By Syed Ali Mujtaba
Is Babari Masjid vs. Ram temple controversy inching towards solution or the confusion is getting compounded with Hindu spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shanker negotiating peace and reconciliation with the Muslim community?
After Kanchi Sankaracharya now its Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the news and along with him is Maulana Salman Nadwi who is making statements on TV with the idea of the transfer of the mosque and at his words the media has gone gung-ho shouting Eureka!
I have all the reasons to doubt the integrity of the highly respectable Maulana who is now dishing out solutions after more than 30 years when the Ram temple movement was built and the mosque was destroyed.
Can he answer why was he silent when Ayodhya movement was being built and after the pressure being put on the government the doors of the then existing mosque was opened?
Why he did not come forward to express his views then as he is doing now and who had stopped him then from doing so and who has prompted him now?
The fact is there is no Babari Masjid now and any talk of the transfer of such mosque is just like kite flying in the drawing room.
It seems Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who is negotiating to transfer the mosque is accepting the existence of masjid even now, which otherwise is denied by a section of the Hindu community. In such case what is the credibility of such talks?
To me, the talks of transfer of the mosque is only to divert attention from the seriousness of the matters grappling the country and providing media a news story that can go as headline.
In fact some thirty years ago, I was part of the discussion on the same issue searching solution to this problem. I think it was in 1989 when the Ram Mandir controversy was on boil and the Babari Masjid was standing tall in all its glory.
I gave the solution to make use some high-end building technology and lift the Masjid lock stock and barrel from that very spot and relocate it where Muslim population is in sizable presence.
I argued after all what is the point to have a mosque in a place where there are no Muslims and to it I attracted the sharp comment; ‘oh! You are throwing the towel!’
Once again I am repeating my old views. The harsh reality is after all even if Muslims wins the title suit of the land in the Supreme Court; can they build the Babari mosque again on the very spot where now a temple exits and daily prayers are held?
Even if the Supreme Court intervenes and get a mosque constructed on the existing place, will it be same ancient monument that it once stood!
The truth is any new structure can never replicate the old one which stood the vagaries of time for more than five hundred years.
If all that still can happen, can any Muslim go and offer prayers in such a mosque where the entire surrounding is full of temples and where there is no Muslim anywhere near the vicinity.
So where do we go, from here? Why Muslims should be obsessed by such a mosque that may serve them no purpose.
In my opinion the best solution would be let the Supreme Court decide on the title suit of the ownership of the land.
If the apex Court decides the title in favour of the Muslim community only then any solution can be thought out to address this problem.
The best way forward would be that the Muslim community should gift away the piece of land to the Hindu community let them do whatever they want to do. In such case, the Muslim leadership should make sure to buy peace from them till eternity!
There should be an agreement on the lines of Gandhi- Ambedkar pact, where the Hindu community as an article of faith, should pledge that Muslim community’s life liberty and honour would be protected by them.
Henceforth, Muslims can live with peace and dignity and without any fear and prejudice and would not be made targets of communal attacks. And so on and so forth!
We all know that the comfort of mosque is not an obligation for a Muslim to pray but the prayers are mandatory.
If that is so, then why Muslims should be so obsessed with the Babari masjid? Has the Almighty Allah given any instructions to the community to only pray in mosque? Has not the messenger Allah has offered prayers in the deserts and in very trying conditions.
It may not be out of context to add here that during the time of crusades in Europe, the evil forces would knock the doors of the Muslims at the break of the dawn to find out if their body had undergone ablution (wazoo) and if they found them to be wet they were done to death then and there.
I thank Almighty that such situation has not developed in India yet and by and large Muslim community are enjoying peace and tranquillity in the country.
In order to enjoy extended period of peace and harmony, Muslims should leave their obsession with Babri Masjid. They should control their emotions and search for a meaningful solution that can make them move ahead in life.
Well I wish my dreams may come true but like everyone, i am too keeping my fingers crossed and watching the developments as they unfold.
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is an internationally awarded journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]