In pursuance of "Truth & Reconciliation"…

There have been essentially four kinds of reactions to the judgment in Ayodhya.

Position 1: Muslims have been short-changed. The demolition of the Masidi has been rewarded with two portions of the trifurcated land going to Hindus. Instead, Muslims should have been awarded all the land under the erstwhile Babri Masidi. The Masidi might or mightn’t have been constructed over a destroyed Devasthana but that’s immaterial since long years have lapsed.

Position 2: Hindus have been short-changed. The land under the erstwhile Babri Masidi belonged to Hindus and their Devasthana was either destroyed to build the Masidi or the Masidi was built over land held sacred by Hindus as the birth place of their Bhagwan Shri Rama. Hindus should have been awarded all of the land in dispute; not just the two portions.

Position 3: The judgment has been equitable. Bhagwan Shri Rama as one litigant has been awarded His site of birth. The Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Waqf Board, whose claims were otherwise dismissed, were awarded a portion each. All should be happy. Further appeals to higher judiciary are not necessary; is the refrain from Hindu liberals.

Position 4: Secular-liberals have taken a hard stand. They have not merely taken a pro-Muslim position, i.e. sided with the essential Muslim stance of point 1, but have gone further and questioned Hindu belief in Bhagwan Shri Rama’s birth. In this respect they have remained consistent in viewing Islam as a redeeming feature of Hindusthan’s historical progression as against irredeemable Hindu decay. The less aggressive in this camp who realize that Babri Masidi will never rise again, would settle for hospitals or some other civic amenities on the site.

One notices that of the four positions, only position 3 lacks real interest in the merits of this dispute as such. Their interest lies more in ensuring “peace”. The drive for this bare necessity is couched in the high sounding, perhaps well meaning phraseology of “Truth and Reconciliation”. What this theoretically means is both sides recognize the Truth and Reconcile to its implications, howsoever bitter. In reality, Hindu liberals, the drivers of Position 3, have had zero success in getting Muslims to recognize Truth. Ideally and under these circumstances, it would be expected that liberals give up their campaign and admit they haven’t had any success in bringing one side aboard. The fact that they have admitted no such thing and have instead resorted to make-believe is of serious concern.

In true Gandhian fashion, these Hindu liberals have sought to gag, blind and deafen the Hindu Rashtra to Muslim perfidy in the hope that “something good may yet occur”.

Let me examine two examples from Offstumped’s site – Here & Here

In the first, Offstumped lists these Muslim reactions to the judgment as examples of their desire for closure and peace.

Exhibit 1 – Every Muslim should read what Mr Naqvi editor of TV Today has written SAY YES TO CLOSURE, SAY NO TO APPEAL

Two judges concurred that Muslims also have a right on the land in dispute (except the place which was beneath the central dome and where the idol is presently situated) and at least 1/3rd of the said land should be given to Muslims. Thus, the court has accepted the claims of Muslims on the disputed site, barring the place where idols are kept presently.

But I am a bit disappointed by the statement of Zafaryab Jilani that he intends to appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court. No question that he has every right to go to the higher court but i think Muslims as a community should realise that this is the rarest moment in the history of Free India and they will present a really historical example by accepting the decision as it is. History does gives us rare moments to rise above the level and set the example for future generations. If they decide not to appeal, it will really be the greatest and proudest moment for all those who have strong belief in secularism and Sarva Dharma Sam Bhav.

– Though there is desire for Reconciliation, there is avoidance and not admission of Truth.

Exhibit 2 – Voices like Aijaz Ilmi must be heard and engaged

The tumultuous acrimony following the Sangh Parivar-sponsored Babri demolition that nearly dismembered the nation in 1992 was based on the mobilisation of rampaging mobs out to avenge historical “wrongs.” Will the verdict of the Allahabad high court after six decades of litigation result in renewed sabre-rattling? Has the matter of the facts triumphed over the matter of the faiths?

The cacophonous crescendo in the visual media, led by shadowy organisations claiming divine right, over the last few days brought back into focus lingering, subterranean religious hatred. Something that could possibly impede our nation’s march towards peace and promised prosperity.

The shimmering facade of relative equanimity, and the appeals from all parties to accept the verdict and for composure, has put the onus on all Indians to bury the past, and to accept the high court’s answers to the contentious title suit.

