Saturday, September 25, 2010

Babri-Ayodhya Volcanic Eruption & the Judgement

Byline by M J Akbar: Babri-Ayodhya Volcanic Eruption & the Judgement

It is never easy to walk close to the precipice. The Supreme Court must be feeling very sure-footed to test its vertigo level on Ayodhya. It has put six decades of anguish, turmoil and a legal endurance test on the edge of a calendar. If there is the slightest mishap, and even the Supreme Court cannot claim the divine power of predicting what unknown factors might spin the coming week out of control, the Allahabad High Court judgement on the Babri title dispute could fall into a bottomless abyss. If the judgement is not read out before the end of the month it becomes infructuous since one of the judges is retiring. India does not have the energy to start another six decades of social, political and legal acrimony.

It would of course have been heavenly if time was the solution to a problem has proved intractable for both the British Raj and free India. Many problems in India do merge and disappear in that glacier called time. Faith, alas, arouses passions that have the resilience to defeat time. There is a view among those who have not experienced the depth of faith that the dispute has faded into unimportance. It was perhaps this assessment that persuaded Rahul Gandhi to claim that other things were more important. A little reading of history would be useful. The Babri-Ayodhya dispute has lain dormant for long spells before erupting suddenly, volcanically, and spreading its lava far and wide into the social streams of our nation. Sometimes it rumbles before bursting, and sometimes it surprises us with its arbitrary vehemence. This is why Sardar Patel, whose understanding of India was unmatched, advised Jawaharlal Nehru to find some way towards immediate closure of the two issues that had become symbols in the Hindu subconscious, the temple at Somnath destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni and the Babri mosque. Nehru was uncomfortable, but did not interfere with the reconstruction of the temple at Somnath, except that he would not allow the project to become a state enterprise. Somnath was comparatively easy since no one had built a mosque at the site. Patel warned that if the Ram-birthplace dispute was not resolved it would return to haunt India five decades later. It did, in less time than that.

Ayodhya was different because there was a mosque, built during the reign of Babar. L.K.Advani linked the two when he started his rath yatra towards Ayodhya from Somnath, exactly 20 years on 25 September. Another two decades of time have not brought any resolution.

Perhaps we are being lulled by the fact that there has been no violence over Ayodhya after 1992. Mistake. Indians, of any religion or denomination, are instinctively repulsed by violence, even if they can, on occasions, get as appallingly murderous as any crowd in history. But there is rarely exultation and always guilt. Even when top-of-mind recall has dimmed, it does not mean that an issue such as Babri-Ayodhya has disappeared from hearts.

The consequences of non-judgement will be horrendous. It is obvious from the statements of their spokesmen that the Congress is, typically, committed to irresolution. Its politics impels it to hunt with the mosque and run with the temple. This fudge was possible as long as the courts were taking their time. Time - a chameleon component of this drama - has run out, at least in the legal sense. There is at long last a judgement, by a respected high court. Even a stay on its implementation and the reality of an appeal cannot diminish the power of a verdict. The government would be very foolish to believe that it can bury the judgement in some legal maze, making it untraceable. If the judgement is not read by the court, it will still find its way to the people, through the media perhaps. The happy fact of any democracy is that suppressed information, like water, always leaks through the shackles of government.

The parties involved are already raising dangerous apprehensions. It is only natural for either, or perhaps both, to feel that the government is using delay as a tactic to deny them justice. The only salutary outcome of such a situation would be that the two parties forget their bitterness towards each other, and divert it towards the government in a common cause. Do not laugh. Stranger things have happened in Indian politics.

The Supreme Court has the liberty to hope that something could happen in six days that has not happened in six decades, an amicable settlement. But it has no right to abort the course of justice for reasons extraneous to the law. Tuesday is going to be a tense day, but I have no doubt that the Supreme Court will apply its own means test. It needs an answer to only one question: have the parties to the dispute reached a settlement outside the court? If the answer is no, as is likely, then before the Supreme Court rises it must give leave to its brothers on the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court to deliver their judgement. That is the only safe route back from the precipice.


vips said...

The article is an excellent piece of understanding. My only question to muslim brothers is that, there are millions of mosque around world ! Y can't they leave just one place, which is believed to be birth place of a diety worshipped by atleast 800 million people. Pl think otherwise, would u people not demand the evacuation of any tEmple had it been believed to b tHe birth place of prophet muhammed! Surely Hindus would hve let gone that Temple.

RAJAT said...

My brother Vips, I wholly want to trust what you say. But no matter what the Hindus would have done when faced with a similar situation has no bearings on the other party. Or else this issue would have been resolved long ago. There will be no amicable solution for this as it deeply involves not only faith but a sense of injustice for both communities. I don't know where the end lies. I only pray that it don't affect the very fundamentals on which our motherland is build.

prashhanthkpp said...

