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Ayodhya verdict surprises govt, surpasses saffron hopes

NEW DELHI: The verdict of the Allahabad High court legalising the makeshift temple at the Babri site came as a surprise to the government while it surpassed the Sangh Parivar’s own expectations.

While bracing for the judgement, the government had estimated that it was not going to throw up a clear loser or an unambiguous winner, discounting the possibility that the judges would hand the disputed site to Hindus, giving the BJP and others in the Sangh Parivar a bagful of brownie points and an opportunity to reduce the demolition stigma.

Post-verdict, however, it is recognised that the verdict, despite the court asking for a three-way split of the disputed land among Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Waqf Board, the verdict marks a clear win for the mandir partisans.

The Congress also has to cope with the risk of any adverse political fallout. Its chief worry is about how the order is going to play out among the Muslim community. It is hoping that the saffron excitement over the verdict will fade soon.

It is particularly wary of the possibility of “secular” rivals like Lalu Prasad, Mulayam Singh Yadav and, to a lesser extent, Ramvilas Paswan, who seized on the demolition of Babri Masjid on Congress’s watch to poach the party’s sprawling Muslim base in the north, exploiting the ruling to their advantage.

By virtue of the fact that the Congress is in government at the time of the verdict — which the Sangh Parivar may cite as post facto justification for the Babri demolition on December 6, 1992 — makes the party vulnerable to swipes from the Yadav chieftains and Paswan that it’s soft on Hindutva. The party suspects that Lalu-Paswan duo will pounce upon the verdict to revive memories of Congress’s “betrayal” in 1992 and contrast it with their “muscular secularism”.

The puzzlement over the verdict and worry about its fallout was evident, according to sources, in the deliberations Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held to review the situation. In a statement, PM tried to play down the pro-temple dimension of the judgement, saying that it “needed to be examined carefully” and that it was not going to change the situation at the disputed site.”

“The High Court itself has directed that the status quo as prevailing till date shall be maintained for a period of three months. Besides, the High Court has granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court,” Singh said. “By three separate orders, the Honourable Judges have given their findings on each of these issues and, in the operative part moulded the reliefs to the parties in a particular manner. The correct conclusion, at this stage, is that the status quo will be maintained until the cases are taken up by the Supreme Court.”

The statement was far more nuanced than Congress’s initial response articulated by spokesman Janardan Dwivedi. Unlike the PM, the party general secretary had welcomed the verdict, even suggesting that it should be accepted.

BJP was also surprised, though pleasantly so. The party had not foreseen a verdict in favour of the temple. RSS chief Mohan Bagwat sounded confident when he discussed the issue with BJP and Parivar affiliates in the Capital on September 15-16, but those tracking the case did not share his optimism.

The meeting of the core group interpreted the court order as a “an outright ideological victory and a defeat for pseudo secularists, an emphatic win for the temple and 75-80% win in the fight for the site.”

The development is a major boost for the party, which will pounce upon the verdict to try to seek validation for its Ayodhya campaign which was cited by rivals to paint the saffronites as out-dated. The image correction has already begun, with party spokespersons seeking to turn the tables on those expressing reservations about the verdict.

The Parivar presented a picture of sweet reasonableness, invoking reconciliation, national unity and adherence to rule of law — a completely new projection on the part of those who have so far passionately argued that the site of the Ram temple, being a matter of faith, was beyond judicial scrutiny.

The verdict and the attendant publicity has revived the temple issue, but with a difference. This time it is the Mandir advocates who can claim to be on the right side of the law.

But there is the recognition that while the order can help them score points in the gabfests in TV studios, it may not necessarily tilt the political balance in its favour. The decision to moderate the rhetoric and the appeals for national reconciliation also reflected the acknowledgement that triumphalism may not pay. It is felt that few will want a throwback to the tumultuous ’90s and that the party needs to broaden its appeal. The verdict, in fact, may help the Parivar to rein in the hotheads.

Courtesy :  The Times of India

3 Comments on Ayodhya verdict surprises govt, surpasses saffron hopes

  1. Sane Indian // October 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm // Reply

    Such a Pathetic article,

    I wonder why shouldn’t a case against you is filed for inciting communal hatred.

    Rule of Law should be prevailed this is what everybody said before the judgement, why is making fuss over it now, just because the judgement is not in your favour.

    and if you think india is not secular and still feels that there was no temple destroyed to built a mosque in 15th century then just let me restore your brain to its original state (which is washed) by taking you to the following link

    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Police-razes-clandestine-Hindu-temple-in-Riyadh,-deports-three-people-2905.html

    This is what can happen in 20th century in a muslim ruled country, now there isn’t any space for you to argue that it can’t happen in 15th century.

    Working for political party to make public opinion to get political mileage is your job, you doesn’t care a bit for india, don’t call yourself indian any more.

  2. Anish Chandy // October 1, 2010 at 8:44 pm // Reply

    Nice article but I spot a contradiction.

    Point 1 says – And remember, religion becomes a comforting cocoon of the vulnerable and dispossessed.

    I agree with Point 1

    Point 10 says – Third, economic emancipation, social amelioration and material success are not directly related to religious tolerance.

    I think this is mostly false or atleast “falser” than economic emancipation, social amelioration and material success ARE directly related to religious tolerance.

  3. Sanjay,

    I was reading through your opinion and you came across as an emotional moron. There is nothing wrong with that. I see similar profile of people around me, as that’s the law of nature. Not all creations are normal. What made me reply to this opinion is that people like you are also very dangerous. As your immature take on the issue can vitiate the atmosphere.

    Let me elaborate

    First of all your ‘10’ reasons are childish attempt to create a list that reads till 10. Have we all not grown out of it since our childhood days of 3 reasons for….., 10 reasons for…..etc? I guess you have not. Well, your childish fantasies were more evident as I read further.

    3 out of 10 muslims are below poverty line….. I know of that NCAER survey done on 41000 households over a population of a billion plus. You think that has statistical validity? Any stats guy can tell you that this sample doesn’t hold valid. So, firstly it is unverified fact. Secondly, you think that a person who doesn’t have food to eat will be finding time and energy to spend on religion? Ever heard about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? I am sure you have not, and the reason that you are being a moron.

    Your second point was about establishing of idol in 1949. And again, I have to say that you are very confused. This court was not making any statement or verdict on that event. All it had to decide was, who holds the title to the land? Hindu religious structure found in ASI excavation was the evidence (Verified by all sides) that was clinching, proving the land was held by Hindu religious authorities before Mosque was built. Thus title should go to Hindu organisations….Got the point? I guess not. Maybe it confused your bird brain further.

    Your 3rd point is an extension and of the same moronic quality as the second.

    On your 4th point. You were able to make some sense. I was pleasantly surprised

    5th Point. You are confusing the riots (Criminal incident and resultant cases) with the Land title case (Civil case). Obviously the judges are smart enough to not fall in that trap. They didn’t give in to people like you making stupid conclusions about another case based on this one. Judiciary thankfully doesn’t work like your stupid messed up mind

    6th Point: Now flip your point around. So does Muslim faith allow the same to happen? Building religious structure by demolishing other religious structures? I think Muslim religion is much better than that

    I can prove your other points idiotic as well, but I have got to do something more important.

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