Beyond Mandir, Masjid?

3 mins read

Asem Mohiuddin

Last week the India’s Apex court pronounced its verdict over longest surviving religious dispute titled Babri Masjid-Ramjanbhoomi temple. The bench headed by outgoing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in its judgment rewarded over 2.73 acres of disputed land for the construction of Ramjanbhoomi temple. And for Sunni Waqf board, the court ordered local government to offer them 5 acres of land in the town to build a mosque. The Hindus had been claiming that Muslims had destroyed temple to build mosque.

The court, however, cited no such evidences that could vindicate the claims.  In its judgment, the bench observed that demolition of mosque by some Hindus in 1992 was illegal. Thus, the observation of top court for some top RSS and BJP leaders under trial at Lucknow court for their alleged role in Babri masjid demolition has come as a setback. The Lucknow court is also likely to pronounce its judgment in April next year.

The historical decision by Supreme Court though allowed India to shun its past baggage shared by two major communities, however, evoked mixed responses from across the section of people.

Majority of the people take this decision as an opportunity for diverse India to move on in unity. Fevers take this decision flawed.

For example; the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) expressed their displeasure and said that it was the faith of majoritarian that won over facts. The board is mulling to file the review petition to contest the judgment. Asad ud din Owasi respected the court verdict, however, refused to repose faith on the top judiciary. He termed the decision flawed.

“I respect the court verdict but Supreme Court cannot be flawless”.

Irena Akbar, freelancer and entrepreneur in a column in national daily strongly criticized India’s top court for its verdict and said that judiciary preferred peace over justice.

“The Supreme Court verdict has guaranteed peace but denied justice to Muslims. Lest, we forget, Muslims are at the forefront of maintaining that peace, and the community must be lauded for its patience and restrain in the face of repeated provocations from the state,, the mob and the media for over last five years, and finally betrayal by its last bastion of hope, the Supreme Court on November 9,” she writes.

On the other hand, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, a Vice Chancellor of Maulana Azad National University, however, blamed the “self appointed Muslim leadership” for missing the bus. Ahmed said that Muslims, out of court, shall have awarded this land to Hindus for the construction of temple as a goodwill gesture that could have erased the history of animosity that two communities share after partition.

“Many mosques could have been built in return by Hindus since the place hold the importance for the Hindus what Mecca is for Muslims and Bethlehem for Christians. But unfortunately Muslims missed the bus,” he opined.

Ahmed hold fake secular leaders responsible for the plight for Indian Muslims and urge community to come out of the clutches of the rabble-rousing representatives of faux secularists if they want to progress socially economically and educationally.

“We are not living in the Mughal times or in Congress era. The RSS and its political wing, the BJP are in power. The Muslims should have changed their outlook but instead they kept distancing from these platforms.”

Meanwhile, the issue seems settled with majority of the people in country deciding to move on and shun this historical baggage and make country collectively-a progressive. While the dispute over the site was lingering over for decades, Congress have least mustered the courage to seek its one time settlement and allowed two communities to move on. Most the communal discords aroused in India after partition in Congress rule. The Congress despite being the oldest political dispensation of India is the weakest on ground. BJP, a political division of RSS owes the credit for sharing this massive space on ground. It has an appeal and influence that helps Modi to take massive political decisions without resentment. Owing to this support, Modi has turned habitual of making political maneuvers which are shaking the country in some or the other way. Be it demonetization, surgical strikes Balakote Air strikes, Abrogation of Article 370 or the recent verdict on Babri Masjid-Ramjanbhoomi dispute, 130 crore Indians accepted these decisions with full faith and confidence in Modi government.

Thanks to people for offering massive mandate to BJP, probably, India has overcome major issues that were hurting its political and economic progress. Now the time has come when a common Indian can ask Modi why they elected him twice.

A voter can ask Modi that he got his support in Kashmir to scrap its constitutional specialty. They mourned silently the tragic death of 42 Paramilitary CRPF personals in suicide attack in Lithpora. They amicably accepted the verdict on disputed land at Ayodhya.

Now, can Modi led government get down to serious business and move away from rhetoric?

The questions would be asked now on socio economic prosperity, he promised in election manifesto? Increasing jobs for the youth which are instead now losing them?  Slowing down of economic growth against its promise of taking it to 5 trillion dollars by 2030.

On the other hand, Modi’s parent organization which common Muslims fear of losing to it has a role assigned in the prevailing circumstances. Many Muslims who even are happy with Apex court decision over Ayodya land dispute needed to be reached out. Some voices in the community fear that organization aims to take control of many Muslim religious sites in Kashi and Mathura. The fear needs to be allayed. The Muslims also must pose faith in the judiciary and constitution of the country and fight back legally in such circumstances. Places of Worship Act 1991 are enshrined in the constitution that prevents the conversion of religious places of worship from the shape and form they are in at the time of Independence. To record here Babri Masjid-Ramjanbhoomi dispute was kept out of this act.

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