The Ayodhya verdict of September 30 constitutes a dangerous precedent, which can be used against any vulnerable group in future, like any minority, Dalits, Tribals and women. For almost 500 years, Muslims had worshipped routinely in the Babri Mosque, while Hindus worshipped at the Ram Chabutra in the open area adjacent to the mosque, in a spirit of mutual goodwill. With this judgment, the movement which challenged India’s secular Constitution and took hundreds of lives, and fostered fear and hate has triumphed.
This movement demanding that a grand Ram Temple should be built on the site in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood is often understood to be a clash between Hindus and Muslims. There is indeed no such clash, and there never has been. It has always been a dispute between two alternate visions of India; between Hindutva and secularism; between a minority of persons unreconciled to the secular democratic idea of India, and the majority of Indians of every faith who believe in and live this idea.
The judgement reopens again the question about the terms on which people of minority faiths would have to relate to cultural domination of the religious majority. In effect, it interrogates the guarantees of the Indian Constitution, which pledged equal rights and equal protection of all persons, regardless of their religious persuasion. There is a need both in courts of law, but more importantly in the arenas of society and the polity, to battle for the restoration of the values of the freedom struggle, and the Constitution which the people of India gave themselves.
ANHAD and INSAF in collaboration with a large number of UP based organisations are calling for a Convention on November 29, 2010 in Lucknow.
SPEAKERS: ANIL CHAUDHURY, ANNIE RAJA, ANUPAM GUPTA, CHITARANJAN SINGH, FARAH NAQVI, GAUHAR RAZA, JOHN DAYAL, MOHD SHOAIB, MUDRAKSHAS, NASIRUDDIN HAIDER KHAN, PROF KM SHRIMALI, PROF KN PANIKKAR, PROF RAM PUNIYANI, PROF ROOPRREKHA VERMA, PROF APOORVANAND, PROF. RAMESH DIXIT, SANDEEP PANDEY, SHABNAM HASHMI, SHAKEEL SIDDIQI, SHEETLA SINGH, SIDDHARTH VARDARAJAN, TAHIRA HASAN, VINEET TIWARI, VIRENDRA YADAV