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Will Babari Patch-up Work?
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
It would have been more appropriate if five instead of three judges had delivered the verdict on the Ayodhya dispute. After all panchayats normally have five members don’t they?
The judgment does not appear to be legal. If the dispute was about a title deed then Babar was not very relevant, was he? If for argument’s sake a temple was demolished to build the mosque even that may not be deemed illegal. It could well have been in conformity with the prevalent law. The judges perhaps attempted with the best of intentions to defuse a national crisis through application of a judicious view.
Alas, this kind of judicial attempt at the cost of strict law seldom brings the desired result.
Recall the recent Supreme Court “order” to distribute rotting food grain free to the poor. It was not followed and what happened? The SC was left tongue tied. Recall the botched up Jain Hawala case. Many other examples can be summoned of the courts straying into alien territory to end up with egg on face.
One does fervently hope though that good sense prevails and a final reconciliation is achieved. I still think the best chance for that to have happened was if the ownership of the land by Muslims had been recognized by the court and Muslims voluntarily after that surrendered it for construction of the Ram Temple. Failing that the most appropriate alternative would have been for the political proponents of the Ram Temple to withdraw their claims before the court. They could more honourably have campaigned across India to achieve an absolute majority in Parliament for making law to acquire that land for the purpose of building a temple.
Now both these options do not exist because of the judgment. One can only hope that the direction indicated by the judges would infuse protagonists on both sides with sufficient spirit of accommodation to achieve a final settlement that ends this dispute once and for all. It remains a faint hope, no more.
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10/01/2010 13:43 PM
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