M.J. Akbar has rightly narrated the sentiments of current India. Hindus with passion and Muslims with purpose. The demarcation between passion and purpose is as wide as the ocean. There has to be a verdict justifying the passion, the pulse of the nation. Anything short of that can burn the country. For the Muslims it is just another monument with no religious significance except the historical obstinacy. Better sense should avoid a country burning itself to destruction. Hope sanity prevails.

prashhanthkpp said...

M.J. Akbar has rightly narrated the sentiments of current India. Hindus with passion and Muslims with purpose. The demarcation between passion and purpose is as wide as the ocean. There has to be a verdict justifying the passion, the pulse of the nation. Anything short of that can burn the country. For the Muslims it is just another monument with no religious significance except the historical obstinacy. Better sense should avoid a country burning itself to destruction. Hope sanity prevails.

rohit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rohit said...

The whole idea is to keep the issue burn by the politicians. There could always be a solution in with dialouge. All the country requires is peace and harmony. Its not about one mosque or one temple. Wise men should act wisely. There are definitely more important and reasonable issue to handle.

Common said...

Muslims of India (Shias, Sunnis and 70 more muslim sects or firqas or castes) should surge forward and handover Hindus of India/World their rightful holy places at Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi and many other places. These holy places of Hindus are as same as Makkah and Madina to Muslims of India/World. Always we should seek advice of our own moral
conscience and our mother and never forget that Hindus are only seeking worship places which rightfully belong to them. Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi and many other worship places are sacred places to all Hindus till eternity.

God forbid my mind - Harming and cheating people, demolishing a temple or any other worship place to construct a Masjid on it will never bring peace or earn respect to any person or his mother or his family members or his community members till eternity. We need to continue with the ages old tradition of the land where we have taken birth and live, in the truest sense, from our hearts. Generations of our family members are there some where far away underneath deep sands of the soil of Bharath/India for ever.

We have inherited traditions from India/Bharath and also imbibed traditions from far away shores of Arabia & Persia just by listening and observing the good will of Sufi sahebs and countless Hindu people beginning
from our neighbourhood lanes, vegetable markets, agricultural land places and Paan beeda shops. These humble people
have the power to melt all differences till eternity. This is the divine power of Hindu
people. May God bless them and give them all the strength till eternity. They are and will continue to
remain forever as a big tree to all others in India. Muslims of India, on their own, should contribute
resources for the re-construction of numerous temples that have been demolished and
ransacked in the past by any of their family or community members.

This is a challenge in best spirit to all Muslims of India. Beyond this, religion is a non-issue. What are we waiting for. Lets just surge ahead and spread kindness to all people. After these problems and sticky perceptions are brought to closure, we can cleanly think and focus on daily work and nothing but quality work and at least contribute something towards providing services to others. There are several among us who do not have food to eat daily, do not have eye sight, have mental health problems or suffering from life long health and other personal problems. We have to grow each day by solving our daily problems, the way trees and plants grow naturally. Best wishes.

Many People will be uncomfortable with these discussions and the situation they have got into, at this point in time, while others are planning homelands in far away planets and talking about space vacation trips, there will be exceptions till eternity but I am only saying the ground facts as they are.

Anonymous said...

Respected M.J.Akbar sahab,

The solution of Ayodhya is in the Constitution amendment. The eternal truth is one and the same for all. It can be included in the Constitution. It can satisfy all, because it is scientific also.

With regards.


The Ayodhya issue is 400 year old. It can not be solved with physical evidences only. We have to trace back the history.

In the world, India is only country, which has not given importance to God in the constitution. With this the faith and belief has not been defined. The spiritual freedom is a very high concept, which can be adopted, only when people have the knowledge that that God is within them as consciousness. It has been ignored.

With this as soon as the people became free from spiritual bondage, it has opened the door for corruption and other self interests, hence have forgotten the National integrity. India is facing the consequences of this or we can say curse of God.

All religious scriptures are saying one and the same thing in their own language. What is God? it can be proved scientifically now. Without the help of God, we can not maintain peace and harmony in the country. The eternal truth is one and the same for all. It is not a illusion.

Only amendment in the constitution that the eternal truth is one and same for all we trust in it, can solve all the problems. It will unite the Indians, who have been divided into Hindu and Muslim on the name of faith. It was a political conspiracy of the British Government on the name of faith, Mandir - Masjis is a symbol only. The symbol, which has divided Indians, the same can unite also. No doubt with it India will emerge as a great Nation in the world.