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After the demolition of Babri, Narasimha Rao had sought sympathy from the cabinet, claims in Salman Khurshid’s book

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The Union Council of Ministers met after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992 and when they tried to explain how they all felt for the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, they replied: “Please give me your Give sympathy.” This statement is found in senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book Sunrise over Ayodhya: Nationhood in our time.

Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book is in discussion these days. The name of this book is – Sunrise over Ayodhya: Nationhood in our time. This book is also discussed because it contains the complete script of the Ram temple in Ayodhya from the Babri demolition case. In this book, Khurshid is a target of saffron-clad people for comparing the RSS to extremist organisations.

Talking to PTI, Salman Khurshid, referring to the book, says that the immediate shock of that unimaginable event gradually turned into a kind of numbness. They say the demolition took place on Sunday and on the morning of 7 December the Union Council of Ministers gathered in a room in the Parliament building. Everyone’s mood in the meeting was gloomy as if there was sadness.

Salman further writes in the book, “Obviously most of us had no words but then Madhavrao Scindia broke his silence to say how we all feel for Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. The distraught PM’s reaction took us by surprise when he replied, ‘Please spare me for your sympathy’. He also says that after PM Narasimha Rao’s fanatical reaction there was no further opportunity to discuss the subject again and the meeting ended.

However, Kalyan Singh’s Uttar Pradesh government was dismissed on 6 December itself and a week later, on the advice of the cabinet, the BJP governments in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were dismissed by the President.

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Khurshid also writes that on the night of 6 December he himself and some other youth gathered at the residence of Minister Rajesh Pilot to take stock and then together went to CK Jafar Sharif. He said that Principal Secretary A.N. Calls were made to Verma, who suggested that we speak to the PM. We spoke to the PM and suggested to him that Rajesh Pilot be included in the group that was flying to Faizabad.

Khurshid further writes that Rao instead asked us to talk to AN Verma again and this continued for some time till we were told that the PM would not be available. Salman further writes that the government should have intervened before re-installing the idols that were transferred during the demolition of the mosque.

He further said those idols were re-installed, but the next morning when it seemed that a roof would be placed over the idols, the government proceeded to disperse the apparently diminished crowd of kar sevaks. According to Khurshid, the existence of Congress politics in Uttar Pradesh came under threat in the temple-mosque battle, and then after the temporary empowerment of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, the BJP got a support for dominance in the state and at the Centre.

Khurshid further writes that the story of Ayodhya was undoubtedly related to some organized groups between Hindus and Muslims, who were trying to secure the leadership of their respective communities by tilting the scales of temple and mosque. Khurshid claims that the Supreme Court has put its stamp on history and has in a way changed the last page. According to Khurshid, the Supreme Court’s decision on Ayodhya will help in re-establishing India as a secular society.

Khurshid says his book, published by Penguin Random House, is an attempt to see hope in a prudent decision. Even if some people think it was not entirely fair. When people start to disagree about what’s fair, then there are cracks.

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