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My First ‘Ayodhya’ Post

28th September, 2010

No matter what, there is always a first.

Say, your first Cadbury Bournville (you’ll need to earn it), or your first pay cheque (literally, you need to earn it!). Remember your first lame joke (nobody expected it), or your first black eye (as a direct consequence of the first first)?

As the title (subtly) suggests, this is my first ‘Ayodhya’ post. (Slow build-up of background score, reaching a loud and rather unnerving high-point and suddenly stopping dead)

(On a side note, all background scores sound the same. They’ll have a low-bass hum slowly building up volume, panning from left to right, and at some point a random violin comes in furiously plucking away its strings, only to drop dead some 30 seconds later. Note to self: Possible future career.)

Complicité - Ayodhya

Ayodhya in the Past

Ah yes, Ayodhya. Wikipedia tells me here that Ayodhya was once-upon-a-time a grand and magnificent city. As an important trading center lying on the banks of the river Ganga, Ayodhya has seen many different kingdoms – and cultures – ruling it.

Before I forget, there’s the holy significance part. Bathing on the banks of the river Ganga is supposed to destroy even the deadliest sins. The city Ayodhya finds itself mentioned in many historical scriptures, specifically the Ramayana, and is fabled to be the birthplace of the God Rama as well as a long list of kings. It has been historically significant for the growth and development of many religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.

Even the Thai kingdom and city of Ayutthya was named after Ayodhya (it turns out that there was a common Southeast Asian practice of adopting names of places after kingdoms in the Indian mainland).

(Why doesn’t Bangalore return the favour and call itself Bangkok? Or Benegakhokhe after some political party thinks it’s not Indian enough!)

Ayodhya in the Present

Ayodhya is no longer the grand and magnificent city that it used to be. Once the capital of a strong kingdom, its now a small city in Uttar Pradesh. It has a population of a little below 50,000 (as per Wikipedia and numerous other sites that copied Wikipedia). It lost its strategic and economic significance to Lucknow and Kanpur sometime in the 16th century.

With such a past, it’s funny how time has left it with such a present.

(You got it? Ha!)

Possibly the most interesting thing to have happened in the past few centuries is the Ayodhya dispute.

The Ayodhya Dispute

Simply put, multiple parties have been debating over a certain plot of land. Some claim it has historical significance as the birthplace of Ram and some more add that the Babri Mosque at that site was built after destroying a Hindu temple. Sadly, the Babri Mosque was razed to the ground on 6th December, 1992. This demolition led to one of the worst outbreaks of communal violence in the country.

Luckily, this dispute went to the courts.

As per a Mint article (The Ayodhya Trial, PDF):

The high court has heard arguments on 28 issues including historical and mythological issues. All four title suits (filed in 1950, 1959, 1961 and 1989) were initially heard in the Faizabad civil court till a special bench was constituted in July 1989 by the Allahabad high court, acting on the plea of the then Uttar Pradesh government for speedy trial of the case.

A speedy trial of the case, indeed!

Can the Law Resolve this Dispute?

The latest news is that the Allahabad High Court verdict will be out on 30th September, 2010. There are some who have waited 60 years for this.

Considering that all parties involved aren’t exactly the sweet and amicable types, and have hot-headed followers to please, I doubt that this verdict would be enough. (They can always appeal to the Supreme Court, or resort to taking the law in their own hands).

The Ayodhya issue has out-grown itself. It’s immersed in historical interpretation, political mileage, human blood from riots and a rather deserted 67 acre plot.

I agree with the Beatles for their famously over-quoted words:

Let it be, let it be

(Photo Credits: Elishams)

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. 28th September, 2010 8:06 PM

    I love this post… with all of my heart.
    You won it K’Tall. I love the solution you borrowed from the Beatles (I’m partial because of this). You’re right – let it be, let it be.

  2. Ritvik Prasad permalink
    28th September, 2010 8:07 PM

    Very well summarized Kartikay 🙂 loved going through it.. short and sweet covering all the aspects in the news today .. .
    keep posting 🙂

    • 28th September, 2010 9:23 PM

      What what what? I didn’t do anything – just quoted other verified and unverified sources! Hehe! Thanks man!

