Ayodhya verdict: Litigants urged to bury issue, start afresh

Fresh calls were made to make another attempt for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya issue.

Zeenews Bureau

Ayodhya: "Let`s bury this 60-year-old
dispute here and make a fresh start."

This was how Mohd Hashim Ansari (90), one of the main
litigants in the Ayodhya title suits, responded to the
Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri
Masjid dispute.

At age 90, Mohammed Hashim Ansari says it is no point taking the matter to the Supreme Court now that the Allahabad High Court has decided that a Ram temple can come up where the 16th century mosque was razed.

"We always said that we will respect the judicial verdict, and we respect it," Ansari has been saying parrot like ever since the high court`s Lucknow bench came out with the epoch making judgement Thursday.

It was almost half a century ago when Ansari filed his title suit in the Faizabad court claiming ownership of the mosque land after it was also claimed by Hindus calling it the birthplace of Lord Ram.

"This is now a closed chapter for me," he said in a matter of fact tone. "Hindus should be allowed to build their temple (in Ayodhya)."

And the sentiments voiced by the oldest litigant in
the case were shared with same vigour by elderly leaders of
two key parties to the title suit--Mahant Bhaskar Das (84) of
Nirmohi Akhara and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das (70), Chairman of
the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.

Though satisfied with the verdict, all the three
aged litigants in the title suit agree that the matter will
ultimately reach the Supreme Court.

"The decision is good for the common man and has saved
him from the unnecessary `bawal` (problems) that could have
erupted as a repurcussion of the judgement," Mahant Bhaskar
Das of Nirmohi Akhara told PTI at Nakka Hanuman Ghari temple
in Faizabad.

Das, sitting calmly on the cot with a handful of
supporters, said he heaved a sigh of relief as Ramlal was
still the `viraajman` at his place and his position was not

"I wanted everyone to respect the decision but as
Sunni Wakf Board and Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasbha have decided
to move the SC, we may have to follow suit," Das said.

Ansari, who lives in a small house within a five
kilometre radius of Ram Lala site in Ayodhya, also wants an
end to legal battle.

"Personally I am of the view that this 60-year-old
dispute should be buried here and a new start should be made,"
Ansari said.

He blamed the political parties for politicising an
important issue.

"This issue can not be sorted out as long as
politics is involved," he said.

Though Ansari favours that there should be an end to
the dispute he said the issue will reach the apex court as the
court has mentioned about division of the land.

"The suits should have been decided in favour of the
either parties. As division of the land has been mentioned in
the judgement there is no other option than to move the SC,"
he said.

Gopal Das said he was satisfied with the HC decision
and it should be accepted by all.

"The final decision could be reached by compromise
after talks", said Gopal Das, who lives in Srimani Ramdas
Chhavni, where security personnel were seen relaxing on chairs
with no palpable tensionin the air.

However, like Ansari and Bhaskar Das, he too may move
the apex court.

"We welcome the verdict, but will challenge the
decision to give one third land to the Sunni Wakf Board in the
apex court," Gopal Das said.

"At the end of it, they have managed to give a piece of land to all parties... The court has agreed to the plea that a mosque was built after demolishing the temple. This judgment was given in such a way that space for reconciliation could be left," said senior journalist and rights activist Kuldip Nayar.

"The silver lining is that 2010 is not the same as 1992. People of India have moved on and matured over the years," Nayar observed.

According to noted historian K.N. Panikkar, the verdict was "some sort of an attempted compromise".

"Whether this compromise is strictly on the basis of law is a doubtful fact," said Panikkar, a former professor of modern history with the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Former Lok Sabha secretary-general and constitutional expert Subash Kashyap said the judgment appeared to be "more an exercise in judicial mediation".

"There are two possibilities: one is that both the sides approach the Supreme Court, the other possibility is that of negotiations outside the court."

There is "no hundred percent winner or loser in the judgment", Kashyap told IANS.

Even the country`s media has given its verdict: People have moved on, now leaders must.

"A new, resurgent India has emerged from the debris of the violent 1990s," said an editorial in The Times of India a day after the court verdict, referring to the aftermath of the demolition of Babri Masjid Dec 6, 1992.

The Indian Express said the people of the country were asking the judicial institutions to address a matter that had become the most divisive political issue of independent India and had hoped for an outcome that will be peaceful and forward-looking.

The Hindustan Times said: "There are no losers in the Ayodhya ruling. It is a milestone confirmation of our secular fabric." The fact that the unhappy litigants have decided to move the apex court, it added, suggests the matter has been contained within the frames of law.

In its editorial, The Hindu said if the overall reaction of the people and from all sections of the political spectrum has been subdued, much of it has to do with the fact that the issue does not find much traction any more, unlike the 1990s.

-Agencies inputs

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