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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bihar’s development sans Corporatization


Heavy investment in tertiary sector is being made by the by the Bihar government. Construction of roads, bridges, school buildings, government office buildings, hospital building, sewerage etc. is in full swing. Trade & commerce is gradually picking up. There is good growth in service & Telecomm sector, Hotel & infrastructure for tourism are being constructed in many tourist spots [All these combined together has taken growth rate to 6 percent (at constant price) since 2005. The number of mobile users has increased. Construction of apartments at all almost every corner of the capital is a proof that money is flowing in the market. Shopping mauls and beautiful parks reflect growing economy. Pub culture is becoming part of life.

The vital question is will this model of development sustain the whole society with a population of over 10 crore? This is to be seriously pondered. For millions of Biharis, hunger is routine, malnutrition is part of life, employment insecure, social security non-existent, deprivation, health care expensive and sources of livelihoods are becoming scarce day by day. More than 75% per cent populations living in abject poverty are deprived of basic necessities. 50 percent women and children are malnourished. Unemployment among youth is rising which will inevitability create social unrest in the society.

Economic axiom is that without development of primary & secondary sectors all other developments are illusion, short-lived and unsustainable. Society, as whole, will remain at the bottom of prosperity.

Agriculture, the mainstay of economy is growing very slowly. Its contribution to GDP is not moving beyond 30% Investment in developing irrigation system-canal, local ponds, water harvesting project is abysmally low. Research & production of indigenous high yielding seeds is not getting priority. Land reform has been the base of any economy’s development is a distant dream. Implementation of land reforms measures will transform the agrarian structure increase the productive capacity of toiling peasantry and create more of an egalitarian society.

The government is providing tractors agricultural implements, seed, loan for bore well, diesel pump set will prove futile unless facilities for irrigating crops is not available at farmers’ will. Process of getting subsidy is out of the reach of small and marginal farmers due to rampant corruption. Small and marginal farmers can only raise productivity because they hold 80% of the land. Scientific guidance & proper training combined with their traditional Knowledge of agriculture can make Bihar ‘grains bowl’ of India. Mechanism should be development to make subsidy easily accessible.

Corporatization of agriculture will destroy it in long run and the fabric of village culture of living in community will also be shattered.

Secondary sector which requires heavy investment is lagging for behind in terms of production & employment generation. Heavy industrialization will result into concentration of capital & wealth in few hands while majority of the society will become pauper. Inequality & poverty & unemployment will further go up and thereby raise social unrest.

Small industries in the field of electronics, food-processing, consumer items etc should be promoted to secure jobs and as a consequence migration of worker to other states will halt.
Environmentally & socially hazardous industries banned by the international law should not be allowed on the land of Bihar irrespective of it’s potentially to create wealth and jobs.

Power station which are coming up in some parts of Bihar is lifeline of economy. But the government must ensure adequate compensation to the farmers at local prevailing price rate of land. And job security to the displaced people. In the event of agricultural lands being taken for industrialization, farmers displaced should be duly compensated and jobs secured for their family members for two successive generations. They should be given share in the profit.

Entering of corporate sector in retail business ranging from grocery, vegetable, fruits to cloths and consumer items assumed to be sign of development will hit small business men and vendors so hard that their lives of families will be destroyed.

Bihar should present a model of development which is based and Research and Development. It should create a society where the vast humanity enjoys fruits of developing according to his or her capacity. Consumer vision is not the theme of life but life is lived with the philosophy of ‘live and let their live. This is only possible when the government & civic society work together for prosperity of the community irrespective of the caste, creed, regionalization and religion.
Investment in social sector, education, sport, health & sanitation is waiting since 1947.

Education, particular primary & secondary is progressing in the last seven years but it is very slow. As a matter of food, there has been no separate plan for education after independence higher education which produced world class intellectual has lost shine in the last 20 years. Education creates a more equal society & scientific vision provided it is given top priority in economic development.

Emphasis should be given to primary & secondary education because it lays foundation of development of a child. It requires sensible and sensitive experts in child psychology who can bring out the best in a child.

Bihar has all wherewithalls to produce excellent sport persons who can make the state and the country proud. For this a body composed of enthusiastic sport person starting from the village level to district level of every competitive sport should be created. Talent search programs should be launched at village level youth of peasantry class, who are very hardy & strong should be given a level playing field. This will also help create an equal social order.

Healthcare system & sanitation is Bihar’s is another biggest headache. Wretched & deprived Sections have no accessibility to safe drinking water, clean hygiene & environment. In this respect all programmes under the aegis of UNICEF should be executed properly and effectively. Community awareness approach with the help of NGOs & civic society should be taken up a mass scale. MPs, MLAs, Mukhiyas, ward councilors at people’s respective level and DM, DDC & BDO at administrative level should be made accountable if poor in their respective area do not have facilities for potable water, sewerage, toilet etc.

Research & Development which constitute the fundamental principles of a moving economy and vibrant society should be adopted by the state in all its economic & social activities.
It has been proved worldwide that what is good for corporate sector is not good for the society. People associated with this sector become rich at the cost of the society. Bihar can’t afford to give the free hand to exploit natural resources for making profit. Hence economic equity is indispensable to control social unrest controlling the excesses income of rich & corporate is justice with the poor, while allowing economic progress is necessary for creation of wealth & livelihoods.

The vision should be to fulfill the collective aspiration of the huge population. policies & programmes should centre on the needs of the majority and to eradicate poverty. Such programmers bicycle for girls & boys, school dress for them dole for girls’ marriage and many social security schemes will not help people become self-reliant and Bihar will not achieve development with justice. Universal progress only in all fields result in a stable and secure Bihar.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Population Volcano of Bihar

Population Volcano of Bihar

Bihar is sitting on population volcano with total population reaching 10 crore. Taken into account total electoral 5,50,46,093 in population above 18 years is a serious concern for human development. Employment for almost half of the population, feeding children and aged, women and checking malnutrition, mortality is an herculean task for any Government.

Economic sources are so limited that even exploited fully may not reach out to such a vast humanity. Agriculture with low productivity & Industrialization at its nadir are going to give sleepless nights to the government and concerned Biharis whose vision is a Developed & prosperous Bihar. Nevertheless, it has to be achieved at any cost.

High production in agriculture is to be achieved by employing a combination of tradition and modern technology. Irrigation, large, medium & minor, and water harvesting should be given special thrust with a big budget allocation. Without which agricultural production can not be enhanced. Crops requiring less irrigation is an essential research project. Land reforms, providing 10 acre with irrigation facility to each family dependent on agriculture is vital to achieve high productivity. Direct subsidy and interest free loan to small & marginalized farmers are some of the measures. Techniques of Integrated farming imported by expert to small farmers can be helpful in uplifting them.

Agro-based Industry using surplus production in every village should be mandatory in budget provision. Training school providing training to tough in manufacture of agriculture implements should be established at Panchayat level.

Animal husbandry & Fisheries are good sources of income. As a part of integrated farm training every small & marginal farmer must be compulsorily trained & monetarily supported to produce milk, eggs and fish. This should be done not on pick and choose basis but on uniform basis.

