By Sumitra Padmanabhan
Yes, we could avoid another communal riot. Disregarding all historical and archeological truths we stooped to honor the ‘faith and sentiment of the majority’. Who did this? The answer is — the honorable court. This farce will remain as a milestone in the history of India’s regression; at least that is what many sensible people think today.
The Sunni Wakf Board cannot represent the whole Muslim community in India. The other two contestants were also two small Hindu groups. This petty squabble over the title of a piece of land was bloated out of proportion by excessive security arrangements and massive media coverage. People irrespective of their education, creed and religion were waiting with hope, fear and anxiety for the final verdict. This whole situation was unbecoming of a so called secular nation and it surely exposed its ‘secular’ façade. The opportunity to establish India as a strong, progressive and secular nation is probably lost for ever. Resorting to untruth to avoid communal riot will remain as a blatant evidence of how political stand can influence the course of law. The judges acted thus because the government wanted them to do so. Ram is an imaginary character of a great Indian epic; but we were all informed to our surprise that Ram was indeed born there in the disputed site in Ayodhya; there was this ten-headed demon called Ravan and the faithful Hanuman did put out the Sun by pressing it under his arm to carry out his feat in the dark. History may never forgive the verdict of these judges.
This sort of judgment will pave the way for further disputes and forceful acquisitions in the name of ‘faith’. It will lead to further distortions of truth, of utter disregard for history and culture. Shall India ever be able to criticize other nations and communities for being communal or fanatical? Is India not joining the band of Afghans who could blast the ancient Buddha figures of Bamiyan to wipe off history? After this, if the court condones ‘honor-killings’ in the name of ‘public faith and practice’ – we need not be surprised.
To lose faith in the judicial system marks the last stage of a nation’s downfall. And that is the net outcome of this verdict. To avoid a communal riot for the time-being, a long-term damage has been done. People with common sense and maturity can help repair this damage. Those with a little regard for history and scientific evidences should come forward with open verbal criticism and ridicule this crooked, foolish and farcical judgment.