As I write this, the Supreme Court has deferred the delivery of the judgement that's had the country in a tizzy for days and weeks. No Ayodhya judgement tomorrow, it will now be delivered a week from now. That's if the SC decides on a petition that pleads for a postponement of the ruling; it will hear arguments over that petition on September 28.
Given that this Ayodhya title case has dragged for decades, and the issue itself goes back centuries into our medieval history, postponing by a week is trivial. Right. But I'm worn out with this dispute dominating my country's politics, pitting Indian against Indian, for so long. Not that I believe a judgement will put an end to that, but at least it will be a small step towards some kind of closure. Now that's been put off by a week, and given my experience with the way our courts work, I suspect it will be put off some more.
I am uninterested in finger-pointing. Though I have always thought of December 6 1992 as a day of great crime and shame. Some great crimes have their day of redemption. This one, I believe, never will. I believe the same about the crimes of 1984, 1992-93 and 2002, among others.
There are many reasons for this pessimism, but if I had to choose one fundamental reason, it would be this: plenty of us Indians don't see those events as crimes at all. In fact, plenty of us see them as an expression of national honour. As long as there are these irreconcilable views of the same events, there is no hope of such things as justice and redemption.
Having said all that, please turn your TV to Headlines Today at 9pm tonight (September 23 2010). Anand Patwardhan's Ram ke Naam will be broadcast then. A fine documentary about the Babri Masjid issue, it will remind you of what hatred does to us.