Cultivation of Sugarcane should be encouraged not at the cost of food crops. Sugarcane based industries & sugar mills and expansion of capacity of the functional sugar factories should ensure that local youths are employed in large number.

Food processing sector envisages huge investment and can generate employment.

Handloom sector which used to employ youth earlier should be given extra impetus It should be ensured that products are sold.

Human resources & National resources, remittances are to be used in a judicious manner to achieve prosperity with justice for all.


Establishment of small & Heavy industry in auto, electronic & Power sector can utilize skilled potential of youth working in other states at their lives' risk.

Service sector invites heavy investment. It has potential to employ skilled semi skilled and unskilled human force. Bihar has a very rich history. So many historical places developed into tourist centres and hereby generate employment.

Above all, Bihar can become hub of Education institutions. It has be education centre since ancient times. In modern times, Patna University, more than a century old has produced world class intellectuals. Time is to reinnorate its past glory. Apart from reviving old institutions, many more technical institutes of world class can be established. Brain-drain will stop.

Infrastructure development of high quality, without which progress in other sectors is rent to impossible. Roads, bridges, school building, hospital buildings etc godowns for storage of food grains etc are established all over Bihar. Budget allocation for this sector should be very high. Besides it should be enseuced that quality is maintained. More ad more men power should be utilized in construction.

Another very valuable sector for employment generation is income is non-conventional source of energy. Human waste & bio waste are available in plenty. Research centre at district level should be established. Non-conditional energy unit from human & bio waste in every city is very useful in employing unskilled work force cleanliness. It requires special emphasis.

Environmental friendly industry is another option for employment generation & pollution free atmosphere.

Bihar should develop Human Development Report. On the basis of the HDR data analysis and recommendations, the state government should a correct human development strategy.

To prevent Bihar's population volcano from eruption full enploitation of  human resources is to be ensured through labour intensire industries, governmen and concurred Biharies irrespective of Political belief must coordinate in harmony, then only a peaceful, beautiful, prosperous and developed Bihar will energy.

- Sanjay Kr. Singh

Saturday, November 27, 2010

UNDERNOURISHMENT: A SERIOUS CONCERN IN BIHAR

The Bihar government boasts of high development in infrastructure, service sector, telecom sector but child nutrition, women and adolescent girls' development is not focused. Figures in nutrition is not shinning. Over 50% of children are malnourished. Progress in human development, particularly children's physical and mental development, education have to be accelerated. If Bihar wants to remove stigma of malnutrition deaths which are more than any sub-Saharan violence torn African state, politicians have to give first priority to " nutrition" in their political agenda.

The state should adopt something like " Nutrition Program" under a separate department to give focus on coherence and urgency to efforts to eradicate "undernutrition" in a time bound frame. The departments should coordinate with NGOs working in combating under nutritionally affected poor marginalized families for awareness campaign and monitoring.

Prime Minister's council on nutrition exists. But it seems that it is not functioning effectively. It has not met since its creation 18 months ago.

Rotting grains in the open and misuse of funds on various meaningless projects while millions and millions of poor are dying without food is a matter concerning governance.

Anganwadi Centers are 80211 in number in Bihar. There is no doubt the number has increased from few thousand to lakhs, but condition of the centers, workloads on Anganwadi workers and their honorarium is as poor as that of 1990s. Many of them lacks toilets, washing facilities, clean drinking water, own building, food storage facilities, weighing machines, decent roofs and floors, honorarium is very low and irregular. It is no wonder that centers have not made any significant impact on nutrition status.

The question is how to make ICDS centers more efficient and workers more responsible, more skillful and more combative in reducing under-nutrition. How nutritious food will reach centers and distributed amongst beneficiaries?

Under nutrition retards the growth of a child. It squeezes life out of a kid without any clinical sign. It affects mainly poor. It requires raising up of quality of food, purchasing power and equitable distribution. All these can not be possible without strong political leadership.

         Some measures can be useful to overcome undernutrition.
·       It is required that investment should be increased to produce not only cereals but many other nourishing food items. A political atmosphere is to be grated where all political parties give priority to removal of malnutrition in their political agenda.             
·       A political atmosphere is to be created where all political parties give priority to removal of malnutrition in their political agenda.
·       Creation of new surveillance system linking all Anganwadis through computer network.
·       Allotted funds for the given period should be fully utilized in the manner that pilferage does not take place.
·       Anganwadi workers have to be paid reasonable well and on time. Incentives have to be given to make them focused and motivated.
·       CDPO, the concerned official at district level should be provided with vehicle and other facilities. Their increment in salary should be only based on the assessment of nutritional status of children.
·       People should be encouraged to vote for politicians-- Mukhia, MLA, MP who help in raising nutritional situation in their constituencies.
·       Raise a new band of nutrition activists who will campaign from village to village for reduction in malnutrition level.


Bringing in private companies into the realm of health of children will only result in heavy profit for them. Competing with each other for profit they may even damage health of poor children.

Malnutrition is a serious social problem of a very high magnitude. It is a Herculean task.  It is not possible for the government to root it out on its own. But, the leadership, resources have to come from it. Business houses, civil society and academic community and international donors can play important catalytic role to help eradicate undernutrition. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

GOVERNMENT SAYS NO TO THE NEEDS OF THE STARVING PEOPLE

Technological development has not lessened the importance of people as the valuable resource of any country. India is no exception to it. They produce grains, work in factories and provide essential services to the society. Therefore, they are asset, not liability. It is the duty of our government that the poor people are given adequate food to support themselves. However, the government is busy giving concession in crores to the rich and corporate sectors. It has no concrete policy to check scam in different departments occurring time to time. In the last two decades, grains per capita consumption has gone down rapidly. In 2008, it has fallen to 156 Kg due to export and policy of stocks. It is expected that food intake will further go down in 2010 because the government's reluctance to distribute grains amongst the deserving poor.

Intellectuals, economists receiving heavy salary and other considerations from the government and policy-makers do not want to remove artificial barriers like 'below' and 'above' poverty line. They should realize the fact that hunger is increasing day by day.
 'Below' poverty line people from vulnerable community, old, infirm men and women, children, adolescent girls, destitute suffer from insecurity of food grains. Most of them are living on the verge of starvation.

The insensitive middle class feels that there is no poor people in the society. They also have a feeling that " poverty" and "poor" "starvation" are created by some NGOs and individuals who have vested interests and the Supreme Court also sides with them. The policy makers coming from this class want cut in budget for poor people. It is understood by them that poor eat better food- milk, egg, meat etc and cereals. This is absolutely wrong concept.

The government boasts of huge record production of grains-- 235 million tonnes in 2008-09. FCI and other state agencies have the capacity to store not even half of the quantity. So, nearly 176.83 lakh MTs of food grain is rottening in the open across the country. More than 50,000 MTs  have been destroyed by flood in Punjab. 31, 574 MTs of food grains procured in 2008-09 and 18.90 lakh MTs of food grains in 2009-10 by Harayana Government are kept in godowns.

