Though the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to file a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging its verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhumi dispute that continued in the courts of law for decades, the community’s response across the country appears to display a mature, pragmatic approach to a highly emotive issue.
The initial responses from the Babri Masjid Action Commitee, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Wakf Board, the principal parties that were involved in the litigation and public campaign on the issue of the disputed mosque, highlighted the point that the verdict was a setback to the community’s long-held claims and interests. But the question as to how to respond to the Supreme Court verdict has split the various organisations, with the Sunni Central Waqf Board and the other principal litigants in the case opting to accept the verdict and put an end to this unhappy chapter in India’s recent history.
It is to be noted that though there are differences as to how to proceed, the public opinion in the community is now definitely in favour of finding an amicable settlement and moving on once and for all. This is evident from the reactions of most Muslim organizations who have asserted that they would pursue the quest for justice through democratic and legal means. This is a common thread in the reactions of all political parties and groups that claim to represent the Muslim community, ranging from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the Welfare Party of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the All India Majlis-e-Ithihadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) of Asadudin Owaisi and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). They have expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court decision to hand over the entire property to a trust for the building of a Ram temple, but generally have refused to be drawn into confrontationist and violent public actions that would further vitiate the communal atmosphere in the country.