NATIONAL POLITICS & ECONOMY: Ayodhya case a confluence of mythology, scriptures, firmans, history & archaeology – the ‘subconscious conscience’ of a united secular India, now to climb the annals of 21st century world history to its greatest heights ?!! Good for the Indian Economy, Indian Sensex to gently continue its upward trend till after the Games, provided no untoward terrorism incidents take place ?!!
From Yahoo News
Forwarded by Gorkhs Daju
Thu, Sep 30 05:52 AM: The six-decade-old Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is a case with unique features. The arguments advanced by the counsels involves references from not only case laws but also mythology, religious scriptures, firmans issued by different emperors of medieval India, extracts from gazetteers and travelogues, besides history and archaeology.
This is one rare legal battle in which the court ordered for excavations at the disputed site and also got old revenue records examined by the Forensic Science Laboratory.
As per the court order in March 2003, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had excavated near the site from March 12, 2003 to August 7, 2003. On August 22, 2003, the ASI presented its report to the court.
Following the ASI report, the parties involved consulted archaeology experts from various parts of the country. “Prominent historian Professor R S Sharma was very helpful,” said Zafarayab Jilani, who is counsel for the Sunni Central Board of Waqf. “It was a new subject for me and Professor Sharma helped me connect with the experts of archaeology across the country.”
Jilani approached prominent experts to understand the ASI report — including Professor Ashok Dutta, then Head of Department, Calcutta University, Professor Shereen Ratnagar (JNU) and Professor R C Thakran (then in Archaeology department, Delhi University).
Besides, Dr R Nagaswami, the expert on art and temples, R D Trivedi, retired director of ASI and A K Sharma, retired superintending archaeologist of ASI have also had a role in the case. Documents related to revenue records were presented in the court in support of the claim and counter-claims.
“The court got examined many old documents by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Lucknow. Since the case involves several references from the pre-Independence days, it was but natural to seek help from the FSL,” recalled Ranjana Agnihotri — counsel for defendant Swami Swaroopanand. The senior lawyer of Calcutta High Court, P N Mishra, who has argued on behalf of Swami Swaroopanand, say this is one of the rare legal battles in which the Supreme Court would be first appellate court.
Mishra, who was in Lucknow on September 23, said: “I did a research on several books on Islam and Hindu religions for better presentation of my arguments. I explored my links in different libraries not only in India but also in London and Britain.”
According to him, he also approached his connections in Saudi Arab to get prominent books on Islam and their translated version. Another unique feature of this case is association of a large number of high court judges with the Special Bench that has been handling the Ayodhya title suits since 1989. All cases related to Ayodhya were withdrawn from Faizabad to Ayodhya in July 1989. Since 1989, the Special Bench has been reconstituted at least 13 times. Over 15 High Court Justices got associated with the Bench in the last two decades.
Ayodhya dispute – Land to be divided into three parts – the best that India could do in a sticky & hoary situation ?!!
From Yahoo News
Thu, Sep 30 05:16 PM: The Allahabad HC today in the Ayodhya land title case has ordered that the disputed holy site in Ayodhya be divided into three parts: one-third for Hindu Mahasabha, one-third for Sunni Waqf Board and one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara.
The court ruled that the land on which the idol of Lord Rama stood belonged to the Hindus and part of the land under the central dome of the Babri Masjid was the Ram Janamsthan which will go to the Hindus.
The court has also ruled that the site will be in status quo for the next three months.
The three-member bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising justices SU Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and DV Sharma today delivered a split verdict in 60-year old Ayodhya title suit.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday decided by majority that the site where a makeshift Ram Lalla temple exists is where Hindu god Ram was born, lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The Allahabad High court has dismissed the Wakf board’s plea. There is no dispute on the fact of that it was Ram’s birthplace. The Ayodhya land willbe divided into three parts
Earlier, the Supreme Court had deferred its ruling on the pronouncement of the Ayodhya verdict by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
The verdict on ownership of the religious site was to have come on Sept. 24 from the lower court in Uttar Pradesh, but the top court suspended that imminent verdict last week, responding to arguments that a chance should be given to reconciliation in the 60-year-old case.
The court also issued notice to all the parties to the title suit and asked Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati to be present in the court when the case is heard.