Experts have the opinion that millions of tons of grain rotting in open yards can earn foreign exchange for India considering the high prices of grain in the global market.

Grains are also lost to rodents. According to Dr Parpia, renound food scientists and Director of Central Food Technological Research Institute H.A.B Parpia said in an interview to the Hindu "six rats eat food grains of one man and that an average rat in the country is nutritionally healthier than an average Indian"

What is the use of rotten grains? Who will buy the rotten grain? Even grains in best conditions are not good for consumption according to the food standard prevailing abroad. Then it is likely that the government will sell them at very low price in the open market in the country which had happened earlier. Traders in their turn will export as feed for European cattle. But the most judicious use of rotten grain will be to convert it into bio-fertilizer. Sell it to farmers below the price of chemical fertilizer. This will increase the fertility of agricultural land.

In market-oriented economy there is no charity as such. there is no free goods for anyone, whether poor or rich. However, rich are given heavy concession in terms of tax benefits. It is beyond doubt that in the present budget, 500,000 were given to corporate sectors as concession. Scams are also, part of free bies because there is no law to check them. Rs 900 crores lost in the scam in animal husbandry scam, in Bihar, scam in mining in Karnataka, 2000 crore lost in scam in Jharkhand, 60,000 crores lost in spectrum scam and so on.

Other developing nations- China, Brazil, Venezuela are increasing purchasing power of their population. Per capita consumption of cereals and animal product is rising substantially in these countries. However, in India per capita income is rising but it is not enough to meet the rising prices of grains and animal products. Why this is so ? This has resulted from inequitable nature of growth and distribution of wealth, income. The number of unemployed people has gone up and intake of cereal and animal products has drastically gone down in the last decade in the whole country. No wonder average energy and protein intake have also fallen. People are forced to cut into cereal intake let alone diversifying of diets.                   

The Prime Minister says that free distribution of grains will be injustice to the farmers. This saying implies that all farmers are very rich. So they do not need grains. He should know the fact that the small and marginalized sell their crops to meet their basic needs. The money hardly meets the needs of six months of a farmer. Rest of the year he is dependent on loan from local Mahajans or help from relatives.

The government should take some bold measures to tackle poverty and to save poor from starvation. Firstly, PDS should be made universal. Artificial line like 'Below Poverty Line' and 'Above Poverty Line' should be abolished. Purchasing power should be increased through effective implementation of  Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and establishment of  Small-Scale agro based industries at Panchayat level. Products of such industries should be marketed by government agencies ( MGNREGA) like scheme should be introduced in Urban areas because poor from villages are thronging to towns and cities in search of livelihood. It can be used in beautification of cities, making storage facilities for food grains.

Stop export of grains while millions of people sleep hungry. Hungry people who votes so merrily while the government makes policies for middle class and upper middle class. When the government will implement directive principles in letter and spirit? However, people of India, expects more from the supreme court as far as the security of food for poor people is concerned.

Working group on agricultural production set up by the Prime Minister and chaired by Haryana Chief Minister, B.S Hooda recommends that Indian companies should be encouraged to buy or hire land in Africa to grow pulses, edible oil seeds and food grains. Its report says "We should seriously consider these options for at least two million tons of pulses and five million tons of edible oil for fifteen-twenty years. It further says Indian companies can be encouraged to buy lands in countries like Canada, Myanmar, Australia and Argentina for producing pulses under long term supply contracts to canalizing agencies". Undoubtedly, the government will support such companies to buy land and grow grain in other countries. It is very likely that these countries will destroy the fertility of land in the course of extracting grains as much as possible. The locals will also get restless. This is really cheating on poor human beings.

The government should end starvation, inequality, poverty. If it is not possible it should abolish "Socialism" from the preamble of the constitution and the Directive Principles of State Policy. These principles though are not enforceable, they are "fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws". Since the government has not followed, is not following these principles, what is the use of keeping in the constitution?    

Corruption: Subversion of system for income

India's rank has slipped to 87nth position out of 178 countries in the Transparency International corruption perception Index 2009. Its rank has also gone down in the Bribe Payers Index among developing economic powers. Integrity score of our country has fallen to 3.3 out of 10 in 2010. Its integrity score was 3.5 in 2007 and 3.4 in 2008-09.   Public funds are being looted for personnel accumulation of wealth by a nexus of politicians- bureaucrats-corporate sectors since India became a republic state. Politicians have made this country their personnel fiefdom and use their position to make money and retain power. Corruption is not limited to politicians, businessmen and ruling oligarchs, but it seems that it has pervaded all sections of society. Lord Acton's saying" power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely fits today's India.

Politicians take a share of babu's commission that they take out of every project. when a politician spends money in election, that is his investment. This investment, they think, makes them morally right to reap percentage from every people's project.

Government job seekers also think 'Bribe' is an investment in jobs. So, they think that making money through corruption is from all points of view legal and moral their right.

For citizens and businesses, corruption is a faster and efficient medium to avail any government service ranging from train ticket to ticket for Parliament or assembly seat, not to forget various contracts.

Factory owners, shopkeepers, business houses, contractors hold gift giving functions for government officials who handle factories, sales tax, income tax, labour pollution, and so on. Officials, in their turn, free them from hackles of government rules and regulation and thus business runs smoothly. Factory owners do not have to pay full wages to the workers, maintain clean and hygienic working condition etc. They prepare inflated invoices with the help of officials for governments subsidies. Some business establishments grasp lands for business purposes at a fraction of the market value.

Builders build apartments without conforming the planning regulations. Businesses are set up without permit in prohibition area like residential colonies. Innocent farmers, displaced poor people due to mega projects of government and private sectors, are cheated of due compensation.

The biggest form of corruption is 'scam' which has been going on since Independence. It is a huge loot by politicians in collusion with government official and business establishments. To name a few: Jeep scam during Pandit Nehru Prime Ministership tenure, Animal Husbandry scam in Bihar, Bofors scam, Spectrum Scam, Common wealth games scam, Koda scam in Jharkhand and now Adarsh Society Scam in the name of flat allotment to Kargil's heros.

A few gains from this environment of pervasive corruption, while society as a whole looses crores of rupees. The honest government officials are often sidelined. Sometimes, they are killed, their family members suffer silently. The bureaucrat's hierarchy is based on corrupt practices. Corruption is the yardstick of promotion, not honesty and merit. Law abiding citizens, weak and poor are often penalized by bureaucrats using delay tactics.

A poor person has to pay bribe to get his or her name registered in BPL. Old destitute pays bribe to collect old age pension from Post office. A pregnant woman pays commission to nurse to secure her maternity benefit. Funds in MNREGA are siphoned off by officials, staff and Mukhia. There are a lot of such instances where poor are fleeced by government officials, staffs, political representatives and government contractors.

Why there is so much corruption in our society? It is a matter of great debate. Law-makers, executive and judiciary are unable to prevent those who exploit the system for their own interests. Time to time, legislature brings new regulations, inspections, restrictions to check corruption. But, all efforts go in vain because as stated above, they are all part of corrupt system.

