Supreme Court has delivered a verdict and we shall accept it in our principled adherence to the rule of law. However, our position is that the court’s decision is not a legal verdict but a political award. We are perplexed at the apparently lopsided reasoning applied by the court to arrive at their decision:

  1. Babri Masjid never ceased to be a masjid, it was never abandoned, the demolition of Masjid was a violation, but the Muslim parties cannot claim that the land was taken from them by force.
  2. Masjid was not built on vacant land, and the previous structure was not Islamic, but there is no evidence it was a temple either.
  3. Judgment will be based on evidence not faith, but the faith of Hindus that it was birthplace of Ram is indisputable was reiterated by the Court.
  4. Namaz was offered in inner courtyard and pooja was performed in outer courtyard even before the coming of the British, but the whole land must be delivered now to the Hindu parties to ‘balance’ the two claims.

The claim for Babri Masjid was not for land, 2.7 acre or 5 acre. It was on the question of principle, whether the Babri Masjid was constructed by tearing down a temple or not. It has been the consistent stand of Muslim parties that no temple had been razed to construct the masjid, and if the masjid was indeed built by tearing down a temple, they would give up all claims to it. Since it was not proven that a Ram temple previously existed on the site (let alone that one was razed to build the masjid), and in fact it was acknowledged that the demolition of the masjid was a violation, awarding the disputed site in totality to build a temple does not serve justice. The award of 5 acres or even 50 acres does not balance out the crime of tearing down the masjid, and we fail to see the meaning behind such a partisan ‘balancing’.

Despite the Court accepting that demolition of Babri Masjid was a violation, it has not awarded punishment to the culprits or at least provided directions to expedite the case. SIO demands that the perpetrators, individual and organisations, be brought to justice for the crime of tearing down the masjid and the riots and bloodshed which followed.

It is our position that genuine peace is not possible without serving justice and that justice is predicated on truth. This decision has failed to deliver justice on the basis of truth. We accept the verdict in the spirit of respecting rule of law, but we cannot call it justice. SIO urges all citizens to adhere the rule of law and work towards securing justice.

Department of Media, SIO of India. | [email protected]