Muslims shouldn’t allow Gyanvapi-masjid matter to go the way gory Babri-masjid case went, instead should contest cases properly in courts. By Hem Raj Jain

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The Varanasi District Judge on September 12 dismissed the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s challenge to the maintainability of civil suit (for pooja / worship of Hindu deities in Gyanvapi-masjid premises) by Hindu women. On May 20, the Supreme Court directed the Varanasi District judge to decide this matter, as reported at -  

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/full-text-varanasi-court-order-on-suits-challenging-gyanvapi-mosque-title-8146489/

After this Varanasi court’s order the entire print and electronic media (including social media) of India is full of apprehension that this court order has paved the way for political exploitation of this matter by Hindutva forces (BJP, RSS, VHP etc) which will see another communal tension as happened in Babri-masjid case which resulted in loss of lives, blood , properties and even dishonoring of women for thousands of innocent Indians (mostly Muslims) before and after Babri-masjid demolition in 1992. But situation of Gyanvapi-masjid is not similar to that of Babri-masjid case and Muslims should understand it and instead should contest the cases properly in courts as mentioned below:-

(1)- First and foremost the Muslims should understand that the Varanasi District Judge rightly said that according to the pleadings of the plaintiffs they were worshiping at disputed place incessantly since a long time till 1993. After 1993 they were allowed to worship only once in a year under the regulatory of the State of Uttar Pradesh hence the suit is not barred by ‘The Places of Worship Act 1991’.  

(2)- In view of this court order now Muslims can contest this Gyanvapi-masjid case only on three grounds in different courts (SCI, High Court and Subordinate Courts) :-

(i)- The cause of action is the 1993 order of U.P. government which is not mentioned as cause of action in the suit by the plaintiffs. 

(ii)- Whether civil court in this suit has jurisdiction to strike down this 1993 order of U.P. government about which there is even no such prayer in the suit. 

(iii)- Whether the claim of Hindus (plaintiff) is true that they were worshiping all the time at disputed site before 1993 and not once a year as was expected by this 1993 order of U.P. government (this is not a matter of law but of fact which can be decided by court in proper proceedings)

(3)- If it is found (by proper court proceedings) that Hindus indeed were worshiping all the time and not once a year before 1993 at disputed site then Muslims should not unnecessarily object to their worship all the time at disputed site. If not then courts will see to it that 1993 order of the U.P. government remains valid / intact.

(4)- Of course Indian Muslims may be having genuine apprehension whether they will get justice from Indian courts or not especially given their past record where even the SCI (during PM Vajpayee regime) allowed evidence to be explored by ASI about existence of temple at Babri-masjid disputed site although it is a settled law that -”[martial matter is between State & State, criminal matter is between State & citizen and civil matter is between citizen and citizen (including government as citizen in civil suits). Hence evidences are collected by government / police only in criminal matters even on court order whereas in civil cases court is supposed to decide the matter only on the basis of evidence produced by the plaintiff]”. But the SCI succumbed to majoritarianism IN THIS MATTER TOO in the Babri-masjid case.

(5)-  But Indian Muslims and their leaders are not that innocent as they try to project; rather they are equally if not more responsible for whatever unjust has happened in the Babri-masjid case. Had Indian Muslims filed a petition in the SCI for the restoration of status-quo-ante of Babri-masjid just after it was demolished in 1992, almost all the loss of lives, blood , properties and even dishonoring of women for thousands of innocent Indians (mostly Muslims) could have been avoided. This they should do now also as mentioned at https://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/4020 . God only knows when will Indian Muslims will understand that Hindutva forces got emboldened (hence indulged in anti-Muslim acts even violent) for the simple reason that Muslims didn’t press for the restoration of status-quo-ante of Babri-masjid just after it was demolished. 

(6)- PM Modi came in government in 2014 mainly on two issues (i)- Anti-Muslim sentiments (without wearing it on sleeves because he had certificate from Gujarat 2002) and (ii)- Economic progress, removal of unemployment, Gujarat model, bringing black money back from abroad to the extent of over a million rupees in every family’s bank account etc. But the  economic plank of Modi has not remained attractive due to poor economic performance of Modi government hence only plank of anti-Muslim sentiments remains with PM Modi / BJP to win 2024 Loksabha election [especially in view of Nitish leaving Bihar government (with BJP) and forming government with other parties and efforts of Nitish of forging opposition unity against BJP and ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ by Congress / Rahul Gandhi against BJP government, which all have increased insecurity in Modi government about 2024 Loksabha elections].

(7)- In such a political scenario of contemporary India one should not be surprised if for politician gains the Hindutva forces (in the run-up to 2024 Loksabha elections) succeed in polarizing India (as it has been doing during last decade) on Hindu-Muslim divide in which the Muslims will be the main victim in every way including by loss of lives, blood , properties and even dishonoring of their women.

Therefore the leaders of Indian Muslims should take the matter of not only Gyanvapi-masjid but also of Babri-masjid seriously (as mentioned above) if they are really serious about the wellbeing, safety, security, peace and honor of Indian Muslims.

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