By Sanjay Jha
I must confess to not being surprised by the passionate , laced in acerbic-dressing response to my article : Ayodhya ; 10 Reasons Why India Cannot Really Move On, given below on this website. Expectedly, there is a lot of bitterness, anger, and shall I add, even hate prodigiously interspersed in the feedback. That indeed is the power of faith, a powerful human condition, a fact reiterated as the core essence of my piece. And I respect that, even if we may have diametrically opposite stands on the subject with some.
Interestingly, Mr Madhav Godbole who was the Home Secretary at the time of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 and subsequently resigned , has stated exactly the same violation in his interview to Rediff.com that I think is germane to the Ayodhya dispute, the illegal encroachment of the mosque through the placing of Lord Ram’s idols in December 1949. He thinks the Allahabad High Court has legitimized that wrongful act. Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel had severely condemned that act and wanted an immediate reversal , but were persuaded to do otherwise by local counsel. The rest is history. 1992 was much later, and is perhaps more talked about by us now because most of our generation either read about it or saw it happen. But the historical dispute actually exacerbated into a virulent wrangle post-1949, that is the critical juncture of conflict, in my opinion.
Secondly, what did the Supreme Court or the Government of India do to put the Kalyan Singh government into the docks for its outrageous violation of a promise given in the form of a written assurance to the Supreme Court that the mosque would not be brought down? Frankly, isn’t the argument of “an unstoppable spontaneous response of mob fury” truly and factually unsustainable? If so, was it really condemned by one and all, or was it given a tacit blessing by the local state apparatus? I think the whole act smacked of casual contempt for the highest judiciary in the country, and should we Indians actually condone that act ? The Allahabad High Court took no cognizance of either of the above contraventions. It could have. It should have. After all, they do have a quintessential bearing on the case. Do we Indians deserve the right to really criticize our politicians for their wanton, immoral and perfidious ways, if we are kosher with their blatant challenge of our own judicial systems? Truly, aren’t we getting the political leadership we deserve.
Thirdly, majority populations have a huge responsibility towards those who are relatively minor in group size. For instance, I believe that no matter what the local sensitivities, compelling majority sentiment and insurmountable challenges, once a work permit is given , US President Barack Obama is fully responsible for the life, protection, justice and equal opportunity given to a Non Resident Indian software engineer from Bangalore in Silicon Valley as he is to any given American. And he does not have to be even be a Green card holder or a US passport-holder . As a nation, we were correctly furious at the raw-deal being given to Indian nationals in Australia recently. It was grossly unjust. Smaller minorities look for unqualified support from state institutions, that is the cornerstone on which multiracial communities live and prosper together as a single cohesive community , not just on political platitudes. Our Muslim brothers in India ( numbering a humongous 140 million and more ) need to feel and believe that justice is being done to their grievances and issues that further alienate them are being addressed in a transparent and inclusive manner. Just as we Hindus rightly feel so involved about Lord Ram’s birthplace at the same spot in Ayodhya , they have a right to believe that it is the Supreme Court that should be the final arbiter if the Allahabad High Court judgment . For those who are today quoting the ASI findings , they are forgetting a significant factor, the ASI actually described Lord Ram as a mythological figure and not a historical one, so technically how does one justify a birthplace? It is indeed therefore a complex case where faith and belief are intertwined with broken bricks and mortar.
There are many of you who do constantly complain that HamaraCongress.Com is just a Congress mouthpiece, in fact, nothing can be farther from the truth. If you read the Ayodhya piece carefully, you will find a dispassionate appraisal of the entire controversy, a full-on condemnation of the Sangh Parivar’s discordant, divisive ways and equal castigation of the domestic vote-bank considerations of the Congress. Both parties have been fairly denunciated. I wonder if BJP supporters , characteristically jaundiced, are even remotely capable of an evenhanded treatment on delicate issues like us from the Congress side. In fact, on the Kashmir problem , in several of our other write-ups on the site we have buttressed the review of the redundant Article 370, a subject considered sacrilege by typical Congress acolytes (Kashmir not for talks). It will be fair to say, we are an independent voice, and fully support the core Congress ideology and overall policies for the country but at no point have we endorsed an act or decision that we have not agreed with. In fact, in an article titled Why Singh Is Not King ? we have questioned the dissipating credentials of PM Manmohan Singh for national governance.
It is appropriate that the Ayodhya dispute is resolved by the highest court in India, the Supreme Court. And that final verdict , whatever that may be, will conclude what has become post-Independent India’s most contentious issue. There is nothing better than the anticipation of a closure that is near. And now inevitable.
Enjoy your Sunday brunch!