Ayodhya: The entire city of Ayodhya, including the upbeat Faizabad area, was decorated with fancy lights and flowers ahead of the Milad Un Nabi on Sunday. Security forces were in place and everyone seemed excited about the festival. This was ahead of Saturday’s court decision in the Ayodhya-Babri title suit.
On one side, late B R Chopra’s iconic Mahabharat was playing on mobile vans, while on the other side, holy Muslim songs could be heard alongside, showing how communal harmony in Ayodhya was intact. But on Saturday, the division along communal lines became visible soon after the Supreme Court announced its verdict in the Ayodhya-Babri title suit.
The city that stood together even in the deadly communal riots after the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992, witnessed a clear division of sorrow and happiness. The excitement and happiness amongst the Muslim community for Milad Un Nabi faded soon after the verdict.
The procession for Milad Un Nabi, an Islamic festival celebrated on the birth of Prophet Mohammad, was cancelled by the local organisers who said they were a bit hurt by the verdict of the Supreme Court of India.
Azam Qadri, a Muslim resident and member of the Anjuman Committee, which maintains the Waqf properties in Ayodhya, said he was unhappy with the judgement and so were other Muslims of Ayodhya.
“First, the court should have chosen some other day for announcing the verdict in this case, as it has resulted in turning our happiness and excitement for one of our prominent festivals into sorrow. I am not saying that we are mourning this decision because Allah will not like it, but definitely we are not satisfied with the decision and now we have lost faith in fighting this battle,” he says, adding that the “Supreme Court was our last hope in the matter. We were expecting the decision to be in favour, if not all, some part of the disputed site where our Holy Mosque stood, should have been given to us after all we also want to see the Ram temple here, but now I feel betrayed.”
Qadri said: “There are enough mosques in India for Muslims to pray. Why would we need another mosque? The matter in Supreme Court was about the title suit but the decision has come based on the faith. Although being a citizen of India we have happily accepted the decision of the Supreme Court but… ‘NO COMMENTS’.”
“We are now officially a ‘Hindu Nation’ with a very little place for the minority Muslims,” he added.
Another prominent member of the Muslim community, Iqbal Ansari, whose father late Hashim Ansari was the oldest litigant in the demolished Babri mosque, says he accepted the Supreme Court’s decision and would not say anything on it.
When asked about how he feels as his father fought for 70 years, he said, “Let us move towards a peaceful society and let us not talk about the judgement.” The sorrow of losing the title suit was visible on his face.
While leaving his place, Iqbal asked Newsclick video journalist Mohit Kumar to shut down his camera and recited a sher (couplet) and stopped saying ‘No Comments’.
Mohammad Abu, a resident who runs a cloth store on the Naya Ghat area says people are happy with the decision but what if the decision went in the favour of Muslim community.
“Would not have there been any blood shed if the decision was something else? People here are celebrating but has anyone thought what Muslims of Ayodhya are feeling?” Abu said while closing the shutter of his shop at about 11 am after he saw the verdict on television.
On a concluding note, Abu said, “At least this will now lead to a normal Ayodhya and will also help us in getting good business but faith also matters to us (Muslims).”
The road leading to the Hanumangarhi temple which has hundreds of shops owned mostly by the Hindu community were opened and candles were lit but the shops owned by Muslim were closed and there were hardly anyone to talk about it. The Muslim dominated areas of the temple town have been sealed and no one was being allowed to enter the areas.