The ruling followed a petition by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chandra Tripathi seeking postponement of the high court verdict at least until the end of the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games. It sought the court’s direction to the parties to explore possibilities of an out of court amicable settlement.
There was a divergence of views in the apex court bench of Justices R.V. Ravindran and H.L. Gokhale. According to the bench, while one member felt that the special leave petition be dismissed, another was of the view that notice be issued and the order stayed.
Under the convention, when one member of the bench favours the issuance of notice though the other member of the bench disagrees, notices are issued. Stating this, Justice Ravindran passed the order staying the pronouncement of the Ayodhya verdict by a week and issue of notice to all parties to the suit.
Lawyers of both sides in the case – Hindu and Muslim litigants – welcomed the Supreme Court decision, saying a verdict in the case could not be put off indefinitely as the chances of a reconciliation after years of litigation were slim.
“Right now there is no possibility. Any reconciliation will happen only after the … judgement,” Zafaryab Jilani, lawyer of the Sunni Central Board of Waqf, the Muslim litigants, said.
Tripathi’s petition was turned down by the three-judge special bench of the Allahabad High Court last week. While two judges S.U. Khan and Sudhir Agrawal rejected the application, the third judge, Dharam Veer Sharma, allowed the plea, following which Tripathi chose to move the apex court.
The Allahabad High court will rule on Thursday whether Hindus or Muslims own land around a demolished mosque in Ayodhya, a judgement haunted by memories of 1992 riots that killed some 2,000 people.
Those riots were some of the country’s worst religious violence since Partition in 1947 and a verdict on the case may spark more disturbances between India’s majority Hindus and minority Muslims.
The verdict will add to the security worries of the government, which already has its hands full dealing with the preparations for the Commonwealth Games that are bedeviled by concerns over filthy accommodation and health and security.
The case over the 16th century Babri mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town is one of the biggest security challenges in India this year, along with a Maoist insurgency and a Kashmiri separatist rebellion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
Hindus and Muslims have quarrelled for more than a century over the history of the Babri mosque.
Hindus claim that the mosque stands on the birthplace of their god-king Rama, and was built after the destruction of a Hindu temple by a Muslim invader in the 16th century.
The dispute flared up in 1992 after a Hindu mob destroyed the mosque and nearly 2,000 were killed in rioting between Hindus and Muslims across the country.
Court splits Ayodhya mosque site between religions – to live forever in secular harmony without rousing terrorism passions that knows no religion nor humanity ?!!
From Yahoo News
(Added reporting by Henry Foy, Krittivas Mukherjee, Matthias Williams, and C.J. Kuncheria in New Delhi; Ketan Bondre and Surojit Gupta in Mumbai; Bappa Majumdar in Ayodhya; Writing by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Paul de Bendern)
Thu, Sep 30 08:21 PM: A court ruled on Thursday that the site of a demolished mosque in Ayodhya would be split between Hindus and Muslims, dousing immediate fears of a violent backlash in one of the country’s most religiously divisive cases.
The Uttar Pradesh court also ruled Hindus will be allowed to keep a makeshift temple that was built over the demolished central mosque dome, sparking celebrations by priests who dipped in a nearby river chanting “The temple is now ours”.
The 1992 demolition of the 16th century mosque in northern India by Hindu mobs triggered some of India’s worst riots that killed about 2,000 people. More than 200,000 police fanned out in India on Thursday to guard against any communal violence.
If the ruling soothes tensions, it would be a boost for the ruling Congress party, a left-of-centre group with secular roots, that does not want to upset either voter bloc. Major political parties had called for calm.
“I know that often it is only a few mischief makers who create divisions in our society,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement.
“I would appeal to my countrymen to be vigilant and not let such people succeed in disrupting peace and harmony.”
The verdict was handed down days before Sunday’s opening of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, with the government wanting to project an image of stability and modernity to the world.
“Nobody has won. Nobody has lost,” Yashwant Sinha, a leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, told local television. “Let’s not look at this as a victory for anyone.”
Muslims did appear the biggest losers. But Muslim organisations were measured in their response, careful not to inflame public tensions in a country where they account for only 13 percent of the 1.2 billion plus population.
