October 02, 2010

Why it bothers me

All right, so I haven't read the Ayodhya judgement. Jetlagged as I am, on the other side of the world from my country, I have read mostly only headlines about it. And even so, I am bothered by it. I am bothered for this reason: the very people who destroyed a mosque and triggered weeks of killing across this land have been rewarded. And something about that is simply not right.

This has nothing to do with archaeological evidence and the like. Nor with Ram and exactly where he was born. Nor with exactly what Babar did in the early 16th Century. Nor with the observation that's been smugly pointed out to me a few times, that Ram is Indian and Babar is not. (What this is supposed to mean, especially when applied to figures from the mists of history, before "Indian" meant anything much, I don't know. Or maybe I do).

No, this has to do purely with how a country reacts to vandalism and terror, to the way a promise made to the highest Court in the land was broken without a thought, to how governments sworn to our Constitution chose to spit on it.

How do you decide disputes in court -- on religious sentiments? Or the rule of law?

Do you punish people who instigate, indulge and cheer on vandalism and terror, at the very least by denying them what they claim they want? Or do you reward their crimes by giving them what they claim they want?

This judgement does the latter. Which is why it bothers me.

50 comments:

the dude who used many names said...

This is precisely the reason anyone who attended any school that teaches a modern curriculum finds it extraordinarily difficult to have a non-trivial conversation with you. You have no idea (or pretend not to) of abstraction in terms of layers of logic and leave each layer at it. This is usually an error that right-wing nut jobs are accused of -- here you present an interesting typist nut-job case.

A very apt comparison and illustration of this phenomenon -- namely an inability to abstract will come from one of all time favorite authors who recently made a fool of herself here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009v179

That program does a better job in explaining the error better than I can ever manage. I do hope you listen. And I still love the author who made a fool of herself there. I never loved you -- but you get the drift.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sapathan, I agree with you about layers of logic. After all, I don't follow the layers of logic that would generalize "I" to "anyone who attended any school that teaches a modern curriculum".

Please remind me to take your lessons in logic and other things seriously when you find the fibre to use your real name.

Samaira said...

so nicely written.No value for human life but playng out to mass sentiment this judgement appears to be.

Plz also check www.superhypersonic.com

the dude who used many names said...

Dude, your sarcasm is lost on me and I suspect, on most other people. And we've been through this naming nonsense earlier as well. Anyway, it's your blog and you are free to assume you are clever.

But your point on me generalizing is wrong. For the simple reason that this follows from the lecture I recommended to you previously. If you had listened to it as you claimed, you'd have realized how what we now call intelligence in the modern parlance is our ability to abstract out the logical reasoning from real world events/ phenomena. So, my statement on "anyone who attended" is actually causal in that sense and therefore is not generalizing at all. In other words, my mention of the system is an attempt to preclude by definition -- not one to aggregate by association. Hope that was made clear.

Dilip D'Souza said...

lost on me and I suspect, on most other people.

Still generalizing.

Hope that was made clear.

Nope.

No more on this thread.

the dude who used many names said...

My suspicion was mostly because of my reluctance to assert by generalization. But then you merely want to have the last word -- enjoy that, it must feel great to be right by assertion.

Also, if you have any questions on the causality, let me know. Else, see you in another post. Taa!

Anonymous said...

d'souza does not think. he is programmed.

this was a civic case. the babri masjid demolition case is a criminal case which is different.

d'souza's logic is of a different world. mars or pluto methinks.

it's a good thing he gave up on programming. software's gain is journalism's loss.

Anonymous said...

i'm not sapathan. there are many people who laugh at d'souza's logic.

Anonymous said...

maybe you can explain your garbage logic-

who exactly is it you want 'punished' or 'not rewarded'? hindus?

mr genius, is the contention then, that all hindus must be held responsible for the mosque's demolition?

axea said...

Dilip, this judgement was on the case filed to determine who owns the disputed piece of land (2.77 acres).

The demolition is the subject of a separate case for which decision is still pending.

The parties to the two cases are different.

Nikhil said...

Why am in not surprised reading Dcubed's reaction?
First and foremost, a prize milch cow 'secularism' has been taken away. If right thinking Hindus and muslims can sit across the table and come to a settlement and most importantly move on, then how can the secularists make their documentaries or write columns on lack of justice?
Secondly there has been remarkable restaint shown so far by all members including some of the rabid ones from all sides. So once again no rioting and loss of lives and one more addition to Dilip's roster is gone. One hopes things continue this way.
As one of the commentators pointed, there are 2 different cases - vandalism and building the temple. This has to do with building the temple only.
It was amusing to see people exposing themselves on the NDTV debate particularly people like the Owaisi dude and Rajinder Sachar and heartening to see Javed Akhtar welcoming the verdict and looking at this as a historic opportunity to move forward.

