Compiled by Seema Chishti
Oct 08 2010
In a signed piece on the Allahabad high court’s judgment regarding the Ayodhya dispute, entitled, ‘Kya zaroori hai Supreme Court jaana — zara ghaor karein...’ (‘Is it necessary to go to the Supreme Court, give it some thought!’), on October 2, the editor of Rashtriya Sahara, Aziz Burney, writes: “Our various religious leaders have also expressed their opinion in favour of going to the Supreme Court. Some political leaders involved in Muslim politics too have expressed dissatisfaction with this verdict, and said that it has been given on the basis of faith and not on facts. With great respect and humility I want to request that, for God’s sake, now there should be an end to politics on this issue, and we should reconsider any intention to go to the Supreme Court, and give some more thought to it — and also consider seriously if the judgment was different, and according to what we wanted, what would have been the situation in the country, what could have been the reaction of the majority of the people?”
But Jamaat-e-Islami’s biweekly Daawat is very critical: “The judgment is extraordinary, in fact, historic, as it has given ‘aastha’ a legal status. The verdict given by the learned judges, giving precedence to traditions over facts, has added a new basis to the world of law, and now judgments would be given on the basis of aastha, even if contrary to facts.”
The paper adds: “This verdict has given legality to the Janmabhoomi movement, as the court has accepted not only that Ayodhya is the Ram Janmabhoomi, but the site where the Babri Masjid was constructed 475 years ago is the actual janmasthan of Ramchandraji... This verdict has, in fact, opened the way for questions being raised about the surrender of other such mosques on the basis of aastha.”
Delhi-based daily Hamara Samaj, in its lead story on October 3, says that Justice S.U. Khan, one of the three judges, has in his judgment said that the opening of the locks of the Babri Masjid in 1986 by the district and sessions judge of Faizabad, “without following the due procedure” was responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
In an editorial entitled, ‘Na koi jeeta, na koi haara’ (‘Nobody won, nobody lost’), the daily Sahafat writes on October 2: “So far, both contestants in the Ayodhya dispute had been of the view that the Babri Masjid was built by Babar’s commander Mir Baqi. Muslims have been paying tax on the mosque’s land for 60 years. In spite of this, the failure of the Sunni Waqf Board to prove this in court is astonishing.”
On the adverse reaction of some eminent jurists and journalists to the judgment, the leading Mumbai daily Inquilab, writes in its October 5 editorial: “the reason for such an intense adverse reaction to the Allahabad high court’s judgment is that it does not resolve a problem going on now for 60 years. It may quite possibly give birth to many new problems... If this judgment is not challenged in the Supreme Court, tomorrow any claim on the basis of faith will have to be accepted, howsoever unbaked, meaningless and baseless it might be... The meaning of accepting the disputed site as Ram Janmabhoomi is that whatever was done to ‘achieve’ it was legitimate, and whatever will be done in the future too will be legitimate. Under this ruling the demolition will also not be illegal.”
Hyderabad’s leading daily, Siasat, castigates the legal team of the Sunni Waqf Board in an editorial on October 1. It adds: “It has to be kept in mind that whereas it is a question of faith for the Hindus, for Muslims too it is of religious importance.”
The Kashmir Package
The eight-point package on Kashmir announced by the Centre has been generally welcomed. Rashtriya Sahara, in an editorial on September 27, writes: “The formula can be considered a positive initiative. Although the hardline group in the Hurriyat Conference has rejected it, yet it can be a cause for satisfaction for the Central government that the Mirwaiz Omar Farooq-led moderate group, and Kashmiri organisations like JKLF, have not adopted a rigid stand and instead given an indication of talks and an exchange of views among themselves, so that some clear reaction to the formula could be expressed. Also, it has been described as a good beginning by almost all political parties of Kashmir, including the PDP... The Centre has tried to give a message to the people of the state that it is serious about removing the lack of confidence with regard to security forces.”
Patna and Ranchi-based daily, Qaumi Tanzeem, in an editorial on September 28, writes: “Instead of the separatist leaders deriving some benefits from the recent visit of the parliamentary delegation, by bringing before it some solid suggestions for economic development, social stability and educational advancement in the Valley through a positive attitude, all of them adopted a totally negative posture. And now that the Centre has announced an eight-point formula for peace and stability, they have rejected it outright. This act of theirs can, in no way, be termed as constructive.” The paper has also criticised the BJP’s stand on the package.
Lucknow-based daily Qaumi Khabrein, in its editorial (September 27), describes the package as a “second healing touch, after the balm of sympathy on the wounded hearts of Kashmiris” that was the parliamentary delegation. It says: “The most important decision is the proposed panel for continuing dialogue, to be headed by a political leader... It is hoped that the government will not keep the proposed panel confined to representatives of the Congress or the UPA, but will include representatives of other political parties, and also those representing other sections of the society, particularly journalism, literature, sports, cinema, etc.”
According to the Delhi-based daily, Jadeed Khabar (September 27), “What is needed is to definitely convince the Kashmiris that their interests can be served only by their continued solidarity with India, and any type of separatist movement can only increase their problems; it cannot decrease them.”
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi