The nation’s longest case of Ramjanambhumi/Babri Masjid, Ayodhya, Faizabad, UP is now to be heard for only four days more, after Dusherra holidays, from October 14 to October 17 and then it would be curtains down, as finally the judgement over it would come on or before November 17, as Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi superannuates on that day.  As it may be easily verified through what is aired on news channels, in newspapers or otherwise what incidences of lynching of Muslims can be seen on our streets, Muslims are under extreme pressure and duress, as the onslaught on Muslims, is ‘virtually-on’ from every direction, particularly more aggressively from March 23, when BJP government took to office again, yet Muslims, by way of Babri Masjid Action Committee and  later by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (since 1993), are assiduously pursuing the Babri Masjid case, proverbially, to the extent of their last drop of blood.

Muslims are under the war of attrition as no sooner Sep 30, 2010 when Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Justice DV Sharma and Justice SU Khan, at Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, exercised their inherent powers and changed the title-suit into partition suit, and gave two-third of Babri Masjid site to Hindus and one-third to Muslims, there was a splurge from inside Muslim community to not to pursue the HC order in Supreme Court. Mushroom Muslim leadership squatted everywhere but the campaigners of Babri Masjid, albeit in a very small number, braved every storm and challenged the order in the Supreme Court on which now the final stage has arrived. The Constitution bench under CJI Rajan Gogoi, Justice SA Bodbe, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer is hearing the case on a day to day basis from August 5 onwards. The Hindu side which sustains itself from BJP’s upsurge in UP apart from it being at Center, is ecstatic and euphoric. There are already signs of celebration as UP CM Adityanath on Oct 6, has hoped that a ‘very good news awaits all’. This is all in continuation to the war-cry ( Dharam Yudh) which has been debilitating the nation to xenophobic heights, since the last three decades, on Muslims.

Muslims on their side are outright down. Driven to the wall as they scramble to the fading notions of guarantees enshrined in the Constitution. There are thousands from amongst Muslims who vehemently campaign for construction of Ram Temple at the demolished Babri Masjid site. RSS, the masters of BJP/VHP/Bajrang Dal/Shiv-Sena etc had always wanted voices for Ram Temple to sprout from inside Muslims and it got its recipe done well. Muslims instead went far ahead to declare that they would not consider Babri Masjid even as a Masjid, for it was built after demolishing Ram Temple, and the latest to join this chorus is Mehmood Madani, from Deoband, UP, and such voices are always on the increase. . No wonder, RSS is so powerful that it can start Ram Mandir construction anytime but wants Muslims to volunteer for it. But, as the dictum goes, such Muslims will be considered as usurpers to the cause of Prophet Muhammed and cousins of Meer Jafar and Meer Sadiq and would incur the heavenly curse sooner or later. There is no historical, contemporary or near contemporary or archaeological evidence that a Ram Temple was demolished to build Babri Masjid on it. Babri Masjid was demolished on Dec 6, 1992 and the top BJP/VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv-Sena leadership was demolition accused and there is not even the remotest possibility that they would ever be brought to justice. After Dec 6, 1992 hundreds of mosques were damaged and burnt all across India and thousands and thousands of Muslims lost their lives and crores of their property was also lost.

Now today in this otherwise most vitiated and polorised communal atmosphere in the country, an argument very vocally being forwarded from all corners is that what if Muslims win the case? Will Muslims then able to construct Babri Masjid on its demolished site? Hence, Muslims should surrender their claim to the wishes of Hindu community. Heads I win Tails you loose! But, Muslims have got Rajeev Dhawan as a champion of Muslim stand in the SC and with his sprawling personality, definitive legal acumen, Muslims have been able to equal-handedly put their stand in the SC.

The news snippets through newspapers show that Rajeev Dhawan from Muslim side argued in Suit No. 4 of 1989 ( Sunni Central Waqf Board V’s Rajender Singh) and for its purpose submitted a note of 14 pages regarding the recognition of the building ( Babri Masjid) as a mosque and Waqf, and in this regard, he mainly relied on the documents prepared by the government itself, including the Chief Waqf Commissioner of Avadh, Waqf Settlement Officer etc and explained to the Court that a cash of Rs 60 annually had been provided by King Zaheeruddin Babar which was used to be perpetually paid by his successors, although any Farman (Order) of Babar has not been filed by Muslims, and that this amount was enhanced to Rs 302/3Annas/6 Pie by the Nawabs of Avadh (1722-1856).  This figure has come-out from various documents submitted by Muslims, after 1951, and as such these facts have not been denied by the Hindu side. However, after the British Rule in 1861, the British government converted the same amount into a grant of land, free from rent or revenue, situated in village Sholapur and Bahoranpur, adjoining Ayodhya, Faizabad, UP.