This has nothing to do with archaeological evidence and the like. Nor with Ram and exactly where he was born. Nor with exactly what Babar did in the early 16th Century.

Then what does it have to do with? Please explain - I am lost here.

No, this has to do purely with how a country reacts to vandalism and terror,

'Terror' - Please use word more carfully. How many people were killed on that day?
Ok - taking this logic further, should this not be extended to all our dealings with Pakistan? Using your logic, any talks with Pakistan will reward the like of those who have brought 4 wars on us, carried out countless acts of terror etc. Why not use the same logic there?
But as we all know different strokes for different folks.

Secondly the verdict speaks about building the mosque. All the parties including the BJP, RSS etc have welcomed that unless you have other news. Please do correct me if i am wrong
Now if both temple and mosque are built side by side, then what is the problem?
For answer go to first para.

Nikhil said...

Do you punish people who instigate, indulge and cheer on vandalism and terror, at the very least by denying them what they claim they want?

So this is the solution- deny something so that some people do not get what they want and not close a simmering issue with a lot of give and take and without hurt to anybody. Keep this issue burning for the next 2 generations.

When some people indulge in much worse and even get a separate country, surely this is peanuts. Oh but we are supposed to view that very rationally and in an unbiased manner while such sentiments do not matter here.

Dilip D'Souza said...

there are 2 different cases - vandalism and building the temple.

When you make statements like this one, please at least make a minimal effort to get them right.

One case is about the vandalism that brought down the mosque.

The other is about who owns the land, not about building the temple.

Dilip D'Souza said...

maybe you can explain your garbage logic.

To someone who starts with that sentence? Yeah right.

is the contention then, that all hindus must be held responsible for the mosque's demolition?

Is it your contention then, that all Hindus were there in Ayodhya that day demolishing the mosque?

Axea: of course there are two cases. No confusion there in the least. About this case, here's the point again, from my post: "How do you decide disputes in court -- on religious sentiments? Or the rule of law?"

There is no evidence to show where Ram was born. There is only faith. That faith has been used to decide this case. (As Siddharth Varadarajan puts it, a particular spot on that site is considered Ram's birthplace "as per [the] faith and belief of the Hindus". Not on account of any evidence.)

Doing so, Varadarajan also says, has given "a shot in the arm" to "a political movement that [indulged in] open defiance of the law and the Indian Constitution."

That's the point.

Anonymous said...

this is what you said-

Do you punish people who instigate, indulge and cheer on vandalism and terror, at the very least by denying them what they claim they want? Or do you reward their crimes by giving them what they claim they want?

can you justify this bit of idiocy? quoting somebody else doesn't cut it. you're supposed to be a writer.

agreed with nikhil. this guy d'souza isn't capable of basic intellectual honesty.

peace and amity means dhanda becoming manda for the likes of d'souza.

Anonymous said...

Dcubed, the judgment has been delivered after going thru over 100k pages of evidence, and is 12 k pages long. You have not even gone thru one of those pages... so don't attempt to judge the judgment. The demolition of the Babri Masjid was wrong because it was an attempt to use mob violence to bypass the legal process. If the legal process reached the conclusion that a temple should be built, you can appeal it or accept it... But to state that because some people who wanted a temple built took the law into their own hands, those who presented their evidence before the court and one should be denied is illogical and unjust.

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

this was a disappointing judgment to me too. Let me put forth my stand here (its a little complicated pls excuse the length and repetition).

1. what I *believe* abt ayodhya:
There stood there a temple possibly of some distinction (important enough to be demolished, not some wayside thing) that was taken down in 15XX or whenever. Another place of worship was constructed there. The wishes of the local populace were almost certainly not taken into consideration.

This was the done thing in those days. nothing very unusual.

2. The correct verdict for BM should have been IMO:

to revert the land to whoever had it before 1992 (not 15XX, even if that was proved) which I guess is a body of M clerics.

3. Thus even if its proven beyond any doubt that H rulers controlled and owned a property there in 15XX it is irrelevant it was lost to such control and stayed lost in a time long ago by means that were considered acceptable then.

4. Since I actually believe (1), and *am* a templegoing H, it would indeed be welcome to me if whoever controlled the property pre-1992 would allow some part of it to be given to a shrine to my kind of God. better yet they could help build it and be helped in renovating BM by the H community.

5. No legal or even moral obligation of any kind exists though to act as per (4). It would be a favor done by somebody who holds in my mind title to the property. They could fairly and correctly ask for payment for a straight land transaction, if they so desired. They could continue to hold and enjoy the property if they so desire.

