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Listen, Mister Muslim. You are rightly upset with the Ayodhya verdict as it puts faith above law Listen, Mister Muslim. You are rightly upset with the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya land dispute as it puts faith above law.

Not for the first time, secular India has let you down. But truth to tell, you too have let secular India down. This is not to rub salt in your wound. But to point out that Muslims as a community are guilty of the very same thing they are accusing the Supreme Court of: Pitching Shariah law against the Indian Constitution, faith against the law of the land. The rigid, intransigent Islam that our ulema and political leadership continue to preach leaves us little space for manoeuvre or room to negotiate a respectable place for ourselves in a secular-democratic polity.

Such inflexibility is bound to land us in the ditch, again and again, be it on the question of a masjid, triple talaq , Muslim Personal Law in general, or the issue of population control. The consequence: Secular-minded Indians were outraged, while Hindutva organisations grabbed the opportunity to up the ante. If the law can be changed in deference to Muslim religious sentiments, what about Hindu religious sentiments?

In a balancing act, the Rajiv government engineered the opening of the locks of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. In Islamic Saudi Arabia any number of mosques have been demolished or relocated for road widening and other public purposes. This should have been a wake-up call for Muslims. But as riot after riot claimed more and more Muslim lives, the leadership remained blind to the reality that a state which failed to protect lives was unlikely to save a mosque. I appeal to my Muslim brothers.

We Hindus will respectfully lift the Babri Masjid brick by brick and re-build it at another spot. You let us build our Ram Mandir there. Five months before the Babri masjid was demolished December , in an article published in the now defunct weekly Sunday Observer, yours truly had argued why in the interest of the minority community and the national interest, Muslims should unilaterally hand over the Babri Masjid, either to the president of the Indian republic or the Supreme Court.

Let the chief custodians of secular India decide whatever they thought to be in the best interests of national unity and communal amity. The article reminded Muslims that the Places of Worship Special Provisions Act, , offered statutory protection against any future agitations concerning all other mosques in the country.

It is a symbol of secular India. Who are you to gift it away? The outcome: For Muslims, the loss of an estimated 3, lives since then in the recurring communal flare-ups; for Hindu nationalists, Ayodhya proved to be the chariot to ride to power. Fast forward to November 9, More disturbing is the fact that it was unanimous; not one of the five judges voiced a dissenting note. Even more disturbing, consider how it is that well before judgment day the Sangh Parivar had not the least doubt that the impending judgment would be in favour of Ram Mandir.

Also, consider this: Most self-proclaimed secular parties are content with having expressed their respect for the verdict. Click here to join our channel indianexpress and stay updated with the latest headlines For all the latest Opinion News , download Indian Express App. More From Javed Anand.


Listen, Mister Muslim. You are rightly upset with the Ayodhya verdict as it puts faith above law



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