There were no immediate reports of violence after the ruling.
“It was a very sensible judgment and the court has tried to balance the parties,” said Anil Verma, a political analyst. “Apportioning one-third to the Muslims means they have not completely lost.”
Commentators said the verdict was unlikely to spark widespread riots that hit the financial capital Mumbai and other cities in 1992. There is little electoral headway to be made in egging on religious riots in post-economic reform India.
The 2-1 majority verdict gave two-thirds of the key parts of the disputed land to Hindus — one third each to two different Hindu groups — and one third to Muslims.
Hindu inhabitants of Ayodhya town — under a security lockdown for a week — lit candles and lamps outside their homes.
MUSLIM DISAPPOINTMENT – but natural in a secular India ?!!
Many Muslim organisations expressed some disappointment but called for reconciliation, resting hopes in an appeal by Muslim lawyers to the Supreme Court in New Delhi.
“The judgment can begin a process of reconciliation,” Kamal Farooqi, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said.
From the capital New Delhi to Mumbai and towns of the northern Hindu “cow belt” along the holy Ganges river, many Indians waited with apprehension on the verdict, some staying at home and stocking up with food.
“Everybody is very happy with the verdict. People were scared but now everything seems to be normal. People are now opening their shops,” said Ghulam Mohammad Sheik, a social worker in Mumbai.
The verdict’s outcome will be a barometer of whether a rapidly globalising India with a growing middle class and an interest in investor stability has shed some of the religious extremism that often marred its post-independence years.
“I just think there is a moment in which we have to agree with ourselves as modern people to live in the modern world,” British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie told NDTV broadcaster before the verdict was announced.
Wakf Board to move SC against Allahabad HC order – mature humanitarian politics that the entire world may now admire ?!!
From Yahoo News
Lucknow, Thu, Sep 30 06:21 PM (PTI): Sunni Wakf Board today said it will move the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court order dividing the disputed land in Ayodhya among three parties and said they were not going to surrender it. “We will appeal against the division of disputed land among three parties,” Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani told reporters here.
“HC”s formula of one-third land is not acceptable to the Waqf Board and it will appeal against it in the apex court,” he said. He said they were not going to surrender the land.
However, he said, the Sunni Board is open to any negotiated settlement on the issue if such a proposal for negotiations for a settlement came to it. “Talks can happen if a proposal comes,” he said.
Jilani said the Board has time to appeal in the SC as status quo would be maintained for the next 90 days. “The Board will move the apex court after a meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
We are not in hurry as we have 90 days time to appeal as a matter of right,” Jilani said. He said personally he did not agree with the findings of the three judges.
Jilani said the possibility of an amicable solution still exist provided there was a proposal to this effect. “This proposal would be tabeled before the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for consideration but we won”t accept any proposal to surrender,” he said.
“The judgement pronounced in the case relating to Babri Masjid is not only partly disappointing but also against the settled principles of law and evidence adduced by the Muslim side,” Jilani said. “However much cannot be said at this stage as we are yet to study the judgement in detail.
Still, we are of the firm view that no public resentment is required as the matter can be taken to the SC and there is no reason for any loss of hope in favour of the Mosque,” he added.
Verdict not a win or loss, invite all to help build temple – RSS – plus many a mosque ?!! now an opposition with a ‘conscience of sorts’ but still to have more empathy for the minorities ?!! The new image of Stalwart Jaswant Singh’s version of Hindutva ?!!
From Yahoo News
New Delhi, Thu, Sep 30 05:49 PM (PTI): Appealing for restraint, the RSS today said the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suit should not been seen as anybody”s victory or defeat and sought people”s support for construction of a Ram temple. “The judgement has paved the way for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The judgement is not a win or loss for anybody. We invite everybody, including Muslims, to help build the temple,” Sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat told reporters.
“The court verdict should not be seen as anybody”s victory or defeat,” he reiterated.
Bhagwat also said the joy and happiness over the verdict should find expression in a “controlled and peaceful manner” within the limits of law and constitution.
“Uncalled for provocation must be avoided,” he said adding, the movement for a Ram temple was “not a reactionary one nor it is against any particular community.” Bhagwat also appealed to the Muslims to “forget the past”.