So, is it the end of one of the longest awaited and most controversial cases in India’s history? The judgment actually reflects the collective mood of the nation. Though, on surface, it seems fair but I wonder how long we will have to wait again if and when one of the parties decides to approach the Supreme Court.
The actual suit “The Sunni Central Board of Waqfs UP Lucknow & Others Versus Gopal Singh Visharad and Others” was filed in 1989 but the battle is going on for almost 125 years. The Allahabad High Court dismissed the title suit filed by the Sunni Waqf Board. There are some important takeaways from the verdict:-
1) The court declared that the disputed site in Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, the Hindu God-King. There is no question about it.
2) The Babri mosque that stood on the disputed site and was destroyed by a rampaging Hindu crowd in 1992 was built by the Mughal Emperor Babar. But the ruling said that the mosque was built against the tenets of Islam and therefore could not “have the character of a mosque”. The evidence was provided by the archaeological survey of India (ASI).
3) Another important part of the ruling pertains to construction of “mosque” which was built on the site of an older Hindu religious structure that was demolished.
4) Hindu Idols were indeed placed in the middle dome of the disputed structure on the night of December 22/23, 1949.
5) The High Court also made it clear that property in question is undeniably the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra Ji. Hindus have been worshipping at this place since time immemorial.
6) The status quo needs to be maintained at the site for three months. The full ruling runs into more than 8000 pages.
7) The last important piece is about division and distribution of the disputed land in three parts:- one-third for Hindu Mahasabha, one-third for Sunni Waqf Board and one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara.
Ok, so basically these 7 points sum up 8000 pages. The verdict is seen as a step closer to final settlement in this historical case. Though, the Hindus always claimed about presence of a Rama temple in Ayodhya and its demolition by Babar 500 years ago, Muslims never really accepted it. There were plenty of conspiracy theories circling the claim like it was a British ploy to divide Hindus and Muslims by providing fake archeological proofs etc. But things got really nasty after razing of the mosque. Thereafter, it became a matter of establishing secular credentials of political parties and securing vote banks.
It was actually a relief to see that the verdict failed to cause any emotional and violent reactions. Both Hindu and Muslim leaders have judiciously used their words post the judgment. Though, it’s far from over as All Indian Personal Muslim Law Board and Hindu Mahasabha have already indicated their desire to approach Supreme Court.
Throughout the day, the country was on tenterhooks but nothing untoward happened. Many offices were closed today in anticipation of riots, but peace prevailed. In a way, it was a very smart decision. Everyone got something. British would have been proud of this decision. Divide and Rule. The only difference was, this time it was used for good.
BTW, The High Court should have given one third to OBC or SC or ST, no? After all, what happened to our famous quota system? Okay, no more cheekiness…the judgment is basically “Peace in pieces”!
P.S- someone tweeted- who was the winner today? Not BJP, Congress or SP or BSP. Its News Channels and Corporate People who were gifted half-day leaves.
Anyways, now that whole episode turned out to be a damp squib, lets get our focus back on Kalmadi bashing. 😛