V P Singh’s government was starting to think about the Mandal Commission report and its recommendations. Savarna superiority and Sanatan Religion were in danger. How to save Sanatan Dharm now? Would a chariot of hatred, Rath Yatra, help?
On the order of Sanyasis, L K Advani started his journey from Somnath, Gujarat, to Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, in his chariot (Rath). This was a response to Mandal.
As Rath Yatra moved ahead, riots followed the suit. There was a communal backlash as riots broke out in Gujarat, UP, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh as expected.
October 1990. L.K.Advani traversed across India in an air conditioned Toyota dressed up as a chariot gathering momentum and followers to attack the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. This “Rath Yatra” created mayhem wherever it passed through. Finally, it entered Bihar where Lalu Yadav was the Chief Minister.
When Rath Yatra reached Bihar, Chief Minister of Bihar at that time was Lalu Prasad Yadav. He met Advani on October 18th, 1990 and asked him to stop this madness. Thousands of people have already died. Enough is enough!
L K Advani’s Rath Yatra, catalyzed a chain of events that resulted in the demolition of the Babri Masjid two years later and Hindu-Muslim riots, killing more than 2000 innocents. BJP and L K Advani’s Rath Yatra was no less than the chariot of hatred. The communal hatred that BJP’s Rath Yatra created can’t be diminished easily.
According to some reports, total 166 communal riots occurred between 1 September and 20 November 1990, killing thousands.
Advani felt that since the Janata Dal government was running with the support of BJP, what can Lalu Prasad Yadav do?
Lalu Yadav called up the SP of Samastipur. He said to hell with the Government. Put Advani behind Bars. Not even one more innocent should die in Bihar. The chariot of hatred should not move even one inch further.
Advani was arrested under the National Security Act in Samastipur on October 23rd, 1990 by then Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav before Advani could reach the Kar Seva at Ayodhya on October 30th. Earlier Dhanbad’s Deputy Commissioner Amanullah and Superintendent of Police (S.P.) Ranadhir Verma had reportedly refused to arrest Advani and seize his rath. They said they would rather resign rather arrest Advani as they beloved, Advani’s arrest would trigger chaos and communal riots even at the larger scale.
So, in this way, Advani’s dream of reaching Ayodhya on October 30th remained unfulfilled. The VP Singh government of the center could not survive long after that.
The real motive of Rath Yatra was to take attention away from the Mandal Commission report on OBC representation. Rath Yatra also served another purpose for BJP that it increased the party’s vote bank from 85 in 1989 to 120 in the 1991 general elections. BJP and Advani succeeded in stopping the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations. Mandal commission recommendations are like a forbidden apple that must not be touched or implemented, that is what have subsequent government done till now.
Clip from ‘Ram Ke Naam‘documentary.
– From Dilip C Mandal’s Facebook post, edited by Velivada Team, Image Credit – The Quint