The 15th Anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition was observed on December 6th. Whenever this date approaches there is a countrywide alert and vigils to avoid any communal tension.
There are processions led by Hindus and Muslims throughout. Muslims mark it as “Black Day” while Hindu extremists mark it as “Victory Day”. There are speeches and both the sides put their demands forward. This year it was also not much different. There was some tension in New Delhi. One group demanded that temple should be built at the disputed site while the Council of Indian Muslims (CIM) in UK on Friday asked the Indian government to hand over Babri mosque site to Muslims and allow them to rebuild the mosque there. Both Houses of the Parliament were adjourned on 6th as Left and other MPs staged noisy protests seeking punishment to those who razed the Babri mosque on this day 15 years ago.
On 16 December 1992, Liberahan Commission was set up by the Government of India to probe the circumstances that lead to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It has been longest running commission in India’s history with several extensions granted by various governments. There is no estimate of when the report will be given by this Commission. The case is going on and on, and only one witness has been presented in the court and that too 3 days before. The Archaeology Society of India conducted a study and an excavation to ascertain the type of structure that was beneath the rubble. The summary of the ASI report indicated definite proof of a Hindu temple under the mosque but that too was rejected as Muslim’s attacked the report, claiming that it pandered to certain interests and made no remarks on evidence in support of Muslims such as bones unearthed with tool markings on them.
In an interview Zafayab Gilani of Babri Masjid Action Committee has said “Muslims will not accept a temple at the place where Babri Masjid once stood and they will never hand over the land to any one”.
The demolition of Mosque has repercussions all over the country with communal riots and bombing of few major Indian Cities. Till date there is no solution visible of this situation. The case is still in the court but the progress that has been made is very little. The emotions run very high in both the communities over this issue and it often spills on the street. Many argue that the solution to this problem should be given by the court. Whatever solution we propose to find, it has to be a win-win solution for both the parties, and not a win-lose situation. Moreover, it should be win-win not only for the two parties (the Hindu extremists and the Muslim extremists), but also for a large number of peace-loving, liberal Indians who are unbiased to any party (irrespective of their own religious affiliations), and wish to resolve this issue without compromising on the secular and democratic values. But is there any such solution?
The Judiciary i feel, is not likely to find a win-win solution for both parties. Courts (if they remain unbiased) would continue to postpone taking any final decision, or (if they get politically influenced) would end up taking an unwise decision, which might upset one of the parties. I strongly condemn the act which took place 15 years ago and would want that justice should prevail by punishing those who instigated the mob “that day”. One should understand the ground reality as of now and not run by emotions and passions. There is already a temple existing at the disputed site and if the mosque is build there it will mean that a temple has to be demolish. The demolishment of one structure almost broke the fine thread of secularism and trust between two communities. Imagine a situation if another such demolishment takes place!!! The building of a new mosque on a nearby plot along with the Ram Mandir is something that few Muslims would not give a second thought and in present scenario building of mosque at the disputed site will ignite the communal tension again. Any solution to this problem will not guarantee the end of communalism and religious extremism.
The only possibility is that both the communities should amicably reach a solution. I feel that Muslims should give up their claim on the disputed land and it can be a first step towards abating the tension that has crept in these so many years. This will set an example as well for lifelong to the world (A similar stand was also taken by the few of liberals in Faizabad). Though same can be said about Hindus too but i don’t think that is a possibility now considering a temple is already there at the site. All this is, of course, too much of wishful thinking. This proposal may look too naive and fragile in front of the hooligans who want their house of worship at any cost. We need more feedback, dialogue and active participation in this process from everyone. But before this few things should be sorted out and then only this alternative can work.
- A permanent status quo on all historical buildings. No one should claim for any other temple/mosque to built in place of existing one. Anyone who does so should be punished.
- A complete ban on all organizations, institutions and individuals involved in any kind of communal extremism, hate campaign, excessive nationalism, religious bigotry, or international terrorism, whichever religion, caste or region they belong to.
- Punish all who were involved in demolition of the mosque, riots that followed.
This is only my view and i know the all will not agree with me and there might be many fallacies in this attempt as well.
The educated and liberal class of India has assumed that this it is too complicated and messy an affair to get into, and have simply allowed the religious fanatics to exploit it their way – and far too long. But let me tell you that Mandir-Masjid issue is not the gravest problem in India – Indian people have much more serious issues of livelihood to deal with but it is certainly a big roadblock to peace and we should try to eliminate this issue from political circle at the earliest.