I agree with your assessment (“Intriguing compromise could work,” Editorial, Oct. 1) that the Ayodhya title suits judgment is a compromise calculated to hold the religious peace rather than an exercise in profound legal reflection. You have rightly observed that Justices Khan and Agarwal have stretched the law and, at times, logic as well. All the judges have unanimously held that the idol of Lord Ram was placed inside the mosque on the night of December 22, 1949. As one who had functioned as a Sub-divisional Magistrate and District Magistrate half a century ago, I have no doubt in my mind that any impartial magistrate honestly discharging his duties would have removed the idol and handed over possession of the mosque to Muslims. However, guided by personal bias, the then district Magistrate of Faizabad, the late K.K. Nair of the ICS blatantly violated the law and perpetuated the outrage. In the decades that followed political opportunism openly indulged in by both major parties complicated matters. The destruction of the mosque on December 6, 1992 was an egregious outrage facilitated by the active connivance of the State Government and the supine attitude of the Central Government.

All the judges have concluded that the mosque was being used by Muslims and that Hindus were using the Ram Chabutra. The Ram Chabutra is located within the compound, about 100 paces away from the mosque. A fair, practical and just solution would be to allot the site of the mosque to the Muslims and the land occupied by the Ram Chabutra and Sita Ki Rasoi to the Hindus. It defies logic and reason to assert that Ram, who was the great hero of the Treta Yuga and entered Jal Samadhi more than eight lakh years ago, was born under the dome of the mosque.

Let us hope that a Full Bench of the Supreme Court will, in due course, pronounce the final judgment taking into account all relevant facts and upholding the majesty of law and bearing in mind the guiding principles of our Constitution.

P.S. Appu,

Former Chief Secretary, Bihar

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