The judgement to be announced on September 6 will be about the piece of land. The media has one more topic to create fear and then try to assuage the dread. Since the Vishwa Hindu Parishad held a core meeting in July, some fellow from the Helal Committee and a tea stall owner, one Muslim, one Hindu (cute) are afraid because when that happened in 1992, there was also a four month gap. Are these guys calculators?
Then there are cops stationed outside and someone “lowers his voice” and says they were there the last time too! They have been there all these years, the site has been fenced. What do they expect? It has nothing to do with judgement day but the way things have been.
To make the event more interesting in what the TOI refers to as the ‘temple town’ – could someone tell me how many temples are there and how many are regularly visited as pilgrim sites? – we have the sadhus enter the fray:
Recently, Ayodhya woke up to another high drama—this time a non-stop recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, 11 times in 121 temples, to mark the official launch of the Hanumat Shakti Jagran Anushthan—a four-month long saffron jamboree to “awaken the somnolent Hindu pride”. “Lord Hanuman, say scriptures, needs to be reminded of his might now and then. He tends to be quite oblivious of his true potential,” says Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the burly head of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.
Sitting in the Maniram Chhavni, a sprawling marble fortress amid a bevy of guntotting security men, the mahant insists it is purely an apolitical and religious affair. “We are seeking His intervention to rehabilitate Ramlalla, and no offence meant to anyone,” he said with a smile.
They have every right to do their recitation, but why does a man of god need gun-toting security men? How is it apolitical when the idea is to rehabilitate the idol, which was a political act? Is Hindu pride dependant on such recitations and how will it get awakened? Why does Lord Hanuman have to be reminded of his might now? And why does he have to intervene when the case is in the courts and there is no Sita to be saved, for the marauders were the ones using the name of Hanuman’s hero, Ram?
Whatever the court verdict, and I hope politicians stay out of it and not make political capital, it will help the vote banking parties, and they run across the spectrum. I am not particularly concerned about who gets the property. And I hope Muslims just accept the judgement on it. The mosque has gone.
However, no Indian citizen should permit anyone to take charge of the site until those who were responsible for the demolition and the engineered riots and deaths are punished. Not a single individual must go scot-free. Not the cops, not the politicians, not the bureaucrats, not the religious leaders, not the lumpen elements who can be identified.
And make sure that the compensation monies are paid with interest for all these years when people have been at the mercy of the Establishment. This was not separatists; they were people who get elected and who in fact came to power after this. They are paid to look after our interest and to protect every citizen. If citizens commit any crime, there is a judicial process where they must be tried.
Just in case these leaders forget, they happen to be citizens of India too and they darn well be treated like us.