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The decision of the High Court in the Ayodhya case – a judgment that tries for a settlement




The Ayodhya case was probably one of the most complex cases in India, one that most people would have preferred would have continued without any judgment. After all, this was a case that had seen a huge amount of politics, had seen a massive amount of emotions, and seen riots that killed around 2000 people after the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. And this was a case that had come before the judicial system in 1950, having been in the court system since then. Further, the seeds of this dispute has been there for centuries, some might say, right from the time that the mosque was built approx. in the year 1526. The basic item of the dispute is whether the mosque was built by demolishing a temple that stood at the site, and also whether this was the site that was the place where Lord Ram was born. For the past many centuries, there has been a dispute, and ever since the influence of the Mughals waned, the Hindu community sought to re-establish its rights at the site.

However, this is balanced by the fact that a lot of these events took place many years ago, and one cannot go around trying to set right ancient wrongs in this age and time, especially when the country needs to move ahead, and not get bogged down in religious fervor. However, at the same time, there is a great deal of emotion involved – there is the belief of a large section of Hindus that continue to believe that the site is the place which is the birthplace of their religious leader; at the same time, Muslims also believe that a mosque was demolished, and that this is something that needs to be punished.
And now the judgment of the High Court, where the 3 judge bench decided in favor of the Hindu litigants by stating that this was a site that is believed by a huge number of people to be the site of the birthplace of Lord Ram (although no court in the world can ever declare that a specific site was the birthplace of a mythological personality), and also that the mosque was built over an earlier construction that was a temple (although there was some dissension about whether there was a temple at the time that the mosque was built).
The judgment has been welcomed by the Hindu community, and not so much by the Muslim community since they feel short-changed. At the same time, there is a need to come to a settlement that brings the dispute to an end; and the judgment may go some way towards doing that. However, some of the declarations by media personnel brought forward a disturbing trend, whereby it was almost stated that since the judgment was not in favor of the Muslim community, it was not a secular judgment. These are provocative and judgmental calls that can only seek to turn the whole environment bitter.




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