The Supreme Court is treading_cautiously, probably rightly so, on the extremely sensitive Ram Temple dispute as it asked both parties to try talk their differences out. India’s apex court on Tuesday urged concerned Hindus and Muslims to hold meetings and try to sort the issue outside the court, while hearing a petition from senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy. The Rajya Sabha MP’s appeal asked of court to consider building the Ram Temple at the site of the razed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.
“It is an issue of sentiment and religion. First sit together and sort out. Both sides employ moderators and hold meetings,” Chief Justice JS Kehar said, as reported by English news broadcaster NDTV.
“We can come into the picture if you can’t solve the issue,” Kehar reportedly added, saying that he could act as mediator if the parties wanted.
While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed the SC’s statement of trying to reach an out-of-court settlement, the Babri Masjid Action Committee has noted in the wake of SC’s statements that “private negotiations haven’t been possible for the last 31 years.”
“If the Chief Justice nominates some bench to intervene, that could happen,” the Convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee, Zafar Yab Gilani, was quoted as reacting by NDTV.
But not everyone was so polite. Some people were outright angry at the SC for “running away from responsibility.”
Supreme Court is just running away from responsibility _, but it’s good opportunity for Modi-Yogi Government #MandirWahiBanayenge
– Meera _ (@imeerage) March 21, 2017
The above Twitter reaction seemingly came from a right-wing account which looks fairly supportive of constructing the Ram Temple. The user calls herself a follower of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
There are more angry Twitter users.
#SupremeCourt wil poke its nose on irrelevant issues like BCCI & NationalAnthem but not on #Ayodhya which affect ppl https://t.co/QC772BZFBF
– Yogi For PM 2019 (@pratiekrai) March 21, 2017
CJI is creating more issues by this Suggestion. #ramtemple only beneficiary in this case is Moronic media
– Redhish Chandran (@scorpioinstinct) March 21, 2017
Really can’t figure out if this person is pro-Ram Temple.
Supreme Court had one chance to correct all that was done wrong, but sadly it lacked courage. Over to banning Dahi Handi pyramids#Ayodhya
– GappuRaja (@GappuRaja1) March 21, 2017
This may not be an accurate representation of the picture, but that is exactly what many Twitter users seem to think
Lol, even the Supreme Court doesn’t want to get embroiled in the issue. Says it’s best settled outside court.#Ayodhya #MandirWahiBanayenge
– THEMAYUKHSUTRA (@themayukhsutra) March 21, 2017
What did the Allahabad High Court say in its 2010 ruling on Ram Mandir?
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that two-thirds of the disputed plot belonged for the purpose of building a Ram Temple, while the remaining area could have a mosque built on it. The BBC notes that the 8,500-page court ruling stated in its judgement that the
- disputed spot was birthplace of Lord Ram,
- mosque was built after the demolition of a temple that previously stood there
- mosque wasn’t built as per tenets of Islam
The ruling turned out to be a bit controversial, as both parties appealed to the Supreme Court against it.