When Babri Masjid had lay demolished on December 6, 1992, at the hands of Hindu fanatics, the world sympathised with Muslims of India. Muslims were outraged, betrayed and flabbergasted and resorted to legal recourse to safe Babri Masjid, which is now seeking completion, coupled with virtually nothing coming their way as far as demolition accused, which is BJP top echelon, to be anywhere near to be brought to book. Hardly, then, was not a statement of condemnation from any world media house. Our media too decried it as ‘national shame’. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif wanted to condemn it as a joint-statement with Bangladesh PM Shiekh Hasina, which Hasina refused, and both the nations condemned the act of demolition separately. Iran condemned it and likewise other Muslim nations, but today, after 27 years, the world seems to look the other way around.
The world opinion against Muslims is changed and Muslims are themselves responsible for it. The last three decades have seen Muslim countries at loggerheads with each other, the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraq-Kuwait war, the Gulf-war i.e. the entire Muslim lands have now been brought down and hardly there is a tear shed over it now. Thousands languish in Egypt jails under Sisi, Libya is destroyed, Palestinians are at the mercy of Israel with Arab nations ‘lavishing it’ with Israel. The September 11, 2001 changed the Muslim crescent; Afghanistan fell to ‘US and Allies’ due to Musharraf machinations. As US Airliners bombed Afghanistan Gujarat burnt (2002) under Narendra Modi as CM without a blip from anywhere, BJP then PM AB Vajpayee reminded Modi of Raj Dharma and wanted him to step down but LK Advani, the one who charioted the Muslim pogroms throughout the nation in 1992, halted Modi ouster and later Modi scripted Advani abject alienation which is still to find a parallel in history. US and Europe banned Modi to visit their counties but are more than happy to play host to him. The noises accusing Modi of a Muslim holocaust have long got drowned under the successive Modi regimes now underway. Rajiv Gandhi Foundation headed by Sonia Gandhi found Gujarat to be ‘number one’ state under Modi in 2005. More than 2000 Muslims had perished in riots under Modi in 2002.
Babri Masjid had brought a bad name for India. It was considered barbaric and an act of fanaticism by Hindus but with the flow of media and its cable network becoming household, the nefarious and blood-cuddling stories and live streams from Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Baluchistan, Pakistan, Myanmar etc where Muslims are just a killing-field and their conflicts coming to no end in any way future has left Muslims in India in a far more deeper lurch with no one even coming forward for a lip-service for them. Muslims all over the world are a whipping-boy, forced as millions to spend their nights under open sky as refugees, and all across the globe Islamophobia is fueling and as its corollary adding to the rise of vitriolic far right in Europe and US, the way it has happened in India too. Perhaps, Muslims are never in their history being loathed for all what they are. There are now thousands of Hindu individuals openly abhorring Muslims and Islam and abusive language (sic) towards Prophet of Islam has become an order of day in India. Hindus are hobnobbing with Qadiyanis of Pakistan and the likes of Daniel Pipes (Jew), Ashin Wirathu (Buddhist) of Bodu Bala Sena etc against their common enemy. A large number of Shias in India, a sect amongst Muslims, though unknowingly, are adding to Hindu ammunition, providing intellectual (sic) fiber to Hindu-Right onslaught on Muslims at large. What however is doubly unfortunate is that when a Palestine dies the world knows it but when even thousands (Muslims) die, as happened in Nellie (Assam) in 1983, there was never a voice from any international forum on it. The list just added to the once unknown Muslim massacre of Jammu (November 1947)! Is the world even remotely known to independent India’s first Muslim massacre in which 1800 had died (Nellie) within six-hours. No wonder, Muslims in India have their own set of Bosnia, Kosovo, Sabra Shatila etc which have been into vogue, at frequent intervals, from the past 70 years.
