Dr Sambit Patra

Dr Sambit Patra explains what anti-Hindu leaders and parties can learn from Hindus in wake of the recent verdict delivered by Special CBI Court on September 30.

The decision of Special CBI Court in Lucknow on September 30 has finally brought a closure to this 28-year-long battle but in the course of that it has exposed the double speak of many political leaders and political parties. The reactions to this decision which rightfully acquitted 32 persons who were falsely accused of conspiring to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya on 6 December,1992.

The Court held that there was nothing on record to establish the existence of a conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid. The CBI Court also held that no such act was done by the accused BJP leaders which hurt the spirit of another sect or affected the unity and integrity of the nation. While the state government had made all safety arrangements and efforts were made by the leaders……the Court opined that the accused persons had no knowledge or premonition about demolition of the structure.

In its judgment running into more than 2,000 pages and written in Hindi, the Court has observed that there was no documentary evidence to show that there was a conspiracy or provocation to bring down the disputed structure.

As one goes back to the time lane, one recalls the anti-Hindu stance taken by many political leaders and political parties. Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government in Uttar Pradesh ordered shooting at Kar Sevaks in 1991. The brutal killings of Kar Sevaks who went to do peaceful Kar Seva at Ayodhya shocked the nation. Leaders like Rashtriya Janta Dal’s Lalu Yadav openly challenged the sentiments of Hindus in the garb of pseudo-secularism.

Prominent Congress leaders adopted tactics to delay the settlement of this issue in the apex court also. All these parties and leaders except the BJP were consistently opposing the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya. They tested the patience of Hindus. It is time that they learn a lesson or two from the Hindus as to how to keep patience, respect the rule of law instead of criticising courts when they give judgements that do not suit their political ends.

The movement for construction of the Ram Temple at Lord Rama’s birth place in Ayodhya lasted for almost 500 years. The dispute related to the Rama temple in Ayodhya was the longest pending case in Indian courts. The first documentary evidence available regarding a dispute about the site dates back to 1858. In a report dated 28 November, 1858, the police-incharge of Oudh (Avadh) police station, Thanedar Sheetal Dubey, has mentioned about the dispute worship in the middle of the mosque at the birthplace of Lord Rama. It was carried out by a Nihang Sikh Fakir Khalsa. This Nihang Sikh was from Punjab and he was accompanied by around 25 Sikhs.

In 1885, another civil suit was filed. After independence, the first suit was filed by Sri G.S. Visharad (Gopal Singh Visharad) of Hindu Mahasabha, claiming the right to pray in 1950. A subsequent suit was filed by Paramhans Ramachandra Das against Zahoor Ahmed and seven other defendants. These seven defendants included five Muslim residents of Ayodhya, the state government of Uttar Pradesh and the Deputy Commissioner of Ayodhya. The Sunni Central Board was added as defendant No. 8 in 1989. In 1959, a third suit was filed by the Nirmohi Akhara through their mahant, claiming rights of management of temple. The fourth suit filed in 1961 was by the Sunni Central Board of Waqfs for removal of idols from the Babri mosque . In 1989, fifth suit was filed by Bhagwan Sri Ram Birajman and former judge of Allahabad High Court, Sri Deoki Nandan Agarwala, for construction of Rama temple. These claims and suits were transferred to Allahabad High Court in 1989 for early adjudication. These civil suits were decided by the Allahabad High Court in 2010. However, the judgement of the Allahabad High Court (in Gopal Singh Visharad v. Zahoor Ahmad, 2010 SCC Online All 1934) was challenged and the Supreme Court ordered a stay on this judgement in 2011 as it had decided to hear appeals against this judgement.

The judgement of the Allahabad High Court in Ramjanmabhhoomi case was delivered on 30 September, 2010. Fourteen appeals were filed in the Supreme Court against this judgement. Since 2011, the matter was pending without a final verdict before the apex court during the tenure of following Chief Justices of India: (i) Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia 2. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir 3. Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. Sathasivam 4. Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha 5. Hon’ble Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu 6. Hon’ble Mr. Justice T.S. Thakur 7. Hon’ble Mr. Justice J.S. Khehar 8. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dipak Misra.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi delivered the much-awaited final verdict on 9 November, 2019. The four other judges on this bench were Hon’ble Justices S.A. Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, D.Y. Chandrachud and S. Abdul Nazeer. Eighteen review petitions were filed in the Supreme Court for further review on the Ayodhya land dispute case after the above-mentioned verdict. A five-judge bench rejected all these petitions on 12 December, 2019.

Such a long and arduous journey for building the temple of a national icon like Sri Rama is a lesson for all those who are trying to rake up the issue of demolition of disputed structure again. On August 5, the way all communities came together and rejoiced over the beginning of the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya in the presence of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, is a clear indication that the politics of ‘minoritysm’ has been rejected by the society and those who are still clinging to it stand exposed.

(The writer is national spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party)