Corruption can not be totally rooted from the society, but it can be controlled to great extent by using modern electronic devices, strong punitive measures. Complicated rules and regulations must be replaced by simple and straightforward ones. Every government establishment should be installed with surveillance Camera recording interactions between government officials-citizens. These are the measures worth taking despite exchequer will be burdened with heavy costs.

Corruption emerges in the system when it fails to cater to the interest of rich and poor both. While corruption practices prove beneficial for the rich the poor suffer badly from it. The system, as of today, is a combination of feudalism and Global Capitalism. Capitalists and Feudalists are making use full potential of the system to fleec this country's natural resources in connivance with politicians and bureaucrats. All legislators and parliamentarians have become billionaires. All but a few bureaucrats are not far behind politicians  masters in profiteering.

The question is how to save poor, honest, weak citizens from the jaws of the agents of corruption? They all will have to come together to create a new system which is accountable to the people based on transparency which is 'by the people, of the people and for the people, not for the billionaires.         

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ayodhya Verdict


Rupesh & Sanjay
A special three judge Bench of Allahabad High Court has pronounced judgment on Ayodhya dispute on Sep 30, dividing the disputed land into three equal one-third share to each plaintiff. By a 2-1 majority verdict, all the three contending parties-- Lord Ram, Nirmohi Akhara and the Wakf Board were declared joint title holders of the property. The deity, Lord Ram, regarded as a juristic person is awarded the land where the central dome of the Masjid stood and where the make shift temple exists now. The Nirmohi Akhara is awarded the Ran Chabutra and Sita Rasoi building standing in the outer courtyard of the premises. Sunni Wakf Board is allotted the area where Babri Masjid existed, same parts of inner courtyard and outer courtyard. The judgment is based on faith, historical use of premises by both the communities: Hindus and Muslims. It is made with the view that peace and harmony in the society is more important than " the upholding of law".

The Bench in unison rejected the petition of Sunni Wakf Board for possession of the Babri Masjid on the ground that it is a mere declaration and not for possession. So, therefore, it is time barred.

Justice Aggarval and Sharma held that Ramlala's suit filed in 1989 through his next friend (Devakinandan) was not time barred because it did not disclose cause of action. The suit should be rejected under order 7 Rule 11 of the civil procedure court. However, the judges chose not to reject the suit but rejected the Muslim contention that the suit time barred. Justice Aggraval also stated that ( under article 58 of the limitation act ) the suit must involve violation of a right. Since, there was no violation in 1989 suit he held that petition was not time barred.      

After independence, idol of Ram was surreptitiously placed inside the Mosque on 22-23 Dec 1949. The Congress party, which succeeded the British government did not take against the then local administration. However, the Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru expressed anguish through a series of letters. ( The Babri Masjid Edited by A.G Noorani). In a telegram to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Govind Vallabh Pant  dated Dec 26, 1949, he called the incident as a " dangerous example" that could have "bad consequences." Nehru in his letter to his close friend K.G Mashruwala ( letter dated March 5, 1950), confessed that the district officer in Faizabad " misbehaved," but Pant did not take any definite action. In a letter dated April 17, 1950, to the UP Chief Minister, he wrote: " UP is becoming an almost foreign land to me.......I find that communalism has invaded the minds and hearts of those who were the pillars of the congress in the past. It is a creeping paralysis and the patient does not even realise it......It seems to me that for some reason or other, or perhaps (for) mere political expediency, we have been far to lenient with this disease....." .( Source-From Political Ayodhya to legal Ayodhya-Vidya Subrahmaniam-The Hindu).
Pandit Nehru might have felt deep distress but he along with communal elements of his party are equally responsible for what happened on the night of 22 DEC 1949.  

Justice Aggarval and Sharma held that Ramlala's suit filed in 1989 through his next friend (Devakinandan) was not time barred because it did not disclose cause of action. The suit should be rejected under order 7 Rule 11 of the civil procedure court. However, the judges chose not to reject the suit but rejected the Muslim contention that the suit time barred. Justice Aggraval also stated that ( under article 58 of the limitation act ) the suit must involve violation of a right. Since, there was no violation in 1989 suit he held that petition was not time barred.

Separate Judgment : Justice D.V Sharma who had broadly disagreed with his two fellow judges said that " the disputed site is birthplace of Lord Ram. Place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as (the) birth place of lord Rama as a child. Spirit of divine ever remains present everywhere at all times for any one to invoke in any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless also".

On the status of the contentious site comprising inner and outer courtyard Justice Sharma said " It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other objects of worship existed upon the property in suit. It is also established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janm Sthan i.e a birth place as deity and visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial".

Regarding the building whether it was a Mosque and who built it, the judge said," The disputed building was constructed by Babar, the year is not certain but it was built against the tenets of Islam. Thus, it can not have the character of a Mosque."

Agreeing with the fact that Mosque was built after demolishing a Hindu temple, he said," the disputed structure was constructed on the site of (the) old structure after demolition of the same. The Archeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure."

On whether the idols were placed in the building on the night of ( December 22/23, 1949, Justice Sharma said: " The idols were placed in the middle dome of the disputed structure in the intervening night of 22/23 of December 1949. It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping throughout and in the inner courtyard ( in the disputed structure) they were also worshipping. IT is also established that the disputed structure can not be treated as a Mosque as it came into existence against the tenets of Islam."

Citing a case of a Bombay High Court Justice S.U Khan, held that a suit for exclusive ownership can be decreed in favour of joint ownership provided joint ownership is proved. This was broadly agreed by Justice Sudhir Agarwal in his seperate judgment.

In the view of his findings Justice Khan in his 285 page judgment said," all the three parties (Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara) are entitled to a declaration of joint title and possession to the extent of one third each and a preliminary decree to that effect is to be passed."

He said:" In the matter of actual partition it is only desirable but not necessary to allot that part of property to a party which was in his exclusive use and occupation. Accordingly, in view of peculiar facts and circumstances it is held that in actual partition, the portion where the idol is presently kept in the makeshift temple will be allotted to the Hindus, and the Nirmohi Akhara will be allotted land, including Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi. However, to adjust all the three parties at the time of actual partition, slight variation in the share of any party may be made to be compensated by allotting the adjoining land acquired by the Central government."

He said," my judgment is short, very short. Either I may be admired as an artist who knows where to stop, particularly in such sensitive, delicate matter I may be castigated for being so casual in such a momentous task. I have not delved to deep in the history and the archeology. This I have done for four reasons. First, this exercise was not absolutely essential to decide these suits. Second, I was not sure as to whether at the end of the tortuous voyage I would have found a treasure or faced a monster ( treasure of truth or monster of confusion worst confounded. Third, having no pretence of knowledge of history I did not want to be caught in the crossfire of historians. Forth, the Supreme Court, in Karnataka Board of Wakf Vs Government of India, has held as far as a title suit of civil nature is concerned, there is no room for historical facts and claims."

