Ayodhya Judgment: Time to Move On


Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

To say that the Supreme Court judgement on Ayodhya is a landmark one; will be simply an understatement. This has been the longest ever pending dispute in the judicial history of not only of India but of the entire world. It has put a nearly 500 years long bitter dispute at rest between two major communities of India that started in 1528 when a brute commander of the first Mughal ruler Babur razed a temple to build a mosque on the place.

Thousands of Hindus and Muslims must have lost their lives claiming their rights on the site in these last five hundred years. There is not even a shred of doubt that there was a temple, which was pulled down in the most barbaric manner to build a mosque by the crazy, insensitive and uncouth ruler. It has now been found in the excavation carried out by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) at this site in Ayodhya that the remains of a vey big structure with Hindu carvings and motiffs on a large row of pillers are lying buried underneath this disputed site. This fact has been quoted by the Supreme Court in its judgment.

There is no doubt that it is a very sagacious judgement, which stands on the firm legs of law and the legal principle of Roscoe Pound that, ‘it (law) must be stable but not stand still’. The Law has moved on for the larger good of the society, which is clearly reflected in this 1045 pages judgement. It will be remembered for two more things; one is the unanimity of all five judges and the other one is that nobody knows about the author of the judgement. As far as the equity is concerned it was always in the favour of Hindus as all evidence led to the undeniable fact that a wrong was done to them. Therefore, there was no point in allotting five acres of land to Muslims in Ayodhya.

Here the court used its extraordinary power vested under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to adopt the principle of ‘moulding of justice’ so that no party remains aggrieved. It directed the state to allot 5 acres of land at a suitable place in Ayodhya to Muslims for building mosque. It would not be out of place to mention here that some Hindus have reservation about the justification of the allotment of another piece of land to Muslims. Likewise, some Muslims have reservation about the justification of the allotment of land to them not at the disputed site but at another suitable place. These Hindus allege that when the disputed land legally belongs to them, why Muslims should be given any land any where in liu of the dispute site. Likewise, these Muslims allege that when they are legally given the land (at another place), why it was not given at the disputed site. Both are wrong. Supreme Court has invoked its extra-ordinary power given to it under Article 142 of the Constitution to do complete justice between the parties in a case.

The Muslim leadership must now accept the five acres of land to build a mosque on the same pattern as it is in Mecca. After all, Ram was an Imame-e-Hind also for the Muslims. Thousands of prophets have come on the planet before the prophet Mohammad who, according to Muslims, was the last one. Development of the new mosque will be like a religious pilgrim centre for crores of poor Muslims of India, who cannot afford to visit Mecca and Medina but they can certainly have the satisfaction of visiting the Imam-e-Hind mosque in Ayodhya. Hindus should also contribute to the construction of the new masjid as that will foster unity and brotherhood among Hindus and Muslims.

Both communities ought to put all the bickering and rancour behind to move forward. This is possible only by developing scientific temper and spiritualism. Ayodhya can give light to the whole world provided it is kept free from the pettiness and the notoriety of small-minded politicians, and rogue and crafty intellectuals.

It is indeed very sad to see that some devious persons, who are unhappy with the judgement, are trying to incite the people, particularly of the minority community. It is so because they do not want to see the harmony and the cordiality between the two communities. It is time for the people to see through their beguiling games as they are the friends of none but the enemies of the society. They must be shunned with the contempt that they deserve because they have been surviving on the strife of the two communities.

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