For decades, Babri mosque-Ram temple dispute has been at the core of a violent political movement in India. Early this year, the Supreme Court ordered the parties in the Ayodhya title dispute — related to 2.77 acres of land — to seek mediation. A panel of mediators headed by a former justice of the Supreme Court, FM Ibrahim Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu was appointed. On Thursday, the apex court is expected to hear the case when the mediation panel submits its progress report. The panel has sought time until August 15 to submit the final report.
Amid hectic discussions, a Gulf News report that the century-old flashpoint issue appears to be heading towards a resolution holds out hope. Following deliberations with the main litigants, hundreds of religious personalities, including imams, and members of civil society, we understand that a majority of the Muslim litigants may decide to settle the dispute by giving up the claim on the mosque site and allow the construction of a Ram temple. If that turns out to be the case, this development is likely to result in a profound shift in India’s political discourse. The issue has resulted in bad blood among thousands of devotees who make a beeline for Ayodhya daily. It rankles and alienates millions more around India.
Over the years, the row has resulted in violent riots in which thousands lost their lives. India deserves to move on. An emerging consensus looks like the best chance to break the impasse
There comes a time in the history of a nation when it is faced with stark choices: to rake up the past or take a bold step ahead and seek a suitable course. Same can be said about the Babri mosque-Ram temple dispute. The dispute, and the ensuing litigation, has progressed through the Indian court system at a glacial pace, with no end in sight. Along the way it led to deep fissures in the country’s civil society and body-politic.
The Muslims’ move to settle the dispute offers the best chance to bury the past and look ahead with renewed hope. This is not the time to gloat. This is the time to heal the wounds and if, and there is a big ‘if’ involved here, the mediation efforts bear fruit and the concerned parties approach it with an open heart, the solution could well result in lasting peace between Hindus and Muslims in India.
Over the years, the row has resulted in violent riots in which thousands lost their lives. India deserves to move on. An emerging consensus looks like the best chance to break the impasse.