6. The act of destruction of BM in 1992 is a great crime, the perpetrators of which need to be punished. hope dims that this will ever happen.

7. The wishes of H for a temple are not automatically delegitimated by the criminal acts of these vandals. We can continue to hold our beliefs and wish for a temple there. Our wishes need not be made part of the punishment to the vandals, unless it felt that we need to be punished for wishing so.

Hopefully we recognize there is no legal or legitimate way to a temple there than by the willing consent of the current holders and act accordingly.

Even if this verdict holds and a temple is constructed there, it lacks legitimacy to me. I cannot consider offering worship there.

thanks,
Jai

Dilip D'Souza said...

can you justify this bit of idiocy?

By this bit: "How do you decide disputes in court -- on religious sentiments? Or the rule of law?"

It appears immediately before the line you quote, yet you omitted it.

Right, I know all about what idiocy and intellectual honesty means to you.

Come back and remind me to take you seriously when your evident capacity to abuse in anger is matched by the substance to use your own name.

Other Anony above:
the judgment has been delivered ... [etc]

What I stated was the judgement appears to be based on a matter of faith (for how else can we know the spot where Ram was born?) rather than legal issues. That rewards people and the political movement who destroyed that mosque.

If they build a temple there, as far as I'm concerned it is built on blood.

Dilip D'Souza said...

The wishes of H for a temple are not automatically delegitimated by the criminal acts of these vandals.

Of course they are not. There is nothing wrong with wishing to see a temple there.

I too have close relatives who are temple-going Hindus, and like you they were nauseated by the destruction of the mosque and the bloodshed it triggered, and want to see the vandals punished. There is no contradiction between that feeling and your wish to see a temple there.

Dilip D'Souza said...

By the way, I nearly missed this priceless gem:

If right thinking Hindus and muslims can sit across the table and come to a settlement and most importantly move on ... [etc]

This judgement was delivered precisely *because* Hindus and Muslims were unable to sit across the table and come to a settlement, and went to court instead.

In fact, the petition that stayed the delivery for a week specifically asked for a last attempt at such a settlement, and was rejected by both sides as well as, eventually, the HC and the SC.

Yet this judgement from the court is described as "right thinking Hindus and muslims [sitting] across the table and come to a settlement".

Anonymous said...

the same people who demolished the temple were rewarded? such a conclusion can be reached only by a person who is racist and generalizes the act of demolition to ALL Hindus.

if you read various news items over the years, you will see that bjp, vhp and rss were blamed for the demolition. the two hindu groups were never named in any case or news item about demolition.

so no, the same groups were not "rewarded." this IS about the evidence and the title-suit. what sort of idiotic christian hatred you harbor!

Anonymous said...

Your point about faith being unprovable is irrelevant because all that is relevant is that a temple was razed to the ground and the mosque built on it and the Sunni Waqf Board was sadistic enough not to use the place and see it locked up.

So they lost the right to use the place through adverse possession as well. That is the law.

It has nothing to do with Rama. Even if he was a purely fictional character, the Hindus are right in this case.

On another note, using your own logic, the existence of Mohammed and his flying horse can never be proved and so Muslims must lose all rights to any mosque. Not that I believe this, but your absurd logic would end up advocating this too.

Anonymous said...

To Jai: Your guess is wrong. The Muslim clerics did not control the land pre-1992. The Hindus controlled it, if you leave out the fact that the government actually locked up the place illegally since 1949. That is what this case was about. It was the TITLE SUIT, i.e., who controlled it.

The Muslims couldn't be bothered as long as the place was locked up and Hindus were prevented from using it. That was their sole objective. In fact, there was no Muslim who could be called the owner.

Ankit said...

Dude, this judgement has everything to do with 'who owns the land' and nothing to do with "what punishment should be meted out to those who destroyed the structure in 1992'. Since you have not read the judgement, let me tell you what it is about after reading major parts of the judgement.

1. The judgement is about answering a set of questions that were framed (by the supreme court) as part of the title suit.

2. The judgement is agnostic to whether the answers to these questions would reward some act of history or not.

3. The judgement arrives at answers to each of the questions framed based on evidence, testimony and cross examination.

The major premises that the Ayodhya movement was based on -- that there is a longstanding belief that lord Ram was born at the disputed site, that Hindus have been making pilgrimage to the said site since time immemorial, that a temple existed at the site before 1528 and that the temple was destroyed to raise a mosque -- have been proven to be right in the court of law. The court has pronounced nothing on the legality or the illegality of the act of 1992; that is the subject of another case.

I just outlined some salient facts of the case. This MIGHT make your prejudiced mind right something based on facts. I am not holding my breath on that though.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Oh, so you came back with a name?

