Academicians move SC for Ayodhya verdict review

NEW DELHI: Forty academicians and activists, including Irfan Habib, Jayati Ghosh, Nandini Sundar and Prabhat Patnaik, have fi- led a joint petiti- on in the Supre- me Court seeking review of its November 9 Ayodhya verdict which gave the Janambhoomi-Babri site for construction of Ram temple and ordered that five acres be allotted to Sunni Waqf Board elsewhere in Ayodhya for construction of a mosque.
Justifying their decision to approach court in the matter despite having never been a party in the decades-old legal dispute, they contended that they are aggrieved by the apex court verdict “which has a direct impact on the syncretic culture of the country and its secular fabric envisaged in the Constitution”. The petitioners, known for their consistent Left-leaning stance on diverse issues, agreed that there is no doubt about Ayodhya being the birth-place of Lord Rama, but said there is no conclusive evidence of existence of a temple at the site where Babri mosque was built.
“The faith of a community cannot override the faith of another community and practices of two faiths cannot and should not be compared as the expressions of faith can also differ. Interestingly, the belief of the Hindus that Ram was born in Ayodhya is not without doubt (as has been expressed by eminent historians such as Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib).
“The existence of Babri Masjid is a fact that has been historically documented, whereas the existence of the Hindu temple on which this mosque was built is merely a belief of the Hindus … Therefore, by relying on the belief of the existence of a temple, over the evidence of existence of the mosque, this decision has been in violation of constitutional principles of equality and freedom of religion,” the petition said.

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