The monumental decision regarding the Ayodhya issue was postponed by a week, subjecting avid enthusiasts like me to a nail-biting wait. Being born in the time when the Babri Masjid had been recently demolished, my earliest memories of the issue were the television footage of the investigation commissioned by the government of India. Time and again, the Ayodhya issue would crop up in the media and the newspapers, seeping into conversations and debates, triggering a brief religious divide, a pestilence that would refuse to budge.
Years after the first bloody spatter, do we finally see the end of a long winded trial that has served its time?
But like all major disputes, the Ayodhya issue is based more on religious instigation and assumptions than fact and rationalized actions. The history is always written by the victorious.
The Ayodhya dispute dates back to 1885 when the first petition was filed by Hindus, to obtain permission for offering prayers in the structure of Babri Masjid, for it was believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama, a prominent Hindu deity. The British government fenced off the site in 1859, and both Hindus and Muslims were allowed to offer prayers in the structure. Over the years suits were filed by Hindus and Muslims, staking claim on the land. The issue is essentially centered around 60 feet by 40 feet of land where the Babri Masjid used to stand till it was demolished by a political rally in 1992. The result was a violent communal riot across the country, claiming the lives of more than 2000 people.
There was a brief period of harmony when the Muslims and Hindus worshiped in the same structure. Though it was partial towards Muslims, considering the documented evidence supporting the presence of the Masjid, the significance of the period is imperative. It suggests that the same can be implemented once more, instead of an invitation to communal violence and bloodied history that may arise due to a one-sided decision of the court.
The outcome of the Ayodhya issue will be important to my generation, it will either herald a closure to an issue that has been chewed, ruminated and discussed far too many times, or will be the beginning of a new divide.
The maturity of the public is at stake as we accept the decision by a government that has been elected for us, by us and which is comprised of us, and the grace with which we do so will be critically examined by the coming generation and the ones after that.
It’s a moment when history will be made by the best of our actions, which may or may not result in peace, but will always be remembered as the stepping stone for bridging gaps.