Saturday, October 02, 2010

Reaction of Urdu newspapers, Indian Muslims on Babri Masjid-Ram Temple verdict

The Urdu newspapers have reacted to the Ayodhya verdict in a much balanced manner than in the past.

In fact, hardly any paper gave emotional headlines and the reporting has stuck to facts so that there is no feeling of loss or dejection among the readers [read Muslims].

Roznama Sahara's headline said that disputed site had been split in three parts and the in the main report, the newspaper termed the judgment as 'historic'.

Siasat's front lead suggested that the case was again got caught in legal wrangles while the second headline said 'darmiyani gumbad ka hissa Bhagwan Ram ki jaae-paidaish'. It must be noted that the usage was Bhagwan Ram and not Ramchandra Ji.

Masoom Moradabadi's Jadid Khabar reported about  division while Kashmir's daily Roshni said that the High court has come up with a reconciliatory solution to the communal conflict.

Munsif also restrict itself to reporting bare facts and no opinion. The top lead said that the site will be equally shared. Mumbai-based Sahafat also mentioned that the status quo will remain for three months. However, its another edition reported that 'Faith gets precedence, site to be shared'.

Inquilab, which is owned by Jagran group, expressed a bit of disappointment with the headline about verdict being 'unexpected' and less satisfactory. Hamara Maqsad headline screamed 'tarikh-saaz faisla' or historic judgment.

Several papers had urged readers to stay calm and special editorials were penned on page in some newspapers. A positive thing was that neither in reports nor in columns, there was any sense of hurt or frustration.

It was a clear sign of maturity as journalists and writers had probably understood that in any case it was not possible to shift the idol, so the judges tried to take a proactive line which may not be by the book, but was aimed at resolving this dispute.

Even more, while some Hindi newspaper and other vernacular press printed photos of Babri Masjid being demolished, Urdu papers didn't print the old photographs of Kar Sevaks atop the domes of the mosque. While a few politicians on TV appeared to show their disappointment openly, the coverage of the Lucknow bench's order was a reflection of Indian Muslim society.

Mood among Muslims: Sign of maturity on the Indian Muslim street

Certainly, everybody has the right to interpret the judgment. However, Muslim street has seen enough violence and communal riots in the past. Muslims have understood how unnecessary emotionalism has cost the community.

Frankly, courts in Uttar Pradesh have delivered several judgments in the past 60 years which had apparently stunned the Muslims.

This has not happened as much in other states. Either it's the judgment over Aligarh Muslim University [AMU], the cancellation of notification of appointment of 10,000 Urdu teachers or the Allahabad high court verdict [just a few years ago] declaring that Muslims were no longer or a minority, Muslims have seen it all. .

After the idol had appeared in the site, the Faizabad court's verdict in 1951 that first allowed worship and in turn sanctified that it was a temple, have been known to us. Then the mosque  turned disputed and was locked. Then a court had in 1986 allowed to open doors for shilanyas. At least, 2010 verdict is far ahead of the past decisions and its spirit should be seen.

One of the visitors to this blog, Dr Salahuddin, wrote to me that, "FOR ALLAH'S SAKE FORWARD IT TO Babri Musjid Action comettee. PLEASE READ IT ALLAH HAS GIVEN US AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOME GOOD THING FOR GENERATION TO COME. SUMMERY: Do settlement with BJP. Give them piece of land even 1/3rd with respect and dignity.....". I don't know him but such comments represent the realisation that how eager Muslims are for settling this issue and move over. He even sent his cell number and said that he wants to talk to Babri Masjid Action Committee leaders to urge him in this regard.

There are pressing problems rather than this dispute. None of the leaders who make fiery speeches have attempted to solve the national issue of Muslims being refused homes [on rent or even purchase in colonies] across urban India. Have we seen these self-styled Muslim leaders who suddenly emerge during such disputes either take legal path or reach out to Hindus to solve this problem which today affects innumerable Muslim youths and families.

Energies are needed for communal harmony, socio-economical development of Muslims apart from creation of institutions ranging from orphanages to colleges. It's heartening to see that rabblerousers of the past are increasingly been shunned. Now it's time to take concrete steps for harmony.