Ayodhya: Judiciary's reputation, Hindu faith and Muslim wisdom at stake

It's a matter of pleasant surprise that the age-old issue languishing long in the courts for the past 70 years has finally been resolved by the Supreme Court. The court's decision is sealed off presently and shall be disclosed in November

Dr SB MisraDr SB Misra   19 Oct 2019 9:26 AM GMT

Ayodhya: Judiciarys reputation, Hindu faith and Muslim wisdom at stake

It's a matter of pleasant surprise that the age-old issue languishing long in the courts for the past 70 years has finally been resolved by the Supreme Court which has given the contesting parties a three-day window for moulding and providing a written statement on relief.

The court's decision is sealed off presently and shall be disclosed in November. One must resist speculating as to in whose favour the verdict may run, but since Sunni Waqf Board had, on the last day, contemplated rolling back its claim and given a nod to build the mosque somewhere else, its lawyer Dhawan going to the extent of tearing off the map proposed by the Hindu Mahasabha; Hindus have an obvious reason for early celebrations. If this happens, the Congress having not expressed its silent Hinduism, Sangh Parivar's Hinduism would definitely roar defiantly.

It came up in discussions that the court cannot ordain in the matters of sentiments, but only on the matter pertaining to the property. This should have been easy because the disputed land having neither been brought along by Babur nor by Mir Taqi had actually been in the possession of the Hindus for centuries. While Hinduism revers both name and form, Islam recognizes only name. However, it is now up to the jury's verdict to decide the fate of the disputed land.

It would certainly have been unfortunate had the court been unable to reach a verdict despite the acceptance of the debate and prolonged cross-examination. Contesting parties may become jubilant or anguished, but the common man would be relieved that the matter got resolved peacefully.

The same matter could have been resolved even in the times of Congress rule, but then the party stood to gain by keeping it afire. Post-independence, Congress had gone the Hindutva way without expressly declaring it and reaped benefits from it. Restoration of Somnath temple, banning of cow slaughter, religious prayers before state functions and seeking auspicious days from astrologers for swearing-in ceremonies of the ministers were among numerous steps taken in the direction.

The court's decision is sealed off presently and shall be disclosed in November.

But as the Hindutva expression of the Sangh Parivar gained prominence, the Congress veered towards Muslim appeasement. Whether soft or silent, Congress Hindutva had earned the party the moniker of a 'Hindu party' by Mohd. Ali Jinnah. Currently, Rahul Gandhi is found making a failed attempt to revive that form of Hindutva.

Congress had, in 1952, made a pair of bullocks as its election symbol and in 1972, a cow and a calf. Prior to this, Congress had also kept mum over the alleged reclamation of Babri Masjid by the Hindus in 1949. The Congress, at the time, being in power -- both at the Centre as well as the state -- could have reinstated Islamic claim. Since Nehru had larger than life personality and a secular image, he could have easily reconciled the two, but he didn't. The matter was taken to the court and the birthplace was sealed. In due course, the Congress became instrumental in reopening of the mosque and laying the temple foundation. Later on, Congress even opted to kick-start its election campaign from Ayodhya.

If one considers the Congress leaders of the Gandhian era, there was Bal Gangadhar Tilak who began Ganeshotsav, Madan Mohan Malviya who founded the Hindu Vishwavudyalaya, Rajshri Purushottam Das Tandon, a staunch supporter of Hindi, Dr Rajendra Prasad — a Nehru-favourite, an alternative to Rajgopalachari and Patel -- confidante. All these leaders also happened to be the believers of Hindutva. The founder of RSS in Congress Dr Hedgewar was also in Congress in the 1920s besides Hindu Mahasabha's Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. The RSS has had a long tradition of invoking Gandhi in its morning prayers and including his name in it. Brushing aside Gandhiji's ideals of peace and non-violence, however, the Sangh Parivar gave a fiery form to the Janmabhoomi issue under Advani's leadership.

The Muslim society could not have ever thought that the very secularists who had always favoured them would be so helpless. Now, a few Muslims have begun saying that Ram is the Indian deity and that he is their revered ancestor. On the other hand, Indonesians have always believed Rama to be their ancestor despite their religion being Islam. The day Indian Muslims will wake up to such wisdom, this country will be restored to its past glory. The Muslims may not have an emotional connect with Ayodhya, but Hindus do, so it is the hour where Muslim wisdom is put to test. It is yet to be seen whether communal harmony would prevail after the three days of moulding and relief have passed. If that happens, it will be yet another colourful feather in Modi's cap.

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