All the people of world, at a time are put under test with over bearing challenges.Those who prepare themselves to firmly face the new and strange situations and continue their struggle to way out, are destined to ultimately succeed to procure their goal but those who confine themselves only to complain and accuse others, are always doomed. We must keep the history abreast to ponder over and to prioritize our issues and to realign for our future. We must deploy ourselves to remove the state of dormancy by rejuvenating to new dawn of hope and brightness. The verdict of Babri Masjid has beckoned us to reassess and to chalk out our future action plan in view of formidable challenges for paving the way to realize our dreams of India, an abode of dignity, fraternity, equality and justice for all of its people.
After the judgement of Supreme Court on Babri Masjid on 9th November 2019, as the first reaction, a person of the status of former justice of the Supreme Court of India , Mr. A K Ganguly stated that it is unfortunate. The reading through the judgement led to shock and confusion amidst the citizenry. Everybody had wished proper conclusion and ultimate justice from the Supreme Court of India, as the last court to absolve the country of the dispute which had been lingering for decades. Pushing aside local people, VHP entered into dispute just after the opening of the lock of Babri Masjid and permitting puja on 2nd of February 1986. Leaders of VHP such as Ashok Singhal and Paramhans Ram Chandra repeatedly proclaimed that Courts did not have jurisdiction over the matter of faith (Astha) and Muslims had no rights in Ayodhya. Since thereafter, efforts were made to pressurize and demonize Muslims for contesting into court of law and out of court settlement was propagated to be the only way out for the lasting peace and harmony where Muslims must keep their hands off from any rights on Babri Masjid. A dialogue was firstly arranged at the behest of Shankacharya with Late Ali Mian and other office bearers of AIMPLB. Not only the pressure was exerted on Muslims to abandon the claim on Babri Masjid but also threats were given producing a long list of the shrines and masjids to take over if Muslims did not fall in line as dictated by RSS leaders. A narrative was built where Muslims were accused of siding with invader Babar in comparison of Lord Rama by continuing their claim on Babri Masjid, alleged site of birth place of Lord Rama and constant charges were made against Muslims for their obstinate behavior displaying disloyalty and disrespect to the native and respected ethos of the country. In this mindset, conspicuous efforts were made at the last leg of hearing of the case in Supreme Court by SriSri Ravishankar, a self-styled god man canvassing for mutual settlement of the dispute arguing with different shades of only Muslim organizations and individuals, privy to the case to hand over the disputed site to the same band of persons who had forcibly put idols in the central dome of Babri Masjid in December 1949 and demolished Babri Masjid in December 1992. The VHP, in the garb of self-claimed representatives of Hindu community during this period had taken the control of the movement to acquire Babri Masjid by filing a fresh case in 1989 claiming for the first time that the central dome of Babri Masjid is the birth place of Lord Rama before it the claim had been confined to get the rights of puja inside Babri Masjid and never it was averred before in any court regarding the birth place of Lord Rama inside Babri Masjid. Supreme court was also impressed upon for out of court settlement for lasting peace in the country and supreme court appointed a mediation committee for this purpose in which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, well known for his views on settlement of dispute was also included as one of the three members of mediation committee, that succeeded to win over a section of Muslims to the idea of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and mediation committee to withdraw their claims from Babri Masjid land in reparation of another land. Wide publicity of such infringe elements among Muslims was made during the pendency of the dispute in Supreme Court. In this regard, the Sunni Central Board of Waqfs confidentially filed, though mischievously leaked a document concurring to the instance and proposal of mediation committee just before the delivery of judgment by Supreme Court.
Pricking the minds of Indians many a time due to several episodes and all wanted to end the controversy. However, a section of Muslim Ulema and intellectuals gave knee-jerk reactions out of fear and for their personal benefits. A reaction also emerged to impress upon that now the decision must be accepted and no further action is required. But the prominent persons, jurists and intellectuals particularly those who have always been vocal to strengthen he idea of India and opposed head on every move to thrust upon a theocratic state under Hindutva ethos, started analyzing the content of judgement of 9th of November, 2019, there lastly happened a change and people in every corner, also begun debates on the liner aspects as well as self contradictory parts of the judgement issued and an opinion grew that a review petition be filed in the Supreme Court and offer of five acres of land must be declined. In these situation, AIMPLB convened a meeting of its Executive Committee on 17th November 2019 in Lucknow and clearly took a decision to challenging the verdict of 9th of November 2019 by filing a review petition and very clearly declined the offer of five acres of land in reparation to Muslims for the loss of Babri Masjid, legally handing over to same band of persons who forcibly put idols inside central dome of Babri Masjid in December, 1949 and demolished it in December 1992 because if the judgement of Babri Masjid left unchallenged, the next generations shall accuse this generation of failing in duty to continue the fight for saving the tenants of constitution, the pledge of democracy and the commitment to Rule of Law our fore generations have not discharge the same duties after the supreme court judgement of Aziz Pasha case of minority character of AMU and Ismail Faruqui case of Masjid not internal part of faith.
