The disputed land in Ayodhya is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram almost unanimously by all ancient Hindu Texts.
However, in the mid 1500 hundreds, Babur had constructed a mosque there, allegedly destroying the Ram Mandir in doing so. These were not democratic days. Babur was king and he did whatever caught his fancy. He had just conquered this new rich land and wanted to convert people to Islam. So, constructing a mosque in place of one of the most holy places for the Hindus was only, well, logical from his perspective.
Little did he know that over 400 years after he was gone, 2000 innocent people would pay for his ambitions. In 1992, a political rally turned violent and brought down the Babri Masjid, staking claim to the birth place of Lord Ram. Riots broke out throughout India, as they always do for almost any social conflict, people died, families were destroyed.
The pain of those who suffered that horrible tragedy might have lasted a few hours, but the scars it left on the very fabric of this society will echo through generations.
The Indian Courts have debated for 60 years now on whether this land should be given back to the Hindus to build a Ram Mandir or it should be given back to the Muslims to reconstruct the Babri Masjid. And from the looks of it, the time has finally come for the famous verdict.
The Ayodhya Verdict, due from the high court soon, is being eagerly awaited by the entire country. Or perhaps, even being equally feared. And this might just be the beginning. Whoever loses, will appeal in the supreme court. That’s when the stakes will be even higher. Every verdict issued by the supreme court in India is equivalent to a law passed by the land. That judgement can then be cited and used in any further cases in the lower courts and it can never be questioned.
This verdict on face value might be about a piece of land being given to either religious society. But in essence, it will be looked at as the victory of one religion over the other, the victory of Lord Ram over Prophet Mohammed or the other way round.
The constitution of any country, the law of the land, always work in black and white. Right or Wrong. There are no grey areas. There is no room for ambiguity. Either you are guilty… or you are not. But this verdict will test the nature of our constitution, our laws, like no other case ever has. Because this case is not about right and wrong anymore. This case is about being sensitive to the beliefs of people of both religions. Both sides have suffered casualties. Both have been wronged. Both have fought over the years and still come to live in relative peace and harmony.
In the United Stated, when JFK, one of their most famous and loved Presidents was assassinated, the entire country was thrown into shock and turmoil. Although the alleged shooter was arrested almost immediately and later assassinated long before a trial could be held, the case was not really closed. However, the judiciary decided that the findings of the case were so scandalous that they would threaten the very foundation of their country and therefore, the details were never revealed to the common public at all.
Perhaps, it is time for India to do something similar. Perhaps, this one time, we should just let go. Giving this piece of land to any one religious group would further widen the gap between the people of this country. It would give terrific material to leaders who wish to make scandalous speeches for their personal gain.
Perhaps it would be best to not award this land to anyone at all. This country already has enough wounds to heal. It doesn’t need another stab right through the torso. Passing this verdict would be like inflicting that wound with our own hands.