‘At Ground Zero, nothing will change’

Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui | TNN

Right from a six-year-old to a 60-plus citizen, ask anyone about his perception of the high court verdict on Ayodhya title suit and the answer would be: One, it will clear the way for the construction of temple; or, two the restoration of mosque at the disputed site. Some may even express concern over widespread communal violence after the verdict.

However, those familiar with the details of the case take a modest view of the scope of the verdict as well as its fallout.
Parties associated with the title suit believe that the verdict will bring no change at all in the present status of the disputed site even remotely and, hence, all fears of widespread violence are hugely exaggerated.
“The verdict will have no impact at all on the disputed site. Nothing will change at all. Not even in the near future. Whatever is going on at the site will continue unabated,” says Zafaryab Jilani, counsel for Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board — one of the parties in the title suit.
Jilani says the judgment will focus mainly on three aspects: If the disputed spot in Ayodhya was the exact birthplace of Lord Ram; if a temple existed there before 1538 when Mughal general Mir Baqi built the mosque and named it after Emperor Babar; and whether the mosque was built in accordance with the tenets of Islam.
The parties associated with the suit insist that the verdict will deal with the past of the vexed issue, rather than its present or future. This explains why it will not have any impact on what obtains at the disputed site now — a makeshift temple at the site where Babri Masjid once stood. As there will be no change in the status, there will be no reason for frayed tempers because of the verdict, they say.
Besides this, the parties involved in the suit also agree that irrespective of the nature of the verdict or who wins the case, the judgment is sure to be taken to the Supreme Court. This, too, in turn, will restrict the possibilities of any change at the disputed site. “We believe that the issue may be a complex one, but must be resolved peacefully and we are ready to chip in to ensure that peace is maintained,” says Ranjit Lal, counsel for Nirmohi Akhara.

The reason why fears of trouble breaking out in the wake of the verdict are discounted is that the dispute no longer evokes passions of the same intensity as it did till the mid-90s. Yet, CM Mayawati is reluctant to leave anything to chance. While opposition has blamed the BSP government for creating what they call an unnecessary hype on security front, top cops say it’s better to be prepared for any eventuality.


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