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This refers to your cover story on the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict (Faith Accompli, November 25). The judgment is historic and will be remembered for a long time. The restraint shown by our citizens, even politicians and most of the media, post the verdict is more historic. However, it pains me to see your magazine showing images of the mosque’s demolition. Even your diary is about this. More than anything else, the media needs to promote harmony and peace.
Gauri, On E-Mail
The Supreme Court has given the most appropriate verdict, keeping in view the strange situation prevailing on the ground and the repercussions that would follow had a different judgment been pronounced. The right judgment at the right time saved the country from possible forced occupation of the disputed site by the majority community, followed by communal flare-up and a repeat of the mayhem that followed the Babri Masjid’s demolition in December 1992. The apex court did spectacularly well by allowing faith to take the upper hand and ignoring all other aspects. At last, faith has triumphed and justice has been done to the majority community. It is hoped that peace and tranquility will henceforth prevail across the country, and there will be no rath yatras, destruction of religious places and bloodshed in the name of religion in future. The then governments and the courts did not take due cognisance of the unlawful act of installing the idols under the mosque’s central dome in December 1949, nor could they stop the medieval structure from being pulled down. This, despite the government being duty-bound to protect religious places as they existed and stood on the date India secured independence, and despite the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, prohibiting conversion of places of worship from its status at the time of independence. No suitable action has been taken to punish the perpetrators of the crime even 27 years after the Babri Masjid’s demolition.
M.Y. Shariff, Chennai
The day the Supreme Court decreed the end of the Ayodhya dispute is not only a red letter day in the annals of the judiciary, but also marks a new dawn for India. The judgment is historic in the sense that it not only clears the way for the construction of a grand Ram temple, but has directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot elsewhere in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque, putting to an end the decades-long dispute once and for all. The balanced judgment is a victory for all citizens of India, including religious leaders from both sides who maintained restraint and acted in a most dignified manner, while keeping fundamentalist forces at a distance all through. All in all, it’s a stand-out judgment in all aspects.
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderbad
The Supreme Court has all along enjoyed the reputation of being fearlessly independent. The Ayodhya judgment, however, has eroded this image and the court is seen to be tilting towards the ruling BJP. Many secular Hindus and Muslims were sorely disappointed. India needs a Supreme Court that is not only impartial, but is also seen to be so.
Sripad Rao, Bangalore
The Ayodhya case is different as it involves emotive issues as well as the legalities of admissible evidence; it is for the appreciation of the collective consciousness of the majority in a democratic setup and not only for argumentative hair-splitting by a few legal experts, limiting their vision to it as a simple title suit. The Constitution bench of five judges of the Supreme Court would have added a positive aura to their verdict by admitting the truth that it is a compromise—a judgment aimed at reconciliation.
M.N. Bhartiya, Goa
The late V.P. Singh and many other so-called left-liberals, as well as die-hard secularists always advocated a middle path to the Ayodhya imbroglio, opining that a mosque and a mandir can coexist because Lord Ram resides in the hearts of Hindus more than in any temple. The common man across the nation knows Ayodhya as the birthplace of Lord Ram. Our nation is going through trying times and it is important that we respect each other’s sentiments, let this issue be peacefully settled and move on.
Rangarajan T.S, Bangalore
The Supreme Court has delivered a path-breaking verdict. You can argue that faith has triumphed over fact. But faith is not useless tinsel. The verdict emerged after a careful scrutiny of available evidence and the hearings the court granted to all stakeholders of the dispute. Emperor Babur had constructed Babri Masjid on a piece of land that originally belonged to Hindus. Archaeologists have established that there was a temple complex in ruins under the site. The Allahabad high court had accepted their findings. The apex court rightly held that there was merit in the evidence that the Hindu community had regarded the site as the birthplace of Ram. And over the decades the site has become as sacred to Hindus as Mecca is to Muslims. The court has also condemned the demolition of Babri Masjid, and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot for building a mosque. The court has thus upheld secularism as a part of the basic structure of the Constitution and can be relied upon to punish those responsible for the mosque’s demolition.
Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Chennai
Alas, there’s still no fait accompli for Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan, still awaiting their abodes in Ayodhya.
Richa Juyal, Dehradun
Peace-monger Mahatma Gandhi’s letter to Hitler, July 23, 1939
This refers to your story on Maharashtra (The Politricks of Alliance, November 25). Politics is among the most intriguing subjects for the common man as politicians change their colours often to fit into various probable combinations for forming governments. The ideologies of parties prove to be no more than a means to foment sectarian sentiments for polarising voters before elections. Once polls are over, ideology is pushed to the background as elected representatives try all sorts of manipulations to take power, as has been witnessed quite expectedly in Maharashtra. Developments in the state since the election results were declared suggest that no party can claim the permanent loyalty of voters, and that the national parties cannot afford to take the regional parties for granted.
Jaideep Mittra, Varanasi
The crux of the problem in Maharashtra deadlock is to be found among the Shiv Sena’s new-found friends. Udhhav Thackeray has committed political harakari by aligning with the Congress-NCP duo.
H.C. Pandey, Delhi
The BJP found its match in the Shiv Sena in terms of cunning and street-smartness during post-poll bargaining. The events in Maharashtra will have a sobering effect on the party that has been on a roll on practically every electoral turf across India.
George Jacob, Kochi
The rift between the BJP and the Shiv Sena has widened nearly to a point of no return. The relationship was going from bad to worse every day even before the Maharashtra elections as the Sena had been working on parting ways for long.
Gundu K. Maniam, Bhandup