Opinion: Ayodhya Verdict...

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By Philip Mudartha
Bellevision Media Network

23 Nov 2019: On the 9th of November 2019, a five member panel led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) of the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The bench unanimously ruled in favor of the Ram Janmabhoomi. It rested the title to the 2.77 acre plot of contested land with the deity Ram Lalla (Infant Ram) and vested its guardianship with a trust to be set up within three months by the central government. The Hindus can now build their much coveted Ram Mandir on the site.



The judges instructed the central and UP state government to give a 5 acre alternate site at a prominent place within Ayodhya so that the Muslims can build a mosque.


The Supreme Court heard the long-pending Ayodhya land dispute for a period of 40 days at a stretch and pronounced the historic verdict which will have far reaching effects. The Supreme Court said the underlying structure below the disputed site at Ayodhya was not an Islamic structure, but the ASI has not established whether a temple was demolished to build a mosque. The court also said that the faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the disputed site where the Babri Masjid once stood cannot be disputed. Thus, even though the court did not accept the Hindu position that the Babri Mosque was built after destroying a temple to Ram, it accepted their faith that it indeed was the Ram Janmabhoomi!


Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed that no one should claim the verdict as a win for majoritarian Hindutva groups and their politics; but, there was widespread jubilation in their camps.


The Muslims, on the other hand, had seen what was coming and put up a brave face and were muted in their responses. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board rejected the verdict and called for a review petition. But, the Sunni Waqf Board, the petitioner in the case, accepted the verdict and said they will not file a review petition. On accepting the 5 acre alternate site, the Board will take a call on November 26. Most probably a minor mosque with an educational institution or an orphanage will be built on the allotted land.


The Supreme Court further said that the 1949 desecration and the 1992 demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid mosque were acts in violation of law. Yet, it did not call for meting out justice by trial of those responsible for the crime!


For a detailed report on the demolition and the rise of BJP as a Hindutva revivalist political force, refer to the article: http://www.bellevision.com/index.php?action=exclusive_inner&type=252


Author’s Opinion:

1. It is possible to argue that the justices have noted the political ground reality.


2. It is also possible to argue that the justices have weighed in the reality at the disputed site. A make-shift temple is in existence and “puja” is offered to the deity regularly while namaz is not held in the premises since the demolition.


3. Considering the antiquity of the dispute, the justices have opted to burn midnight oil and spent sleepless nights for forty days to perform a “balancing act” so that liberals see their verdict as judicial statesmanship.


4. It is possible to question if theirs is statesmanship or cowardice in that the majority is appeased by accepting their claim based on “faith” and “belief” and not strictly speaking material evidence to conclusively prove that the mosque was built after demolition of a temple.


5. Peace, tranquility and comfort are the requirement of the day, which in this case is essentially based on the goodwill of a minority who is helpless anyway.


6. That the basis for the title to the disputed site is achieved by the people representing the deity through unlawful acts according to the court did not prevent it from bestowing the title, thus overtly ‘rewarding’ the people who caused the unlawful acts.


7. It is a political bonanza for Modi who will claim to have fulfilled one more of his poll promises: building Ram Mandir in Ayodhya at the very spot where once Babri Masjid stood.


8. His next move will be the adoption of uniform civil code, nation-wide National Register of Citizens and the Amendment of Citizens’ Act to bar Muslim migrants (legal or illegal) from laying claim to citizenship.


9. For the nation, tired of the centuries-old dispute, it is a welcome move so that it can move on instead of keeping the pestering wounds alive.





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