The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board – whose Committee on Babri Masjid (CoBM) is the single official entity fighting the demolition case – has criticised the moves to whip up a fresh public campaign centred around the razed mosque.
“It is ill-timed, dangerous and could lead to communal tension in an election season. There is no need for a fresh campaign,” CoBM convenor, SQR Illyasi, told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
A section of the founding members of the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) met after 13 years this week to revive a Muslim campaign to rebuild the mosque, pulled down by a Hindu mob in 1992.
However, their efforts have hit a wall of opposition from many within the community, who feel the earlier campaign had only resulted in bloodshed. “Communal passions are easy to flame, but difficult to control,” said Masoom Moradabadi, secretary of the All-India Urdu Editors’ Conference.
According to Illyasi, there was no need for a movement as the long-drawn case itself had entered into its last leg. “When we took up the case the consensus was that legal redressal (of the demolition) should be the focus of Muslims,” he said.
Diplomat-turned-politician Syed Shahabuddin, one of the members of CoBM, also criticised moves to renew a public campaign. “The special bench is on the verge of giving its verdict. It will go to the Supreme Court. Muslims will respect whatever verdict the court gives.”
Shahabuddin, however, took a swipe at the Congress-led UPA government, which had been earlier approached to make a statement in Parliament to the effect that whatever the verdict, the government would be constitutionally bound to implement it.
The upcoming general election has brought the Babri Masjid dispute back to the fore, with BJP prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani calling for a Ram temple at the disputed site. One the other hand, a section of the founding members of the Babri movement is engaged in the spadework to revive a campaign that has the potential of triggering faith clashes.
Seventeen years after it was formed to probe the demolition, the Liberhan Commission is expected to submit its report before March 31.
A three-member special bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising Justice Syed Rafat Alam, Justice Sudhir Kumar Agrawal and Justice D V Sharma, is hearing five title suits related to 67 disputed acres acquired by the Centre after the demolition of Babri Masjid complex in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district.