May 09, 2011

What is strange

The Supreme Court has just stayed the Allahabad High Court Ayodhya verdict from last September, calling it "a strange and surprising order".

Wonder if LK Advani will agree. Rhetorical question, I realize.

Like the Judges of the Supreme Court, I thought it was a strange verdict as well. Here are some lines from what the judges on that Allahabad bench wrote that make me think so.

* "[T]he court has 'to uphold a faith which continued for time immemorial' … 'belief' and 'supposition' are perfectly legal and acceptable states." [Justice S. 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 S.U. 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." [Justice Khan]

* "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." [Justice D.V. Sharma]

* "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." [Justice Agarwal]

* "The whole world knows that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya where the temple Ram Janama Bhumi stands." [Justice Sharma]

In case it is not clear, I have no argument with these observations. They only repeat what I know already: that it is the faith and belief of a lot of Hindus that Ram was born there.

My problem with these excerpts is instead this: that this faith and belief was used to decide a court case.

That is strange.

34 comments:

Chandru K said...

Oh my God, what is happening! The supreme court ruled in favour of Hinduism or Hindu ideas! India is becoming just like Saudi Arabia and Iran. In Saudi, somebody somewhere said that perhaps it's a good idea for Hindus to have temples in specific compounds restricted to them. Now, we in India are going backwards by ruling in favour of Hindus.

garima said...

Dilip, I hope all your commenters are not as foolish as this Chandru fellow. It is the SC that has called the Allahbad high court judgement "strange". Is he unable to see the difference beetween HC and SC?

Saby said...

It would be interesting to see how this thing develops further.

@Chandru,

Why compare India w/ Sauds and Ayatollahs, man.?.Also, why get all sarcastic for no reason.?

Nikhil said...

Saby
India is worse than Saudi, Iran and Pakistan because there was a judgement that asked for a temple to be built (and included a mosque) on a site Hindus considered holy. According to some people, this is bad enough. I mean how dare these evil Hindus do this? They should have handed over the site quietly. Similar to suggestions like how India should build monuments honoring Pakistani invaders. Even when all facts go against it - like how no muslim has offered namaz there for more than 3 decades.
Anyway since the supreme court, CBI etc are tools of the current dispensation, one can expect a similar verdict to what Dilip wants.
Yes - interesting to see how this plays out. Anyway Dilip will have more writng assignments on secularism etc.

Dilip D'Souza said...

It's a pity that people allow their biases and passions to obscure the sole point about the Allahabad verdict that makes me uneasy: that it was based on belief. Not on law.

Nobody argues with the belief. But it can't be used to decide a court case.

It is also a pity that there are people who cannot understand this; who will not see the dangers of such a precedent.

Nikhil said...

Dear Dear Dilip
Since when did you the exalted ones begin to talk of law? Er where is the law when it comes to Arundhati Roy, Binayak Sen, Terrorists etc...
Double standards anybody? Is this not similar to your definition of liberty. When Arundhati Roy make inflammatory speeches - get used to it. When BJP activists want to hoist the tricolor in Srinagar Lal Chowk, with freedom comes responsibility.
At least these are times your hatred towards India and hindus stands exposed

Dilip D'Souza said...

your hatred towards India and hindus stands exposed.

The tired tactic of the intellectually bankrupt for decades now: when bereft of any arguments to make, pronounce that the other guy "hates" Hindus and India (in this case).

Chandru K said...

"I hope all your commenters are not as foolish as this Chandru fellow. It is the SC.."

Oh, for the love of..Please get the gist of the message first, then criticise the technicalities. My bad, I should have said the HC not the SC.

Again, does the HC ruling in favour of Hindus now mean that India is going massively backwards, while Islamic countries are skyrocketing forward? Just the other day, a rumour was heard that in Saudi, some individual murmured that he thought it might be an acceptable idea if Hindus in Saudi were allowed to have a temple in an area restricted to them, provided it was used only once or twice a year. While such elevated, enlightened views are being expressed( even as whispers in coffee houses) in Islamic countries, we in India are going backward by first demolishing one single unused mosque in Ayodhya, and ruling in favour of Hindus on the matter of the land where the structure is located.

garima said...

Dear Chandru, for the love of ... please you get the gist of the case and the news first, before handing out advice to me!

*Even* the so-called "Hindu" groups are dissatisfied with the Allahbad High court verdict and are happy that the SC has put a stay on it. Can you understand that? *they* dont' see it as being, as you so foolishly call it, "a ruling in favour of Hindus".

So save your ignorance for somewhere else.

Nikhil said...

Even* the so-called "Hindu" groups are dissatisfied with the Allahbad High court verdict and are happy that the SC has put a stay on it.

If you look closely at so called Hindu groups, it is mainly the VHP, RSS and some muslim orgs that have opposed it. Most other orgs have welcomed it (Shankaracharya, BJP, AIMPLB). Even people like Javed Akhtar and mainstream mediapersons like Vir Sanghvi have welcomed it. Any reasonable person will support anything that can heal and move everybody forward. But of course when did jholawalas, leftlibtards and pinkos (Sachar) ever support anything reasonable? Since there are no takers for their outdated, long past expiration date ideology, they will oppose such steps.

Chandru K said...

"At least these are times your hatred towards India and hindus stands exposed.."

