I request Sri Sri to not mediate in the Ram Janmbhoomi case, this is why
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji does not require any introduction. His work speaks for itself and his commitment towards peace is well understood. His following is huge and cuts across many countries.
However, Ram Janmbhoomi is a very different ball game. I would request Sri Sri not to mediate in this matter. For the following reasons.
When I talk about dispute I am strictly talking about dispute in Judicial domain. However, I would say the dispute started the day when Mir Baqi demolished a temple to build a mosque. This action was purely driven by hatred for infidels which was understandable in that era. Until many years later this structure was called as Masjid-e-Janmasthan. Many references like P Carnegy’s historical sketch of Faizabad (1870) and an Austrian Priest ‘Joseph Tieffenthaler who stayed in Avawdh during 70’s describe presence of Hindu temple being destroyed to build a Mosque.
This dispute dates back to the year 1885 when the first suit was filed. Despite validating the claim of the petitioner “Mahant Raghubar Das” the judge gave the verdict: “I visited the land in dispute yesterday in the presence of all parties. I found that the Masjid built by Emperor Babur stands on the border of Ayodhya, that is to say, to the west and south it is clear of habitations. It is most unfortunate that a Masjid should have been built on land specially held sacred by the Hindus, but as that event occurred 356 years ago, it is too late now to agree with the grievances. “(Court verdict by Col. F.E.A. Chamier, District Judge, Faizabad (1886), para 19, [source])
Since then 133 years have passed and Hindu bodies like Nirmohi Akhara and Gopal Singh Visharad have been using legal recourse to settle the issue. The purpose of writing a bit about the involved parties is to argue that it is not correct to become a stakeholder and propose a new solution now. This is more than a century old struggle in which many participants have given their sweat, blood and life. Many of the stakeholders are still fighting at various fronts, including Gorakhnath Peeth which spearheaded the movement in 1949.
There is no intent of a settlement or a compromise from the other side, rather they have been very malicious in their intent. Even after going through various historical accounts they carried on with this dispute, even backtracking on their promise of forfeiting the claim if the any signs of temple were found in the excavation. Intent is a core principle in any mature legal system and a clean conscious is required as a foundation to build mutual trust. The vile intent was clear when after losing the battle in the High Court the next dispute was filed in the Supreme Court name of land ownership.
When Mir Baqi attacked Ayodhya, there was no industrialization or any scarcity of land. He could have built the mosque anywhere he wanted but why did he choose to demolish a temple and build a mosque instead. This is something which the Indian Muslims as a whole need to think about. Germany moved on not because Hitler was killed, but because Germans accepted what horrible things were done to the Jews. Such was the burden of guilt that people demolished every sign of the Nazi Party including the house of Adolf Hitler.
Lord Ram is dear to many, first recorded clash over this mosque was in 1853. There shouldn’t be any dispute in saying that Babar was an invader and was not a son of the soil. There is also no dispute to say that just like Babar, Islam also came to India from outside. Just like every other place, the invaders brought their own culture and faith. It was spread with sword and seldom with love. The present Indian Muslims must not bear the burden of the invaders with whom they have got nothing to do, unless they would like to. Average Muslim faces the same problems just like any other Indian be it Sikh, Hindu, Jain or Christian etc.
This dispute is more about principle and dominance. While one party revers that site and birthplace of their lord, other party is scared of loosing its dominance. Compromising for a settlement would literally mean forfeiting our right over Kashi and Mathura. Why are we hellbent of punching below our weight? This does not mean that Hindu’s should go on reclaiming every mosque but these places hold very high significance for us.
Imagine a scenario when someone forcefully ejects you out of your house and starts living in it thinking it is his. You now confront him and produce all the necessary evidences to show that house belonged to you. Even your neighbours and your grandfather’s friend come and testify that your family have always been living there peacefully. Time passes by and that bully die. No one lives their but his friends who say that they are people of principle, do not allow you to re-posses your home. Any righteous person upon seeing the truth would except the facts and forfeit the property, but again this is not utopia and you have to knock on courts door.
Now at this point when you are fighting a legal battle tooth and nail not because you are hungry for land but because of attachment with your family home and your claim of ownership has been vindicated time and again, but at this very moment some one from your side who was never seen before, tries to make an intervention for settling this matter when other party has clearly shown their vile intent. This is what this attempt looks like.
I am yet to see a tangible argument to understand why should we forfeit our right and opt for a settlement. Who will ensure that this settlement will be accepted by all and will bring a closure to this issue. How can you assure that people who choose to be blind to all facts, evidences, strong emotions of their fellow citizens, cruelty of invaders with whom they like to share an umbilical cord out of free choice will start loving the new owners of the disputed property?
As Hindu’s we need to have a unified approach towards what we want to achieve rather than working in silos. This settlement would do injustice to all the people who have been struggling for last 133 years relentlessly in the house of Justice. Would be unfair to many karsevaks like Kothari brothers and many more devotees who have made supreme sacrifices in fighting this battle since 1528 when this mosque was build.
I would rather request Sri Sri to lend your support to the battle which are already going on than to propose a new solution. Taking a leaf out of Gandhi I would like to say “All compromises are based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”
With all my humbleness I would like to say, compromise is great, but this is not the time.