Justice Khan said:" As this judgment is not finally deciding the matter and as the most crucial stage is to come after it is decided by the Supreme Court, I remind both the warring factions of the following. The one quality which epitomized the character of Ram is tyag (sacrifice)." When Prophet Mohammad entered into a treaty with the rival group at Hudayliyah, it appeared to be abject surrender even to his staunch supporters." However, the Koran described that as clear victory and it did prove so. With in a short span Muslims entered the Mecca as victors, and not a drop of blood was shed."

Admiring Muslims' resilience after the demolition he said "Under the sub-heading of demolition, I have admired our resilience. However, we must realize that such things do not happen in quick succession. Another fall and we may no be able to rise again, at least quickly. Today the pace of world is faster than it was in 1992. We may be crushed"

Asking Muslims to make aware the world with the vision of Islam he said "Muslims must also ponder that at present the entire world wants to know the exact teaching of Islam in respect of relationship of Muslims with others. Hostility, peace, friendship, tolerance, opportunity to impress others with the Message, opportunity to strike wherever and whenever possible, or what? In this regards Muslims in India enjoy a unique position. They have been rulers here, they have been ruled and now they are sharers in power (of course junior partners). They are not in majority but they are also not a negligible minority (after Indonesia, India has the highest number of Muslims in the world.). In other countries, either the Muslims are in huge majority, which makes them indifferent to the problem in question, or in negligible minority, which makes them redundant. Indian Muslims have also inherited huge legacy of religious learning and knowledge. They are therefore in the best position to tell the world the correct position. Let them start with their role in the resolution of the conflict at hand." ( Source-The Hindu, 1st October).

Justice D.V Sharma's judgment favoring Hindus against Muslims is bound to deepen chasm between the two will endanger peace and harmony in the society. Distortion of historical facts and subjective interpretation of Limitation Act will erode faith in judiciary.

The majority judgment of S.U Khan and Justice Sudhir Agarwal based on faith and religion tends to bring reconciliation and rapprochement  amongst the contentious parties. It is well reasonable in the society which is badly torn with violence. However, 'Rule of the Law' says that concrete evidence should be the basis of any judgment. Democracy and constitution should not be thrown to the wind in adjucating any conflict whether it is between individuals and communities.                               

Going back into the history of litigation of Ram Janmbhoomi- Babri Masjid dispute it is found that Bigot Hindus have been fighting legal battle for possession of the disputed land for more than 100 years. The first suit was filed in 1885, by Mahant Ragubar Das, when he was refused the permission to build Ram temple on the land adjoining the Mosque. He filed title suit in a Faizabad court against the secretary of state for India, seeking permission to build Ram temple on the Chabutra. His suit was time barred. The Lordship asserted that demolition of temple in 1528 happened more than '300years' ago. This suit was revived in 1950, when the plaintiff Gopal Singh Visharad filed case in the Faizabad civil court. He stated in his petition that he was true worshiper and offer puja to the idols allegedly placed under the central dome of the Masjid and that the idols should not be removed.

The Nirmohi Akhara, filed suit in 1959, asserting that there was no Babri Masjid, no Mosque and no demolition of an earlier temple by Babar or anyone else. It is the owner of the Janmbhoomi, idols and the temple. Sunni Central Wakf Board filed suit in 1961, claiming the title of the land that Muslims have been offering Namaz. in the Mosque since it came to existence in1958. They have been illegally debarred from offering prayers there after installation of idols. The fifth suit was filed in 1989, by Hindu plaintiff on behalf of Bhagwan Shree Ramlala virajman for a declaration and possession.

Political And Judicial Failures
BJP and its allies VHP/RSS developed movement from 1982 to build temple known as " Ram Temple movement". BJP formally adopted the issue in June 1989 at its national executive in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh: " The BJP holds that the nature of this controversy is such that it just can not be sorted out by a court of law. A court of law..... can not adjudicate as to whether Babar did actually invade Ayodhya, destroy a temple and build a mosque in its place........The sentiments of the people must be respected, and Ramjanmasthan handed over to the Hindus-- if possible through a negotiated settlement, or else, by legislation. Litigation certainly is no answer". ( Source: The winding paths of a temple down, Vidya Subrahmaniam and J. Venkatesan-The Hindu)

In 1986 Faizabad District Judge passed order to open the locks of the Masjid. This was a big victory for VHP which opened the way for it to perform Shilanyas on Nov 9, 1989. Thus, BJP-VHP-RSS combine got the right to build a temple on the disputed site. For this it was necessary that the Mosque should be brought down. The agitation was started with Mr Advani's Ramrath Yatra in 1990 and culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992. Through all this congress government's position was like that of an onlooker.

Recently former Chief Justice of India A.M Ahmadi expressed the opinion in a seminar on "Ayodhya Judgment: Civil Society Response organised by the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi that the Babri Masjid could have been saved had the Supreme Court acted responsibly. He pointed out that the then Attorney-General Milon Banerjee had repeatedly urged the two- judge bench of justice M.N Venkatachaliah and Justice G. N Ray to appoint the central government as the custodian of the land where Kar Seva was suppose to be done. Mr Banerjee told the court that he had enough information about the Kar Sevaks would destroy the Babri Masjid. However, the court passed an order allowing a symbolic Kar Seva. (Source: Report- Supreme Court could have prevented Babri Demolition, says ex-Chief Justice Ahmadi-Vidya Subramaniam. Dated-24/10/2010-The Hindu.)

Hitorian Romila Thapar said on the judgment that this verdict is a political judgment. It reflects religious identity, lacks historical and archeological evidence. She asserted that this would create a wrong precedent in the court of law. Any land can be claimed by declaring it to be the birthplace of a divine or semi-divine being worshipped by a group that defines itself as a community.( The verdict on Ayodhya: A historian's perspective-Romila Thapar-The Hindu)

All the three judges on the bench have not taken note of the vandalism  of Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992. They have legalised and legitimised the demolition of the Babri Masjid as the divison of the disputed land is based on the fact that there is no Masjid on the contentious land. The Supreme Court in its judgment (1994) on demolition said " Within a short time, entire structure was demolished and razed to the ground. Indeed, it was an act of 'national shame'. What was demolished was not merely an ancient structure, but the faith of the minorities in the sense of justice and fair play of the majority. It shook their faith in the rule of law and constitutional processes. A 500-year-old structure which was defenseless and whose safety was a sacred trust in the hands of the State government was demolished."       





Different Views
Justice Rajendra Sachchar has said in his Article in PUCL Bulletin that the suit by the VHP/RSS should be dismissed under the limitation act. He said this in view of the Precedent of the case of the Masjid Shahidganj in Lahore decided by the privy council in 1940. "In that case a Mosque existed till 1762 but after that building came under Sikh rule and was being used as a Gurudwara. In 1935 Muslims files a suit to claim that building should be returned to  Muslims. The privy council, while observing, " Their Lordship have every sympathy with a religious sentiment which would ascribe sanctity and inviolability to a place of worship, they can not, under the limitation act, accept the contentions that such a building can not be possessed adversely" and then went on to hold, " The property now in question have been possessed by Sikhs adversely to the Wakf and to all interests there under for more than 12 years, the right of the mutawali to possession for the purposes of the Wakf came to an end under Limitation Act."

