Babri dispute: do not repeat past mistakes
Allahabad High Court’s verdict on Babri site ownership was not considered by Muslims in general, and secular and justice loving Hindus, legal experts as correct because it was based on the aastha or faith of a particular community, ignoring historical documents, proofs and evidences. Another surprising feature of the verdict was that the Court rejected the claims of Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhada on technical grounds and awarded one-third of Babri land to each of the three contending parties. All this shows that the Court ignored superiority of law and pronounced a Panchayat – like verdict. However contrary to general apprehension, both Hindus and Muslims, i.e., Sunni Waqf Boards, Muslim Personal Law Board, Nirmohi Akhada, Hindu Mahasabha etc remained patient and peaceful but decided to file appeals in Supreme Court against this verdict. This stand is correct from legal point of view because under judicial proceedings there are only two alternatives i.e., either to accept High Court’s verdict or to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Another alternative, as suggested by some people, was that a mutually agreed solution may be arrived at but since there are many contending parties and chances of a mutually agreed solution being meagre, approaching the Supreme Court was considered essential. However, inspite of this, VHP is adamant on its stand that it will not allow building of any mosque in Ayodhya. Its demand is that government should enact a law to pave the way for building of Ram Mandir at the site of the demolished mosque and the land acquired by government should also be given to it for building a grand temple. In support of its sand it decided to organise a meeting of sadhus and sants to get their support also. Since the movement of building Ram Mandir in place of Babri Masjid was started by VHP as well as by BJP, many Muslim organisations also cropped up under Muslim leaders like late Muzaffar Kochhochvi, former MP, Zafaryab Jilani, Azam Khan, Syed Shahabuddin etc…. Sunni Waqf Board and Hashim Ansari also were involved in Babri Masjid case and BJP wanted to make this a Hindu versus Muslim dispute and secure the votes of Hindus on religious ground so as to be able to capture power at the centre.
It is beyond comprehension why Muslims, when they were fighting the case, did not commit that they (Muslims) will accept Court’s verdict and why our ulama and Babri Masjid Action Committee did not understand this? At that time also some one had argued with Syed Shahabuddin that on one side he has been fighting the case but on the other hand he and others are holding meetings, protests and demonstration. The Court will take no cognisance of the number of meetings and protest demonstrations held by Muslims. On the contrary, it will benefit VHP and BJP because they will publicise and propagate it in order to win the sympathy and support of Hindus. Obviously the Hindus who worship Ramchandraji and Hanuman will support Ram Mandir movement and subsequently it will come as Hindu vs Muslim issue. Their meetings and rath yatras etc will get more support than the meetings etc of Muslims. If Muslims had taken the stand that since ‘we are fighting the case in Court we shall accept its verdict’, VHP and BJP would not have succeeded so much and so easily to instigate Hindus.
Just give a thought as to what Muzaffar Kachhochhvi had said at that time (before the demolition of Babri Masjid) that when we will march for protecting Babri Masjid, no mandir on our route will be spared. In the Boat Club rally also late Maulana Abdullah Bukhari had made the provocative and instigating statement that if ‘I ask the vast multitude of people (Muslims) in this rally, they will force their entry and occupy the bungalows of ministers.’ And when Syed Shahabuddin got up and wanted to check him from making such provocative statements, he (Maulana) brushed him aside. The whole world had seen this scene. Thereafter Babri Masjid Action Committee got divided into two factions: Syed Shahabuddin’s Babri Masjid Movement Ralota Committee and Maulana Bukhari’s Babri Masjid Action Committee. In Delhi’s Jama Masjid black flags were hoisted and ‘dying statements’ were made for the protection of Babri Masjid. A movement started for preparing a list of volunteers for making a march to Ayodhya. Statements and photos of Muslim leaders began to appear on TV and in newspapers and when the Karsevaks demolished Babri Masjid, none of these fiery leaders and ‘would be martyrs’ were present there. Large scale riots erupted in which thousands of Muslims were killed and then only Babri Masjid Action committees remembered about the case. Now that High Court’s verdict on Babri dispute has been pronounced and Muslim organisations have finally decided to make an appeal in the Supreme Court, for God’s sake, past mistakes must not be repeated. Because protest meetings and demonstrations etc will not have any effect on SC verdict even if these are held at Ram Lila grounds or anywhere or statements are made on TV or in newspapers. These will only benefit BJP, VHP etc who will try to encash these by stirring Hindu masses. They had come to power by adopting this strategy and today BJP is one of the two main political parties. When it has been decided to file the appeal in Supreme Court and the case is to be fought, services of famous and most capable lawyers should be utilised. In this way there will not be any law and order problem in the country.
I personally think Congress Party is keen to take credit for building Ram Mandir and for this, as the last resort it may get a law passed in the Parliament. At that time Muslim MPs will be put to test. Even otherwise their past record, leaving aside a couple of cases, has on the whole been disappointing. In recent past they supported Women’s Reservation Bill and they have been silent on atrocities in Kashmir. (Translated from Urdu)