Ayodhya: The City and It’s Message

By The Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

Supreme Court has settled the oldest known dispute in the Indian history, centuries of history, decades of legal battle and thousands of lives that were lost in sectarian violence have culminated into this verdict.  On Nov 9, the history of India has changed forever. How Indians will chart their shared future from here remains to be seen.

There was much apprehension and little bit of tension when it was announced on Nov 8 that Supreme Court will announce its much awaited verdict on Ayodhya dispute the next day. Given the calm and measured response from public on the result so far, it clearly shows that country has come far in handling sensitive issues. I am not saying that we are a mature lot but this time, citizens collectively have shown very settled and calm response on the outcome. Some politicians did try to extract a political mileage out of it but there was no news of any untoward incident in the country. We should understand that there aren’t any issues that cannot be resolved by sitting across the table.

We should also not look at Supreme Court’s decision from the lens of victory or loss. Lot of my friends, both Hindu and Muslims, felt very strongly about this issue but there was a common understanding that whatever the top court will decide, will be acceptable to all. Social Media was also a much calmer place, though it’s being monitored for the troublemakers, but appeals of peace and restraint have not gone unheard. I think it shows that as a society we can rise to the occasion if we come together. There is no point in opening old wounds, we have bled enough, there has been enough carnage and bitterness over this issue and hopefully with this decision both Hindus and Muslims will be able to forget the past and bury their differences, I am not saying its going to be easy but its not impossible.

We can utilize this moment to lay a foundation of a future of peace and harmony. Let our understanding for each other, harmony and unity become a beacon of light for the coming generation and the wider world. Government and people should ensure that Temple and mosque that will be built in Ayodhya act as a bridge rather than divide between the two communities. Ayodhya has a very long and vibrant secular tradition that needs to be preserved. Let this verdict usher in a new era of tolerance and brotherhood.

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