But you don't read what you respond to, do you? Despite your triumphant pronouncement, I never claimed that the court pronounced itself on the legality of the "act of 1992" (too hard to call it what it was, a demolition?).

I asked how disputes should be decided: on religious sentiments about where Ram was born? Or the rule of law?

To me, it seemed this judgement was based on on the former. I am glad to note that you, having read "major parts of the judgement", are can confirm my impression -- you say as much: "that there is a longstanding belief that lord Ram was born at the disputed site ... has been proven to be right in the court of law."

Do try to understand the point now. Not even I am disputing that there is a longstanding belief that Ram was born there. Of course it will be "proven to be right in the court of law".

But belief, longstanding though it might be, cannot be grounds to decide the ownership of a site.

As I said, do try to understand the point now.

Ankit said...

Dude, I never wrote a comment on this blog before, so your 'truimphant' pronouncement about 'coming back with a name' is quite amusing to me.

Again, it "seems" to you that the dispute has been decided on the basis of faith. I am afraid to tell you that you are wrong. I can tell you that because I read the judgement. Please read vol 19 of Justice Agarwal's judgement to know how the judge comes to the conclusion that there is a longstanding "belief of Hindus that lord Ram was born here". Please also read couple of hundred pages where he discusses all evidence, testimony and cross examination.

Let me emphasize this : the question about who owns the land has not been decided on the basis of whether Hindus believe the place is birthplace of lord Ram. The suit of each of the three parties has been decided based on legal principles that have no relation to the beliefs but have relation to patterns of usage over time. I will not tell you the details here; please do you own research if you want to write intelligently about this issue. If, however, you want to keep writing that it "seems" that the judgement has been done on the basis of faith please keep making a fool of yourself.

Good luck!

Jai_C said...

"...Oh, so you came back with a name?..."

Dilip primarily (and whoever this dude is, to him/her also),

I'm not getting into your dynamics and wont comment on this again but this *is* looking really silly to bystanders.

Not that either of you needs to follow this advice, but if something is worth responding to IYO maybe you can just respond and drop the name thing.

Maybe each of you can make an opening statement in every thread:

a) Dilip abt how unresponse-worthy it is that interlocutor wont name himself/herself.

b) iloc abt how irrelevant it is.

and then clash away to your hearts' content :-).

I volunteer to copy paste these template declarations onto each comment thread, if Dilip will allow it, to save you guys the trouble.

thank you,
Jai

Dilip D'Souza said...

I'm not getting into your dynamics and wont comment on this again but this *is* looking really silly to bystanders.

I'm sure it is. My apologies.

Please explain something else. It's been mentioned multiple times on this page (starting from comment #7, down to #24 of Oct 4 622am) that this judgement is not about the mosque demolition, which is another case. Of course I never said that this case was about the demolition.

This deliberate obscuring of the discussion is not silly to bystanders?

Dilip D'Souza said...

By the way, I've read (a substantial part of) the judgement, and that's why I write what I do.

Some samples.

Justice Khan -

"[F]or a very long time till the construction of the mosque it was believed by Hindus that somewhere in [the] premises in dispute is [the] birth place of Lord Ram.

[B]efore 1855 Ram Chabutra and Seeta Rasoi had come into existence and Hindus were worshipping [there]. [I]nside the boundary wall and compound of the mosque Hindu religious places ... were actually being worshipped along with offerings of Namaz by Muslims in the mosque.

[I]n view of the above ... both the parties Muslims as well as Hindus are held to be in joint possession of the entire premises in dispute
."

That is, the grounds for deciding there was "joint possession" is the belief that Ram was born there.

Justice Agarwal -

"It is declared that the area covered by the central dome ... being the deity of Bhagwan Ram Janamsthan and place of birth of Lord Rama as per faith and belief of the Hindus, belong to [the Hindu] plaintiffs."

That is, a similar reference to "faith and belief of the Hindus".

Justice Sharma -

"The disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram. Place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as birth place of Lord Rama as a child.

[T]he property in suit is the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other object of worship existed upon the property in suit. ... Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janm Sthan i.e. a birth place as deity and visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial
."

Dilip D'Souza said...

Compare the above excerpts from what the Justices wrote to this claim from a comment on this page (Ankit Oct 4 931am)

"The question about who owns the land has not been decided on the basis of whether Hindus believe the place is birthplace of lord Ram. The suit of each of the three parties has been decided based on legal principles that have no relation to the beliefs."

Let me emphasize this: the comment claims the judgement had "no relation to the beliefs" of Hindus. Please read those excerpts (and in fact the whole judgement) in the light of this claim.