To buttress the Muslim point 20 documents were placed inside the 14 page note, and by way of these documents it was shown; the existence of mosque since 1528, the cash grant by King Zaheeruddin Babar, continuously paid down for centuries was also established and also it did establish the Masjid being built during the regime of Babar, and thereafter, its permanent use by Muslims for their religious worship. The Muslim side through these documents tried to establish to the Court, the use of the building (Babri Masjid) by the Muslims for their religious purposes and its recognition including by the British government and the Court did not find any denial of these documents from the opposite side.

The Muslim side also did submit a note regarding the disputes pertaining to every nook and corner of the entire land allowed by the Britishers, and as per documents submitted, more than 20 cases are found to have been disposed by Executive Magistrates from time to time having jurisdiction to adjudicate petty criminal disputes, thus making it clear, that there was no dispute ever by any local Hindu and regarding Babri Masjid, it was found to find place, for only two disputes of 1858 and 1863. The first was by Amreek Singh and second from Nihang Faqeer, and in these two disputes, it may be known that these two persons had entered the Babri Masjid and sat there raising a small Chabutra (platform) and Dhooni Ramana ( burnt incense sticks) and as per orders of Magistrate Nihang Faqeer was forcibly evicted. The other dispute was also of this very nature by a Sardar (Sikh) who was removed initially, produced before the Magistrate and then by the order, his final removal was done after a submission of Bond that he would never do so. The other disputes enumerated by the Muslim side are concerning the dispute regarding the fruits of tamarind trees scattered there and also about other trees, the dispute claiming the South-East corner to be the part of someone’s house (a Non-Muslim neighbour) and that was also decided against him. One dispute was regarding white-washing of the building which was also decided in favour of Muslims.

This wholesome exercise was undertaken by Muslim side for negating the argument, quite forwarded by the other side, that Hindus had been fighting for the same for all across the period. And, it was also to impress upon the SC, about the findings recorded in this regard by J. Sudhir Agarwal (Sep 30, 2010 judgement) that it was jointly used by Hindus and Muslims stands fractured. Mushtaq Ahmed Siddiqui, senior counsel and a pioneer of Babri Masjid campaign, was present in the SC and he contended that it appeared the Hon’ble Judges have had not followed the dispute in all its essence as what transpired through some querries by J. Chandrachud and J. Bodbe it seemed that they had formed an opinion that the land on which the building of the Masjid existed was itself granted at that time (in 1861) and as such the entire assertion of Muslims that Masjid was built in 1528 stood nullified. However, Dhawan explained the things and all the five judges agreed that the grant was made for the expenses for the mosque as ‘Nankar’ which in Persian language means maintenance. Now, since the proposal for holding the Court on Saturday (October 5) has been wound up, the case would be listed on Oct 14 and in this period Dhawan would conclude his submissions, then would warrant a reply from the other side and what would lastly follow would be an ensuing rejoinder by Dhawan, and as indicated by the Court the hearing will come to an end on Oct 17 and Nov 17 or earlier will be the judgement day.  Thereafter the Court would have to burn its midnight oil to wean out the judgement from the 38 volumes it got bounded, encompassing all the documents which were scanned,their originals are also with Court, along with pleadings.

It may also be pointed out here, that the narrative, that a large number of disputes finding place in the notes and the submissions, is concerning the assertion of other side that they have always been as asserting their right ( on Babri Masjid site for centuries) and the ‘finding’ of Justice Agarwal in this regard, the Muslims side on Oct 14 shall submit yet another small note, in this regard to the Court, to emphasize, that these were the total number of disputes of which the record is available, and no dispute being by the Hindus of Ayodhya and no dispute for the Babri Masjid, except the two ( as discussed above) and that the total record of disputes now been made available from the Muhafiz Khana (Record Room) of Faizabad,  being as such produced and there been no assertion, from the other side, that there was any further record, and that these being the only total number of disputes,  it becomes quite crystal clear that no Hindu ever raised any claim for the same. Dhawan also did say that since there being no dispute to Muslim’s claim, against which Muslims, ought to have had filed the counter-claim.

Last but not the least it may be pointed that in Shiv Shankar Commission Report, which was formed after Suit No. 2 of Gopal Singh Visharad V’s Zahoor Ahmed  and others was filed in 1950, the same report was totally against Muslims, as even on the gate of Babri Masjid where the word Allah was inscribed, a paper was put and a photograph was taken and relied. But, ironically, the map prepared by Shiv-Shankar, did indicate a place for urinal which is as generally found in the mosques!

The long excruciating wait for the judgement may be getting over, but no doubt, that for such a big case, the time seem to be too short, yet it has now to conclude before the deadline, which of course won’t be such an easy task for judges, so as to eschew all the facts and bring forth the judgement, which would have the bearing on how nation would charter its future course for the coming centuries.

Yet again it is the SC where-in lies the utmost faith of Muslims, for history and evidence is what Muslims have in their saddle and ‘belief’ and brute majoritarianism is what lies in the opposite.

The writer is a lawyer, journalist and former UP State Information Commissioner.


SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER


 

Comments are closed.