Prejudegment moves and preparations publicized by media in anticipation of verdict on Babri Masjid case created panic into many parts of the country and the judgement was unexpectedly delivered on 9th of November, Saturday. The fear had ruled the roost for days in apprehension of civil strife as it was warned that if Muslims don’t abandon their claim from Babri Masjid, India may face situations like Syria. Fear and calculated stratification is always dangerous for healthy democracy and multiculturalism. In these situations, the verdict was pronounced on a day generally closed for the court work in Supreme Court. A number of jurists, judges and intellectuals have expressed their views. SDPI has also deliberated and decided to make its stand clear in view of public importance of the matter of Babri Masjid in past, present and future times of the country. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by five Judge Bench has given the clear findings that:
1. No Temple was demolished for the construction of Babri Masjid in 1528.
2. The placing of idols into central dome of Babri Masjid was an illegal act committed
On the intermittent night of 22/23 December of 1949.
3. The demolition of Babri Majid on 6th of December 1992 was wrong and illegal.
4. That the court cannot enter whether the faith whether it is rational or irrational, justified or unjustified, respecting religious freedom of a party/ person.
It is matter of fact that not a single person till now has been punished for grave offences committed either in December 1949 or December 1992. The well-identified offenders had boastfully been making statements regarding their role in stealing or broad day offences and have always been allowed to take political mileage in their favour with impunity. Supreme Court failed to be elaborate on these questions leaving the justice inconclusive in the judgement of November 9th of 2019.
The jurists and former judges have pointed out to self-contradictions of the verdict. The findings of the court have not been realized into the operative portion of the judgement. There is a question that if the placing of idol and the demolition of Masjid was illegal, how it can be legal to give disputed area of 2.77 acres of land of Masjid to the elements who were party to illegalities. It is also felt that those who committed offenses of demolition of Babri Masjid have been rewarded by unreasonably selecting them to control the land of Masjid even they very belatedly entered into the litigation only in the year 1989 by filing a new suit changing the nature of the dispute at question while Nirmohi Akhara, the original litigant on behalf of the temple of Lord Rama from the year 1885, has been debarred on the point of limitation which though directly and fully make the case of Ram Lala Virajman unmaintainable and unsustainable yet surprisingly, preferred to get authority as backed by the known Hindutva masters. It is now being felt that by default, the effect of the judgement of Supreme Court has virtually put a legal stamp on the illegal acts of miscreants causing demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6th, 1992. After the judgement, the demand is being made that the criminal case regarding incident of 6th December 1992, pending inconclusive even after 27 years, be withdrawn. It is apprehended that the proposed Trust, under present political establishment shall be formed without the true representatives of Sanatan Dharma in Ayodhya. Notice is also being taken of the coincidence that the verdict has directed the same scheme in the case as previously discussed by Sri Sri and the three-member Mediation Committee with Muslim bodies and individuals that also smacks a different conclusion.
It perturbed a large number of people as the “Rule of Law” has mischievously been weakened for a long-time on account of weak and selective application of methods of administration of justice. After this judgement, we may have a feel for future of the country as Working President of VHP Mr. Alok Kumar has stated that this is beginning and not the end. It is painfully felt that that majoritarian ideology has prevailed over the facts and evidence of the case and jumping over its own findings, the court has given this verdict which supports unequal citizenry and encourages all those elements who put the system of secularism, democracy and Constitution under constant attacks. Main political parties including congress have also failed to rise to occasion or due to timidity, fell under encompassing influence of artificial, disruptive and disintegrating Golwalkar theory that Muslims and other minority communities do not have an equal right in comparison of Hindu community.
It is surprising that main report of ASI signed by all the authorized persons giving the finding that no temple was found beneath the Masjid, kept aside and unsigned epilogue mysteriously put at the end of the report unsigned, was relied upon that structure beneath did not look Islamic.
It is said that Hon’ble Court has weighed religious belief and faith of a section over the facts and evidence on the record of the case as well as over the issue of title of the disputed property.
It is also relevant to mention that Muslim case, if rejected, they should not get even an inch of land but if five acres of land is provided, it means, there is a sort of reparation and the reparation is granted only when an injury is inflicted but no finding on injury to Muslims is observed by the Court. So it appears that it is a majoritarian verdict delivered to please and appease the Hindutva on the majoritarian ethos which sets a precedent to open a Pandora box, if left un-assailed.
Indian Muslims may feel proud of their legacy and tradition to honor the rule of law. The shining example is regarding Masjid Ganj Shakar vs Gurudwara Ganj Shakar in which a Masjid due to long term adverse possession was declared a Gurudwara and for generations, Muslims have been following and respecting the place as Gurudwara.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has left many confusing, ambiguous and moot points still to be decided in view of the expediency of the issue as the Hon’ble Court has directed to allot five acres of land at suitable and prominent place in Ayodhya for the construction of a Masjid but it may not seems to be just and fair and cannot be accepted by the community and the country.
Now, we all the Indians concerned with undesirable situation developed in the country aftermath judgment in the Babri , may not afford to be indifferent and stoic but have to devise ways and means to be more pro-active and assertive to protect our Constitutional values and secular norms and traditions, participatory democracy and the federal system of the country. In addition to this, social and economic equality and forging harmony and fraternity among the countrymen. We may not wait for call for our turn. The full might we made available to fight against authoritarian use of state power in all aspects and to upkeep the dissent and diversity. The victims of state highhandedness dubbed as “urban naxals” by the state and its cohorts, are the real heroes who have given up their personal comforts for the people’s cause and have shown courage to stand up for the most suppressed and oppressed people of this country. We must now take up cudgels for the welfare of the entire population of the country demolishing the compartmental and sectarian divisions and pooling our energies for just and better society.
written by : Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad Contact firstname.lastname@example.org