The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi verdict by the Supreme Court on November 09, 2019 buried the intoxicating fumes of puritanical rigidity in the closet—a potboiler for egregious warfare of extreme religiosity. The verdict is out but still a grim shadow of dejection and perfidy looms around the Muslim community who are reluctant to accept that beliefs and traditions cannot be perforated by a palpable jurisprudence.
Who is happier—the Hindus with a land so sacrosanct to them, a land bearing the thumps and crawls of the magnificent Lord ram or the Muslims who have been granted a 5 acre land to construct a mosque?
Is it a validation to the unflinching devotion of Hindus or a denial of the 450 year old structure where Muslims too have atavistically called on prayers and worship?
Will the verdict leave behind years of rabble-rousing and political chicanery of declaring one’s religion to be more sanctimonious?
These questions need an assertive answer in a democratic set-up so that religion does not become a pointer to excavate Palaeolithic stones and bricks. The book “Sunrise over Ayodhya” by Salman Khurshid presents a cornucopia of well-documented facts about the judicial process that gave the ignominious dispute a closure. The author, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, unabashedly opens about the carcinogenic emotional perceptibility of religion, if politicised for personal gains.
We all witnessed the obstreperous cavalcade of riots that followed after the demolition of Babri Masjid. The betrayal and impertinence felt by the Muslim community flagged irresponsible behaviour on part of our government and the so called sycophants of the political leaders who ordered the desecration of the tombs. It was as if Muslims had finally received their comeuppance of being the unwelcomed invaders. So, who takes the platter was a difficult decision and required deep penetrations into the past and religious ethics of both the Hindus and Muslims. The book addresses the pile of events starting 1528, when the mosque was built by Emperor Babur taking forward how Hindus and Muslims have created their own periphery of devotion within the disputed land.
The author expatiates about different religions, especially Hinduism and the relevance of Vedas and importance of idol worship. The ideological reference to Hinduism is a predecessor of an inclination to make religion as a way of life. Its helps a layman to understand the futuristic implications of living in a majority ruled Hindu nation.
The book expatiates the flow of events to present the case of possessory title. The verdict still attracts debate and will always be sighted with ambiguity and discordance. Every page in the book take you closer to the day of verdict, leaving no stone unturned in giving a realistic purview of the judicial process. At the end of the book, opinions will waver and may call for idiosyncratic beliefs to take over, but what is applaudable is that both the communities have accepted the verdict with nobility and equanimity.
Thought provoking and extremely gripping….