Politicians, public display rare maturity

Three-month status quo gives chance for an out-of-court settlement

Politicians, public display rare maturity

While the BJP was of the opinion that the judgment has upheld its stand over the right of the Hindus to construct a temple in Ayodhya, the Congress-led UPA heaved a sigh of relief that the entire country remained virtually calm after the judgment was pronounced in the afternoon.

There is a visible converging point in the reactions of the Congress and the BJP with both welcoming the judgment and hoping that it would lead to a permanent settlement of the century-old issue. The two major political parties and all the parties to the dispute acted with great maturity – the verdict’s outcome was also a test for all of them – and the result was there for all to see. Almost every party stressed that there was no loser or gainer. And the court verdict would go a long way in helping achieve communal harmony in the country.

The judgment had a calming impact on the political parties and interested organisations on  both sides of the fence. The court pronouncements are seen as “politically neutral”, giving a gentle push to the possibility of collective settlement of the contentious issue that almost divided the two largest communities and triggering violence. 

The appeal against the court verdict in the Supreme Court is expected but that may not come in the way of parties to carry on a simultaneous “out-of-court settlement” now that the judgment had divided the disputed land among the three litigants – Ramjanmbhumi Nyas, Sunni Wakf Board and Nirmohi Akhada.  

The status quo for three months as granted by the court may give enough time for another attempt at reconciliation by all the parties involved.

The leaders of the parties exhibited maturity as people across the country showed tolerance. Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said the judgment narrowed down the possibility of victory of any party. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha noted the important and welcome feature of the verdict: that all parties have called for peace and sanity. “Let us not look at petty advantages or losses. Public opinion and media showed a sense of maturity which is heartwarming, let us keep the spirit alive”. In his early reaction, All India Muslim Board member Kamal Farooqui said the court’s verdict is for “the co-existence” of Mandir-Mosque at the disputed site.

However, the BJP has reasons to be happy over the majority verdict as most of its contentious points have been answered positively. As most political leaders and analysts have said, the Muslim groups, especially youth from the community, showed great sense of maturity and tolerance at the outcome of the verdict.

There is however, an opinion that the verdict may weaken the criminal case in the entire saga – those responsible for the razing of the Babri Masjid in 1992 are gloating today. Senior advocate Soli Sorabjee says the verdict would not have a bearing on the criminal case.

Now, it is over to the Supreme Court as most parties to the dispute have said that they would move the apex court.

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