The Supreme Court Chief Justice of India (CJI) JS Khehar’s surprise advocacy of an out of court settlement in the controversial and decades-long Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case in Ayodhya has received a qualified thumbs-up from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which is party to the appeal in SC, even as a number of interested parties have said that the issue ended up in court simply because they could not thrash out a mutually acceptable solution themselves. However, AIMPLB’s Maulana Khalid Rasheed says that his organisation is ready for out of court settlement, but it has to be under the Supreme Court directive. The CJI had tagged the issue a ‘sensitive’ and ‘sentimental matter’. Over the years, the case has been allowed to simmer in the background (since 2010) as the interested parties in the case had taken stands that virtually prohibited the finding of a solution. Now with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy seeking quick hearings in the matter, the possibility of finding a solution looks much brighter. However, it must be noted that no one has really changed their stands much in the case.
AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has said, “Because of RSS’s bigotry and intransigence, all earlier six attempts of talks have failed.” He added, “RSS should tell their own government, which is in power, to approach the Supreme Court and request it to sit during the summer vacation and hear the matter on day-to-day basis. Let the court decide, without any break (in sitting).” His stance was that “It’s a title suit, which will be decided according to who has the title of that land”. Clarifying the same, he tweeted, “Please remember Babri Masjid case is about Title which Allahabad court wrongly decided as a Partnership case hence the appeal in apex court.”
On his part Subramanian Swamy said, “We were always ready. Mandir and Masjid should be built but Masjid should be built on other side of Sarayu river. The Ram Janambhoomi should be entirely for Ram Mandir”. He added, “My suggestion is that Masjid be built on other side of the Sarayu river and Ram Janambhoomi be handed over for Ram Temple. We cannot change the birthplace of Ram, but Masjid can be made anywhere.” He also clarified his position by saying that in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, a mosque is regarded as the place where ‘Namaaz’ (prayer) is offered and prayer can be offered at any place. From the SC, Swamy wanted a suggestion of a name who can serve as a mediator on the issue. Considering that he wants a quick solution, he hoped a decision would come as soon as March 31.