Letters to the Editor

Print edition : December 20, 2019

Ayodhya

IT is surprising to note that while conclusive evidence could be obtained for the prayers of Hindus at the Babri Masjid from 1857, evidence could not be gathered to prove that Muslims prayed there (Cover Story, December 6).

Can a historical wrong be righted by a court judgment? Even if one were to assume for the sake of argument that the Babri Masjid was indeed constructed by demolishing a Hindu temple centuries ago, should one consider reconstruction of the temple on the same site in the modern era?

It is possible to unearth historical evidence of several places of worship of different faiths being demolished. The important question is, what should we do with that evidence? It should be used only as a means to learn from past mistakes and avoid conflict.

Dipten Bhattacharya

Kolkata

THE Cover Story exposed the contradictions in the Supreme Court judgment in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. It is a travesty of justice. The Hindu litigants managing to succeed in their irrational claim over a Muslim religious place does not bode well for the principles of justice and secularism, not to mention the jarring aspect of a god being used as a litigant.

The anonymous addendum in the judgment arguing that the faith and belief of Hindus about Ram are not unreasonable was the icing on the cake.

That the minorities are now forced to accept the judgment in the name of peace and harmony is an argument ridden with duplicity.

Muslims must seek a review of the judgment lest it stand as a precedent for communally driven conflicts in the future.

H.S. Shylendra

Anand, Gujarat

IT is mind-boggling that after the Supreme Court itself said that the demolition of the centuries-old Babri Masjid was an “egregious violation” of the rule of law and the surreptitious planting of the idols of Ram under the masjid’s central dome was illegal, the judgment went in favour of the Hindu litigants. How is it that some people felt that the most welcome thing about the 1,045-page verdict was the unanimity of the five judges on the bench?

One can attribute many riots and retaliatory bombings over the decades to the toxic effect of the sectarian strife sparked by the temple movement.

Uzair Ahmed

Tirurangadi, Kerala

THE verdict has given the protagonists of the temple movement psychological satisfaction. Therefore, they should drop the idea of building a temple as a gesture to express oneness with Muslims and other communities. This will not only boost everyone’s morale but also garner respect for the country in the eyes of the world. A world-class tourist zone could be built on the site of the proposed Ram temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take advantage of the favourable situation and give his support to this idea.

Ashok Nihalani

Pune, Maharashtra

SECULARISM was the one principle that gave Hindu-majority India its post-Independence identity as opposed to Pakistan’s Islamic theocracy. In the last few decades, this concept has been undergoing a gradual change, with every party adopting soft Hindutva in their political campaigns.

The minority groups feared that their status would be eroded under this onslaught. And now with the Supreme Court pronouncing its judgment on the Babri Masjid case, everyone understands that secularism is going to be replaced with majoritarianism. Savarkar’s dream is coming true.

Dayanand Edappally

Kottayam, Kerala

THE verdict satisfied senior BJP, VHP and RSS leaders no end. They praised it, declaring that it should not be seen as a victory or a loss either. Had the verdict been its reverse, the same elements would have caused mayhem.

Courts are expected to be fair and give verdicts based on law unmindful of the likely fallout of their decisions. In the instant case, peace has been ensured through a blatantly one-sided verdict. In the process, the Supreme Court has cast an indelible blot on the Indian judiciary. On the one hand, the court declared the 1992 demolition of the mosque as unlawful and, on the other, legitimised the acts of the culprits by rewarding them.

Sanjit Ghatak

Kolkata

THERE were two aspects to the case: one, the dispute over the property and, two, the controversy about “Janmasthan”. The learned bench relied on mythology while spelling out its verdict. It also did not consider established legal practices in deciding property disputes. The nation heaves a sigh of relief thinking that the “judgment” will put an end to the loss of life over a “spiritual” issue.

S. Neelakantan

Salem, Tamil Nadu

THE following one line in the Editor’s Note (December 6) was enough of an answer to all the inconsistencies and contradictions in the 1,045-page judgment: “The adoption of the Constitution in 1950 was a watershed in Indian history after which the rule of law largely took precedence over the rule of faith.”

K. Ragu

Salem, Tamil Nadu

THE verdict came as a rude shock to those who had been nurturing the hope that the forces of Hindutva behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid were going to be proved wrong in the eyes of the law. That the court relied heavily on the belief of Hindus that Ram was born where the masjid stood makes one sceptical about how the judiciary will protect secularism in the future. Right from the beginning, India’s leaders have shown scant respect for secular values in public life.

K. Natarajan

Madurai, Tamil Nadu

IN view of the fact that this contentious issue has been a festering wound on the nation’s psyche, the unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court is most welcome and brings the curtains down on probably the oldest keenly contested civil litigation of present times. November 9, 2019, will be etched in the annals of history as the day that marked the culmination of a long-standing political and religious controversy.

The verdict is a golden opportunity for both Hindus and Muslims to bury the hatchet and build a temple and a mosque in a spirit of mutual reconciliation that will be a shining example of vibrant secularism.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

THE judgment is historic because it brings to an end the decades-long dispute once and for all. It is clear that it is a win-win situation for both the parties. The balanced judgment was a victory for all citizens and made it clear that politics should be kept away from religion.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Telangana

THE verdict of the Supreme Court emerged after careful scrutiny of the available evidence and the hearing the court granted to all stakeholders to the dispute. The apex court rightly held that there was merit in the evidence that the Hindu community regarded the site as the birthplace of Ram.

The court not only condemned the demolition of the Babri Masjid but directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot for a mosque. It thus upheld the principles of secularism and can be relied upon to punish those responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Only time will tell whether the court succeeded in putting the lid on this centuries-old dispute.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan

Chennai

New Delhi

NOT only Delhi but many cities and towns in India are experiencing the lawlessness of political parties and others (“Lawless in Delhi”, December 6). There is no end to the woes of citizens as they have to face agitations by lawyers, policemen, students and political parties. Debate and discussion appear to have been forgotten in this age when everything is settled only through agitations. Such tactics are rare in many developed countries. It is time to change our mindset and settle issues through peaceful negotiations. Bandhs should be banned as they inconvenience the public and disrupt normal life.

D.B.N. Murthy

Bengaluru

Economics Nobel

THE pedestrian manner with which the media covered the news that Abhijit Banerjee was one of the winner’s of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics was deplorable (“Prescription for symptoms”, November 22). The obsession with national pride overshadowed any meaningful discussion of the work Abhijit Banerjee et al. had done.

Notwithstanding the scepticism that various economists already attach to randomised control trials, the public was deprived of an opportunity to get a reasoned critique of RCTs as a tool to alleviate poverty, among other things. Drooling over an Indian winning the Nobel without examining the substance behind the award hardly benefits anyone except those who want to appropriate one more independent event as their personal achievement.

Abhimanyu Sammy Sharma

Mumbai

Sri Lanka

THERE is a rough path ahead for Sri Lanka now that the election is over and Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the new President “New reality”, November 22). How about the past experiences? What about the overall performance now? These are some of the questions facing Sri Lanka now. Media houses across the world should focus on the real issues facing the people of Sri Lanka and make the ruling regime work towards the growth of the country.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai

Mumbai

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

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