The Ayodhya judgment, undoubtedly, has set a very bad precedent. As per Romila Thapar, it has annulled the respect for history and replaced history with faith. This gross anomaly may be corrected by the highest court in the land at any cost, irrespective of the decision it makes on appeal, or through a settlement between the contending parties. Having said this, and in spite of the erroneous judicial reasoning, is not the formula that has finally emerged a path-breaker for applying closure to this divisive landmine, as Justice Khan would call it ? Can it not be that the sangh parivar has found a face saver and will be forced to clutch on to this settlement, minus its extravagant claims? Should this opportunity not be taken with both arms by the minority community to remove the potential for a national divide? Will such a step not be applauded by the majority of the majority community who are basically secular, without giving a chance to the Hindutva brigade to poison the atmosphere?

After all, even the secular majority of the majority in India are believers who subscribe to the belief that Ram was born in Ayodhya. If so, is it not prudent on the part of Muslims not only to respect their belief but also to appear to do so? How can such accommodation be termed as acting on coercion when the honourable Court has provided an opening? When such a magnanimous step is taken by the Muslim community, will not these Hindutva extremists lose all their potency against the doubly strengthened secular might? In my view, several Muslim leaders who are in the business of leading Muslims are only building their own wealthy dynasties and they should be disempowered from taking decisions on these aspects. It is the toiling, impoverished masses who comprise about 80 per cent of the population, irrespective of the community they belong to, who are the sufferers in these disputes created by the feudal elements in all communities. These elements should not be allowed continuously to divert the attention of society to divisive issues revolving round mosque and mandir. Closure should be applied by taking advantage of this judgment, faulty though it may be in legal terms.

Kasim Sait,

Chennai

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It is important that people, regardless of faith, come together and reinforce the spirit of oneness. Wrongs have been committed by all contesting parties and faiths, in recent times or the distant past. In the light of this, the High Court judgment needs to be commended. Equal partition of the contested piece of land among the three litigating parties is a just solution.

Syed Mohammad,

Chennai

This refers to Ms Thapar's claim that the Ayodhya judgment has “annulled respect for history” (Oct. 2). The three judges were not writing a book. They were deciding on an issue that had torn the nation apart for two decades. Besides being officials of the judiciary, they had a responsibility towards law and order. As regards the destruction of the Babri Masjid, the country has enough laws to try the culprits. The contention that faith should have no place in deciding contentious issues is not right. Faith is an important content of our psyche and it is as significant as material evidence.

Vijaya Dar,

Coonoor

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The Ayodhya verdict has been criticised as being a compromise. True, the verdict has over-stretched logic. But viewed in the backdrop of the communal riots that followed the Babri Masjid demolition and the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, a “black-and-white” judgment would have done more harm than good. It would have been impossible to implement. Laws are not above society and a judgment that leads to socio-religious strife is best avoided.

Although justice cannot be sacrificed at the altar of belief and held hostage to the fear of law and order situation, one has to factor in religious sensitivities and the precarious situation. Overlooking the communal realities can have grave consequences.

Sanjay Dey,

Purnea

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Although a majority of Ram temple supporters have welcomed the judgment, some are apprehensive that tensions will continue if a mosque is built in the vicinity. I feel that instead of moving the Supreme Court, the parties should try to resolve the issue. Muslims should show magnanimity and hand over their piece of land to Hindus to construct a grand temple, provided the Kashi and Mathura chapter is not allowed to be opened in future. This will not only be the best and lasting solution but will go a long way in strengthening our strained relations and guarantee peace.

Qazi Obaidur Rahman Hashmi,

New Delhi

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The Ayodhya verdict, despite the law of delimitation, has recognised the right of the minorities to the disputed site by allocating one-third of it for building a mosque. By dividing the land, the verdict has also opened the door for a new era of inter-communality, ending six decades of litigation.

V. Raghavendra Rao,

Visakhapatnam

***

Contrary to fears, peace and harmony prevailed after the Ayodhya verdict. But I am afraid the situation would have been different had the judgment been different. In a democracy what is important is the feeling of the minorities that they enjoy the same respect and rights as the majority. That feeling was shaken first when the Babri Masjid was demolished. Now comes the judgment — a political compromise based mostly on Hindu beliefs.

A. Nazrulla,

Thiruvananthapuram

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Almost all sections seem to be satisfied with the judgment. But a few leaders like Mulayam Singh are trying to mislead our Muslim brothers. A few Hindu leaders will also try to mislead Hindus. This is the right time for Hindus and Muslims to spread the spirit of brotherhood and patriotism and teach caste, creed and religion-based parties a lesson.

Sudesh Kumar Raunija,

Thiruvananthapuram

***

Mr. Mulayam Singh's statement that Muslims are feeling cheated is in bad taste. Such statements can vitiate the atmosphere. The storm of communal violence might have been prevented but its particles are still in the air. At such a juncture, even a small breeze may result in a fanatical storm.

Umair Zahir Quazi,

Yavatmal

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Three days after the pronouncement of the verdict, the implications of the unjust three-way division of the disputed land have begun to sink in. The secular conscience has begun to feel the pinch, if the opinion of various historians is any indication. For sure, it is a reassurance that the nation's spirit of secularism is alive, grieving and seeking redress. The Muslim leadership would do well to avoid rousing passions on the issue. It should pursue the case by knocking at the portals of the Supreme Court.

Maqbool Ahmed Siraj,

Bangalore

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Before the verdict, all sections were urged to accept it and show respect for it. After it was delivered, many from both the communities hailed it. Understandably, those who were displeased said they would appeal in the Supreme Court. But describing the verdict as a panchayat-style ruling based on faith rather than legality is unacceptable. The three judges explained the legal position in their elaborate judgments. As for the historians who hold that the ASI's report is unreliable, the ASI gave its report after elaborate work and critical analysis. Archaeological evidence is the main source of history.

Vadrevu Soma Raju,

Hyderabad

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