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جمعہ، 1 اکتوبر، 2010

Muslims of India and Babri Masjid

By Syed Ali Raza Abidi

Indian Muslims are happy living in India and it should really not bother anybody else. They don’t want others to defend them or speak up for their right, as they feel their secular country has given them enough protection and freedom of religion. Especially when it comes to Pakistan criticizing decisions of the Indian Judiciary or the Government, the unity shown by Indians is so far exemplary.

The much awaited decision on the land of Babri Masjid, where 16th Century Masjid was destroyed in 1992 is decided to be distributed in three parts by the Allahabad High Court to satisfy all claims. The Sunni Waqf has immediately arranged to appeal against the verdict, as the courts did not find reasonable evidence that it was their property or the Mughal Emperor Babar in 1528, but agreed with the plea that Emperor Babar had built the Mosque on the birth place of their god “Ram.” It is not clear how the Judiciary believed the evidence that the land belonged to the Hindu’s prior to Babar taking possession of it. However, it is not clear if Babar had owned the land where the Mosque was constructed, there is no evidence if the builder was the owner, or if there was a third person who had ordered the construction had owned the land. The Sunni Waqf was not able to satisfy the courts with the evidence they could provide.
Hence, The High Court in UP decided to split the property into 3 parts, from which 2 parts will be for the Hindus and 1 part will be retained by the Muslims. The Hindus want to build a temple of Ram there, while Muslims wanted to rebuild the mosque. It is also clear that no Hindu Temple was destroyed by Babar for construction of the Mosque. However, it was believed that somewhere in the compound of the Mosque, Hindu’s lord Ram was born, but the courts could not pinpoint that precise location. During 1855, it was also believed that within the premises of the Masjid, Hindu’s and Muslims prayed to their creators, without any formal or evident partition, and this seems to be one of the reasons, the property was divided amongst both major religious sections in India.
Being a Hindu majority, the people of Ayodhya are three times more in number than the Muslims. PM Manmohan Singh reiterated that “There should be no attempt whatsoever made by any section of the people to provoke any other section or to indulge in any expression of emotion that would hurt the feelings of other people.” At the same time the government banned bulk text messaging, MMS, arrested thousands and also got affidavits signed by potential trouble makers. A heavy contingent of law enforcement agencies, including the military was standing guard around the cities of the country and Section 144 remained applicable nationally to avert any untoward incidents.
One may wonder, that if the judges did not find evidence of the Sunni Waqf being the owners of the land, then why was one third of land allotted to them? Similarly, the Hindu party was also not able to provide evidence if the land belonged to them. It appears that the Indian Judiciary has used the law of necessasity as a favor for the Muslims and Hindus, by offering one third of land to each (Hindu/Muslims/Nirmohi Akhara) in order to accommodate their sentiments in spite of improper evidence provided by the defense? At the moment, there is a Hindu Temple right where the dome of the Mosque was and that location is believed to be the birth place of their God Ram, and that particular place is allotted for the Temple to remain. The Nirmohi Akhara are allotted the place where according to them in 1855 Ram Chabutra and Seeta Rasoi came into existence.
This decision of sharing the land between three beneficiaries will start taking its course and set to sink into the communities in the days to come, with possible or no reactions from around the world. The courts have allowed three months for each of them to file for suggestion for preparing the final decree, which may be released with minor adjustments to accommodate amicably and the affected party compensated. The decision appears to be logical, however, I feel that the Muslims will continue to demand the full premises to be their property and will wish to reconstruct the Mosque as it was originally built, as when the structure was destroyed in 1992 there were no signs of Hindu temples or idols placed there, which hold the potential for sparking further controversies.
It is a wish that the decision is absorbed maturely, and acceptable to all parties for further negotiation. One can only hope there is not a repeat of 1992, when 2000 men, women and children lost their lives. There are reasonable chances the Supreme Court may overturn this verdict, if Law is superior to beliefs and ‘doctrine of necessity’ in secular India.

(AAJ News Pakistan Ki Awaz)
Syed Ali Raza Abidi is a businessman and a young politician. He writes on issues of national interest. The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the policy of AAJ News.
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