The Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya has triggered a wide range of reactions across the nation. In the midst of all this, it is gratifying to note that the country has stood united. People have remained cool and calm, notwithstanding dissent and acceptance.
The judgment was historical, inasmuch as it recognised the myth and reality in the issue and did not trigger any serious consequences. It is now up to the litigants to bury the hatchet. An out-of-court settlement would be the best and everlasting solution. Further litigation will only intensify unrest and apprehension.
For crores of Hindus, the Ayodhya issue is very important. The struggle to regain the Ram Janmabhoomi started much before the BJP or the VHP came into existence. There are British records that point to this. The ASI report has concluded that the Babri Masjid was built on the ruins of a Hindu temple. I believe the Hindus have a legitimate right to build a temple on the so-called disputed site. A mosque can be built outside the Janmasthan to satisfy Muslim sentiments.
We have seen much media coverage on the demolition of the 500-year-old Babri Masjid. Readers may be interested in knowing about the conversion of a 900-year-old cathedral into a mosque (“Ayasofya”) in Istanbul during the Ottoman rule. The cathedral remained a mosque for 500 years during the rule of the Ottomans till Mustafa Kemal Ataturk converted it into a museum. The reconverted museum has not evoked any agitation by Christians or Muslims worldwide, for restoration as cathedral or mosque.
The verdict was something all of us, young and old, were eagerly looking forward to. It came as a surprise and relief. I recall on the day of the judgment, one of my friends suddenly asked me a question that shocked and surprised me. “Will you people cause any problems,” she asked.
At a time when we are trying to cast away the evils of caste, creed and religion, we still have people around us who have such narrow thoughts. Let us try to make our nation the strongest with people from diverse backgrounds living together peacefully.
The real winner in the Ayodhya judgment is the secular spirit of India. The court has divided the disputed site between Muslims and Hindus. The best option for the litigants is to construct a mosque and a temple on the land allotted to them, and live in peace.
Chandra S. Rathore,
Subramanian Swamy argues that in law, a temple and a mosque cannot be considered on a par as far as sacredness is concerned (“Fundamental issue in Ayodhya case,” Oct. 8). On the basis of which source does he conclude that a masjid is not an essential part of the practice of Islam? Under the Islamic law, namaz can be offered anywhere, even in the open, provided there is no mosque in the vicinity. If a mosque exists, even a blind person should go there for prayer, according to Prophet Mohammed. Once a place is used and designated a mosque, it is bestowed before Allah and always remains a mosque. That is why Muslims believe that the Babri Masjid is a place of worship, which was used for prayer until December 1949 when idols were surreptitiously placed inside and the doors locked.
K. Abdul Nassar,
Dr. Swamy, eager to prove that mosques are not as sacred as temples, has thankfully disapproved of the way the Babri mosque was pulled down. The sanctity of mosques is well maintained and the religious faith of Muslims is as strong as that of others. The dispute before the High Court was about the ownership of a piece of land over which a mosque stood. How can we disregard the feeling that the long-awaited verdict only reflected a solution that relied solely on faith and belief?