Why a negotiated settlement on the Ram-Masjid Babri temple row is not far


“Ayodhya is a storm that will pass. The dignity and honor of the Supreme Court cannot be compromised because of this, ”observed former judge SP Bharucha in 1994.

Even 25 years after the disputed shrine in Temple City was demolished on December 6, 1992, the storm has refused to subside. Instead, he’s back with a bang, with high hopes of a negotiated settlement of the century-old dispute.

And there are reasons for this.

It was the Supreme Court that first stirred the pot by suggesting a negotiated settlement of the emotional issue with Indian Chief Justice JS Khehar even offering to act as a mediator between the two parties claiming the historic site of the temple city. The sighting had come on Subramanian Swamy’s plea for an early hearing in a civil litigation at the site Hindus believe to be Ram’s birthplace.

CJI’s observation that sensitive issues are best resolved through negotiations was quickly echoed by Hindus while Muslims, on the whole, remained skeptical. Their apprehensions are rooted in the old call of Vishwa Hindu Parishad for the liberation of the birthplaces of Ram (Ayodhya), Krishna (Mathura) and Shiv (Kashi), which however is not on the BJP agenda as they are “Active mosques”. Namaaz has not been offered in the Ayodhya shrine since the surreptitious appearance of the idol of Rama in the mosque in 1949.

Perhaps the answer to the thorny question of a negotiated settlement is buried in the pages of history. The Gyanvapi Mosque was built after the destruction of the Hindu temple, the remains of which still exist on its walls today. The Kashi Vishwanath temple was built next to the mosque.

Likewise, in Mathura, the temple and the mosque coexist at Krishna Janma Sthan. Interestingly, Mathura and Kashi are both protected by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991. Prayers are conducted peacefully in the two holy cities, albeit under heavy police deployment.

The BJP also did not support the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s claim on the Kashi and Mathura mosques on the grounds that they were active mosques. Is there any learning here for leaders today? Although the rigidity of rebuilding a mosque where it existed has diluted over the years, Muslims have demanded rebuilding of the Babri Mosque in the 67 acres of acquired area. The question is, if a mandir and a mosque can coexist in Kashi and Mathura, why not in Ayodhya?

After winning Uttar Pradesh, several ministers indicated that “the climate is ripe for a negotiated settlement” now that Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister of the state. And Yogi said it on Wednesday. “Ram Mandir’s problem will be resolved through dialogue between two communities. The state government will give its full support to the dialogue process to break the deadlock on the issue, ”he said.

Confidence for a negotiated settlement comes from the fact that it is for the first time since the unlocking of the Babri Mosque in 1986 that digitally strong BJP governments rule both the Center and the State, this too from their two faces. the most important of Hindutva – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mahant Yogi Adityanath. The position of Yogi and Modi is unambiguous – Ram Mandir to his Janmasthan.

The laying of the temple’s foundation in 1989 was made during the rule of Congress both at the Center and at UP. While the 1992 demolition took place with ideologically heterogeneous parties in charge, Kalyan Singh (BJP) was the chief minister and PV Narsimha Rao (Congress) prime minister.

But there are many slips between the cut and the lip.

The question is, can there be a negotiated settlement of the century-old dispute? Past efforts have failed. So what is it that generates hope other than the same party regime in the center and in the state?

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board rejected the offer of a negotiated settlement, but the Shiites and some people showed their support. Perhaps it was the subtle change in Muslim mood that sparked the hopes.

This was best reflected in a statement by a senior Muslim official from Lallanpura in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency in Varanasi in the 2017 parliamentary elections, “We have had enough, take Ayodhya away, but give us Security. We have lived in fear for so long.

So far, the government has taken no action to resolve the issue through talks, although efforts are being made in small groups.

It’s time to watch Modi and Yogi as clues have already started to arrive ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

(Opinions expressed are personal)


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