इंडियन आवाज़     25 Sep 2023 08:54:29      انڈین آواز

URDU PRESS: From Hope to Dejection


Special correspondent TIA
NEW DELHI: On the day of Allahabad High Court verdict on Babri Masjid, all the Urdu newspapers were so enthusiastic and hopeful that something great going to happen after the judgment. They left no stone unturned in commending the Indian judicial system. They felt that the verdict would be a milestone in the Indian judicial system and prove that law of the land is above everything. They even went on saying that the judgment would end the machinations of the communal forces that used religion for political purpose.

But the day after the judgment all Urdu media looked dejected and irritated. The headlines on Friday themselves reflect the sentiment of the papers.

Some newspapers are even quick in writing editorial on the issue. Hindustan Express so critical of the judgment that it goes on writing ‘might is right’. It said that the Sunni Central Waqf Board (SCWB) suit was dismissed for being time-barred while the suit filed by Hindu group after 20 years was accepted because there idol of the ‘Ramlala was placed. “It seems that court has willingly accepted the Hindu groups’ premise based on ‘mythology’ and ‘faith’; the verdict did not resolve the issue and it is certain it would be dragged to the apex court” says the papers. 

Jadid Khabar in front page editorial says the verdict has disappointed the Muslims but it added that dejection has no place in Islam; options are open for the community to contest the judgment in the apex court. It said that verdict is based on ‘faith’ not on ‘facts’, therefore, the Sunni Central Waqf Board (SCWB)  should hire the services of best secular lawyers to defend  the case in the highest court of the land. It said that those forces involved in the destruction of the Babri Masjid, have other designs as their purpose was not limited to the demolition of mosque but to change the whole system of the countr. “By subjugating the Muslims, these fascists forces want to prove that their notion of one religion, one language and one cultural will be the rule of law in the country’; for the survival of secularism, Muslims should be ready for any sacrifices. The Babri Masjid case is a litmus-test in this regard.   

The Urdu press have also widely published the reactions of Muslim leaders and secular legal luminaries on the verdict. SCWB lawyer Zafaryab Jilani statement that the court did not go by hard facts but mythology has been widely covered in all papers.

Yusuf Muchhala, convener of the legal cell of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said there were several inconsistencies and baffling points in the verdict. He pointed that the court dismissed the suit and ruled that the mosque had been constructed by demolishing a temple while simultaneously allotting a third of the land to the Waqf Board. “if this is the case, why give us any legal relief? Why allot us any land”? He asked.
AIMPLB general secretary Abdur-Rahim Qurashi said the high court has overlooked the all the historical facts and reminded that in 1885, Mehant had only claimed that the platform outside the mosque was the birthplace of lord Ram. Jamiat Ulema Hind (A) president Mualana Arshad Madni  and Imam of Jama Masjid Delhi Syed  Ahmad Bukhari said though they respect the verdict but the legal battle would continue till the justice is done.

Describing the Allahabad High Court verdict as one sided judgment, noted lawyer Rajeev Dhavan said that it looked like a ‘Panchayati justice’ which took away the legal rights of Muslims and converts the moral sentimental entitlements of Hindus into legal rights. He said the destruction of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, had taken place on a Muslim site, and this fact could not be disputed and rendered invisible by pretending that Muslims were not entitled to the site in any way.

Making a comparison between the destruction of the Masjid and the demolition of the Buddha statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan he said people would say that India’s secular justice was majoritarian in nature without lending dignity to India’s minority. Endorsing his observations, eminent constitutional experts P.P. Rao said it was difficult to appreciate how the property could be divided by the court while dismissing the suits, it was nothing but a Panchayati type of justice.

Prominent historians described the Aydhoya judgment as a strange and glossing over historical facts. Former Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Prof Irfan Habib observed that the verdict seemed to legitimize the events of 1949, when an idol was placed inside the mosque. By constant references, on the other hand, by minimising any mentions of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, the court seemed to be disregarding it. Another noted historian Prof D.N. Jha said that the historical evidence has not been taken into account and mentioned of the “faith and belief of Hindus” in reference to the history of the disputed structure; he asked why the court had requested an excavation of the site.

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