Indian secular card on Babri Mosque verdict

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Reema Shaukat

IT seems Indian Hindu majority always tries to cash religious card. It was during and after the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan that India objected this peace vista between two countries. Likewise, Sikhs and Muslims living in India do not enjoy the freedom to practise their religious values and mythologies. They often are bound to Indian orders, which is making India a secular fanatic country. On 6 December 1992 Babri Mosque in India was demolished. Almost after 27 years since the demolition of Babri Mosque, its fate was to be decided but on the opening of Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan on 9th of November 2019, Indian court announced the verdict on Babri Mosque. Thus, showing how to divert world media attention from Pakistan’s interfaith harmony efforts and peace between India and Pakistan but India exposed its religious mindset on the basis of Hindu fanaticism. There have been several adjourned sessions by Indian Supreme and High Courts on the matter of Babri Mosque but outcome was announced after several years of its annihilation which shows Indian mindset and its wicked attitude towards the sentiments of Muslims living particularly in India and all around. Prior to this decision often Hindu extremists gather in large number to crunch Muslims and show them their strength to build temple at the site of Babri Mosque.
The Babri Mosque issue is vital to understand the Hindu belligerence and militancy that has left thousands dead in India in the past many decades. Babri Masjid has been a source of Hindu extremist mobilization for the last 20 years. Babri Masjid is a three-dome mosque structure in Faizabad/Ayodhya which was established in 1526 by Mughal Emperor Babur. Hindus claim that the Babri Masjid was built where the Ram Janamabhoomi Temple was once located. In 1885, some Hindus filed a claim in the country’s British colonial courts that this mosque had been forcibly built by Muslims after demolishing a Hindu temple built on the birth site of their god Rama. Their request for restoration was denied by the court on the grounds that the petitioner had been unable to substantiate the claim. But the battle was not yet over. After India’s independence from British colonial rule in the late 1940s, the District Magistrate of Faizabad (where this structure is located) informed higher authorities in December 1949 that “a few Hindus entered Babri Masjid at night when the Masjid was deserted and installed a goddess there. Police picket of fifteen persons was on duty at night but did not apparently act.” The District Magistrate of Faizabad, Mr Nayar, admitted his responsibility and was asked to resign. However, Nayar’s dangerous and irresponsible action did not seem to bother India’s ruling Congress Party at that time. They gave him a seat in parliament (Lok Sabha). Moreover, instead of removing the idol and restoring the mosque to its custodians, the Sunni Waqf Board, it was locked. In addition, an official receiver, a Hindu, and a priest (also Hindu) were appointed to look after the place.
Muslims filed suit in the court but that was not the end of the matter. Almost 40 years later, Babri Masjid resurfaced as a symbol of Hindu militancy, as groups representing this dangerous ideology, which seeks to exclude non-Hindus from the vision of a “Mother India”, launched a movement for its restoration. In December 1985, a Hindu delegation called on the state of Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister, serving him notice that the temple must be handed over to them by 8 March 1986, otherwise they would forcibly occupy it. On 11 February 1986, the Faizabad district opened so as to let the Hindus exercise their “constitutional right” to worship. A report suggests that Minister Arun Nehru masterminded this coup. Up to this point, the situation was tense, but no major violence had yet erupted. This was to be in December 1992, when hundreds of thousands of Hindu militants mobilized by Vishwa Hindu Parshad (VHP) and led by Mr. L. K. Advani, stormed Babri Masjid and demolished it. This sparked serious protests by Muslims, police firings and then Hindu-Muslim riots. Hundreds lost their lives in the violence. In September 2010, Allahabad High Court ruled that the site should be split, with the Muslim community getting control of a third, Hindus another third and the Nirmohi Akhara sect the remainder. Control of the main disputed section, where the mosque was torn down, is given to Hindus. However, in May 2011, Supreme Court suspended High Court ruling after Hindu and Muslim groups appealed against the 2010 verdict.
Modi’s and BJP Sarkar’s discriminatory policies are known to all and they used religious card and anti-Muslim sentiment for 2019 Indian elections campaign by announcing that Ram Mandir will be built. Now Indian Supreme Court on 9 November, awarded Hindus control of a disputed religious site in the town of Ayodhya for the construction of a temple, in a/an (in-) famous landmark verdict announced amid heightened security across the country, while announcing that Muslims will be given five acres of land at an alternative site in Ayodhya, in northern Uttar Pradesh state. Modi on the decision tweeted that the halls of justice have amicably concluded a matter going on for decades. Every side, every point of view was given adequate time and opportunity to express differing points of view. This verdict will further increase people’s faith in the judicial process. However, Pakistan Foreign Office responded clearly that this decision has shredded the veneer of so-called secularism of India by making clear that minorities in India are no longer safe; they have to fear for their beliefs and for their places of worship. The Indian government should ensure the protection of Muslims, their lives, rights and properties and avoid being yet again a silent spectator of Muslims becoming the victims of Hindu extremists and zealots. Where Pakistan is trying to promote regional peace and interfaith harmony, India on the other hand has always poisoned India-Pakistan relations and such moves like Ayodha Verdict challenge the lives of Muslims and other minorities living in India.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.

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