To me, reading what the judges had to say underlined my reservations about the judgement.

That's all I'll say on this thread.

Anonymous said...

no reaction, "ankit"?? you say something which gets shown as a lies, then you run & hide?? instead of having the spine to admit??

hindus like you, with no value for truth or guts, disgrace my religion.

Oldtimer said...

Pretzel logic.

Oldtimer said...

>>That is, the grounds for deciding there was "joint possession" is the belief that Ram was born there.

That is, the grounds for deciding there is joint possession is the fact that it is a place of worship for Hindus (too), and that there is a *historical record* showing that Hindus have been worshipping at the site regarding it as Rama's birthplace. The court endorses no religious belief; it only asserts, *based on evidence*, that such belief has been around for a long time.

One might feverishly jump also to the startling conclusion that the one-third grant for Muslims is based on the belief that Allah exists, that Mohammed is his last prophet, and that he ascended to heaven on a winged horse, etc, etc. But of course the judges are offering no such argument, primarily because they did not go to the same logic school as D'Souza, and secondarily because they did not need to prove that Muslims really believed those beliefs.

Dilip D'Souza said...

The people who crawl out of the woodwork, when Ayodhya and the like get mentioned! The last time Oldtimer was here, it was to say that "Hindutva is primarily about showing you mierable Chriatians and the Islamofascists Muslims their place." (No kidding. See here).

Welcome back, nevertheless.

This time, Oldtimer proclaims that "the court endorses no religious belief; it only asserts, *based on evidence*, that such belief has been around for a long time."

What a firm pronouncement!

What a slick way, more correctly, to divert anyone here from the issue in this post.

Nobody contested that the "belief has been around for a long time". Nobody claimed the court "endorses" some religious belief.

The sole point is this: the court has decided who will get the land based on the belief of where Ram was born.

Notice how cleverly Oldtimer, who wants to show people their place, sidesteps this sole point to go on about something else altogether.

Ankit said...

"The sole point is this: the court has decided who will get the land based on the belief of where Ram was born."

Dude, you wrote earlier that it "seems" to you that the court has decided the ownership on the basis of faith and belief. In other words, it is your "belief" that the court has decided it on the basis of "belief". You have not provided a single evidence to support your statement.

The quote that you provide says "in view of the above"; what is that "above"? The "above" are the facts that a) Hindus had been praying at the site for time immemorial and b) that Muslims had also prayed on the premises after temple was destroyed and mosque was built. Hence the court decided that there is joint posession. Once joint posession was established, the court decided to partition land.

Of course, Hindus have been worshipping there since they believe that Ram was born there, just as Muslims were doing their namaz because they believe Mohammed is the last prophet etc. These beliefs have nothing to do with deciding the land dispute.
Why does this simple point not go into your brain?

Dilip D'Souza said...

you wrote earlier that it "seems" to you that the court has decided the ownership on the basis of faith and belief. In other words, it is your "belief" that the court has decided it on the basis of "belief". You have not provided a single evidence to support your statement.

Is this a serious comment? Are you clutching at some pretty flimsy straws?

"Earlier" I wrote "seems", because I was still reading the judgement at the time. Simple.

What is "above"? The belief that Ram was born there. Simple again.

I really am not interested in repeating myself about this once again, so if you want to persist in your sidestepping, please go ahead.

Ankit said...

What is "above"?

Dude, I just oulined that for you. It is this:
The "above" are the facts that a) Hindus had been praying at the site for time immemorial and b) that Muslims had also prayed on the premises after temple was destroyed and mosque was built. Hence the court decided that there is joint posession. Once joint posession was established, the court decided to partition land.

It is simple, and as I just oulined it is not the belief that lorm Ram was born there.

Oldtimer said...

>> The sole point is this: the court has decided who will get the land based on the belief of where Ram was born.

The criterion court used for deciding land award is *usage*, not belief. The criterion court used for establishing usage is historical record, not belief.

The court marshals evidence showing that the record of Hindus using the site for worship there is far stronger than that of Muslim prayer, stretching far back into history from current times.

Of course, by D'Souza logic the court's award of joint ownership to Sunnis is acknowlwdgement of Muslim belief in the existence of Allah, and perhaps since D'Souza shares this belief, he does not want to mention it. Slick like the recent BP spill ;-)

Dilip D'Souza said...

* "each of the three judges ... relied on a blend of Hindu faith, belief and folklore."

* "the court has 'to uphold a faith which continued for time immemorial' ... ‘belief’ and ‘supposition’ are perfectly legal and acceptable states"(Justice Agarwal).

* "The only thing which can be guessed ... is that a very large area was considered to be the birthplace of Lord Ram by general Hindus." (Justice Khan)

[etc -- i.e. another sample of quotes. These taken from How each judge reached the ‘precise birthplace’ of Lord Ram].

I'm tired of this roundabout. Carry on with showing miserable people their place.

Ankit said...

* "each of the three judges ... relied on a blend of Hindu faith, belief and folklore."

Question : To decide what?
Ans: To decide if there is a longstanding belief of Hindus that lord Ram was born at the dispute site.

Question : What criterion did the judges use to decide who owns the land?
Answer: The judges used the criteria of who has been using the land for various periods of time i.e. pattern of usage.

I cannot put it any simpler. Really. This is it.

Anonymous said...

>Or do you reward their crimes by >giving them what they claim they >want? This judgement does the >latter. Which is why it bothers >me.
When there is a seperate case going on in special CBI court against the people who had indulged in the demolition, why does this verdict,which was about the ownership of the property, bother you so much?
Speaking of belief, I've heard the JNU historians & many others rant about the "myth" of the site being the birthplace of Ram versus the "history" of a mosque that was there. And, this despite archeological evidence of a temple having existed there prior to the mosque!
I am of the view that, while many mosques were built by razing existing temples to the ground, we should not rake up the past as it would not serve any purpose other than create ill-will & hatred; but, feel extremely angry when existence of "Ram" is questioned as a "myth" because of "lack of evidence"; whereas a religion that was founded on the supposed preaching of a man who is supposed to have lived 2000 years ago in Isreal - no proof of that, either - is taken to be history!
Or, another religion founded by an old man who is "supposed" to have received the "Word of God" - is that "history" for you, Mr. DSouza?
And, the genocides & ethnic cleansing in the Americas, North Africa & various other parts of the world that both these "religions" have been responsible for? Does that bother you, Mr. DSouza?
Oh! Well all that is past, you'd say?
What about the sodomy & rape of altar boys by cronies of the highest ranked priest who sits in luxury and occupies prime real estate in the heart of Rome? Does that bother you, Mr. DSouze? The rape of 6 & 8 year old kids?
And, the continuing genocide in Darfur? Does that bother you, Mr. DSouza? Or, the continued poisoning of young minds by "theology" imported from desert sands that teaches them to blow themselves up? Does that bother you, Mr. DSouza?
Should it not bother you, Mr. Dsouza, given that each of these “religions” have a large number of followers in this country?
Did the rape of Sister Abhaya in her convent bother you, Mr. DSouza? Or, the chopping of the hands of a professor in Kerala?
I hold no brief for the thugs led by Advani - but, liberal-minded people who are bothered by the demolition, like me, should also be bothered by the rape of 6 year olds or extreme sinister “theological” teachings as well!
And, they should see this judgement for what it actually is - an exhortation to Indians to move AHEAD unitedly!
A seperate court will decide on the punishment to the vandals - rest assured, Mr. DSouza; not like Europe where child rapists go scot-free & their benefactors & protectors are honoured with state visits!

Nikhil said...

Dear dear - how dilip is clutching at every possible straw just to oppose the verdict. Almost similar to his stand on reservations when other people punctured all his arguments.
Why not say a simple ' The temple should bot be constructed there becsue I do not want it to be constructed'. Makes life much less complicated.
Instead quote from of all things a commie rag. M/s Varadarajan spouts such gems -
For every Hindu who believes the spot under the central dome of the Babri Masjid is the precise spot where Lord Ram was born there is another who believes something else.
Where did he conduct this census? In JNU or Beijing?
Let him ask his masters in Xinhua / Beijing to give us their wisdom - better still how htey have managed problems like this in Xinjiang.

Regards my gem. - Please read carefully. I have not mentioned the judgement in exclusivity. In an ideal world this should not have gone to the courts at all. It should have been decided out of court. Courts have much more urgent issues to tackle than decide on matters of faith. But if this at least acts as a catalyst to a long delayed settlement that is satisfactory to both sides, it is welcome.

If they build a temple there, as far as I'm concerned it is built on blood.

My my - such poetic flourish. This coming from a person who wants India to build a monument honoring dead Pakistanis who were responsible for spilling the blood of our soldiers.
See this is when your own bigotry and hatred against India stands exposed.
So it is ok to build a monuments built on the blood on Indian soldiers but not ok to build a temple on ---
Wait a moment -how many people died during the demolition????
What happened on DEc 6 1992 was bad and there is a separate case for that. If the people responsible for the vandalism and riots are punished, there is no argument against that.

Maybe another round of e mail discusions with M/s Beena would give us a better insight as to how Pakistan manages such issues.

ketpan said...

