By Seema Khan
The Ayodhya verdict has raised more questions than it has answered. Instead of putting to rest the issue and settling the issue, it has raised more questions, doubts and has set a wrong precedent for the future.
The judgement sounds more political than legal by trying to satisfying both parties. By giving the land to the temple and asking the government to give five acres for the mosque, the judges seems to be doing the work of a mediator rather than giving a judgement on the basis of proof and evidence.
The Supreme Court agreed that a mosque stood at the site for centuries. It further agreed that prayers were being offered at the mosque. Further the court ‘stated that demolishing the structure and placing the idols was illegal. It also quoted the ASI that there was no evidence of a temple built under the mosque. It is ironical in stating that the decision of the Supreme Court is based on proof and evidence and not faith alone when the decision made is contradicting their own statement.
The verdict seemed more like a compromise and mediation between the two parties and the judgement going (by political will) in favour of the majority community. It appears as though the atmosphere was created by the Modi media by mind programming in favour of a particular community by bringing in the question of Ram mandir at the disputed site rather than based on evidence and proofs.
The Sunni Wafq Board asked for permission to offer prayers at the place where the mosque stood and never asked for the possession of the property or to attach a piece of land. This mere request was also denied. The wafq board has refused to accept five acres of land given by the Supreme Court and has vowed to ask review of Supreme Court decision.
In spite of the Supreme Court admitting that the mosque stood at the site and proof of prayers being offered, the structure was demolished in presence of many BJP and VHP leaders, even though they gave assurances to Supreme Court that no harm will be done to the structure.
The question arises if the judges even contemplated punishing the culprits responsible for the demolishment of the 500 years old Ayodhya Mosque, and whether any body was held guilty for contempt of court and for violating the assurance given to the Supreme court?
One wonders as to why the Muslims were offered five acres of land for mosque when the judgement was in favour of temple? Under what compulsion did these judges give such a contradictory and compromising judgement? It sounds like this offer to the Muslims was made to bury the unjust decision made by the Supreme Court.
Professor Fazan Mustafa stated that he has read thousands of judgements in Indian and international courts in his career but never came across a single judgement where the Judges Identity remained anonymous and confidential. This is a significant chapter in the history of India and yet the clarity around the names of the judges and the decisions made by them remains a mystery. The judges take an oath before a trial that all the decisions will be taken without fear and that, they will remain fair with no favouritism to either parties, then why was there no transparency in the identity of the judges? This raises the suspicion that decision of the judges was more political rather than based on justice.
Reaction of the former judges have further put a question mark on this Judgment.
Justice Markenday Katju has said that after partition, ‘demolition of Ayodhya Mosque was a great tragedy for India and which has been sanctified ‘by this verdict. He further goes to say in his Facebook post “in substance the Ayodhya judgement has said that might is right and has laid down a dangerous precedent sanctifying aggression”. Waman Meshram went to extent of saying that it’s a political decision to divide and rule.
The outcome of this decision of the Supreme Court established that the Muslim community is peace loving with no violent retaliation. When the Ayodhya Mosque was demolished in 1992, Muslims instead of retaliating became the victims of violence, their places of worship were destroyed, many of them were killed and their property destroyed. Finally, when their mosque which was demolished was handed over to the destroyers by the highest court of India, they still remained calm, expressed their displeasure without violence. Contrarily, we have seen in the last few years when Babas like Ram Rahim, Asaram Rampal and others were caught for fraud and rape, how their bhaghts went on rampage damaging property, destroying the railway tracks, burning vehicles, blocking roads and running riots.
Retiree supreme court judge Ashok Ganguli also expressed his doubts on the verdict. He said “as a student of law I am finding it hard to accept the judgement”. He said that when the constitution came into existence prayers were was being offered and the Mosque stood at the site, and in that case the Muslims should claim their right on it. He further added that functional mosque at the time when India became a republic should be restored. He commented that the government supported the wrong claim and the Supreme Court supported the government.
This decision was mandatory before the election due in Delhi and Jharkhand. Abrogation of Article 370 before elections in Maharashtra and Haryana did not help much. It would be interesting to see the outcome of the elections of Jharkhand and Delhi assembly. It will determine if this verdict has influenced BJP’s targeted voters or not. If it is same as article 370 on Maharashtra and Haryana results then it will be a wasted exercise. But if BJP succeeds to form governments in two states, then verdict will prove to be a blessing for BJP. And after triple talaq, article 370 and Ayodhya verdict; uniform civil code will be the vote gathering exercise for the next elections.
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