There are some words that have dominated the verbal lexicon of TV channels over the last few days , after the Ayodhya Verdict was delivered. Atleast the ones I have been watching , namely NDTV and CNN IBN. “Peace” is one of them. “Compromise” another. “Reconciliation” of course takes the cake. There are other words or phrases that also keep coming up , for instance “India Stands United” , which I suppose was like the tagline of the program ,which was following the Ayodhya Developments on the 30th on NDTV , and hosted by , who else , but , Ms. Barkha “I –love –the –sound-of-my-own- voice- a little –too-much” Dutt. And then ofcourse , catch phrases like “It is not about Mandir or Masjid” , were also thrown in for good measure. And ofcourse “India has moved on “ , is my favorite one of all. Ms. “I love my voice” ‘s program was the most interesting to watch of all. And to my good fortune , I watched it for about 6 hours straight. Yes , it was an off day , and yes , I had nothing else to do , and yes , I don’t have a life.. But since , we already know that , allow me to talk about a few things that I observed and have reflected upon.
It was quite interesting as I said . Ms Dutt , had appointed herself , the keeper of peace and goodwill between the two communities . Peace , she wanted , and Peace she would keep . So no dissenting voices were allowed much airtime. People who were using words of the day , were only allowed any decent airtime. And ofcourse the words of the day , were , “Compromise” , “Beauty” , “Aman” , and ofcourse “Moving on” . And all of the people who were using these phrases were also cooing about , how mature the common man had become . “Lookey here “, they said , “ How kids grow up . They are not fighting anymore” . The most happy of all was Ms. Dutt . She was sooo happy , that the common man was showing restraint . All through , she suffered from the delusion that , one slip of phrase from her , or any one of the panel members , or one strong dissenting voice , and that’s it ,- there would be riots all over again , and oh my God , Indian would burn and how!!! So , she told herself , I shall be for ,like , peace , today , and make sure everyone in the panel , is of course also saying “ All izz well” , and then there wont be any riots. Responsible journalism , you see. And she was as happy as a mother would be , when she sees her kids grow up and do adult things , when the common man was not rioting. That this attitude , was elitist , and that ensuring people only say , “All izz well” , is not the complete job description of a journalist , somehow escaped her. And also , that , even to riot or not to riot , people don’t watch her program and decide.
Now to the verdict itself. It has ofcourse , been hailed by many , as showing judicial courage and imagination. Some have , ofcourse , called it a Panchayati style settlement, but in general it has been welcomed. I suppose , it appeals to a certain romantic notion of India , Mandir and Masjid together. Look at us , we can all say , Hindus and Muslims , praying together , side by side. United , multi cultural India , you see. We smuggle idols into mosques when we want , we demolish mosques , when the passion takes us , but then , hey , we also give one third of the land to the party , whose land it originally was , to pray on. Get on with the program will you , India has moved on. I fail to understand , how it is the judiciary’s business to strike this compromise. But , anyways , the compromise , is the least of the problems in this verdict, and perhaps even a wise thing to do. There are other problems with the verdict, and some of them , I believe , have some long standing implications for the future.
, The court deciding , that this was the place Ram was born , or in other words , deciding that this land indeed was RamJanmaBhoomi. And this was done based solely on the “Faith” of the Hindus. In fact , one of the judges says so. There were ruins of a temple that were found beneath the mosque yes. But to decide , that this under the dome , where the idols are placed , was the exact place , where Ram was born , I suppose , calls for a mind boggling and categorical evidence. And to my knowledge , there is non such . And if it had been the ruling would have unequivocally stated that. But then hey, who cares about evidence , as long as there is faith to lean upon , right. So , the courts now have started deciding on questions of faith . So essentially , it is like saying , that the majority has a certain faith . Since , they are the majority , they must be right . Hence , the faith of the majority is right . And hence , we rule , in favor of the majority. And ofcourse , we are generous , and hence , we shall also ensure , the minority gets something. Pat us on the back , anyone?
It is a strange atmosphere that has been created after the verdict. Any body who dissents is a hawk and does not want peace. That he/she might genuinely disagree with verdict is somehow not seen. And if anybody disagrees , it is like , “Oh my God , you don’t want to move on? No compromise ? You bloody hawk” . There are questions being asked like , “What wrong with Mandir and Masjid together?” . And if you try to point out the flaws in the verdict , you do not want to move on , you are still “old India” . The BJP is the happiest of all. It can tell it’s constituents , “See, we got you the mandir we promised . Even the courts said so.” , yet be all peace loving , just to show they have moved on. They can , ofcourse afford to be , after all one third of the land that was never yours to begin with is not a bad bargain. One should see some of the party’s proponents on TV. “Why cant we move on and let the past be past ?” , they ask. Yet it is quite ironic , that these men and women , who now are , talking about forgetting the past , were avenging an alleged grievance , done 500 years ago , when they demolished the mosque. And this judgment , has in a way , legitimized that movement. Way to go judges.
I think I shall establish a religion. My God will be a guy , who has a bladder disorder. I ardently believe that , all the rivers in the country , are due to him .No wonder they stink eh? I shall find followers , and if I manage to get the majority as followers of my God , we shall file a case asking to be given rights over all the rivers of the country. After all , being in a majority group , and “believing” in something seems to be enough in this country , even for the courts.