With the verdict dismissing the claim of the Sunni Wakf Board on the land title, and with credible evidence — as the court opines — to support the contention that temple ruins existed prior to the construction of the mosque in 1528, rebuilding the mosque at the same place is now virtually impossible.

– Have we not heard such voices before? Reconciliation yes, but Truth?

Exhibit 3 – Rasheeda Bhagat’s question to Sunni Wakf Board must be answered

Muslims sad, but relieved

While a section of the silent Muslim majority must have heaved a sigh of relief that this momentous event came and went without disrupting their lives, homes and livelihoods in any way, several Muslim groups are sad, disappointed and some even feel betrayed.

Social activist Shabnam Hashmi says this judgement makes her feel like “a second class citizen”, Irfan Habib has said this “compromise judgement” has come at the cost of “history and facts”, and others feel unhappy that the shameful demolition of the Babri masjid has gone totally unpunished. But what is commendable is that there has been restraint here too; even those who felt they should have got the entire land, and not only one-third, have not indulged in violence or arson. More important, they have not been instigated by their religious leaders to do so. One is more than happy to interpret the restraint on both sides as a sign of maturity and a firm resolve to move on.

– Truth?

Exhibit 4 – Syed Yahya Bukhari has an opinion, is his elder brother listening

”If the majority of Muslims vote in favour of approaching the Supreme Court, we should respect the verdict. However, if they are happy with one-third of the land to build a mosque, I think we should respect that opinion too,” said Yahya.

– Reconciliation and Truth?

Exhibit 5 – Shabbir Ebrahim has an opinion too and he lives in the same city as Shabnam Hashmi wonder if she is listening

During the first Friday prayers after the Ayodhya verdict, the message that went around at the city’s mosques was of peace and compromise. The hurt over the verdict felt by many Muslims was, at least in part, salved by the strong sentiments in favour of maintaining peace sent out by imams in their sermons.

– What glimmer of Truth in this?

Exhibit 6 – Barabari for Babri

Familiar voices among the minority community expressed unhappiness at the Ayodhya verdict but many clerics across the country took a leaf out of Prophet Mohammed’s life to advocate tolerance and patience at Friday prayers.

– Devotion to Reconciliation and Truth?

Exhibit 7 – Forget everybody else, listen to what Javed Anand is saying – if memory serves right he is Teesta’s husband

Javed Anand of Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD) argued that even if the SC endorsed the HC verdict and Muslims got their share in the disputed land, it was almost impossible that Muslims would ever be able to rebuild a mosque on the same site. “The best option is that they gift the land to the Hindus and set an example of magnanimity. It will open a new chapter of Hindu-Muslim unity,” said Anand.

– More Truth?

Exhibit 8 – The momentum is real and it seems to have behind the scenes blessings

The pragmatic approach of ending the Babri Masjid tangle is certain to have a rough ride with some hardliners within the community terming the Lucknow bench judgment as disappointing.

– Does pragmatism have anything to do with admission of Truth?

Exhibit 9 – By far the most important signal comes from Muslim Members of Parliament

Cutting across age, gender and region, Muslim MPs of the Congress today backed the Allahabad High Court ruling on the title suits over the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya. These MPs were very clear: go to the Supreme Court if you don’t accept the HC ruling but don’t let this issue derail the Indian growth story.

– Truth? Reconciliation?

Exhibit 10 – Muslim outfit announces aid to build Ram temple

Announcing a financial aid of Rs 15 lakhs for temple construction, Shamsi said Hindus should also cooperate for mosque on the one-third piece of land given to the Waqf board.

– In exchange for what? Truth and Reconciliation?

So in spite of Muslims so clearly not wanting to acknowledge Truth, how genuine can Reconciliation, as desired by Hindu liberals, be? Ignoring this reality is nothing but self-deception and worse.

With respect to Offstumped’s second example wrt “Inclusivity”, I shall be brief.

Hindu Dharmic tradition allows for many manifestations of Brahman or Supreme Reality. Accepting Allah as one manifestation is not a problem at all. In fact, meditative practices are more likely to encounter the Islamic God-manifestation but only as one of the many stations in the inner journey that must be recognized and transcended.

The problem is not Hindu, but Islamic.

