Babri Masjid Issue

Another twist in Ayodhya tail

As the year drew to a close, the judgement pronounced in the title suit of Ramjanambhumi/ Babri Masjid, Ayodhya, Faizabad, UP, on Sept. 30, seemed all slated to go into history, as one which favoured a myth, faith and folklore over fact, history and evidence, and which had been duly stamped by a three-judge bench of Allahabad High Court, Lucknow. The post-judgement period has found a slow trickle of appeals filed in the apex court. The Muslim side has appealed for the annulment of the verdict and the Hindu side for the whole of the site of Babri Masjid, as two-thirds of it has already been accorded to the Hindu side while one-third was given to the Muslim side.

But, of late, a unique effort has also come to light in Lucknow, where Ismail Farooqui, who had shot to fame in the famous Ismail Farooqui vs Union of India case 1994 Supreme Court judgement, has made an application before the Lucknow bench on Nov 18, seeking a review of the Sept. 30 order. His plea is quite distinctively unique, with an intriguing aspect too, as he claims that Gopal Singh Visharad, the first litigant from the Hindu side, who is said to have applied first for a grant of puja, after the idols were kept inside Babri Masjid on Dec 22/23 1949, and thus, also was granted a status-quo from the Faizabad civil judge on Jan 16, 1950 was all but a fraud. It might be mentioned here that after the idols of Lord Rama had been surreptitiously placed on Dec 22/23 1949 inside Babri Masjid, the police had taken control of the site on Dec 29, 1949, and thereafter an order for an attachment of the said property was made on Jan 5, 1950, followed by an appointment of a Receiver by the government who had taken possession of it. and as per the scheme submitted by the Receiver, the puja (worship), under the control of Receiver, was ordered to begin. The expenses of such puja (worship) were to be borne by both the parties-the Hindus and the Muslims. So, the puja (worship) could become a reality only after a go-ahead from the Court, and for this purpose Gopal Singh Visharad was the moving force.

But, today, when the whole nation has been besieged by the partisan judgement, a pretty stimulating aspect has been resurrected by Ismail Farooqui who is all out to prove before the Court that Gopal Singh Visharad, in his plaint, given on Jan 13, 1950 had said that while on a visit to site of Babri Masjid (on Jan 14, 1950), on the occasion of Makar Sankranti festival, he was stopped from performing his rightful claim to puja (worship), and on the same plaint, it was granted that puja would be made effective for a head start. Thus, it can be easily construed (today after six decades) that courts had facilitated the mosque to be converted into a temple as namaz (Muslim worship) was banned from it. This, of course, could become all the more possible, only after the smuggling of Lord Rama’s idols on the complicit directives of the district administration.

“My stance now to the Court is that Gopal Singh Visharad, now deceased and represented by his son Rajender Singh, in his hand written plaint and duly initialled by himself, on Jan 13, 1950, had very capably and fraudulently mentioned an event relating to Jan 14, 1950, about Makar Sankranti, which fell on Jan 14, 1950, claiming preposterously that he was stopped from performing puja. His whole application was patently illegal and I don’t know as to how come the learned civil judge of Faizabad and later the learned Munsif, Sadar, Faizabad, were in such a tearing hurry to grant a status quo on the same without even going into the bare veracity of the application,” pleas Farooqui.

He wants his query be satiated as the answer is still missing, as to why did not the learned judges ponder that how come Gopal Singh Visharad could conceive a day dream, totally crafted out of his own whim and fancy, an absolute self-indicting and inherently contradictory bizarre obligation. “I am in a quandary and expect the Courts to help solve this foolery,” says Farooqui while sitting in his old-fashioned house in Lucknow.

He has, therefore, sought a review of the Sept. 30 judgement in the same light. He does also possess the certified copy of the plaint of Gopal Singh Visharad, which he is likely to produce on Jan 28, the next date when the case is slated to be listed.

He says that he had taken this step for the secular and plural ambience of the country as the whole issue has stemmed from a wrongful claim and which definitely warrants an immediate attention in today’s context, particularly when the Sept. 30 judgement has shaken the very roots of the secular foundation of the country. “It is getting amply proven that the district administration, judiciary and legislature were all hand-in-glove over the issue of turning Babri Masjid into a Hindu temple. Faizabad DM KKK Nair, then its Munsif and later the Congress UP CM GB Pant, who had thrown PM JL Nehru’s letter for the removal of Rama idols into the dustbin, were the great architects of the whole issue.