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SC's mediation proposal is alright but adding faith, sentiment and history to the case will really complicate the dispute
The Supreme Court on 6th March 2019 advocated for mediation. This sounded exactly what former Chief Justice Kheher had opined in 21st March 2017. According to CJI Ranjan Gogoi, if there's one per cent chance of success, then there should be efforts for mediation.

It's not that mediation wasn't attempted earlier but every time it failed. Even before the Allahabad High Court's verdict there were number of mediation efforts but all ended without any resolution. Post the Allahabad HC verdict also there were some efforts to have an amicable solution but nothing happened. That's why all the parties agreed that whatever the SC would rule shall be binding and acceptable to all. That's why former CJI Dipak Misra has said that the dispute is purely a title case for the SC and accordingly it will be heard by a three-judge bench and the SC would no business in faith or sentiments.

However, Justice Ranjan Gagoi, first delayed the matter, then constituted a five-judge constitution bench to hear the matter and after two-three postpones argued for mediation. I agree that mediation is a better approach and if it is to be done under SC monitoring with a time-limit, then it should be good.

But, then some of the observation of the Constitution bench really complicated the matter. The observations say that the dispute is not a mere land title case. It also relates to mind, heart and healing. The dispute is about faith and sentiments of the communities. That means there should be a mutual resolution of dispute between two communities.

It appears from the observations that the Supreme Court's intention is noble. But then the SC has complicated the issue by adding faith and sentiments in to a land dispute. Now I don't think mediation will result in anything because a solution is always arrived at after some give and takes. Whenever there's a matter related to sentiments of communities, then no representative can relinquish because none would want to face a backlash from the community. There's no person, organization or agency which can solely represent either the Hindus or the Muslims and thus there will be a stalemate.

I think that the SC has crossed its brief in finding a compromise. Executive or community leaders have the capacity for a mutual resolution. If that happens, none comes to the Court. But if matter comes to the Court, it has to adjudicate on merit without caring about the consequences. To take care of such judgements, the Constitution of India provides an Executive and the Parliament.

That's why I feel that the case has become complicated now and may lead to serious face-off between the two communities. But can the government interfere now? I don't think so because the dispute is already politicized. Does the SC too become a party? I think yes. There are people clearly saying that the SC is delaying the matter intentionally. Some have even said that the SC has given dictatorial orders against the Hindu community, but when it comes involvement of another community (read Muslim), then it doesn't take any strict orders nor adjudicate on merit. I think that the SC shouldn't be a party to this dispute because it will lose its credibility particularly in this case because the party losing will not accept the verdict.

The observation 'We are not concerned about what Babur had done and what happened after, we can go in to what exists in the present moment'. I think that's a dangerous observation because history is added to the land dispute now. Then if the SC wants to look in to the present only, the simple verdict is that the land belongs to Ram temple. How, I interpret in this way? Babur destroyed the Ram temple and constructed the Babri Mosque. In 1949, Ram-Lala was discovered inside the mosque. In 1985, the government allowed worshiping of Ram-Lala inside the mosque that means that the mosque was transformed into a temple. In 1992, the VHP and others destroyed the old temple (can't call the mosque now because Ram-lala is being worshiped) to build a new grand temple. At present Ram lala is still worshipped there under a tent. Now what should be the verdict?

I am totally neutral whether there should be a Ram temple or Babri Mosque. What I believed that if SC gives a verdict on land dispute, there would be a solution and the long standing politics of Ram and Mosque would have been ended. But I am afraid that this is the beginning of high voltage face off and governments would be under toes to control the emotional outbursts of two communities in the times to come. That will be very bad for the country and democracy.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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