Mohammed, as the proclaimed Last Prophet laid down the final law no Muslim can circumvent. He himself could not transcend Allah as God-manifestation. He seems to have ceased his inner journey at the point of Allah, still not fully devoid of his Ego, when he proclaimed This manifestation of his God as The Only One and no other. Therefore and logically, Mohammed demanded only subservience to Allah from his followers, not reflection upon Allah. Reflection upon Allah might have occasioned an onward journey that could have negated manifestations of Allah in human personality.

So, when Offstumped asks Hindus to make space for (how?) Allah in their puje rooms, there is no problem. But what will it achieve?

– Namaste

6 Responses

  1. Read through completely and concur.

    Excellent and thought-provoking!

  2. Jai Sri Ram.

    In my humble view this verdict is just and prudent both legally -though I m no legal expert, but it makes sense (re: Arun’s arguments)-and practically.

    I do not foresee any closure in immediate future not because of any ‘legalities’ involved but for simply pure ‘political expediencies’.

    Political compulsions of CON party, MSM’s financial interests and ‘secularists’ control over discourse of national debate are primary reasons why this ‘issue’ would b put on boil for some more time.

    (Feel I need not explain above reasons, as I credit you and your readers with equal intelligence if not more :))

    Now, question is: will there be a closure and how and when.

    Answer is yes.

    Answer to ‘how’ is not as complex as is being made out to be.Muslims know by heart that even if verdict had gone in their favor, the removal of Ramlala would have been next to impossible. They know equally well that rebuilding a Mosque there is equally impossible.Since almost all Muslims are reconciled to this fact, their reaction or lack of it , is a welcome sign. Matter would go to SC and expecting SC to overrule HC Bench’s Majority Verdict is – well very difficult if not impossible. Therefore SC’s verdict (with possible some fine tuning here and there)should and would be the time when it will be closed.

    In fact neither Muslims nor Hindus have anything to loose even if they go to SC. Muslims might get a face saver even if they loose in SC too. (As per Shariya they in a non Islamic country do obey to Supreme Most Court not for respect for Law but because they are not in position to impose their will, 🙂 )This point is important.

    Second: In case Muslims do extract some more concession even then it wont change any thing dramatically, rather Muslims run the risk of loosing even 1/3 if Hindus become belligerent and raise the repudiation of their claims in title suit – legally.

    That is how the matter is poised as on present.Both Hindus and Muslims rather know this well. My fear is that ‘secularists’ in TV studios and their masters of CON party are biggest hurdles for their own narrow and immediate interests.

    My these views are based upon my understanding of Political Players and games they play.I keep fingers crossed that mischief mongers in TV studios do not incite riots, otherwise feel that between Hindus and Muslims under the Guidance of SC matter can and should be resolved.


  3. I agree with position 2 that Hindus were short-changed. & it’s parent organization seems like shady organizations, fronts for secular interests. Need to be investigated.
    The ABAP welcomed the verdict, asserting that it would *prevent further exploitation of the issue by political parties*.

  4. …..But I am a bit disappointed by the statement of Zafaryab Jilani that he intends to appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court. No question that he has every right to go to the higher court…….
    GK-Chesterton: To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

  5. Palahalli – Thanks for that concluding sentence.

    “No problem, but what will it achieve”

    It wont achieve anything right now. But if that “no problem” sentiment sustains a 100 years from now it might.

    Let us see, if we are not still around to find out, our grands kids will.

  6. Excellent article! To bring out the hypocrisy & mock at it, you’d to merely quote certain people? 😉

    As someone above pointed out, even I feel the current judgment is absolutely in keeping with concepts of property ownership & its transfer, and moreover is also buttressed by legal precedents.

    But what worries me most about your analysis is what you write towards the ending!

    You seem to believe that the Prophet had actually tried to contemplate God & he had no personal ulterior political ambitions! Why this worries me is because in none of our interactions have I felt you to be naive, nor have I thought you to be politically correct. What I know is that the kind of spiritual/philosophical contemplation of nature of the Universe (Brahman) you’ve talked of & personal ulterior motives met by active scheming, deception & indulging in basest of acts do not go together.

    Another thing from our interactions that had surprised me was your taking Gandhi’s statements at face value – as if he always spoke the complete truth!

    I’ve been greatly baffled by your outlook with regard to these two persons. The simplest conclusion I can draw is that you don’t want to speak out what you feel’s the truth with regard to these two people, i.e., are indulging in political correctness. But to the extent I’ve known you, such conclusion about you is something I can only draw upon great hesitation.

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