On March 21st, 2017, The Supreme Court of India came out with a statement saying that the long-standing problem of Ayodhya must be solved amicably in relation to all the interest groups concerned.
Where will negotiations lead over one of the most controversial sites in India?
On March 21st, 2017, The Supreme Court of India came out with a statement saying that the long-standing problem of Ayodhya must be solved amicably in relation to all the interest groups concerned. The three-way division of the birth place of Ram has not satisfied the Bharatiya Janata Party nor their counterparts the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. They have both backed the statement in a state freshly under the parties control.
What has the Supreme Court said in the past and currently?
The Supreme Court addressed the issue after BJP MP Subramanian Swamy put forth a motion to address the Allahabad court’s decision to divide the former site of the Babri Masjid and the supposed birth place of Ram between three groups.
He is referring to on 30th September 2010, in a landmark hearing, The Allahabad High Court ruling that the 2.77 acres of Ayodhya land be divided into 3 parts, with 1/3 going to the Ram Lalla or Infant Rama represented by the Hindu Maha Sabha for the construction of the Ram temple, 1/3 going to the Islamic Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining 1/3 going to a Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara
"These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting."- Supreme Court Representative, 2017
"You must make fresh attempts to arrive at a consensual decision. If required, you must choose a moderator to end the dispute. If the parties want me to sit with mediators chosen by both the sides for negotiations, am ready to take up the task. Even the services of my brother judges can be availed for the purpose." – Supreme Court Representative, 2017
What is the future of MP Swamy’s motion?
The Supreme Court will not get an immediate answer to the future of one of India’s most controversial settlements. In a 9th attempt to arrive on a negotiated settlement on this issue, this seems to be the most unbalanced due the BJP’s recent historic victory in the state and the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister, who has been critical of the Masjid before. However, this is the first time that offer of negotiation has come from the Supreme Court and the CJI himself has not only offered to work as a mediator but also offered services of the other two judges, if both parties agree. Swamy must now seek to unite the previously divided and inform them of this on the 31st of March. He must organize and name members of each group to begin negotiations. This is could unlikely due to the Sunni Waqf Board not liking the coercion taking place.
The Solution to the Ayodhya dispute is not an easy one and MP Swamy’s Party has out rightly spoke of favoring the building of a temple. All three groups must come into agreement to decide the fate of one of the most hallowed grounds in India but in the political climate at hand it seems unlikely.