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11 days of Ayodhya verdict sabre rattling; Hindu party approaches SC to prevent ex-parte order

Hindu political organisation Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to prevent any party to the dispute from seeking an ex-parte order in appealing against the Allahabad High Court’s 30 September decision on the Ayodhya title dispute matter.

The application was filed yesterday and follows last week’s decision of the All India Muslim Board and Hindu Mahasabha to challenge the decision in the Apex Court amidst speculations and extensive deliberations that ensued between members of various political parties since the verdict was pronounced.

Hindu Mahasabha’s national president Swami Chakrapani told PTI: “We want only legal solution. We are against any type of compromise as we are in favour of constructing a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.”

Appealing solution

The main litigating section amongst the Muslim group led by the Sunni Waqf Board on 5 October announced its decision to oppose the division of the disputed land into three parts as had been proposed by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. However even in that group there is disagreement, with the oldest living litigant Mohammad Hashim Ansari and the All Indian Muslim personal law board backing a compromise.

The Hindu Mahasabha on 9 October also said that it would move to the Supreme Court by the end of this month to dispute the division of land.

Party politics

Parties with religious leanings have taken the decisive stance of resisting any attempts to divide the controversial land over the past week. However, the national level players such as the Congress Party and BJP have avoided taking official positions on whether they support the Supreme Court’s potential adjudication on the issue.

Congress had said through its working committee had earlier said that the verdict does not condone the demolition of Babri masjid but declined to initiate reconciliatory bids and expressed support for those going in appeal.

On Sunday, Union law minister Veerapa Moily told the media that the government would not take any stand while observing that it was for the parties to settle the issue.

“The Central Government was only a statutory custodian of the property. It was a title suit... the Government of India was not a party to it," Moily explained.

The leaders of the opposition on the other hand have welcomed the High Court’s verdict with the BJP’s top leader and one of the architects of the Babri mosque demolition L K Advani approving of the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) findings that crucially tilted the balance in favour of the temple’s ancient existence as the birthplace of Ram.

However, an out-of-court settlement in this title dispute has found favour with the other main litigating parties Hashim Ansari, Nirmohi Akhara and the Ram Janmbhoomi Trust and they reportedly claim having discussed an amicable solution involving dialogue.

The media game

As requested by the government, the media has largely avoided incendiary headlines.

Nevertheless, some interesting articles were penned. The Times of India carried an opinion piece arguing that the Ayodhya judgment had dealt a blow to secularism and did not adequately address the original “illegal act” of the mosque’s demolition.

Furthermore, as far as back as when the Ram idol was originally placed under the Babri’s central dome in 1949, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had written: "A dangerous example is being set there, which will have bad consequences." The judges in Allahbad, argued the opinion piece, treated the installation of the idol this as a fait accompli.

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