Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Ayodhya Verdict

The Allahabad High Court has given its judgement in the Ayodhya-Babri masjid case. The Sunni Waqf Board representing the Muslims will get 1/3 of the property. The rest goes to two groups representing the Hindus.

There does not seem to be any consensus between the three judges about the facts of the case. Justice S U Khan thinks that the mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient temple. However the other justices seem to differ on this.

Justice Sharma held that the structure was built against the tenets of Islam and hence could not be considered as a Mosque! He also held that the disputed site was the birth place of Lord Ram. How he came to this conclusion is a big mystery to me. That many Hindus consider it so may arguably be a fact. (Actually, I remember reading in The Time magazine, years ago, that different priests in Ayodhya considered their temples the birth place of Lord Ram. But let's ignore this for now.)

However, there seems to be consensus that both Hindus and Muslims have been worshipping at this place for a while now.

It is surprising to me how there could be such differing views about the facts of the case, after sixty years of deliberation! And it is also not clear to me why there is a 1/3 -2/3 split. Why not split it down the middle?

It is also a surprise that the political and religious groups have not tried to incite violence. Did they fear that the Indian middle class would be upset if there were violence right at the start of the Common wealth games? I do not believe that the political/religious groups have become more mature! :)

At any rate, the case is going to the Supreme court. How long it is going to languish there is anybody's guess.