Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ayodhya case: Chances of out of court settlement bleak

A last ditch attempt will be made on Friday (September 17th) to settle the Ayodhya dispute out of court. Going by the various voices and also the history attached to this title suit, it appears highly unlikely that this matter will be sorted out amicably out of court and it would be the September 24th verdict which will bring about a final consensus on the matter.

Dr S Q R Ilyas
, convener, Committee on Babri Masjid of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, says that in the past there have been many times that the court has suggested an out of court settlement, but it has never worked. In this interview with, Dr Ilyas says that this time too he sees no hope in an out of court settlement and also adds that on his part he would ensure that there is no violence even if they win the case and an instruction has been handed out to all his community members not to riot or even celebrate whatever the verdict may be.

What would be your submission tomorrow when the court calls out the matter to decide on the intervenor application seeking an out of court settlement?

We will speak, but there is no hope whatsoever in an out of court settlement. The court has tried this in the past several times and there has been no solution. I don’t see anything different this time.

Why do you say that there is no hope?

The other party is adamant in their stand and if this is the attitude then there is no point in sitting across the table and talking. There has been an effort made in the past to sort out the issue, but it has never worked.

Why do you keep saying the other party is adamant? Why don’t you hear them out?

They have only one stand in the matter and that the Mosque should be shifted out. Do you call that a settlement. I am sure tomorrow too the stand would be the same. Asking us to shift the Mosque is not a settlement.

This is the issue. They say that there was a temple that existed over there.

Records don’t show that. The records state that a temple had been created in that place. There was no temple before 1949 and idols were installed there only after that. A report had been submitted by the Joint Commissioner at that time and the report speaks of the same fact that I have just said. This is a title suit and let the court decide that.

Do you think that the other party will make a compromise tomorrow? What is your reading of the mood?

As I said we have made several efforts in the past and nothing has worked. They want to construct the temple on the same site and even the last time they said that the Mandir should be installed on that site itself. We have spoken to them in general and in detail several times and the only thing they say is, “leave that land to us.” Tomorrow too it will be same and I think there is no point in discussing that.

There has to be a compromise. Nothing is impossible.

A compromise does exist, but no one gets that point clearly. In the year 1993, the Government of India had acquired 67 acres of land and had said that there would be a Temple, a Mosque and a library on that site. This matter had come up before the Supreme Court and it had said that let us wait for the judgment. The court had also said that whoever wins or loses they would still get land to construct the temple of the mosque. There is a compromise that exists to this effect. However the core issue is the land on which the Mosque exists and that has to be decided by means of a title suit. What more is there to compromise? I don’t think asking the Muslims to leave that place totally is a compromise in the first place.

The BJP played an important role in the demolition. What do you think their role would be now?

The BJP has no role to play now. The matter is before the court and it all depends on how the Union Government will act on this matter.

Dr Ilyas, the bigger issue is the violence that will follow whatever the judgment will be. What steps have you taken to prevent that?

Why should there be violence after the court has delivered its verdict? We have instructed all organizations, boards and institutions to maintain calm even if the verdict goes against us. We have also told them no to celebrate and there should be no jubilation if we win the case. We expect that the other party too follows the same. Moreover there is nothing to fight about or celebrate after the 24th since this will not be the final judgment. The matter will go to the Supreme Court in any case.

The intervenor application that was filed three days back appears to be a delay tactic. Do you agree?

Yes to me it appears that way. Why should anyone delay the verdict? If there is any more delay then the matter will have to be re-heard since one of the judges on the Bench will retire on the 30th of September. What is the meaning in delaying the verdict? All of us have waited for nearly 5 decades and why should we wait anymore?

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