im­ity, re­counts the role of Prime Min­is­ter Narasimha Rao, UP Chief Min­is­ter Kalyan Singh, and oth­ers. An ex­tract from ‘Born to Serve’, penned by Dr Yo­gen­dra Narain, former

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The at­mos­phere in Luc­know was sur­charged with the de­vel­op­ments re­lat­ing to the Babri Masjid. Both the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment and the State Gov­ern­ment had given an as­sur­ance to the Supreme Court that they would pro­tect the Babri Masjid. On the other hand the Kar Se­vaks were com­ing to Ay­o­d­hya from all over the coun­try. There was no way of stop­ping them from go­ing to Ay­o­d­hya. Po­lice did search them to en­sure that no arms were be­ing car­ried. Ev­ery day the gath­er­ing of Kar Se­vaks was in­creas­ing. The Supreme Court was keep­ing a watch on the sit­u­a­tion and tak­ing an as­sur­ance from the State Gov­ern­ment that all pre­cau­tions to pro­tect the Babri Masjid had been taken. One day Kalyan Singh went to Delhi to see the Prime Min­is­ter Narasimha Rao. I ac­com­pa­nied him to the Prime Min­is­ter’s res­i­dence. While I sat out­side, both of them pro­ceeded in­side. Af­ter an hour Kalyan Singh came out and sat in the car with me. He turned to me and said, “Yo­gen­dra, do you know what the Prime Min­is­ter told me.” I looked at him. “The Prime Min­is­ter told me that the ASI had, in the course of its dig­ging un­der the Babri Masjid as per di­rec­tions of the Supreme Court, ac­tu­ally found rem­nants of a tem­ple at the lo­ca­tion.” This con­firmed the fact that the Babri Masjid had been built af­ter raz­ing a tem­ple on that place. I was sur­prised but Kalyan Singh felt quite re­lieved. This is what his party had been say­ing al­ways. As the Kar Se­vaks gath­ered in Ay­o­d­hya, the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment rushed Cen­tral para-mil­i­tary forces to the tem­ple town. The strength of the cen­tral forces in­creased day by day as did the strength of the Kar Se­vaks. It was an ex­plo­sive sit­u­a­tion un­der the watch of the Supreme Court, the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment, the State Gov­ern­ment, as well as the Mus­lim and Hindu com­mu­ni­ties. Then came 6th De­cem­ber 1992. The Chief Min­is­ter, to­gether with Lalji Tan­don and Sri Om Prakash Singh were clos­eted to­gether in front of a TV in the Chief Min­is­ter’s house. I sat out­side the Chief Min­is­ter’s room. Lunch was served to all of them. They were glued to the TV

even while they lunched. Some Kar Se­vaks had got on top of the Babri Masjid. The Cen­tral forces were try­ing to pull them down. LK Ad­vani and many other dig­ni­taries were sit­ting on an erected plat­form nearby and were giv­ing speeches. Sud­denly, we saw the Kar Se­vaks started break­ing the dome. The po­lice could not rush in, be­cause the Kar Se­vaks had sur­rounded the struc­ture in a thick for­ma­tion. SM Tri­pathi, DGP, Ut­tar Pradesh, came rush­ing to meet the Chief Min­is­ter. I in­formed the min­is­ters in­side. They asked him to wait till they had fin­ished their lunch. When I con­veyed this to Tri­pathi, he said he wanted to talk to the Chief Min­is­ter him­self ur­gently. The Chief Min­is­ter agreed to meet him. Tri­pathi was straight­for­ward. He wanted per­mis­sion to open fir­ing to pre­vent the Kar Se­vaks from break­ing the struc­ture. Kalyan Singh asked him whether a large num­ber of peo­ple could get killed if fir­ing was or­dered on the mob. Tri­pathi said, “yes. A large num­ber will die in the fir­ing.” Kalyan Singh then de­nied him the per­mis­sion to fire and asked the DGP to con­trol the mob by any other means (like a lthi-charge or tear gas shelling). The DGP went back to his of­fice. Af­ter that one could only watch on the TV, how the struc­ture fell, brick by brick. There was no way the po­lice and the Cen­tral forces could reach the dis­puted struc­ture in view of the large num­ber of Kar Se­vaks who had sur­rounded it. The Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment wanted to send the Cen­tral forces with the help of he­li­copters, but by that time noth­ing could be done. The struc­ture had been com­pletely dis­man­tled. Kalyan Singh asked for his writ­ing pad. He wrote his let­ter of res­ig­na­tion with his own hand and pro­ceeded to the Gov­er­nor’s house to de­liver it per­son­ally to the Gov­er­nor. By evening, news of his res­ig­na­tion was picked up by the TV. Pres­i­dent’s rule was an­nounced there­after. Gov­er­nor Satya­narayan Reddy took over the reins of the State Gov­ern­ment. Soon af­ter, Sri Ra­jesh Pi­lot, State Min­is­ter for Home, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, came on an of­fi­cial visit. He sought me out and asked where I was posted. I in­formed him that I was Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, In­for­ma­tion. He said that they would post me as Home Sec­re­tary. I re­quested him not to do it as I had been Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary to the Chief Min­is­ter and my ac­tions against those who per­pet­u­ated this de­mo­li­tion would be al­ways viewed with sus­pi­cion. He agreed and I lay low in a non-de­script po­si­tion vol­un­tar­ily.

Ti­tle: Born to Serve Au­thor: Dr. Yo­gen­dra Narain, IAS (Retd.) Pub­lisher: Manas Pub­li­ca­tions Price: ` 795.00 Pages: 263

With Nir­mala Maa of Sa­haj Yoga and her hus­band CP Sri­vas­tava who was Joint Sec­re­tary to Lal Ba­hadur Shas­tri Wel­com­ing Prime Min­is­ter Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee at Amausi Air­port (July 1999) in Luc­know. The au­thor was then Chief Sec­re­tary, UP. The au­thor’s book Clouds and Other Po­ems be­ing re­leased by Amitabh Bachchan. Priyanka Cho­pra and Su­raj Bhan, Gov­er­nor of UP at Raj Bhawan, Luc­know

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