Bhopal: The Ayodhya verdict has evoked a lukewarm response in Madhya Pradesh, with some people criticising the judgement while others have outrightly expressed their resentment towards the judgement. Following the verdict, NewsClick spoke with senior journalists, researchers, professors, as well as Muslim clerics from MP to find out their view on the issue.
Visiting professor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University of Journalism and Communication and Gandhian researcher Arun Tripathi claimed that the pressure built by the majoritarian ideology and a group of media has reflected in the verdict. “It seems that the court has tried to end the prolonged fight but not delivered the justice. We cannot claim that complete justice was done with the issue, although we respect it. The court has respected the faith of Hindu community, irrespective of the evidences,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Muslim cleric and Shahar-e-Qazi of Indore Ishrat Jaha even though welcomed the decision, showed his concern on the further escalation of cultural nationalism. “I’m happy that the issue which had been fuelling enmity between the two communities and working as a means of fetching votes for saffron parties have finally come to an end. Just like others, I also abide by the court’s verdict,” he said.
Also read: SC Allows Temple Construction In Disputed Land; Alternate Plot Of 5 Acres For Mosque
“The country and politicians should talk about the real issues such as poverty, unemployment, development, etc. and fix it. There should not be any further escalation of Mandir-Masjid politics in the country. It is the responsibility of the government to keep a check on such groups who have been talking about demolishing other mosques,” he added.
‘Decision Came from PMO office’
While criticising the verdict, senior journalist Rakesh Dixit told NewsClick that it seems that the Supreme Court has read out a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. “What the saffron parties had been demanding for the last three decades has come with a stamp from the Supreme Court. We have not been expecting such judgement from the apex court, although we respect it. The court has just rewarded the mob that broke the law,” he said.
Rasheed Kidwai, senior journalist and author, thinks that the SC verdict has brought a sense of closure to the issue which has led to the spilling of too much blood and enmity between two communities.
He said, “I think, an amicable solution through dialogue was the safe bet for the Muslim community, but, they missed it due to their personal differences. Now, they have no option but to respect the SC’s verdict. The SC attempt to end the issue should be whole heartedly accepted by everyone. Now, it would be interesting to see how the politics and society takes a turn post-mandir issue.”
He further added, “But, I fear that cultural nationalism will not end till the culprits of Babri demolition are free. I think, it will escalate.”
Also read: Supreme Court on Babri Masjid: Possession is Nine-tenths of Law
Professor Praveen Jha, who teaches at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in Jawaharlal Nehru University, pointed out, “In the verdict the court has said that there are evidences that the Muslims offer namaz there and Hindus puja. The court further said that the demolition was an unlawful act, then how can they justify their own verdict of alloting the 2.77 acres of disputed land to a single party?”
Situation in MP on Verdict Day
Chief Minister Kamal Nath monitored the situation at the police headquarters in Bhopal on the day of the verdict. Following this, in a press meet held on the same day, he said that there was peace everywhere in the state, barring a few ‘sporadic incidents’.
Nath also said that he had spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who had promised deployment of additional forces in MP, if necessary. “There were four or five cases, but not all were related to the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya,” he told reporters at the police headquarters, adding that it is for the police to assess the situation and decide whether to allow religious processions.
Earlier in the day, as soon as Supreme Court cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, Nath appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony. “The SC has delivered a verdict in Ayodhya case. I again appeal to you that we all should respect this decision of Supreme Court. Don’t be part of any kind of show of enthusiasm, celebration and protest. Be cautious and be alert to rumours. Do not get misled,” Nath had tweeted.
It was followed by another tweet, through which he appealed for cooperation to maintain peace and harmony in the state.