Jai,

[In response to your comment on October 03, 2010 12:32 PM]

I think there is a margin to refine further the principles you laid out.

Let me try to point out the usual mechanisms by which any piece of property is *transferred* from one entity to another.

1. Entity A sells the property to entity B, and gets some money in return. In the process, A relinquishes all claim to the property.

2. A 'donates' the property to B, gets nothing in return. In the process, A relinquishes all claim to the property.

3. Entity A suddenly ceases to exist (e.g. a person dies or a people in a city die in a flood/tsunami, etc.), in which case whoever is deemed to be the rightful owner through accepted conventions (e.g., progeny) or whoever is the first to stake claim of the property (e.g., people from neighboring towns starting to use the amenities in the city). Of course, nobody opposes such occupation.

4. Entity B forcibly takes away the property from A. In this case, A might try to gain it back. But the property becomes B's if:

a. A is completely decimated, and obviously A does not exist any longer to stake any claim to the said property.
b. A reconciles with B and voluntarily relinquishes all the claim to the property out of fear or pragmatism.
c. For some reasons, A does not appeal to the legal authorities of the time. If an appeal is made, and if the judiciary does not rule in favor of A, then might reconcile or keep on appealing. Moreover, at a later time, if the judiciary finds that the decision delivered by their predecessors was unjust and not keeping in with the laws of property transfer, they can reverse the earlier decision passed by their predecessors. There is no obligation to respect the stance taken by the rulers/judiciary if it is found that their decisions were based on principles of property transfer that were inconsistent with the ones that were followed at that time....

ketpan said...

...From whatever I have learned about the Ayodhya verdict, I could only conclude that the judges have invoked the faith in Ayodhya being the birth of Ram since "time immemorial" not to give it away to the Hindus, but simply to establish that the claim over the disputed property was never relinquished by Hindus (entity A in this case). That they had maintained their claim is further proved by the fact that despite the existence of a Mosque, they had not stopped offering prayer at the site (which was incidentally based in the belief that Ram was born at the site where a Temple had stood). Also, just like how the Hindus' claim to that piece of land was having used it continuously since over a few centuries, the claim of Muslims to that piece of land was having used it for offering namaaz. If the Mosque was built no by legitimate transfer of land to Muslims, it had no business being there in the first place. But what further complicates the issue is that apart from simple concepts of property transfer, both Muslim and Hindu laws had been invoked. Hindu law involves that an idol cannot take care of itself, so it can be represented by some interested party (who acts as the caretaker), but yet the idol does have 'property rights'. Muslim law, the way it had been interpreted from some judgment passed in case of a Lahore Mosque states that if a Mosque is built by demolishing a preexisting structure, then it is against the principles of Islam, and becomes unworthy of being used as place of worship. Of course, I find application of both these religion-based laws stupid. But as I pointed out, even with application of simple concepts of property transfer, the Mosque had not come to belong to any one entity. If it could have been conclusively proved that the land was owned legitimately by some "M clerics" (as you put it), then there is no reason the Waqf Board's suit would've been dismissed (unanimously, might I add)...

ketpan said...

...You also said: "it (the site where the Temple had stood) was lost to such control and stayed lost in a time long ago by means that were considered acceptable then".

It is precisely in counter to your argument it was proved that the Hindus had never stopped offering prayer at that site. 'Offering prayer at the same site' NOT = 'losing control'. And also because the Muslims had also been offering prayer there, they were awarded a portion of the land. Perhaps the reason, Hindus got the main dome was because, their claim (the proxy of which is usage of the site) predated that of Muslims.

Also, to be noted is the fact that that a Mosque had stood there was only established one thing that a Mosque stood there, and nothing else. The Mosque's standing in no way proved that it had a legitimate owner/caretaker, and that thus it was some entity's 'property', except for those who had been *using* it for worship.

You said: "They could fairly and correctly ask for payment for a straight land transaction, if they so desired. They could continue to hold and enjoy the property if they so desire."

The apparent problem (as I pointed out above) is that the court could not determine who "they" (the rightful owner by way being of continuous, exclusive users of the disputed site) were!...

ketpan said...

...You said: "The act of destruction of BM in 1992 is a great crime, the perpetrators of which need to be punished. hope dims that this will ever happen."