Another reason he gives for the suit to be disallowed is that "common law rightful heir is debarred from the right of inheritance if he kills his ancestors. In this case, Masjid is demolished and so the criminals can not be allowed of their wrongful deeds, whatever the legal position may be".

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan disagreed with the judgment and said " This is panchayati justice which takes away the legal rights of Muslims and convert the moral sentimental entitlements of Hindus into legal rights". He further said " If this panchayati solution is to be endured, the degree of Muslim entitlements should have been left intact so that the site belonged to them".

He felt that the demolition of the Musjid was similar to the destruction of the Budhdha statues at Bamiyan in Afganistan. India's secularism is, therefore, majoritarian in nature with very little space for minority.

P.P Rao senior advocate agreeing with Mr Dhavan said " It is difficult to appreciate how the property can be divided by the court while dismissing the suits. This is nothing but a panchayati type of justice. " If the court accepts that the Wakf Board is entitled to one-third of land, it can not dismiss the suit. If the court dismisses the suits, it can not give only a portion of land. The court has gone beyond the prayers in the suits. When no one had asked for divison of the land, how can the court divide the land into three portions? There are prima facie ground for the parties to go for appeal to the Supreme Court as all of them are aggrieved over the division of the property". ( Source- Verdict draws flak and praise from experts- J Venkatesan and P. Sunderarajan-The Hindu)

Senior advocate Mukul Bohatgi said " I think it is a political kind of solution. It has given something to everybody. This seems to be the just possible solution in respecting the sentiments of all parties. We should be progressive on these issues and accept the judgment"

President of the All-India Bar Association Adish Aggarwala said," By this judgement everybody has won. No one has lost. This judgment can be practically implemented. Although it is a religious matter and somebody will go to the Supreme Court, I am certain that the Supreme court will affirm the judgment as it is in the interest of every citizen of India. This will reflect the spirit of religious tolerance."

Advocate Wasim Qadri said," It shows the respect and faith in the judiciary and democracy in this country.This is a victory of governance as per rule of law and constitutional schemes. Though I am not a party, being a like-minded person, this is one way of settling the dispute. This is a good signal for India."        



The judgment, however, raises some vital questions. First, democracy and secularism need to be redefined in unambiguous term? This judgment is a judgment or Panchayati? Third, where does the limitation act stand in this case? Fourth, separation of state from religion in very categorical terms is the need of the hour?


Democracy and Secularism was throttled several times first in 1949 when some bigot elements, in connivance with local administrative officials surreptitiously placed idols of Ram under the central dome of the Babri Masjid. It was followed by locking of the Masjid. Second rime in  1985, when the locks were opened and Hindus were allowed to worship. Third time, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was pulled down by communal elements of BJP-VHP/RSS combine. This majority judgment has not followed the principles of democracy and has kept 'faith' and 'religion' above "Constitution" and 'Law in the name of peace and tranquility in the society. To maintain peace and harmony, law and order is the duty of the executive wing of the state whereas judiciary is to see that 'justice' is delivered to individuals or community.

Violation of article 25 by destructors of Babri Masjid can not be condoned. Article 25 gives right to every citizen to profess practice and propagate religion. This is subjet to public order, morality and health. It should be read in connection with all other fundamental rights. It can not be limited to Hindus only. Muslims and other religions are equally entitled to article 25.

Intellectuals, historians, legal experts and judges and lawyers are vertically divided on how to resolve this issue. Issues are wide open: 1) Ram's birthplace? 2) Mosque was built after demolishing the temple? 3) who are responsible for 1992 demolition of Babri masjid?. The Supreme Court's judgment may go in favor of any of the contentious plaintiffs. It may uphold democracy, constitution and justice, but it can not afford to ignore social-religio aspect of the dispute because state, society and religion are badly intermingled. Our constitution does not separate religion as a private practice from the state. In a pluralistic society like ours, religion, faith, belief should be subservient to 'Rule of the Law'. 

Ayodhya Verdict


Rupesh & Sanjay
A special three judge Bench of Allahabad High Court has pronounced judgment on Ayodhya dispute on Sep 30, dividing the disputed land into three equal one-third share to each plaintiff. By a 2-1 majority verdict, all the three contending parties-- Lord Ram, Nirmohi Akhara and the Wakf Board were declared joint title holders of the property. The deity, Lord Ram, regarded as a juristic person is awarded the land where the central dome of the Masjid stood and where the make shift temple exists now. The Nirmohi Akhara is awarded the Ran Chabutra and Sita Rasoi building standing in the outer courtyard of the premises. Sunni Wakf Board is allotted the area where Babri Masjid existed, same parts of inner courtyard and outer courtyard. The judgment is based on faith, historical use of premises by both the communities: Hindus and Muslims. It is made with the view that peace and harmony in the society is more important than " the upholding of law".

The Bench in unison rejected the petition of Sunni Wakf Board for possession of the Babri Masjid on the ground that it is a mere declaration and not for possession. So, therefore, it is time barred.

Justice Aggarval and Sharma held that Ramlala's suit filed in 1989 through his next friend (Devakinandan) was not time barred because it did not disclose cause of action. The suit should be rejected under order 7 Rule 11 of the civil procedure court. However, the judges chose not to reject the suit but rejected the Muslim contention that the suit time barred. Justice Aggraval also stated that ( under article 58 of the limitation act ) the suit must involve violation of a right. Since, there was no violation in 1989 suit he held that petition was not time barred.      

After independence, idol of Ram was surreptitiously placed inside the Mosque on 22-23 Dec 1949. The Congress party, which succeeded the British government did not take against the then local administration. However, the Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru expressed anguish through a series of letters. ( The Babri Masjid Edited by A.G Noorani). In a telegram to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Govind Vallabh Pant  dated Dec 26, 1949, he called the incident as a " dangerous example" that could have "bad consequences." Nehru in his letter to his close friend K.G Mashruwala ( letter dated March 5, 1950), confessed that the district officer in Faizabad " misbehaved," but Pant did not take any definite action. In a letter dated April 17, 1950, to the UP Chief Minister, he wrote: " UP is becoming an almost foreign land to me.......I find that communalism has invaded the minds and hearts of those who were the pillars of the congress in the past. It is a creeping paralysis and the patient does not even realise it......It seems to me that for some reason or other, or perhaps (for) mere political expediency, we have been far to lenient with this disease....." .( Source-From Political Ayodhya to legal Ayodhya-Vidya Subrahmaniam-The Hindu).
Pandit Nehru might have felt deep distress but he along with communal elements of his party are equally responsible for what happened on the night of 22 DEC 1949.  

Justice Aggarval and Sharma held that Ramlala's suit filed in 1989 through his next friend (Devakinandan) was not time barred because it did not disclose cause of action. The suit should be rejected under order 7 Rule 11 of the civil procedure court. However, the judges chose not to reject the suit but rejected the Muslim contention that the suit time barred. Justice Aggraval also stated that ( under article 58 of the limitation act ) the suit must involve violation of a right. Since, there was no violation in 1989 suit he held that petition was not time barred.

