Ayodhya Verdict Prefers Faith Over Law to Accommodate Majoritarianism, Say Indian Americans

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A mob of Hindu zealots surrounds Babri Masjid in Ayodhya which was demolished on December 6, 1992. — File photo

The Supreme Court’s ruling emboldens the decades old project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — whose thousands of members had criminally razed the mosque in 1992 and who were yet to be punished for it — to make India a Hindu Rashtra (nation)

Caravan News

WASHINGTON — The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed dismay at Indian Supreme Court’s ruling that a Hindu temple be built on a site where the Babri Mosque stood for five centuries until Hindu extremists razed it 27 years ago.

Calling the judgement a mixture of glaring contradictions, IAMC has urged Indian Muslims to pursue legal avenues such as filing of a review petition before the Court. The Supreme Court’s ruling emboldens the decades old project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — whose thousands of members had criminally razed the mosque in 1992 and who were yet to be punished for it — to make India a Hindu Rashtra (nation) and turn India’s 200 million Muslims, who are its largest minority, into second-class citizens, says the Council.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is of a piece with the Modi government’s revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and the decision to incarcerate half a million Muslims in detention centers in the state of Assam,” said IAMC National President Ahsan Khan.

It is bizarre that although the Supreme Court accepted that Hindu extremists had illegally installed idols inside the mosque in 1949, and then also illegally demolished the mosque in 1992, the Court has nonetheless chosen to award the site’s possession to these very claimants.

While the Court observed that “the Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago,” it said the Muslims had failed to provide evidence of the site’s “exclusive” possession. “It is inconceivable why the Court has not applied this standard of evidence for the Hindu plaintiffs,” the IAMC said.

The Supreme Court judgement affirms “the mosque was constructed in 1528 by or at the behest of [Mughal emperor] Babur”, and that until 1949, it was legally a mosque, although Hindus would worship at a surrounding wall. Moreover, the judgement has acknowledged that an idol of Ram appeared inside the mosque on December 23, 1949, “not through any lawful authority, but through an act which was calculated to deprive them [Muslims] of their place of worship.”

It also acknowledged that the mosque’s demolition in 1992 was a “calculated act of destroying a place of public worship,” going on to affirm “the Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.” The Supreme Court also acknowledged that ASI could not establish if a temple was demolished to build a mosque and yet, the ruling has gone against the Muslims.

“Indian Muslims have kept faith in the judicial system and this judgement shatters that faith,” Mr. Khan added. “The Muslims now seem to have been punished for their faith in the courts, whereas the RSS has been rewarded for its violence.”

India is now witnessing a collapse of the social contract and the promise of equality before law it made to all its citizens at Independence in 1947. The failure of the Supreme Court to dispense fair and equitable justice does not augur well for peace and harmony. The judgement will further reinforce Hindutva forces that rely on lies, falsification of history and massive violence in order to subjugate minorities.

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