Sunday, October 3, 2010

....Ayodhya.....

This word keeps amusing people. I somehow am more amused than most of you. No, I did not demolish the mosque. Neither do I have any interest in seeing a mosque being rebuilt, nor am I going to pray if a temple is built there. The reason is, the place is very close to where my parents come from. My father's village is around 25 kms and my mother comes from a place around 30 kms from ayodhya. No wonder, I have grown up listening a lot of stuff related to the place, the issue etc.

The so much hyped (obviously by the media) verdict came on the 30th of September and to be very honest I couldn't have been more satisfied with what I saw. The verdict, for me was spot on. The reaction was also pretty good. Though there was a reason to it, which I did not find a mention of, anywhere. One of the biggest reasons why all the political parties were so much restrained about what they were saying is probably the media itself. Had it been 1992, the electronic media almost non-existent, things might have been very different. That, India has ‘moved on’ , has become ‘more mature’, might sound very good, but can be debated at length to be sure before being proud of. As an example, one of the channels showed one of their reporters asking some random 'dudes' and 'dudettes' on some city streets about the whereabouts of Ayodhya. Most of them didn't know where it was! If this is called having moved on, I personally, can only laugh about it. Not knowing something which has dictated the politics of your country for almost 2 decades is nothing to be proud of (my views, you may differ). Closing your eyes to an issue is not "having moved on", in my dictionary, at-least.

I am a very big fan of the thought that ”we” don’t represent India. How can a person sitting at his home watching an English news channel represent India? How can a person reading a blog on his/her laptop represent India? If he/she thinks so, I am sure he has no idea about what India is. I say this because I hear diametrically opposite views when I talk about this issue to people in my office or my circle and when I do the same with my relatives living in villages. So, what I believe is that acknowledging the fact that a certain belief exists(whether right or wrong) is very important. It’s very similar to dismissing an organization completely as if no one believes in it. I am sure if you know everything about RSS from what media has shown you, you will not agree that it has more than 5 million members and what all activities it undertakes.

Getting back to the point, the verdict, in my view was a very balanced one. Such issues can only be solved in a way where everyone gets something and compromise on some other things. It’s a debate which has no end, unless you are not India. No one can be absolutely right or wrong in these issues.

When I see the views and personally think over it, here is what I find.

For the Hindus: A place believed to be the birthplace of lord Ram by Hindus, has to be taken a proof enough that it is in fact a holy place for them. That he was born there or not is irrelevant. No fact associated with faith can be proved in a court of law. If that starts happening the secular nature of the law is itself questioned. So if that is true and with the other beliefs such as that of a prior temple at the same place, Hindus do have a point there.

For the Muslims: A mosque was there, which was brought down in 1992 in an act which the law holds as criminal. Whether the mosque was built over a temple or not 500 years back is again a point which is not very important. Islam is no more than 1000 years old in India (at least in a significant number). A religion which itself is not more that 1000 years old can not be expected to have religious symbols dating prior to that. And as a matter of fact, most of the Islamic history has been full of religious violence and conversions, demolishing a temple to build a mosque would not have been a very rare thing then. So, if we get into questioning the legitimacy of those structures now, it would almost be questioning the faith itself, which once again I find to be against the secular part of our constitution.

Basically the point is, everyone has a valid point, and getting clear winners out of it is only next to impossible. Justice Khan quotes from a prior Supreme Court verdict:


'As far as a title suit of civil nature is concerned, there is no room for historical facts and claims. Reliance on borderline historical facts will lead to erroneous conclusions.'

I guess this is the best possible solution we could have had and the parties interested should now actually “move on” as the media says.