Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ayodhya verdict not expected to settle issues

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The Allahabad High Court will deliver the much awaited verdict on the Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid on September 24. This will mark an important day in the 60 year old case which has been the epitome of a political movement for almost three decades now. Ever since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, Ayodhya has been one of core issues in Indian politics which fuelled BJP’s rise to power and be seen as the best alternative to the Congress party.

Now as the Government prepares for the Law and Order situation in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere in the country a few questions come to mind. Will the court deliver a decisive verdict? Will BJP and the Saffron brigade’s dream of building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya actually materialise? Or will the Babri Masjid Action - Reconstruction Committee smile their way out of the court?

The obvious response to a decisive verdict is a 'No'. It is not the evidence that will count in the court but the fear of the repercussions of a decisive verdict that will prevent a final verdict from being delivered. If the verdict is in black and white, there will be wide spread communal violence across the country. The memories of riots that followed 1992 will come alive again if any of the parties have the verdict on their side.

The Muslims won’t bow down to a temple being constructed over a demolished mosque. They will site this as an attack on the minorities in the country. On the other hand the BJP-VHP and other Saffron parties have every right to believe that a temple should be constructed on the site as the Archaeological Survey of India reported the evidence of a large 10th century structure similar to a Hindu temple having pre-existed the Babri Masjid.

It is a known fact that thousands of small and big temples were destroyed in India during the Mughal rule. Aurangazeb alone is said to have destroyed more than 10000 temples in India during his reign. Somnath Temple in Gujarat was destroyed as many as six times before being re-built after Independence. Those scholars who deny these truths of history might have hiccups in explaining why not a single temple in North India predates the Mughal rule where as similar temples more than millennia old have survived in South.

As a young man of mid 20s, many like me have grown up around the Ayodhya issue and it is high time that we bury the hatchet. Both the sides have to show some maturity if this issue needs to be settled for once and all. There is no legal verdict on the issue; it has to be a mutually accepted one. Hindu groups should not fell proud of having pulled down a place of worship at the same time the Muslim leaders shouldn’t forget the historical wrongdoings of their predecessors

The issue is compounded by the involvement of various political interests in the case. BJP is not the sole trouble maker as it was Rajiv Gandhi who opened the gates of the disputed structure and performed Shilanyas. Parties like BSP, SP and RJD should stop portraying themselves as the messiah of the minorities and playing cheap vote bank politics. It is high time we behave like a matured democracy and not just as the largest.


Pratul Birla September 18, 2010 at 11:13 AM

One of the links which show the massive destruction of Hindu artifacts over centuries. If not for the intervening British rule, we would not be able to see even the small glimpses of Hindu culture that we can see today.

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