Today a new leaf has been turned over in the pages of Indian Judiciary. With the Allahabad High Court finally giving its judgement to the longest running suit in India’s judicial history, the “Ayodhya Land Title Suit”. A 60 year old case which, interestingly, was based more on faith than on facts. A case which had the entire country bound in its clutches, raising basic questions of religious tolerance and secularism among all and sundry.
Before I either appreciate or adjudge the verdict by the Hon’ble High Court, I must say that this verdict is perhaps one of the most unique in the world’s judicial history. In a judicial system where judgements are passed with only reference to credible, reliable and viable evidences and arguments around them, having a verdict which was, if not entirely, based on faith and history long unrecorded, is perhaps a great achievement in itself by the 3 member bench of Justices SU Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and DV Sharma. So first of all my hearty congratulations to them for getting the honour of being remembered in history for delivering such a landmark ruling, in a case which involved years of courtroom tussle between the litigants, destruction of the Mosque in question and bloodshed which claimed almost 2000 lives.
Coming to the judgement, I should put the fact on table that I wasn’t confused at all regarding what judgement it would be in the hours leading up to the same. And upon hearing the Hon’ble court’s decision, I was rather happy with myself for predicting it so rightly. Dividing the entire land between the Hindu Mahasabha, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhada was a middle path which the court simply had to take to ensure the verdict didn’t end up in something violent, humiliating and embarrassing for the country and the Hon’ble Bench. With the eyes of the entire country and even a sizeable section of the world on it, I believe that the Hon’ble High Court has done justice to all 3 plaintiffs. I hence welcome this decision by the Allahabad High Court.
Although I won’t be seconded by many in my outright support to the ruling, and also the Mahasabha and the Waqf deciding to move to the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to challenge today’s historic verdict, I still maintain that there isn’t any better way to solve this entire issue. Giving up the entire land to any one of the above mentioned parties would have resulted in strong and antagonistically aggressive response by the losing party, thereby threatening to tilt the balance of peace in the community in favour of anarchy and hatred, even taking it away from both would have resulted in same by both of them, things which today’s landmark verdict has been successful in evading. As they say, its better you have a piece of cake instead of losing it altogether.
But yes, I do agree that there are some concerns related to this judgement today. The amount of land Hindus get won’t be enough to build a majestic and profound Temple to worship Lord Ram on the land which we consider to have had the divine honour of bearing his very first holy steps into this sinned world. And neither it would be enough to satisfy the immaculate aspirations of our Muslim brothers for building a pious Mosque in it. But, I stress it once again, there isn’t any other way to solve this issue in my eyes.
Not ironically though, this case is far from over with the parties pondering over an appeal in the Country’s highest judicial podium, but in my honest belief, time has come for a makeover in the way Ayodhya can now be projected and perceived. Instead of prolonging this fight, which has clearly lost its importance among the younger Indian intelligentsia, if the litigants and our Central Government is wise enough and mature enough, they should now project this very verdict and this very pronounced settlement as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim Unity, and by building the Ram Temple and the Babri Masjid side by side, bearing all challenges, they should symbolise Ayodhya not any more a wedge between the two largest religions in the country, rather as a bond that binds them. Ayodhya is on the verge of becoming a shining light of inter-religious acceptance, tolerance and harmony in the world, but if and only if the concerned parties are broad minded and long sighted enough to view and embrace it. I sincerely hope that Ayodhya is no longer brought up as a subject of division, dominance and bloodshed in this country, whose Father of the Nation believed and lived according to the ideals of the Hindu Deity born in this holy land.
Time has come for division, hatred and superiority complex existent among these two religions to become lucifugous and that brotherhood, acceptance, peace, harmony and tolerance take reins of the society and drive India to the greatness it is today poised to achieve.
India is no more the country it was when Lord Ram came to this world, or when General Mir Baqi built the Babri Masjid, or when the first title suits were filed in the Indian courts in 1950, or even when the unfortunate demolition of Babri Masjid and the subsequent horrifying bloodshed occurred in the country. Today’s India is much more than “just another” South Asian Democracy. Today our Republic is a resurgent economic superpower, diplomatic bully and an example of exemplary all round development in the midst of belittling political aspirations by the leaders at the top. Its now much more in the eyes of the entire world map observers. This is much proved by the fact that the Ayodhya dispute news were on the front pages of BBC and CNN websites for days leading up to the verdict. Today’s India must ensure, that by using any means possible it upholds its status and respect in the entire world, and I believe that by projecting Ayodhya as an example of Hindu-Muslim unity, we will go a long way in earning much respect of the Muslim world and of the secular in whole.
To conclude, I am really satisfied with this verdict, and would be keeping a very curious eye on how, now, the Ayodhya land is viewed by people in and around the country.