The Supreme Court’s final verdict on Ayodhya is out. Almost all political parties have accepted it with grace. The Prime Minister has said that it is victory for none and has sought peace. The reactions of the media too have been generally rational. The Hindu’s banner heading says: Temple in disputed site, mosque within Ayodhya, rules SC. Indian Express writes: Temple gets site, mosque a plot. Sunday Times mentions: Ram Mandir within site. Hindustan Times: Temple set in stone.
The country needs to move on from here, but how? Will the dispute end here? Can the judiciary really resolve a matter of faith? The verdict mentions four landmark dates in the Ayodhya dispute where the state had intervened: 1857, 1950, 1992, and 2019. In 1857, the then British Government set up a grill brick wall in the site to divide the two communities after a riot. The inner portion was left to the Muslims while the outer courtyard was given to the Hindus for prayers. In 1950, the present Supreme Court’s judgment mentions a ‘desecration’ of the mosque and also refers to a court order on the changed political equations of the country. In 1992, the Babri Masjid was demolished and the Supreme Court in no uncertain terms condemns it and says it was illegal.
Much depends on how this Supreme Court verdict is accepted by all. It was a unanimous decision of a five-member panel. It’s a question of India’s unity and secularism, which are enshrined in India’s Constitution. The Sunni Wakf Board had earlier said they would accept the order of the highest court and they have peacefully accepted it. The Muslim Law Board, however, is unhappy and is considering a review petition.
But all said and done, India needs peace for its development and in order to move forward with the times. Though Ayodhya issue is at the heart of India’s belief system, the repeated riots and conflicts over it have had a retrogressive effect on its march towards a world economy. The country has spent far too much time on what we might call a ‘distraction’. It’s high time that the albatross needs to drop off from our neck.
For the common man, it’s futile trying to judge whether the judgment of the Supreme Court has been ‘fair’. An alternative site – of five acres - has been offered to the mosque authorities to rebuild a place of worship. That should be in Ayodhya itself. It’s the government’s duty to oversee that the land is peacefully handed over to them. A temple will come up in the disputed 2.77 acres under a Trust. An excess of 67 acres, which the government had taken over in 1992 might create a fresh dispute, though the court has left it to the government to decide whether it would be given to the Trust.
Since the verdict has come from the highest court of country, all need to abide by it so that there is no fresh violence. We want peace and the government need to ensure it for the future progress of India.