Justice Khan - Epilogue to Ram Janm Bhumi Babri Masjid Judgement

“My judgement is short, very short. Either I may be admired as an artist who knows where to stop, particularly in such a sensitive, delicate matter or I may be castigated for being so casual in such a momentous task. Sometimes patience is intense action, silence is speech and pauses are punches.”
This is the epilogue at the end of Justice S U Khan’s 285-page judgment in the Ayodhya title suits.

He reminds both the warring factions that “the one quality which epitomised the character of Ram is tyag (sacrifice)”. “When Prophet Mohammad entered into a treaty with the rival group at Hudayliyah, it appeared to be abject surrender even to his staunch supporters. However, the Koran described that as clear victory and it did prove so. Within a short span therefrom Muslims entered the Mecca as victors, and not a drop of blood was shed.”

Admiring “our resilience” post demolition, Justice Khan warns: “We must realise that such things do not happen in quick succession. Another fall and we may not be able to rise again, at least quickly.” Today the pace of the world is faster than it was in 1992, he says. “We may be crushed.”
Justice Khan says he did not delve too deep into history and archaeology, for four reasons. “Firstly, this exercise was not absolutely essential to decide these suits. Secondly, I was not sure as to whether at the end of tortuous voyage I would have found a treasure or faced a monster (treasure of truth or monster of confusion worst confounded). Thirdly, having no pretence of knowledge of history I did not want to be caught in the crossfire of historians,” Justice Khan writes.

Regarding his fourth reason, he quotes the SC’s ruling in the Karnataka Board of Waqf vs Government of India — “As far as a title suit of civil nature is concerned there is no room for historical facts and claims. Reliance on borderline historical facts will lead to erroneous conclusions.”

Justice Khan also quotes Iqbal: “Watan ki fikra kar nadan musibat aane wali hai, Teri barbadiyon ke mashware hain aasmanon mein. Na samjhoge to mit jaoge e Hindustanwalon, Tumahari dastan tak bhi na hogi dastanon mein (Worry for the country, or you will be wiped out)”.

He goes on to quote Darwin, remarking “What an authority to quote in a religious matter/dispute!”. “Only those species survived which collaborated and improvised,” Justice Khan points out.

He writes in his epilogue: “Muslims must also ponder that at present the entire world wants to know the exact teachings of Islam in respect of relationship of Muslims with others.”

He further observes that Muslims enjoy a unique position in India. “They have been rulers here, they have been ruled and now they are sharers in power. They are not in majority but they are also not a negligible minority.”

Justice Khan points out that this is different from other countries, where Muslims are either in a huge majority — making them indifferent to the problems in question — or a negligible minority, which makes them redundant.

“Indian Muslims have also inherited a legacy of religious learning and knowledge. They are therefore in the best position to tell the world the correct position. Let them start with their role in the resolution of the conflict at hand.”

Reference Indian Express

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