  3. 28th September, 2010 9:14 PM

    first off…you forgot to mention that the raghuwanshis drove the mathurs out of ayodhya a long time ago
    now again you have tried to enter this territory 😛
    nice post but doesn’t really say anything. I’ve dying to know about the actual details of the case. i mean stuff about what is it about.who are the defendants & claimant. what will the court base its decision on…mythology, archaeology or sentiment.

    • 28th September, 2010 9:19 PM

      First off, I don’t care if the Raghuwanshis drove the Mathurs out of Ayodhya a long time ago. History is history.

      I understand that I haven’t gone into much detail. The problem is that there is too much detail! 27 parties are involved in the court verdict and SC asked them to settle the dispute out-of-court. Of those 27 parties, only 2 think its possible to settle between themselves.

      The only solution is this: http://mainsamayhoon.com/comic/?webcomic_post=the-solution 🙂

  4. Anusha permalink
    28th September, 2010 10:00 PM

    Too much of wiki referencing :D;
    Alas the solution is something which I too agree on; Better postpone rather than communal disharmony

    • 30th September, 2010 7:15 PM

      Oh well, I steer well into the “unverified claims” territory (and I like it) 🙂

  5. delhizen permalink
    29th September, 2010 11:40 AM

    By the way since the fight is about a mosque built over a place where a Ram temple stood, says who? Our mythology! It’s like me going to Lahore and claiming over a property because my ancestors were born and lived there…. Let the verdict be announced by the Allahbad High Court because after that an appeal will be made in the Supreme Court and by the time they are ready to announce the verdict- the old political hags who started this fight will be dead and gone and generation then will say Ayodhya case, what was that?

    @ Aditya watch CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose interviewed the defendants & claimant who are well into their 80s and 90s and express their grouse about politicians who exploited their cause for their own good and now have forgotten all about it…

    NICE POST K!

    • 30th September, 2010 7:18 PM

      Oh God! I couldn’t stop laughing reading this comment! Haha!

      In a way, it’s nice that the old political hags are now old, and this fight would be dead and gone in a matter of years 🙂

      Also, you managed to watch a whole show with Sagarika Ghose screaming? (I’m sorry, a little pessimistic with our “news” anchors these days!)

  6. 29th September, 2010 3:31 PM

    This is what happens when half the country is unemployed – they have all the time to fight over a temple built aeons ago!

    And everyone is dreading the verdict. And do you think it will be the end of it? There will be an appeal, the case will be transferred to SC and it will drag on for another 60 years!

    Nice post btw, love the Bangkok idea!

    • 30th September, 2010 7:19 PM

      You guessed it right – one party is planning to appeal to the Supreme Court. Are you one of those who can guess movie scripts too?

      (Bollywood movies only! Hehe!)

  7. 29th September, 2010 4:34 PM

    Very well written post. 🙂
    I don’t see any end to this fight for land. With or without the court verdict. You see it is due to the vote bank politics practiced by our respectful politicians.
    “Let it be” ise a good solution but how will you ask the power holders to do that. Getting weapon grade plutonium would be easier.

    • 30th September, 2010 7:23 PM

      Funny, when you mention ‘vote bank politics’. I’ve always wondered what’s wrong with that! Politicians are supposed to support and clamour for their vote bank, right?

      Hehe! Also, super funny comment that you made – “getting weapon grade plutonium would be easier.” Pure awesomeness!

      Thanks for dropping by, Snow Leopard! (Was curious: are you an Apple fan?)

    • 1st October, 2010 10:59 AM

      Err…no. I am a fan of the real Snow Leopard. Happens to be one of my favourite animals.

    • 1st October, 2010 5:18 PM

      Hehe! Sorry, as a geek first and anything else second, that was the first thing that crossed my mind!

      Good to know your interests, Mr. Leopard, Snow Leopard! (Ok, I should stop!)

    • 2nd October, 2010 12:13 AM

      Haha….I believe you are an IT or Computers guy then. I use Ubuntu as my OS if it interests you. version 10.04. Debian package with gnome environment. Don’t care much for KDE. Interesting blog you have got here. Will check it out later.

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  1. ‘The courtroom was adjourned; No verdict was returned’ « Bit by Bit!

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