Community leaders in the city responded to the Ayodhya verdict with varying degrees of satisfaction. While most Muslim leaders confessed to some disappointment and are looking forward to the case going to the Supreme Court (SC), they also acknowledged the Allahabad High Court’s attempt to pacify both parties.
“The verdict was a good effort by the judges to bring India together, but more of a reconciliation than a judgement based on merit,” said Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, editor of Islamic magazine Eastern Crescent, who believes there is no historical evidence of Babur ever visiting Ayodhya or building a mosque there.
“But there is also no concrete evidence of Ram being real or mythological, so the judges should not have declared the spot as his birthplace,” said Qasmi.
Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, general secretary of the All-India Ulema Council, said, “We welcome RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s appeal to not look at this verdict in terms of victory or defeat.” He is glad that the Muslims are to get one third of the land but wants to take the fight further to the SC.
Prominent members of the Hindu community were also moderate in their reactions. “The judges have arrived at this verdict after much deliberation. We are neither regretful nor overwhelmed by it, but we respect it,” said Braja Hari Das, temple president of Juhu’s ISKCON temple.
Meanwhile Joseph Dias, secretary of the Catholic Secular Forum, said that it is the fundamentalists in each community that should be kept out. “The verdict is a new beginning. The Centre should take control of building both a mosque and a temple at the site,” Dias said.