In an indictment of sorts of PV Narasimha Rao, President Pranab Mukherjee has said that the inability to prevent the demolition of the Babri Masjid was the former PM's biggest failures as head of the nation. As per Hindustan Times, in the second volume of his memoir, The Turbulent Years: 1980-96, Mukherjee has shared an insider's account of several significant events during the 1980's and early 1990's. He also reportedly talks as to how the demolition “deeply wounded the sentiments of the Muslim community in India and abroad”.
The inability to prevent the demolition of the Babri Masjid was one of PV's biggest failures. He should have entrusted the task of tough negotiations with other political parties to a more senior and seasoned politician familiar with politics in UP - like ND Tiwari. Home Minister SB Chavan was an able negotiator but could not fully grasp the emotive aspects of the emerging situation. Rangarajan Kumaramangalam worked sincerely but was young, relatively inexperienced and a first-time Minister of State.
Later, in a private meeting with PV, I did not mince words. I burst out, 'Was there no one who advised you of the dangers? Did you not understand the global repercussions of any damage to the Babri Masjid? At least now take concrete steps to quell communal tensions and assuage the feelings of Muslims through affirmative action.' PV looked at me as I said this, and in his characteristic style did not let any emotion cross his face. But I had known and worked with him for several decades. I did not need to read his face. I could feel his sadness and disappointment. I have often wondered later if it was this outburst of mine which finally led to the call I received from him on 17 January 1993, inviting me to join the Cabinet.