Supreme Court Suggests Mediation for Ayodhya Dispute; Mixed Reactions Follow
On a day that the Supreme Court advised an out-of-court settlement of the Babri Masjid issue, newly-sworn in Uttar Pradesh government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today approved the construction of the Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya.
He said though the RSS was not directly involved in the litigation, it would support any decision taken by the 'Dharma Sansad, ' which spearheaded the Ram Janmabhumi movement. The BJP and the RSS "welcomed" the suggestion, while the Congress adopted a cautious line, saying: "There should either be a consensus-based solution, which will go a long way in ensuring lasting peace and goodwill, or the Supreme Court should adjudicate the case on merit".
The Babri Masjid Action Committee, a party in the Babri Masjid - Ram Temple case, on Tuesday while reacting on the Supreme Court proposal expressed reservation over the possibilty of any "out-of-court" settlement of the dispute. The court asked him to consult the parties and inform it about the decision on March 31. "We encourage negotiations and mediations, even pre-litigation mediation and post-litigation mediation", Chaudhary, who is Minister of State for Law and Justice, told reporters in the Parliament premises.
Chief Justice Khehar said the negotiated settlement is the best course for resolving the dispute and offered himself or other members of the bench to act as mediators. These are issues of religion involving sentiments. The court asked parties concerned to sit together to arrive at a consensus.
The advice of the SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar has lend credence to the rumours that with the election of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of UP, the BJP may be on the verge of fulfilling an electoral promise listed in its poll manifesto.
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Muslim organisations, including the Babri Masjid Action Committee, which is a party to the case, were sceptical about the possibility of an out-of-court settlement in the light of past failures.
"The RSS will not decide it. This is a matter of faith", he told the CJI, while seeking an early hearing.
■ BJP leader Subramanian Swamy: "We were always ready". Mandir and Masjid should be built but Masjid should be built on other side of Sarayu river.
Historian Meenakshi Jain, who has emphasised the mischief of the Left historians in an earlier work, Rama and Ayodhya, goes further in her latest work, The Battle for Rama, to prove that the demolition of the temple on which the masjid was built was accepted by many Muslim sources themselves. Local cleric Maulana Tabrez Ahmad said, "We don't want to fight as in Ayodhya, Hindus and Muslims are living together and the problem is only because of this mandir-masjid dispute".
The above Twitter reaction seemingly came from a right-wing account which looks fairly supportive of constructing the Ram Temple.
People from all over the state and special invitees, whose list is yet to be finalised, are expected to take part in the ceremony. The BJP, which did not field any Muslim candidate in UP, has appointed former cricketer Mohsin Raza as a minister of state.
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