New Delhi: A group of 100 eminent Muslims have, in a statement, opposed any review of the Supreme Court’s November 9 judgement in the Ayodhya land dispute case, saying that keeping the dispute alive will only harm, and not help the Muslim community.
The group of eminent Muslim personalities include actor-activist Shabana Azmi, actor Naseeruddin Shah, poet Hasan Kamaal, journalist Javed Anand etc. A review petition has already been filed by the All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB), though the Sunni Waqf Board, main litigant Iqbal Ansari and the Jamiat-ulama-i-Hind etc. have decided not to.
“We share the unhappiness of the Indian Muslim community, constitutional experts and secular organisations, that the Supreme Court has placed faith above in law in arriving at its decision. But while agreeing that the order is judicially flawed, we believe that keeping the Ayodhya dispute alive will only harm, and not help the Indian Muslims,” the group said in a statement.
“It is high time that the Muslims move on from the mandir-masjid dispute as it only helps keep alive the Sangh’s real agenda to turn Indian into a Hindu Rashtra from a secular-democratic republic,” the statement added.
The signatories further argued that keeping the dispute alive will only help fuel anti-Muslim propaganda, Islamophobia and aid communal polarisation. “In choosing not to review, Muslims stand to gain the goodwill of the non-communal millions from the majority community which is in the best interests of the country as well as the community,” they said in the statement.
A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by then-Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had given sole ownership of the land to Ram Lalla, rejecting respective ownership claims of the Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. However, it also directed the Centre to give Muslims an alternate five-acre site for the mosque.