A historical verdict evokes three different responses. Before I explain the responses, I consider it historic, because the verdict does not limit within the legal domains and suggest the parties to move forward with compromising formula of joint possessions or joint holders of the property. It is historic, because the judges thought about the social implications, which is again beyond the legal purview and practices in India. Rarely judges show their vision of social implications on positive direction and therefore, we must appreciate the panel of judges, though one of them categorically dismissed relief to Muslims and awarded the entire property to Hindu parties. It took sixty one years to decide on the title holders, but largely based on the belief, practices and utilization of the property in the absence of valid or clear documents and entitlements.
No victory or loss – proclaimed by RSS parivars including BJP. A base for reconciliation – thumped by other political parties and individual intellects of both Muslim and Hindu communities. Accepted, but disappointing – Muslim political parties and religious organizations of both Muslims and Hindus.
RSS parivars are reasonably happy, because they were expecting nothing but negative verdict considering their overall arguments that includes the false propaganda of Babar destroyed a Ram temple to construct the Masjid. A negative verdict could have ignited the revival of BJP’s political fortunes considering their slump in recent past. However, BJP believe that the allotment of two third possessions will help them to muscle their political and administrative power to compel the Muslims to submit the remaining one third of the land to construct a grand Mandir. They can also claim victory among their vote banks that they were and are right; in fact, the rightful owners of the concept of Ram temple in Ayodhya. The core team of BJP, VHP and RSS will chalk out a new formula for Grand Mandir by cajoling and coercing the Muslim community, thus conveniently setting up an action plan to erase the 1992 crime from public minds! So, the Ayodhya verdict is an absolute advantage to RSS parivars.
“India’s story is bigger than the story of Mandir or Masjid and so move on India by taking this verdict as an opportunity to build trust between two communities and live in peace” is the advises from Intellectual community from both. They would even love to see both religious places side by side thus promoting the values of tolerance and democracy to the world. It is quiet fascinating to see such beautiful India in which religious tolerance is not just a theory, but in practice too – a very unique situation till 1855 as cleverly notified in the judgment of S.U. Khan. Obviously, reconciliation is always a productive option and the political fraternity of India should exercise to close this deal once for all. Will it work? No doubt, these intellectuals will fill the channels space for long hours and argue on compromising plan, which is a sweet music to our ears. In reality one need to see the Muslims opinions in aftermath of the verdict. Eventually, one cannot impose the compromising formula using Muslim intellectuals and others at this preliminary level.
Muslims are by and large disappointed with the verdict, even the apolitical and reputed individuals of Muslim community feels that the verdict is not appreciable. The verdict is largely based on the ‘belief’ and ‘utilization’ of the property from time immemorial. The verdict also recognizes the demolished central dome as the location of Ram’s birth place, since the idols are placed there in 1949. If belief can play a major role in deciding such complicated issues, we are opening up new avenues that will surpass the time that is to come. The ‘belief business’ is open ended and will draw unprecedented complications such as opening up other historical disputed structures, lands, boundaries and even the concept of India. It will be difficult to draw a line between reality and history. Therefore, the verdict based on belief is not conclusive from Muslims point of view and is disadvantage to Muslims.
ASI’s historical evidences played another major role in concluding the existence of Temple or temple’s property underneath of destructed Babri Masjid among the panel of judges. Two judges have drawn a conclusion of temple ruins prior to Babri Masjid construction is disputable concerning the environment and practices prevailed five hundreds years ago. It was obvious in those days that stones and pillars were moved from one place to other for construction purpose. However, it is a great relief Emperor Babar from two judges that he was not indulged in demolishing the temple at the very site is something a justice that Babar was looking from his grave. Muslims were whipped for more than hundred years by certain section of Hindus by wrongly ‘believing’ and hope that they will be corrected. Therefore, the verdict that is partly based on ASI evidences in support of ‘belief’ and ‘utilization’ of property is largely disappointing to Muslims and again disadvantage.
Eventually, the issue today is not just a structure or site or belief. It is the question of Muslim’s coexistence and their rights in a democratic country. One cannot draw a conclusion of this issue once for all now. This historical verdict is part of the solution that requires proper validation from Supreme Court and Muslim parties should exercise their right to appeal. The findings of these judges and their verdict shall play a constructive role in deciding the final solution at Supreme Court. Interpretation of the findings may vary in Supreme Court and we need to wait and watch.
Lastly, the suggestions from the judges for dividing the land into three portions cannot be exercised unless all the issues related to Babri Masjid is cleared from all courts of India including the criminal cases against the leaders and members of the Hindutva group that destroyed Babri Masjid in 1992. BJP is vocal at preset to absolve their leaders and using this opportunity by calling Muslims for reconciliation. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the general secretary and chief spokesperson of BJP yesterday expressed his emotional appeal to Muslims for magnanimity to handover the one third properties to Hindus to construct the grand mandir. He even calls for amity from Muslim community, leaders and intellectuals. Fortunately, Ravi Shankar Prasad don’t have anything to offer to Muslims as return of amity from majority community for two reasons. One is that he don’t represent the majority community and other is his party would not like to offer anything to Muslims.
Harmony cannot be preached when there are many more issues related Babri Masjid is still pending. RSS parivars must know that Muslims won’t surrender anything at this stage. In fact, Muslim community may love to present entire property to Hindus to construct a grand Mandir provided justice is done by clearing all issues related to Babri Masjid. Yesterday’s Ayodhya verdict is just a round one and beginning for many more legal battles including 1992 criminal acts.
The secondary but important results of Ayodhya verdict is something that every Indian should proud of. Yes, the verdict tested the integrity and unity of every Indian especially in such sensitive situation. It proved that Mandir or Masjid is not an issue to Young India. Young India is completely free from the burden of past issues and humbly living in present and future. Young India is more focused on developmental issues and already surpassed the divisions of religion, caste and creeds. Young India is destined to capture the entire India by focusing on developments that will make our country free from poverty. I strongly believe that a quick Supreme Court verdict will advance Young India and bury the past repercussions once for all.