In one of the prior blog posts by Dilip, I'd left a link where more than 90 religious structures (mostly Hindu) were demolished as they were illegal without any legitimate owners, and yet it was not seen as a great crime (somehow it miraculously also did not "trigger" riots). What is different about the Babri Mosque, except that the Judiciary took too long to rule (as a corollary) that the Mosque standing there was illegitimate? Had the Mosque not been demolished, the Judiciary (assuming the current verdict will stand as it is 2-3 years hence) would've asked for its shifting to make way for exclusive ownership of the site by Hindus. In fact, in light of such judgment, the Mosque would have met the same fate as it did in 1992. But I reiterate, what made the act criminal was that it was done without legal sanction, and at least at that time it was viewed to have been in violation of section 295 of IPC. But if Justice Sharma's view that it was not a 'proper' Islamic Mosque holds, then perhaps, the act's seriousness would be further diluted. But that is anyway irrelevant to the current discussion...

ketpan said...

...So if I've to summarize, what was considered as significant was not that Hindus believed that Ram was born there, but that owing to the said belief, the never really relinquished their claim to the site, which was exemplified by their building a Ram Chabootra, offering prayers, celebrating Ram Navami, indulging in riots with Muslims (in 1850s - sorry if that sounds obnoxious, but is a fact), filing suits in the 1880's, and repeatedly demanding of the pre- as well as post-independent India that the site be handed over to them for building of a Ram temple. I repeat, that the motivation for such persistence was the belief that Ram was born at the site is incidental and merely peripheral to the entire issue. Its only significance lay in determining claim to ownership of what *exact* spot of the disputed 66 acres was being staked by the Hindus continuously even before Muslims started staking claim to ownership of that spot.

Surprisingly, a few readers have expressed similar views above already, and yet there is confusion on the issue.

Thanks!

PS: In case of contentious property disputes if no legitimate proof ownership exist, then the lowest common denominator to adjudicate becomes staking of claim to ownership, which in turn is determined by the amount and continuity of interest shown in owning it, which in turn is determined by the pattern of usage and its maintenance. Hope, I could be clear enough.

Ankit said...

Keptan, that is pretty comprehensive rebuttal.

I must remind you however that it "seems" to Dilip that the judges invoked faith to decide ownership of land and hence they are wrong. No one argues with what "seems" wrong to a person with secular certificate, get that into your head!

ketpan said...

Aniket,

Thanks!

My response was specifically to Jai, because he's the only person in this comments section who had brought up a core technical point [legitimacy/illegitimacy of taking away a property by force], and yet is opposed to the judgment passed by the three judges. The rest all either see the logic behind what judges ruled, or have addressed only some peripheral issues.

My comment was not directed at Dilip at all, but I realized that of what I said a substantial portion did end up being addressed to what all points he'd made, but that was incidental. I did not address Dilip because, he's already bailed out himself of these argument because he's convinced that all the points that could've been made have already been made. And even after encountering all those points, he's convinced that the court verdict was based on merely on beliefs of Hindus.

Likewise, that the current verdict's one of the 'side-effects' is that it makes those who'd demolished the Babri Mosque happy is hardly something the Judges ought to have considered while passing their judgment! I mean, if judges start considering such factors then they should have desisted from ruling in favor of status quo for so many decades as that had made happy those who merely wanted to derive sadistic pleasure out of not letting Hindus have a Temple at the site!

One good thing about Dilip is that he allows and supports others to have biases that are opposed to his own, so he's indeed entitled to hold on to them.

In the course of these comments he's indicated that his assessment of the verdict is not restricted to "seems", but is now quite firm.

Usually, I would not like to appeal to authority in my arguments, but what most critics if thus verdict forget is that the judgment has come from not one, but three judges, of which one was Muslim. They'd not reached exactly same conclusions, but their wanting to reach decision based on usage pattern was quite apparent at least to me. I would give them at least this much benefit of doubt that they've been in the business of resolving property disputes for quite long, have known far more precedents of the past, and had passed their judgments amidst almost unprecedented media and political scrutiny. One of the drawbacks of the way Judiciary functions is that inordinate importance is given to legal precedents.

The idea that just because a law exists, violating it is a bad thing is a dangerous one if those laws are not well thought out. Prominent examples are IPC sections 377, 295 and 295-A.

PS: Unlike Dilip, I've not read the judgments of the three judges, but what I've read are a few more technical (as against rhetorical) reviews of the verdict and also the basic idea behind 'adverse possession'.

Dilip D'Souza said...

that the current verdict's one of the 'side-effects' is that it makes those who'd demolished the Babri Mosque happy is hardly something the Judges ought to have considered while passing their judgment!

Of course. I never said the judges ought to have considered it. But nevertheless, it does reward the demolition experts.

Please read the judgement. I will admit -- I have no doubt -- that the judges used the faith and belief of the parties to make their use of the land argument. (The selfsame Ankit claims precisely the opposite on this page, you'll note).

But they did use the faith, and that's my point. Hard as it might be to escape taking faith into account (and I have no doubt it is very hard here) I believe it should not have played a role in judicial proceedings.

Enough from me on this.