Photo courtesy: Internet
25-years-old Ram Mandir and Babri Masjid issue became the turning point in the history of Indian politics. Despite endless fights for justice, the residents of Ayodhya want to move on from all these blame game.
Today Amarnath Mishra, the president of Ayodhya Sadbhavna Samnvyay Maha Samiti, has claimed that former All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) executive member Moulana Salman Hasni Nadvi demanded money, position and land for building another Masjid in Ayodhya. However, the residents of Ayodhya want to move on from all these blame game.
Recounting the day when more than 150,000 Hindu activists (kar-sevaks) gathered at the behest of the RSS, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the BJP and the Bajrang Dal at the medieval era mosque (Babri Masjid) in Ayodhya of Uttar Pradesh believed that the mosque had been made exactly the same spot where Hindu God Ram was born which resulted in the demolition of mosque and communal riots across the country.
Shakeel (74), a resident of Jiyan pur in Ayodhya says that the community just wants the dispute to be decided by the court in a free and fair manner.
"We just want the closure of this issue as it doesn't matter now whether the decision is in our favour or against us," said Shakeel.
In the wake of the demolition of the mosque, more than 2000 of Hindus and Muslims killed each other in riots that erupted in several towns and cities across the country in which maximum casualty was from the minority community.
"I still remember the day when thousands of kar sevaks with shovels, iron rods, hammers and anything they could have grabbed that time to pound the mosque. Even the speeches of Hindu leaders saying 'Gira do, dhakka do, tod do' through the microphone where the kar sevaks has earlier gathered. That day women, children and men to save lives were sitting in a room at Ayodhya police station. Even the Muslims who said that they are 'one of them' were slaughtered to death," said Jamal Akhtar, a local resident adding further that now it does not matter who wins, the life should be peaceful.
Today, Ayodhya, historically a place that drew to itself renouncers and seekers belonging to Hindu sects, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism, Now one can see all religion living together peacfully in town.
Many Muslims have returned to stay in the place of their birth, and continue to live here. "We are irked over with the reular checking and marching of security personal. It seems like we don not have our personal life anymore since the demolition. I hope this issue is resolved and life becomes normal," said Deepak who runs a Kiryana Shop in city.
The case over the 2.7 acre disputed Ayodhya site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims will be taken up by the Supreme Court on March 14. "We don’t want the court to let it become a political or a religious issue that’s why we don’t want to delay any further. It is a property dispute and nothing else," said Haji Mehboob of Sunni Waqf board.
The BJP have somehow gained from the issue of "Babri masjid or highlighting Ram Mandir" which had made the party to become single-largest opposition party in the 1989 elections. Since then, it has masterfully harnessed the religiosity of the majority Hindus to become India’s largest party with government in the Centre and in several states, including Uttar Pradesh.
Whereas political parties who used the Ayodhya card for electoral gains since 1992 have moved far and wide, the town and its residents have remained stuck in a development limbo. The small town has a biscuit factory, some brick kilns, and one-room manufacturing units, the towns have no industry to boast of.
The present BJP governments at the Centre and the state are for them a sign of God’s own intent to get the temple constructed. "The BJP party has come in power with God's will. Lord Ram also wants temple to be build here," said Raghuveer Sharma, a local resident.
(The writer is an Assistant News Editor of Newsmantra)