Separate Judgment : Justice D.V Sharma who had broadly disagreed with his two fellow judges said that " the disputed site is birthplace of Lord Ram. Place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as (the) birth place of lord Rama as a child. Spirit of divine ever remains present everywhere at all times for any one to invoke in any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless also".

On the status of the contentious site comprising inner and outer courtyard Justice Sharma said " It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other objects of worship existed upon the property in suit. It is also established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janm Sthan i.e a birth place as deity and visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial".

Regarding the building whether it was a Mosque and who built it, the judge said," The disputed building was constructed by Babar, the year is not certain but it was built against the tenets of Islam. Thus, it can not have the character of a Mosque."

Agreeing with the fact that Mosque was built after demolishing a Hindu temple, he said," the disputed structure was constructed on the site of (the) old structure after demolition of the same. The Archeological Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive Hindu religious structure."

On whether the idols were placed in the building on the night of ( December 22/23, 1949, Justice Sharma said: " The idols were placed in the middle dome of the disputed structure in the intervening night of 22/23 of December 1949. It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping throughout and in the inner courtyard ( in the disputed structure) they were also worshipping. IT is also established that the disputed structure can not be treated as a Mosque as it came into existence against the tenets of Islam."

Citing a case of a Bombay High Court Justice S.U Khan, held that a suit for exclusive ownership can be decreed in favour of joint ownership provided joint ownership is proved. This was broadly agreed by Justice Sudhir Agarwal in his seperate judgment.

In the view of his findings Justice Khan in his 285 page judgment said," all the three parties (Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara) are entitled to a declaration of joint title and possession to the extent of one third each and a preliminary decree to that effect is to be passed."

He said:" In the matter of actual partition it is only desirable but not necessary to allot that part of property to a party which was in his exclusive use and occupation. Accordingly, in view of peculiar facts and circumstances it is held that in actual partition, the portion where the idol is presently kept in the makeshift temple will be allotted to the Hindus, and the Nirmohi Akhara will be allotted land, including Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi. However, to adjust all the three parties at the time of actual partition, slight variation in the share of any party may be made to be compensated by allotting the adjoining land acquired by the Central government."

He said," my judgment is short, very short. Either I may be admired as an artist who knows where to stop, particularly in such sensitive, delicate matter I may be castigated for being so casual in such a momentous task. I have not delved to deep in the history and the archeology. This I have done for four reasons. First, this exercise was not absolutely essential to decide these suits. Second, I was not sure as to whether at the end of the tortuous voyage I would have found a treasure or faced a monster ( treasure of truth or monster of confusion worst confounded. Third, having no pretence of knowledge of history I did not want to be caught in the crossfire of historians. Forth, the Supreme Court, in Karnataka Board of Wakf Vs Government of India, has held as far as a title suit of civil nature is concerned, there is no room for historical facts and claims."

Justice Khan said:" As this judgment is not finally deciding the matter and as the most crucial stage is to come after it is decided by the Supreme Court, I remind both the warring factions of the following. The one quality which epitomized the character of Ram is tyag (sacrifice)." When Prophet Mohammad entered into a treaty with the rival group at Hudayliyah, it appeared to be abject surrender even to his staunch supporters." However, the Koran described that as clear victory and it did prove so. With in a short span Muslims entered the Mecca as victors, and not a drop of blood was shed."

Admiring Muslims' resilience after the demolition he said "Under the sub-heading of demolition, I have admired our resilience. However, we must realize that such things do not happen in quick succession. Another fall and we may no be able to rise again, at least quickly. Today the pace of world is faster than it was in 1992. We may be crushed"

Asking Muslims to make aware the world with the vision of Islam he said "Muslims must also ponder that at present the entire world wants to know the exact teaching of Islam in respect of relationship of Muslims with others. Hostility, peace, friendship, tolerance, opportunity to impress others with the Message, opportunity to strike wherever and whenever possible, or what? In this regards Muslims in India enjoy a unique position. They have been rulers here, they have been ruled and now they are sharers in power (of course junior partners). They are not in majority but they are also not a negligible minority (after Indonesia, India has the highest number of Muslims in the world.). In other countries, either the Muslims are in huge majority, which makes them indifferent to the problem in question, or in negligible minority, which makes them redundant. Indian Muslims have also inherited huge legacy of religious learning and knowledge. They are therefore in the best position to tell the world the correct position. Let them start with their role in the resolution of the conflict at hand." ( Source-The Hindu, 1st October).

Justice D.V Sharma's judgment favoring Hindus against Muslims is bound to deepen chasm between the two will endanger peace and harmony in the society. Distortion of historical facts and subjective interpretation of Limitation Act will erode faith in judiciary.

The majority judgment of S.U Khan and Justice Sudhir Agarwal based on faith and religion tends to bring reconciliation and rapprochement  amongst the contentious parties. It is well reasonable in the society which is badly torn with violence. However, 'Rule of the Law' says that concrete evidence should be the basis of any judgment. Democracy and constitution should not be thrown to the wind in adjucating any conflict whether it is between individuals and communities.                               

Going back into the history of litigation of Ram Janmbhoomi- Babri Masjid dispute it is found that Bigot Hindus have been fighting legal battle for possession of the disputed land for more than 100 years. The first suit was filed in 1885, by Mahant Ragubar Das, when he was refused the permission to build Ram temple on the land adjoining the Mosque. He filed title suit in a Faizabad court against the secretary of state for India, seeking permission to build Ram temple on the Chabutra. His suit was time barred. The Lordship asserted that demolition of temple in 1528 happened more than '300years' ago. This suit was revived in 1950, when the plaintiff Gopal Singh Visharad filed case in the Faizabad civil court. He stated in his petition that he was true worshiper and offer puja to the idols allegedly placed under the central dome of the Masjid and that the idols should not be removed.

The Nirmohi Akhara, filed suit in 1959, asserting that there was no Babri Masjid, no Mosque and no demolition of an earlier temple by Babar or anyone else. It is the owner of the Janmbhoomi, idols and the temple. Sunni Central Wakf Board filed suit in 1961, claiming the title of the land that Muslims have been offering Namaz. in the Mosque since it came to existence in1958. They have been illegally debarred from offering prayers there after installation of idols. The fifth suit was filed in 1989, by Hindu plaintiff on behalf of Bhagwan Shree Ramlala virajman for a declaration and possession.

Political And Judicial Failures
BJP and its allies VHP/RSS developed movement from 1982 to build temple known as " Ram Temple movement". BJP formally adopted the issue in June 1989 at its national executive in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh: " The BJP holds that the nature of this controversy is such that it just can not be sorted out by a court of law. A court of law..... can not adjudicate as to whether Babar did actually invade Ayodhya, destroy a temple and build a mosque in its place........The sentiments of the people must be respected, and Ramjanmasthan handed over to the Hindus-- if possible through a negotiated settlement, or else, by legislation. Litigation certainly is no answer". ( Source: The winding paths of a temple down, Vidya Subrahmaniam and J. Venkatesan-The Hindu)

In 1986 Faizabad District Judge passed order to open the locks of the Masjid. This was a big victory for VHP which opened the way for it to perform Shilanyas on Nov 9, 1989. Thus, BJP-VHP-RSS combine got the right to build a temple on the disputed site. For this it was necessary that the Mosque should be brought down. The agitation was started with Mr Advani's Ramrath Yatra in 1990 and culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992. Through all this congress government's position was like that of an onlooker.