It is under such atrocious international atmosphere Muslims are bracing to the Supreme Court to decide in the Ramjanambhumi/Babri Masjid, Ayodhya, Faizabad, UP case, where the judgement is likely to come within a fortnight from now. Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Nazeer constitution bench is to deliver justice in the case in which on Sep 30, 2010 Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had decided that two-third of Babri Masjid site be given to Hindus and one-third of it to Muslims, which was challenged by both sides in the SC. Muslims are fighting for Babri Masjid built in Ayodhya in 1528 by Malikul Mulk Zaheer-ud-Din Babar which is claimed by Hindus to have been built by destroying Lord Rama temple and which is the birth spot of Lord Rama too, based on belief, whereas, there is no historical, contemporary, near-contemporary or archaeological proof that there was ever a temple destroyed and Babri Masjid built on it. CJI Rajan Gogoi is to retire on Nov 17.
Hindus are already in jubilation as hardly there is anyone left from BJP/Shiv-Sena/ RSS/ VHP/Bajrang Dal etc, in over the years, who has not echoed that judgement would favour Hindus, together that they would never abide if it comes against Hindus as ‘belief’ is out of the purview of SC to decide, although now the same bodies are exhorting everyone to comply with the outcome whatever it be. However, Muslims have always maintained to go by the verdict.
The newspapers and media are all agog with news on the subject. On Oct 30, on Indian Express front page a picture of CJI designate SA Bobde receiving a bouquet from PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to PM, in his traditional (dhoti-kurta) attire with vermilion on forehead has appeared , and a Page-One anchor the next day in the same newspaper where as his idea of justice he has said that ‘there is an element in justice called equity. Equity is different, equity is something you consider where does truth lie, what is the hardship that will be caused to litigants, what is the larger goal that will be achieved.’ Thereafter in an interview with NDTV, available on Youtube, he expressed in Hindi hai hai hai hai ( yes yes yes yes) on mutual respect between the government and judiciary and that the relationship is alright and the system is going well. On his experience of working with (outgoing CJI) Rajan Gogoi he pointed that he had a nice relationship with him and that he (CJI) always gave him a support of a solid colleague and the best habit he (CJI) has is that he(CJI) talks to everyone and then he (CJI)decides and that he (CJI) has always discussed things before taking a decision to which the anchor referred to be as a ‘change’. As a message to a common person who is hopeful of SC he ( J. Bobde) asked to ‘keep faith’ and then as a last answer on Ayodhya judgement he said that it would be a milestone and a big and a very important decision for everyone. Throughout the interview he looked relaxed reclining on his left hand as he sat on his sofa. He will be the 47th CJI of India.
SC is now to finally adjudicate on something which will decide the future course of India as a secular country where democracy and rule of law will march forward together. It is true that the suit in question is a representative suit of Muslims and Hindus and where Muslims have a very strong case, based on evidence , whereas, Hindus are banking on ‘belief’. Muslims, despite the monumental odds have fought for Babri Masjid to this stage. Hindus have a list of 40,000 mosques to be taken back from Muslims apart from Kashi and Mathura as their immediate agenda. This is apart from the fact that Muslim lynching is going on uninterrupted across India. The gruesome murder of Afrazul in Rajsamand ( 2018, on Youtube) is the face of New India under Modi. Is India brimming for its Muslim Kristallnacht the same way it is taking place in neighboring China?
Precisely, so as to say, SC either will decide entirely in Muslim favour or entirely in Hindu favour, or may uphold the Sep 30, 2010 verdict or lastly it may acquiesce to Article 142 of Constitution which has one such provision that empowers the SC to pass such “decree or order as may be necessary for doing complete justice between the parties.” Now here what warrants a reference from SC earlier judgement in Ismail Farooqui Vs Union of India 1994, needs to be put into perspective ‘Ayodhya is a storm that will pass. The dignity and honour of the Supreme Court cannot be compromised because of it’, was decreed by Justice MV Verma, Justice G Ray and Justice S Bharucha.
The writer is a lawyer, journalist and former UP State Information Commissioner.