Recently I could get my hands on an interesting old article written by Swapan Dasgupta. “We’re all kar sevaks now“- this article, published in Indian Express on January 4, 1993, reflects the mood immediately after the Babri masjid’s demolition when India appeared totally polarised. Some of the assertions reflect the heady emotionalism of the times. Read it in its historical context. I had written an article on the-NRI prior to the verdict. You can read it here in case you have missed it.
Many of my readers have asked for my opinion on the verdict. Well, the verdict has surprised everyone because most ‘Nationalists’ were hoping a judgment that would lead to Hindus being asked to remove the idols. It was primarily because they are looking at the dispute in narrow contemporary political and electoral terms alone. Well, the dispute has existed through the times of Guru Gobind Singh and the Marathas. ‘Secular’ records from the time the British conquered Avadh are also available! This issue is much older than BJP, RSS or VHP, and has non political roots! But, the way times have changed, I will say, the more the issue is delayed, the better it is for the nation. A clear case study of what current generation feels for the issue can be read in Shobha De’s recent article.
I support the verdict. There are two ways an agitation could have been avoided-
- Make both the communities happy
- Make both the communities unhappy
And by community, I am speaking in completely political sense. The court has done the latter- made both communities unhappy. So the case will move on. I won’t call this a verdict. This simply is a move to normalize things further. Recently Javed Anand, general secretary Muslims for Secular Democracy and the husband of the activist Teesta Setalvad, wrote for The Indian Express–
Forget about appealing to the Supreme Court. In the best interests of the country and the community itself, Muslims must gift away even the one-third of the plot that for the moment is legally theirs. The disputed plot in Ayodhya, which millions of Hindus have come to believe as the birthplace of Ram lalla, is absolutely the last place where the battle for the Idea of India- secular or majoritarian- must be fought.
I am among those who believe that the wise and pragmatic Ayodhya pseudo-verdict offers a real opportunity to Hindus and Muslims to close an unpleasant chapter of India’s history and push ahead together in the real sense. Indians need education, employment, food and peace! Political voices proclaiming triumph or crying defeat will always be there in any society. Let’s ignore them! Rather than maliciously use them as excuses to prolong the agony of both communities and create fresh issues, it’s high time we really move on! Move on till time politics around religion dies down and there are issues and dissent based politics is restored.