A packed courtroom awaited to hear CJI Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer about their judgement on the sensitive Ayodhya case on Thursday; and the Supreme Court bench said that the entire case will be seen as a mere land dispute and the decision will be made on basis of evidences and documents.

The Ayodhya case is not just a land dispute, it is a political, historical and socio-religious debate that has been around since 1857 and has been an extremely sensitive topic since December 1992. In fact, the Babri Masjid – Ramjamnabhoomi case has been so sensitive that every government has been avoiding it since decades. So why did the Supreme Court Bench including CJI Dipak Misra convey its clinical approach towards the 70-year-old case that roots to centuries by exhorting the parties to treat it merely as a ‘land dispute’? The apex court said that it does not want to be swayed by history of religious conflicts and violence associated with the site.

What Supreme Court is being asked to restore, is no small talk. The court is expected to restore to India’s Hindu majority, the possession of land on which, Hindu god Rama was born centuries ago – and a mosque was standing for over 400 years before December 6, 1992. If the court restores the land to the majority, it will be seen as having succumbed to majoritarian instinct – henceforth bedevilling the governance of India. And if the court rejects the appeal and decides in favour of minority, it could be interpreted as perpetuation of Medieval-era injustice when the Mughal emperor Babar allegedly build a mosque after destroying the place that commemorated the birthplace of Hindu god Ram. So whatever the decision will be, it is likely to cause communal tensions in the country; and there seems to be no subtle way to solve the issue.

Oh February 9, 2018 – the Supreme Court commenced the final hearings on the Ayodhya dispute and soon, the packed courtroom was heated up with exchanges between two senior advocates of both parties. Soon, the Justice Bench took over control and clarified that the bench inclined to hear those who were parties to the dispute in the Allahabad High Court – which had ordered that the disputed land be partitioned equally among three parties: the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Also, more than 500 exhibits including the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and documents written in various languages like Sanskrit and Pali were presented in front of the court. However, the court asked these documents to be translated to English in two weeks and the next session of final hearing will be held on March 14, 2018.

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