New Delhi: As Defence Minister, then Congress leader Sharad Pawar ordered the army intelligence to videotape the Babri Masjid razing in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
Not knowing what would happen that day when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad announced a “kar seva” at the 16th century mosque site, Pawar says he told then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to take a tough posture. “But Rao was not in favour of using force,” Pawar says in his just released autobiography “On My Terms” (Speaking Tiger).
“He turned down my suggestion that we should post army platoons at the disputed site as a precautionary measure.
“After my suggestion was rejected, I asked the army’s intelligence wing to video shoot all developments at the disputed site on December 6.
“The film captured various stages of the demolition job accomplished by ‘kar sevaks’ including how they were egged on by their leaders.”
Says the now Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president: “The demolition exposed Narasimha Rao’s weakness as a leader.
“He certainly did not want the demolition to happen but did not take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening.”
According to Pawar, as the home secretary explained in detail to Rao how the demolition took place, “the prime minister sat through the meeting as if in a daze”.