The Ram Mandir issue has off late been all over the news given the recent petition filed for a day to day hearing in the SC, and the CJI’s appeal for an out of court settlement. But what encapsulates all of this, is the recent mandate given to the BJP in UP, where this holy land exists.
The question therefore is, that are we truely a liberal and progressive society? Do we believe in fundamental rights? Or is there a selective amnesia which exists whereby we justify that the symbolism of progressiveness should undermine the right to freedom of religion? By all means, I am someone who absolutely condemns the destruction of Babri, it was a criminal act and all those who are guilty should be punished. But does that mean, our justice system should make way for a progressive symbol like an IIM or an IIT?
The answer is no. There is an alleged violation of two different sets of fundamental rights. The first is the criminal act by the karsevaks which violated the rights of life and liberty of the title holder of the masjid , and the second is the denial of Hindus to pray at the birth place of Lord Rama. Providing solutions like building a hospital or a educational institution is setting a wrong precedent. A similar dispute could come up again, and giving a similar solution would derail the rule of law.
The SC needs to decide who does the land belong to? Whose rights have been violated?
In times like these, symbolism is not the answer. The answer is to follow the rule of law and sadly no out of court settlement would work. In times like these, our last resort is the judiciary and the interpretation of this great constitution.