October 6, 2010

Ayodhya industry: we must starve it

I stick to my initial response to Ayodhya verdict. I had said: Perhaps no judgement could have been better than this. In fact, now the people of India can use this judgement to bury the hatchet for ever, not move the Supreme Court and create a marvelous multi-religious complex at Babri Masjit site.

Since then, many legal luminaries have dissected the judgement and come to conclusion that it is not a legally sound judgement and is more like a panchayat decision in which the idea is to find a compromise that pleases all. Technically, that may well be the case, but is the judicial system for humanity or for its own sake? Wouldn't have tempers risen immediately had the judgement been tilted towards one particular community? [It would have, if the judges had taken a technical, legalistic view.]

It is thanks to the type of judgement that it way, the Ayodhya industry was down for some time. Now it has come to the fore. Mulayam Singh, the Waqf Board, Paswan, Advani, VHP, now even Congress - everybody is now trying to react to the judgement to suit his constituency. Nobody - no politician, political party and religious leader - is interested in peaceful resolution of the issue. Sane sane people who have been advocating talks are even getting death threats.

The civil society, keen to take a 'liberal' view on every matter, is taking a legalistic view becasuse i, it looks modern and fair, and ii, it slightly tilts towards Muslims who are felt to be losers. If they are really liberal in their attitude, they must work to find a solution. The High Court decision has given a great opportunity to do so. Why not mobilise public opinion in favour of making a world-class modern prayer house at the place and give it a name that spells god in all major religions? Why not have a multi-pronged campaign, including advertisements, prabhat pheris [marches], signature campaigns, postcard campaigns, posters, etc to mobilise support in favour of a secular structure at the disputed site? Unless we join together to thwart the industry of communalism, we will have the djinn surfacing again and again.

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