Recently former Chief Justice of India A.M Ahmadi expressed the opinion in a seminar on "Ayodhya Judgment: Civil Society Response organised by the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi that the Babri Masjid could have been saved had the Supreme Court acted responsibly. He pointed out that the then Attorney-General Milon Banerjee had repeatedly urged the two- judge bench of justice M.N Venkatachaliah and Justice G. N Ray to appoint the central government as the custodian of the land where Kar Seva was suppose to be done. Mr Banerjee told the court that he had enough information about the Kar Sevaks would destroy the Babri Masjid. However, the court passed an order allowing a symbolic Kar Seva. (Source: Report- Supreme Court could have prevented Babri Demolition, says ex-Chief Justice Ahmadi-Vidya Subramaniam. Dated-24/10/2010-The Hindu.)

Hitorian Romila Thapar said on the judgment that this verdict is a political judgment. It reflects religious identity, lacks historical and archeological evidence. She asserted that this would create a wrong precedent in the court of law. Any land can be claimed by declaring it to be the birthplace of a divine or semi-divine being worshipped by a group that defines itself as a community.( The verdict on Ayodhya: A historian's perspective-Romila Thapar-The Hindu)

All the three judges on the bench have not taken note of the vandalism  of Babri Masjid on Dec 6, 1992. They have legalised and legitimised the demolition of the Babri Masjid as the divison of the disputed land is based on the fact that there is no Masjid on the contentious land. The Supreme Court in its judgment (1994) on demolition said " Within a short time, entire structure was demolished and razed to the ground. Indeed, it was an act of 'national shame'. What was demolished was not merely an ancient structure, but the faith of the minorities in the sense of justice and fair play of the majority. It shook their faith in the rule of law and constitutional processes. A 500-year-old structure which was defenseless and whose safety was a sacred trust in the hands of the State government was demolished."       





Different Views
Justice Rajendra Sachchar has said in his Article in PUCL Bulletin that the suit by the VHP/RSS should be dismissed under the limitation act. He said this in view of the Precedent of the case of the Masjid Shahidganj in Lahore decided by the privy council in 1940. "In that case a Mosque existed till 1762 but after that building came under Sikh rule and was being used as a Gurudwara. In 1935 Muslims files a suit to claim that building should be returned to  Muslims. The privy council, while observing, " Their Lordship have every sympathy with a religious sentiment which would ascribe sanctity and inviolability to a place of worship, they can not, under the limitation act, accept the contentions that such a building can not be possessed adversely" and then went on to hold, " The property now in question have been possessed by Sikhs adversely to the Wakf and to all interests there under for more than 12 years, the right of the mutawali to possession for the purposes of the Wakf came to an end under Limitation Act."

Another reason he gives for the suit to be disallowed is that "common law rightful heir is debarred from the right of inheritance if he kills his ancestors. In this case, Masjid is demolished and so the criminals can not be allowed of their wrongful deeds, whatever the legal position may be".

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan disagreed with the judgment and said " This is panchayati justice which takes away the legal rights of Muslims and convert the moral sentimental entitlements of Hindus into legal rights". He further said " If this panchayati solution is to be endured, the degree of Muslim entitlements should have been left intact so that the site belonged to them".

He felt that the demolition of the Musjid was similar to the destruction of the Budhdha statues at Bamiyan in Afganistan. India's secularism is, therefore, majoritarian in nature with very little space for minority.

P.P Rao senior advocate agreeing with Mr Dhavan said " It is difficult to appreciate how the property can be divided by the court while dismissing the suits. This is nothing but a panchayati type of justice. " If the court accepts that the Wakf Board is entitled to one-third of land, it can not dismiss the suit. If the court dismisses the suits, it can not give only a portion of land. The court has gone beyond the prayers in the suits. When no one had asked for divison of the land, how can the court divide the land into three portions? There are prima facie ground for the parties to go for appeal to the Supreme Court as all of them are aggrieved over the division of the property". ( Source- Verdict draws flak and praise from experts- J Venkatesan and P. Sunderarajan-The Hindu)

Senior advocate Mukul Bohatgi said " I think it is a political kind of solution. It has given something to everybody. This seems to be the just possible solution in respecting the sentiments of all parties. We should be progressive on these issues and accept the judgment"

President of the All-India Bar Association Adish Aggarwala said," By this judgement everybody has won. No one has lost. This judgment can be practically implemented. Although it is a religious matter and somebody will go to the Supreme Court, I am certain that the Supreme court will affirm the judgment as it is in the interest of every citizen of India. This will reflect the spirit of religious tolerance."

Advocate Wasim Qadri said," It shows the respect and faith in the judiciary and democracy in this country.This is a victory of governance as per rule of law and constitutional schemes. Though I am not a party, being a like-minded person, this is one way of settling the dispute. This is a good signal for India."        



The judgment, however, raises some vital questions. First, democracy and secularism need to be redefined in unambiguous term? This judgment is a judgment or Panchayati? Third, where does the limitation act stand in this case? Fourth, separation of state from religion in very categorical terms is the need of the hour?


Democracy and Secularism was throttled several times first in 1949 when some bigot elements, in connivance with local administrative officials surreptitiously placed idols of Ram under the central dome of the Babri Masjid. It was followed by locking of the Masjid. Second rime in  1985, when the locks were opened and Hindus were allowed to worship. Third time, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was pulled down by communal elements of BJP-VHP/RSS combine. This majority judgment has not followed the principles of democracy and has kept 'faith' and 'religion' above "Constitution" and 'Law in the name of peace and tranquility in the society. To maintain peace and harmony, law and order is the duty of the executive wing of the state whereas judiciary is to see that 'justice' is delivered to individuals or community.

Violation of article 25 by destructors of Babri Masjid can not be condoned. Article 25 gives right to every citizen to profess practice and propagate religion. This is subjet to public order, morality and health. It should be read in connection with all other fundamental rights. It can not be limited to Hindus only. Muslims and other religions are equally entitled to article 25.

Intellectuals, historians, legal experts and judges and lawyers are vertically divided on how to resolve this issue. Issues are wide open: 1) Ram's birthplace? 2) Mosque was built after demolishing the temple? 3) who are responsible for 1992 demolition of Babri masjid?. The Supreme Court's judgment may go in favor of any of the contentious plaintiffs. It may uphold democracy, constitution and justice, but it can not afford to ignore social-religio aspect of the dispute because state, society and religion are badly intermingled. Our constitution does not separate religion as a private practice from the state. In a pluralistic society like ours, religion, faith, belief should be subservient to 'Rule of the Law'.