The "underlying message" in the Ayodhya verdict is that of coexistence, because India's Muslims and Hindus have to live together and it is time for them to start praying together, Jamia Millia University Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung says.
"I believe the learned judges have actually presented a cocktail of their own belief and a mixture of history and jurisprudence. I think they were wrestling with expectations of the society and they have tried to do a match of statesmanship and matchmaking," Jung told IANS in an interview at his office on Friday. The Allahabad High Court in its verdict Thursday gave two-third of the disputed land to two Hindu litigant parties and a third to a Muslim group.
Not dissatisfied with the verdict that gives a go ahead for construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, Jung said the judges have passed "a message that you have to live for thousands of years. There is a possibility, try and pray together. There is an underlying message there".
Islam and Hinduism, Jung believes, "are in the DNA of India".
"If any part of the DNA is infected, the body gets cancer. So both communities must see that they have a healthy relationship. That healthy relationship is critical for the motherland."
He said Justice SU Khan, one of the three judges who pronounced the verdict Thursday, had probably kept in mind the Prophet Mohammed’s Hudaibiya peace treaty which he signed in the 7th century with then custodians of Kaabah, the holiest of the Muslim shrines in Makkah.
“The Prophet could have fought them to conquer Makkah. But his armies went back and he proposed that they will come peacefully. And the next year they did a peaceful Hajj and entire Makkah was theirs. That is the message of the Prophet. That is what Islam teaches us,” the vice chancellor said, “wishing we could travel that extra distance today”.
He said that the gesture of peace that Muslims “can make today will wash away all the complexes of the (1947) partition of India. That one gesture will wash away the charges of fundamentalism that a part of you is facing today”.
The former civil servant said that there was an opportunity for Muslims “to convert this to a historic opportunity which nobody expects from you.
“But there has to be an equal display of maturity from the rightwing Hindu parties that are interested in building the temple.”
He, however, cautioned against any “great demonstration of glee, gloating that we have won this case. There is no need for triumphalism”.
He said in law two plus two necessary doesn’t make four and “here both parties are dissatisfied”.
“The point I am trying to make is that under the present judgment you cannot make anything grand, because what you are forgetting is that the judgment is only about 2.7 acres of land of which you are only getting two-thirds and Muslims only one-third. You can neither build a ‘bhavya (grand) temple nor a bhavya mosque.
“There are 70 acres of land near the disputed site which is owned by the central government. Have you ever spoken of that? What can you make in two acres? But it is possible if both communities come together and talk, and tell the government to give us some or all of the land it owns, they can make anything - a magnificent temple, mosque and of course a magnificent history of India.”