I heard the verdict on the long-standing Ayodhya issue. It was pathetic, if nothing else. No offence but why did it take this long to say something I could have said right back then? On the surface it sounds like a reasonable decision. Except that, it is not.
If Hindus and Muslims could live in harmony, sharing the same ground, why have they not already? Maybe most Hindus and Muslims do not really care if they had to share the ground. They can live in harmony. There are certain sections of troublemakers who needed the issue to thrive because it served their selfish interests. How is this verdict going to address that? In my view, the core of the problem has been less religion and more politics. Mud-slinging and buying vote-banks, in the name of Ayodhya, has been a norm at every major political event. It has been nurtured by some of our leaders, to increase the bulge in their pockets. Why will they accept this verdict now? Of course, they will not go out and protest against the verdict. Does that mean they like it?
Taking advantage of the hype of the issue, a few objects of media have dug up the history of the issue. Apparently, this is not just a two-decade old issue, as most of us know it. It dates back centuries. One version I read said the start of the story is way back in the 11th century when Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya. There was a temple built in his honour, which was later demolished by a Mughal Emperor, who built a masjid there. A good 300 years later, that was demolished by a group of party workers and politicians led by L K Advani. A long, painful 20 years later, a verdict is given that Hindus and Muslims should share the land equally. And the 3rd party. Like a friend of mine tweeted, how do you divide 1 by 3 and get a whole number? Does each party get 0.333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333% of land?
Here are a few excerpts from people's views collected by the TOI group.
Hindus are happy that the court has said they can have the land, they cannot see why they need to share it with the Muslims...
"The court has accepted historical facts and ruled on the basis of facts," said Nritya Gopal Das, president of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, the chief body in Ayodhya working towards the building of a temple on the site. "Every Hindu already knew in his heart that Ram lived here. Now the court has ruled that this is true," Das added.
"When the court has ruled this is where Ram was born, what is the meaning of a one-third share for Muslims? The whole area is Ram's and we will go in appeal to the SC against the one-third given to the Sunni Waqf Board," Das said.
The Muslims cannot see why the Hindus need to be given any part of the land at all...
"Does all this mean that it was okay to tear down the Babri mosque? Why is the court deciding matters thousands of years old but ignoring matters 20 years old," asked 24-year-old Ashraf Ali (name changed on request), a resident of Ayodhya who works in a printing press in Faizabad.
It has not been accepted silently. The issue lives on. The only thing that has changed is probably the judge who retires today. He had to say something. He earned a good salary on the supposed verdict for a greater part of his career and when he had to leave, he told them to grow up and share it like good children. The saga continues.