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Ayodhya-Babri Masjid Title dispute case for mediation | A welcome initiative

EDITORIAL

The Apex Court order referring the decades-old Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title dispute case for mediation is really a welcome initiative in the direction of resolving the issue. As per the Supreme Court order three-member mediation panel headed by former SC judge Justice F M Kalifullah besides spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu will be holding the mediation process in Faizabad commencing within a week’s time.

The Apex Court has emphasized that the mediation process shall be done with utmost confidentiality and the same be concluded in eight weeks. The first status report is to be submit-ted in four weeks. The bench also said the panel of mediators may co-opt more members in case of any difficulty.

At the same time quite rightly media has been refrained from publishing the details of the proceedings. It is pertinent to recall that the Supreme Court had been consistently suggesting that attempts must be made by all the concerned stakeholders to find a solution to the Ayodhya temple dispute as this issue is a highly sensitive and sentimental matter. It is a fact that despite being a model nation depicting unity in diversity, India has witnessed unfortunate incidents a number of times of which the Babri Mosque demolition on 6th December 1992 cannot be forgotten by the sane citizenry of this nation.

The dangerous consequence of such incidents is that these result in the emergence of new faults in the society especially on communal lines.Though these post incident faults are often imaginary and intangible, yet the experienced fear of insecurity of life and property is intense. Though people of this nation feel proud of its performance as the largest democracy of the world, yet we feel disappointed with isolated instances of religious violence even after independence.

The cataclysmic nature of such incidents needs to be realized by one and all irrespective of the religious or political affiliations and in such situations this challenging credulity hardly leaves anybody untouched. Since the Ayodhya issue has religious sentiments of two communities linked therefore the con-sensual decision arrived at through mediation or any other mode would undoubtedly be the best solution.

The stakeholders need to realize that freedom of religion should never be construed to mean liberty to be at war with other religions and philosophies and this needs to be realized by every individual in the Indian society and only then the politicians and the religious heads will fail to create contradicting issues to serve their personal and political interests especially to maintain their respective vote banks and followings.

Now that the Supreme Court has played its role by ordering mediation, there is a dire need for serious introspection of the issue by both the communities at the macro level resolve not only this issue but every such volatile dispute at the earliest. The suggestions earlier and the latest order by the Apex Court need to be taken as bacon light in this direction. It is hoped that the mediation panel leaves no stone unturned in ensuring an amicable resolution of this long pending dispute thus further strengthening the cords of communal harmony that is the essence of the world’s largest democracy.