Still living in the past


When we talk of India, decades long communal violence and disputes between two major religious groups come to mind. And with talk of disputes, Babri Masjid case and Hashim Ansari go hand-in-hand. Ansari is the main petitioner against the closure of the mosque in 1949 and declaration of the site as disputed property. Ansari’s petition lingered on in the UP High Court for decades with no resolution but on the ground real changes kept happening — mosque was demolished by hundreds of charged and well-trained right-wing Hindu activists in Dec 1992. It’s alleged that the demolition took place with the tactical nod of the then central government of Congress. Needless to say that then UP government of BJP facilitated the Hindu activists to proceed with the task without any hindrance.

Congress played the dirty role only for not letting BJP to make the mosque demolition as part of upcoming elections campaign. Obviously it was a hilarious victory for BJP to achieve something it was struggling for years. Both Congress and BJP got what they were looking for — only secularism was pushed aside as not a viable strategy to govern India. When these changes were happening on ground, UP High Court was still pondering on the petition. The verdict came after almost six decades, but was not accepted by many and the case was referred to the Supreme Court. No one expects another verdict any time soon. That’s why 92-year-old Ansari has decided not to be an active petitioner any more.

He has a point: did Muslims get anything from the court? When the answer is no, why then waste energy and resources on a futile case and compromise on peace? It’s sad that the Indian Muslims lack a visionary leadership which can make an out of the court deal with the right-wing Hindu parties to shift the mosque to an alternate location on the condition that this deal will close all such disputed cases forever. They need to figure out what lies ahead; their future is linked with an India which is progressing forward, not connected with the past when invaders from Central Asia were the rulers of India. Now it’s the ballet not the bullet which decides the future of a community, and the country.


Jubail, Saudi Arabia