The main litigant who was fighting for Babri Masjid’s reconstruction in the Ayodhya case, Iqbal Ansari has said he is happy with the verdict of the Supreme Court. “I respect the court’s decision,” he said.
Ansari said he would not challenge the Supreme Court verdict by way of a review petition. “We welcome the Supreme Court decision and the biggest happiness is that it is finally ‘curtains down’ on this long pending issue,” Ansari said, adding, “We will not challenge the court verdict from our side.”
Ansari said, “We are very happy with the decision.” He added it was always being said that whatever the court will say will be correct. “We respect the decision. Now it is the responsibility of the government where it provides land for the mosque. This is a sort of victory of the Muslims,” he said.
Other Muslim reactions to Babri side losing Ayodhya
While the Supreme Court verdict did not go down well with the All India Personal Law Board, for which Zafaryab Jilani said that the Shari’ah did not entitle any Muslim to hand over a piece of land where there ever stood a mosque to anybody, he did add customarily that he respected the apex court’s judgment.
Jilani tried to brazenly defy parts of the verdict that upheld the findings of the Archaeological Survey of India. He said that the antiquity of any temple beneath the Babri structure could not be established, which is clearly contrary to what the judges said.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi supported the AIMPLB stand while thanking the lawyers that fought for Babri Masjid. “The Supreme Court is supreme but not infallible,” he said.
Other reactions from those once supported the Babri cause were, however, not as brazen.
Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board chairman Zafar Ahmad Farooqui made a qualified statement, saying, “We respect the judgment of the Supreme Court. We will decide later whether to accept an alternative 5 acre of land in Ayodhya for mosque construction.”
“The Shia Waqf Board’s claim,” Farooqui said, “had to be dismissed. Why did the Shia Waqf Board remain silent for 70 years?”
Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi, the national general secretary of Tanzim Ulama-e-Islam, has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court. “The decision is very balanced that serves the interests of both the communities. It ends years of controversy,” he said.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court gave its verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case in Ayodhya. A bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice SA Bobde, Justice Nazir, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, ruled on the Ayodhya case.
According to the Supreme Court, the disputed land in Ayodhya will be given to Hindus for temple construction and the central government will give 5 acre of land at a suitable location to Muslims.
Anticipating that the Supreme Court would deliver the verdict in the Ayodhya case any time before CJI Gogoi was to retire (17 November), strong security arrangements were made across the country, including Ayodhya. Schools and colleges were closed in many States of the country including in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar and Rajasthan.
After the verdict, the administration is fully prepared to maintain law and order. Social media is being monitored for provocative posts. There has been a flood of reactions to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ayodhya case.
Politicians react to victory of Ram
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first of politicians to react to the Ayodhya judgment. He wrote on Twitter, “The Honourable Supreme Court has given its verdict on the Ayodhya issue. This verdict shouldn’t be seen as a win or loss for anybody. Be it Ram Bhakti or Rahim Bhakti, it is imperative that we strengthen the spirit of Rashtra Bhakti. May peace and harmony prevail!”
Modi continued: “SC’s Ayodhya Judgment is notable because it highlights that any dispute can be amicably solved in the spirit of due process of law. It reaffirms the independence, transparency and farsightedness of our judiciary. It clearly illustrates everybody is equal before the law.”
The prime minister said, “The halls of justice have amicably concluded a matter going on for decades. Every side, every point of view was given adequate time and opportunity to express differing points of view. This verdict will further increase people’s faith in judicial processes.”
Appealing for peace across the country, the prime minister wrote, “The calm and peace maintained by 130 crore Indians in the run-up to today’s verdict manifests India’s inherent commitment to peaceful coexistence. May this very spirit of unity and togetherness power the development trajectory of our nation. May every Indian be empowered.”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the decision of the Supreme Court should be welcomed by all. “This will be beneficial for our social harmony. There should be no further dispute on this issue, this is my appeal to the people,” he said.
On the Ayodhya verdict, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “All of us should respect this decision of the Supreme Court and maintain peace.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “After hearing the arguments of all the parties, the five judges of the Supreme Court’s constitutional bench gave their verdict today unanimously. We welcome the decision of the SC. Today SC gave its verdict on several decades of controversy. The years-old dispute ended today. I appeal to all people to maintain peace and harmony.”
Bhagwat, Sri Sri, Baba Ramdev welcome judgment
Among the other notable personalities that welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya were RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The sarsanghchalak said it was a “judiciously drafted” judgment. He called it a “nyāy dene wālā nirṇay (a just judgment)”.
Welcoming the judgment, Art of Living head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar expressed pleasure at the end of the centuries’ old dispute: “I wholeheartedly welcome the historic judgment of the Hon. Supreme Court. This has brought joy and relief to people of both communities from a long-standing dispute.”
Bharat Swabhiman and Patanjali Yogpeeth head Baba Ramdev expressed satisfaction with the verdict, too. He said that the offer of alternative land for mosque construction would establish communal harmony in the country. He asked Muslims to help in the construction of the Ram temple and Hindus to cooperate in the mosque construction.
The Supreme Court while delivering the verdict said, “ASI’s report on Ram janmasthan (birthplace) is valid.”
According to the ASI report, the mosque was not built on the vacant land. The ASI did not say whether the temple was demolished and the mosque was built, Muslim witnesses also believed, both sides worshipped. The archaeology department is a scientific process which found that the Hindu temple was found below, under the dome, it was in a flat position, Hindus consider Ayodhya as the birthplace of Rama.