Thursday, September 30, 2010

Verdict of Ayodhya : A 21st century perspective

Finally Lucknow High Court delivered the much awaited verdict on Ram Janmbhoomi versus Babri Masjid debate. Instead of reading from News Papers, I started reading the court orders (available in this link) and somewhat shocked on the level of disagreement and ambiguity among the Honorable Judges on issues which are expected to sync after the monumental evidences being brought to the case for last 13 years. For example Justice S U Khan observed :

3. No temple was demolished for constructing the mosque.
4. Mosque was constructed over the ruins of temples which were lying in utter ruins since a
very long time before the construction of mosque and some material thereof was used in
construction of the mosque.

On the same issue of demolition of Rama Temple by the Muslim invaders,
Hon'ble Dharma Veer Sharma is certain:

3. Whether the mosque was built after demolishing a
Hindu temple?
The disputed structure was constructed on the site of old
structure after demolition of the same. The Archaeological
Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive
Hindu religious structure.

Honerable Sudhir Agarwal is rather more agnostic towards this issue. Also there are stern differences among the judges on the issues of whether it is the birth place of Lord Rama. Honerable Veer Sharma's statement on this matter that , this temple is the birth place because Hindus believe in so, makes me nervous because then any group can claim to any property just by belief! What is the status-qua of belief in the eyes of Indian constitution?

To me, even these are minor issues. What bothered me most is the clear indication that Honorable S U Khan and D V Sharma could not rise above their religious identity. Root cause of Ayodhya dispute is the venom of religious identity which is poured to our head by our families when we were kids. Research in Social Science conforms firmly that sense of religious identity is born into a teen's head in his or her impressionable age when their families teach them that they are a separate group to boost them with a false sense of pride. Therefore Ayodhya becomes a battle line for those who believe themselves as a Hindu or Muslim. I am sure those
who believe themselves as Indian must have cherished for a University or Hospital instead of a Temple or Mosque on that disputed land.

Because modern India, the new image of India lies in her ability to compete with NASA by ISRO, by millions of software engineers who made us proud as software super house, by thousands of young scientists for whom every multinational is establishing R&D in Delhi or Bangalore and because of India's successful corporate management which has launched Tata, Reliance, Infy, Wipro and Mittal as global brand, we can't project ourselves like kids fighting for Rama or Allah.

And then there are scope to do more as we are also ashamed to be the nation with highest numbers of illiterates, beggars and malnutritioned kids. We are seating on environmental bomb in India. Now instead of solving our real problems like soaring food price, if we fight like a kid over Allah vs Rama as if they are Spider man vs Superman ( frankly speaking to an atheist, that is as much of importance we can attach to them) , who are going to benefit?