A special court acquits members of the Bharatiya Janata Party accused of planning the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya. For a Muslim lawmaker, the ruling is a black day in the history of India’s justice system and a victory of the extremist Hindutva ideology. Fr Anand Mathew IMS believes that now anything goes in India.
Lucknow (AsiaNews) – The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court yesterday acquitted 32 members of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accused of planning the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) in 1992.
For Asaduddin Owaisi, a lawmaker from Hyderabad and leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party, the ruling is a “black day” in the history of India’s justice system.
According to the court, there is no evidence that prominent BJP leaders, including retired BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, planned the destruction of the holy site 28 years ago. The attack by 150,000 Hindu radicals led to clashes with the Muslim community and the death of 2,000 people.
Owaisi notes that the ruling satisfies Hindutva extremist ideology. For those opposed to the Modi administration, the decision is “shocking” and goes against the “principles of natural justice”.
AsiaNews spoke to Father Anand Mathew IMS, coordinator of Sajha Sanskriti Manch, an alliance of social activists based in Varanasi, to hear his thoughts. Fr Anand is a Gandhian, engaged in interfaith dialogue.
Three places are very important for Hindus: Ayodhya (for god Ram), Kashi (Shiva) and Mathura (Krishna). Hindu extremists want the removal of the Muslim presence from these sites because they consider it an offence to their religion.
There is no clear evidence that the Babri Masjid was built on the ruins of a Hindu temple. Nevertheless, from the point of view of nationalist groups, it will now be easier to demolish the mosques in Kashi and Mathura, where Hindu holy sites clearly once stood.
During the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the slogan of extremists was "Ayodhyatoh bas jhankihai, Kashi Mathura baakihai" (Ayodhya is the beginning; Kashi and Mathura are next).
After 17 years of inquiry, the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission had concluded that the destruction of the mosque was the result of a "planned conspiracy". The commission was set up in 1992 by the Rao government and presented a final report in 2009.
Last year, in its verdict assigning the area previously occupied by the Babri Masjid to the Hindu community, the Supreme Court of India admitted that the demolition of the place of prayer had been a major breach of the law.
Now, 28 years later, a court claims that there was no conspiracy, that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders tried to stop the "spontaneous" outbreak of violence.
This is a victory for Astatyamev (falsehood) over Satyamev (truth). What disturbs people like us, who work for justice, peace and harmony, is that the Court, after a long study, closed its eyes to the truth and blatantly asserted a falsehood, which means that now anything goes in India.
We hope that this passing phase of falsehood and conspiracy is temporary, and that we will return one day to justice, peace and truth.