THE most heartening development around the impending verdict in the Ramjanmabhoomi suit is the willing participation of the Hindu and Muslim communities in creating an atmosphere in favour of peace in the post-verdict period. Leaders of both the communities -- political or apolitical -- are issuing appeals for peace as an essential condition that the larger society must maintain, no matter the outcome of the legal case. And by any standard, this is most welcome, most endearing aspect of the situation that has reached a new peak -- of anxious waiting -- that would test a lot of our collective democratic beliefs in words and in action. There is little doubt that the Ramjanmabhoomi case has tested the nation’s patience in a manner which no other case has done. What is involved in this patient wait of decades is the religious susceptibilities of the Hindu and the Muslim communities.
Emotions have been quite tender on this issue because of its religious nature and political implication. The very issue also has seen many violent outbursts of people’s emotions from both sides of the divide -- claiming lives of many persons, as well as deciding who will rule in the Centre and who will do that in the States. This socio-political narrative had thrown up many disturbing facets controlling which was a major national priority. That is appearing to be happening as both the communities are appealing for peace despite the nature of the verdict that may now come at any time -- in any case before November 17 when Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi demits office. Frankly speaking, there was no need for any such groundswell of appeals for peace in a normal condition. Unfortunately, however, the appeals were made in view of the past experience of hyper-sensitivity of both the communities towards the outcome of whatever nature.
This is the worst part of the whole issue. An unbiased analysis of its history brings us to conclude that much of the hyper-sensitivity on the issue could have been avoided had the political part in the dispute was withdrawn. However, such an expectant analysis has no place in the rough and tumble of India’s domestic politics where passions always run high on issues of high or low merit. Everybody knows that a massive dose of hyper-sensitivity and cantankerousness has often characterised India’s domestic discourse. The current appeals for peace is the larger society’s response to the cantankerousness of some elements in its folds. The Ramjanmabhoomi issue highlights this well.
Despite this, the current situation also reveals a bright side of India’s maturing democracy. For, saner elements in the larger Indian society recognise that the possibility of the Supreme Court verdict giving a slightly better weightage to one side to the dispute, no matter which. The peace-appeals are for that moment when some elements could get infuriated with the outcome. As a newspaper with full awareness of its larger responsibility, ‘The Hitavada’ also appeals to the people of all communities not to offer knee-jerk reaction to the verdict, but offer a considered and mature response to the call of the moment. It is time the larger Indian society chose to think calmly about what is best for the harmony and happiness of all beyond religious and political ghettos.
If this awareness is kept alive and alert, peace could be guaranteed. This is what the nation needs at this stage. There is little doubt that at some point in time, the Ramjanmabhoomi issue will have to be sorted out in favour of this or that side. Enough indications are available to believe that the honourable Supreme Court will pave the way to a logically correct and socio-culturally mature solution to the dispute. It is time we kept our faith in the maturity of the Indian judiciary.