‘Muslims must give away one-third Ayodhya plot’

Javed Anand, general secretary Muslims for Secular Democracy and the husband of the activist Teesta Setalvad, in The Indian Express:

“It is a maxim of mature democracies that where there is no justice, there is no peace. Is there justice in India? It’s up to you, dear reader, to ask yourself that question. Have the victims of communal mass killings — Nellie, Assam (1983), Delhi (1984), Malliana, Meerut (1987), Bhagalpur (1989), Mumbai (1992-93), Gujarat (2002), Kandhamal, Orissa (2008) — got justice? Have the masterminds, the main perpetrators of mass crimes or the policemen guilty of partisan conduct been punished?

“What prospects of a verdict on the crime committed in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, during the life-time of many of the main accused?

“In August 1992, five months before the Babri masjid was demolished, I had argued in an article in The Sunday Observer (now extinct) that the only possible resolution of the Babri masjid-Ram janmabhoomi conflict was for Muslims to unilaterally relinquish their claim to the disputed plot.

“My reasons are different now, but the plea remains the same.

“Forget about appealing to the Supreme Court. In the best interests of the country and the community itself, Muslims must gift away even the one-third of the plot that for the moment is legally theirs. The disputed plot in Ayodhya, which millions of Hindus have come to believe as the birthplace of Ram lalla, is absolutely the last place where the battle for the Idea of India — secular or majoritarian — must be fought.”

Read the full article: Seize this moment

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