The court once again gave precedence to collective conscience and to mobocracy evident in Ayodhya in 1992, by awarding the Masjid land for the building of a Ram temple, said Bhasha Singh, a noted journalist
Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Marking the 27th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, prominent social organisations ANHAD and Karwan-e-Mohabbat organised the first public protest against the Ayodhya verdict here on Friday. The meeting aimed at erasing an impression that the people, particularly Muslims, have accepted the Supreme Court judgement on Babri Masjid without any “dissent”.
The November 9 order of the court on the Masjid-Mandir case came under sharp scrutiny in the meeting as speakers said that, in the judgement, ‘justice, Constitution and India’ got defeated. They urged the Muslim community to turn down the offer of five-acre land awarded by the court in lieu of the mosque land; and reject it with thanks to the government.
Styled as “The Ayodhya Judgement and Constitutional Morality,” speakers including Harsh Mander, Hartosh Singh Bal, Shabnam Hashmi, Dr Syeda Hameed, as also noted journalists Urmilesh, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Bhasha Singh and Farah Naqvi put forth their views.
While announcing the filing of a review petition against the Ayodhya verdict, Harsh Mander said the judgement was an intensely worrying signpost as to where the country was heading.
“The court has delivered the judgement, but in the process we lost justice, the idea of India and the Constitution,” he said. Mander stressed that the Ayodhya dispute was not a fight between Hindus and Muslims. “It is not even a Mandir-Masjid dispute, but an attempt to make a section of the people ‘second class’ citizens. My friends told me that at least peace was ensured by this judgement. A senior police officer wondered if the judgement was different in its text and tenor, what would have happened in India? The police officer said he could not forget the smell of burning bodies in 1992, when as many as 2,000 lives were lost in riots in the aftermath of an attempt to construct temple at this site of Babri Masjid,” Mander said.
He said it was unfortunate that the court judgement has put the court’s stamp of ‘approval’ that it was a Hindu–Muslim dispute, as was sought to be portrayed by some vested interests.
Referring to the appeal from 110 “Muslim intellectuals’” to accept the Babri verdict, the noted activist said they were talking about peace, but peace at what cost it? He reminded the audience that on the 25th anniversary of the Babri demolition, a Muslim was brutally killed in Rajasthan, and the killing was video-graphed by the murderer’s 14-year-old nephew, with a view to sending a chilling message to the Muslim community.
“We had hoped that the apex court would steady our ship in the frightening darkness and the perils of this enveloping storm, but it has let us down. We all know the country is moving in a particular direction. We all should be ready to fight a long-drawn battle,” he said.
Shabnam Hashmi said the traditional media tried to “manufacture a consent” on the Babri Masjid judgement — that everybody was on the board. However, the new (social) media presented the real side of the story. “The objective of the meeting was to protest against the court judgement as it did not do justice to the cause of Babri Masjid. Because of this reason, we are going in appeal against this judgement with an aim to show the world that we are not in agreement with the judgement,” she said.
Former Planning Commission member Dr Syeda Hameed said the judgement shocked her. “There is no peace in the minds of the people as a storm is brewing beneath against this judgement. After the judgement, I lost my joy of life as it was the last nail (in the coffin of Muslim pride),” she said.
Noted journalist Bhasha Singh termed the judgement as the murder of Constitutional morality. “The court once again gave precedence to collective conscience and to mobocracy evident in Ayodhya in 1992, by awarding the Masjid land for the building of a Ram temple. This denotes that India is at the edge of becoming a Hindu fascist state.” Another journalist Farah Naqvi said the fascist forces wanted to create a fear psychosis in the Muslim community by deploying the police force at Muslim habitations and around mosques.
Sharing her views, another woman journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani said there, alongside, was a need to engage youths who have been influenced by the hate-ideology. She slammed the secular political parties for their “ambivalent attitude” towards secularism.
Noted journalist Urmilesh said: “The secular parties are failing us as they are not taking a stand on such serious issues.” While stressing that the thoughts of Babasaheb Ambedkar were more relevant today, he said, “We need to start a new movement to save the country from these fascist forces, as political parties are becoming irrelevant.” He said December 6 was specially chosen by the Hindutva forces for the demolition of Babri Masjid, as it was on this day, long ago, that BR Ambedkar passed away.
Echoing his sentiments, another journalist Hartosh Singh Bal said the judgement has given precedence to myth over historical facts. There was a question mark on the very existence of Lord Ram, whether this story was mythical or real, and hence how could one say for sure that the Lord was born at the same place in what is now Ayodhya, he asked.
He also said people should be educated as to how they would become good citizens of the country, not a good Sikh, a good Hindu or a good Muslim.