The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has not adjudged the Ayodhya title suits but worked out a settlement. In that process, belief is placed above law. Thus the judgment delivers a blow on the secular credentials of the country.
The Court framed questions like whether the disputed area was the birth place of Sri Rama— a question that is not judiciable after elapse of millenniums for want of evidence. Yet, there is justice in apportioning the land because both the Muslims and Hindus were in possession of different parts of the land. However, belief is used as the ground for allocating the area right under the dome of the demolished Babri Masjid to the Hindus, even while acknowledging that the idols were placed there in 1949 through trespass.
The title suit was indeed a dispute that could well have been decided out of court. But emotions on the two sides were so high that it became impossible. At least now, the communities should find a way for a mediated settlement instead of going to the Supreme Court in appeal. If that does not happen, the Supreme Court would have to try for a mediated settlement.
However, if it again comes to a judicial decision, the Supreme should strengthen the legal foundation of the High Court judgment. If it fails to purge what is illegal about the Lucknow judgment, the secular credentials of the country would remain tarnished.
Today being the Gandhi Jayanthi Day, it is worth remembering what Gandhiji said about Sri Ram. Acknowledging that thousands believed that the son of Dasaradha was god, Gandhi had said that he did not worship the personified form of Rama but the eternal, the unborn.
See exact quotes from Aravind in the comments section of the following post: