Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ayodhya: Whose Court?

I never thought there was such an easy solution to the Ayodhya problem. Dividing the disputed land into three is a ‘please all’ solution though some parties are not completely pleased with the suggested solution. The first surprise I had when I heard the verdict first was that “why three?” when the dispute is between two communities. Some said “one third for Hindus, one third for Muslims and one third for Nirmohi Akhara”. Some others said “two thirds for Hindus and one third for Muslims”. None of the dozens of articles I read on those few days explained clearly who Nirmohi Akhara is. As usual, I had to rely on Internet to understand them. Even after that, I am not very clear as to why they are a third party instead of being part of Hindus. Does it mean that there will be two grand temples adjacent to one mosque?

Someone asked “does this verdict justify what happened in 1992?” I don’t think so. The judicial process is completely an independent activity. It doesn’t justify Babar demolishing Ram’s temple or the Hindu fanatics demolishing Babar’s mosque. It just checked whatever evidences were produced and pronounced its verdict based on them. As for as the demolition of the mosque is concerned, we can’t come to any conclusion as the criminal suit related to that is still pending with the court. Now that the Hindus are happy with the verdict on the civil suit, I think that they would be fine with any kind of verdict on the criminal suit. At the end of the day, their sentiments have been respected and their ultimate goal (building the temple) has got a green signal.

OK. Does this mean it would have been more graceful if the Hindu fanatics had waited until the verdict came and taken the course of law instead of taking it in their hand? I think so. If they were confident that they had enough evidences to prove their point they need not have demolished the mosque after such a nationwide movement. So, I have all reasons to believe that they had other compulsions. Some were not confident of winning the case following the course of law. Some wanted to politicize the issue to reap political benefits. Some wanted to use this opportunity to send some strong message to the minorities. Lord Ram only knows what all other agendas they had.

OK. Had the demolition not happened in 92, would the judges have been able to give this kind of a verdict? I am not sure. It wouldn’t have been easy for them to order handing over part of a mosque that was in good condition. Now that it is demolished and there is nothing significant (I mean the domes) in the disputed site, it becomes easy for all parties to accept such a verdict. Even now I heard some people say it’s not allowed in Islam to hand over any land where there was a mosque. Another interesting view that came out in the verdict was that the mosque was not built in line with the tenets of Islam. If Muslims also agree with that view, that gives a great opportunity to resolve the problem in a much better way.

What was heartening was that all parties showed high level of maturity, which was not the case a few decades ago. It just means that they have also realized that it is no more an important issue for an average Indian as much as the development issues are. The RSS chief was saying “it’s time to forget the bitterness of the past” and “it is not the time to celebrate”. Sunni Waqf Board’s Counsel Mr. Jilani showed the highest level of dignity while expressing his views in front of the camera. Most of the political parties also showed good amount of decency. Above all, people from both the communities have proven to the world that they have other better works to do. All these gave a lot of relief.

It is not that it is all rosy from here. The high court has done its job in a much better way than we thought. The supreme court will hopefully do its job in the best possible manner when it goes to their purview. Until then it is in our court (we the common men's court) to decide on how we want to handle the situation. We can't rule out the possibility of anti-nationals starting their act once things settle down. The government and we should keep all our eyes and ears open for at least a year or so to avoid any untoward incidents. There would surely be some third class politicians who would try to trouble the water and fish in it. People should just reject them and move on. We have much more serious issues than this to sort out on priority. The temple and mosque are only for those who have everything else in life (including ample time), not for those of us who want to go miles before we sleep!

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