Of 'Ram Mandir' And Slaughterhouses
NEW DELHI: In a suggestion that coincides with the elevation of the controversial Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court has suggested that the Babri Masjid/Ram Mandir issue be resolved by the concerned parties.
Describing it as a “sensitive” and “sentimental” issue, the apex court responding to BJP’s Subramanian Swamy’s appeal for an urgent hearing said it would be best if it was settled amicably. And that the courts could be approached only if the parties were unable to reach a settlement.
“These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting,” said the bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar. Swamy was asked to return to the court on March 31 after exploring the issue.
CJI Khehar said he could mediate if all wanted him to, but felt that the parties concerned should appoint mediators to make a fresh effort to resolve the issue, and the court could appoint a principal mediator if that was required.
The UP CM has often spoken during his campaigns of building the Ram Mandir as a first agenda if a BJP government came to power. The Babri mosque was brought down by hundreds of kar sevaks on December 6 1992 in a violation of the tenets of the Indian Constitution. A makeshift temple was erected at the site under the watch of the Congress government at the centre. This remains a guarded site, with several rings of security around it, as per instructions of the courts.
The Supreme Court has now given a new signal with the suggestion that the parties to the dispute resolve the issue themselves, whatever that will mean on the ground.
"An amicable settlement of the Ayodhya Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute was a better course than on insisting on judicial pronouncement," the bench which included Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said.
“These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting.”
You must make fresh attempts to arrive at a consensual decision. If required, you must choose a moderator to end the dispute. If the parties want me to sit with mediators by both the sides for negotiations, am ready to take up the task. Even the services of my brother judges can be availed for the purpose.”
Adityanath is implementing his promised Hindutva agenda on what appears to be a war footing at this point. He has ordered the closure of alughterhouses thereby threatening to put thousands of families out of employment across the state. Although the big business of meat exports is shared between all communities, the smaller and poor butchers of the state will be impacted with worry now pouring out in representations, statements, with the targeted groups wondering about their future with this blanket ban.
Although there seems to be some confusion still, as to whether the closure is for both legal and illegal skaughterhouses, reports from the official quarters suggest that it is a blanket ban. Sequads have been formed to ensure the shut down, with paniciky meat traders and butchers downing shutters across UP. Fear is being spread in the districts as the issue has been linked by theYogi himself in earlier campaigns with the minorities in the state.
There is of course little concern about the fact that UP could lose a revenue of nearly Rs 12000 crores a year as a result of this move.