Whether it's hatred is difficult to say. But he uses phraseology and constructs information,and argues in such a way that Hindus and Indians look bad or in the wrong all the time. While everyone else, Moslems, Christians, Sikhs, Pakistanis, Chinese, Americans, British, Canadians( the stupid visa issue to a BSF officer) and Timbuktuans look enlightened, progressive,just, righteous, rational and articulate. The absolute farthest he will go is to portray India as just as bad as Pakistan. When it comes to a Western or developed country, he never shows India as being more enlightened on *any* issue- political,social, cultural, historical, economic, scientific etc. It's 'India is inferior' all the way.

garima said...

"If you look closely at so called Hindu groups, it is mainly the VHP, RSS and some muslim orgs that have opposed it."

Wow. I am impressed. VHP, RSS etc have always styled themselves as self-proclaimed custodians of the Hinduism. Now heres someone not just dismissing them but also (insult upon insult) clubbing them together with "muslim orgs" as "so-called Hindu groups".

Its' these custodians who have refused to accept the Allahbad court verdict. But in this commente'rs upside-down mind, it is 'jholawalas, leftlibtards and pinkos' who do so.

then its this foolish Chandru again, saying "When it comes to a Western or developed country, he never shows India as being more enlightened".

So I wd like to ask, Mr Chandru, what country do you live in? Yes, I thought so.

Nikhil said...

Dear Garima
Apparently you just dont get it. Let us look at your comment.

Wow. I am impressed. VHP, RSS etc have always styled themselves as self-proclaimed custodians of the Hinduism

First and foremost who annointed them their spokesmen? Have they acquired any mandate. What is their following. I am sure Baba Ramdev and Shankaracharyas have a larger following. The BJP at least have won elections and have a mandate.

not just dismissing them but also (insult upon insult) clubbing them together with "muslim orgs" as "so-called Hindu groups".

I am lost. What are you trying to say here? Anyway it is to highlight the people who opposed the judgement. Please search and you will find muslim orgs who have opposed the verdict

Regards the pinkos and jholawals, what do you make of Sachar and some assorted others who oppose teh verdict. Then shouldnt Dilip and all these people ar least reflect on how they are on the same side of these orgs and have totally disregarded those who are calling for a settlement and moving forward.
But since when did 'reasonable' 'settlement' etc enter the vocabulary of fundamentalists - Hindu ,muslim or left - secularists?

Chandru K said...

"then its this foolish Chandru again, saying "When it comes to a Western or developed country, he never shows India as being more enlightened"."

Garima, must you be so simplistic. The issue is not whether India is always more enlightened than X or Y Western country. Obviously, it is not. The problem is that D'Souza uses phraseology and constructs information in such a way to make it appear that India is always *inferior*. And that is absolutely ludicrous.

I made the observation a few months ago, that in the matter of acknowledging and respecting religious and linguistic diversity, India is more mature and enlightened than the United States, and probably a few other Western countries. In the United States, for the vast majority of the last 200 plus years, there has been an overwhelming emphasis on the Christian character of the country. The idea of other religions, including even Judaism, being equal, would have been considered repellent. And forget Hinduism or Buddhism. Whereas in India, right from day one of its independence in 1947, emphasis was placed on the plurality of religions, and on recognising all religions as legitimate paths to contemplate and revere the divine. And believe it or not, even the much criticised 'Hindu nationalists'-even the VHP- do not oppose this idea at all. What they are against is 'pseudo-secularism' or favouring Moslems/Christians, at the expense of Hindus. But that's another topic for another day.

garima said...

Yes yes Mr Chandru, but your lengthy comment did not answer my question, did it? Which country do you live in?

Chandru K said...

I may live in Madagascar, and feel that my country of residence is more enlightened and mature on some matters, and very much inferior on other matters. Regardless of where one lives, there shouldn't be a serious problem of identifying strengths and weaknesses, good points and bad points, of a certain country. D'Souza only sees failures, weaknesses and bad points when it comes to India vis-a-vis just about any other country, particularly a white, Western Christian country.

garima said...

But Mr Chandru, why won't you answer the question? Which is the country that you live in?

Dilip D'Souza said...

I am unable to see the relevance of demands for country of domicile, nor of the elaborate refusal to answer such demands.

Then again, I've long learned the futility of asking certain commenters to stick to the subject in question.

So do go at it, won't you?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post..

Nithya
http://www.dewdropsindia.in

Amit M said...

"The problem is that D'Souza uses phraseology and constructs information in such a way to make it appear that India is always *inferior*. And that is absolutely ludicrous."

Hmmm...somehow, I never got that through his writing.

Perhaps one sees what one want's to see, and I never want to see India as "inferior" in any way; wrong in many ways perhaps, but inferior, never.

Like I said, perhaps one sees what one wants to see.

Chandru K said...

"Hmmm...somehow, I never got that through his writing."

I did. Go through all his writings and find an article where India comes up looking good against the US, UK, France, Portugal etc. Now, go through the columnist Rajeev Srinivasan's columns, and you'll see plenty of those types of articles. Just one example that I read only recently- the Battle of Colachel, where a small Indian kingdom in the 18th century decisively defeated the invading Dutch and effectively put an end to their conquering attempts in the subcontinent.

Vincent said...

It is clear you do not understand law if you think that faith was used to make the legal determination. The ruling was not based on faith but on the following points of law.

(1) Adverse possession - who possessed the land?
(2) Principles of homesteading - was the land being put to its intended use?
(3) Statute of limitations regarding the Muslim body.

These are standard tests used in determining the right to property.

The answer to the above questions are clear. Muslims were not using the place for prayers while Hindus were doing so. This meant that Muslims were not interested in the place from a religious point of view.

For question (3), the answer was simple. The specific Muslim group that filed its claim came into existence much later and filed its case after the statute of limitations.

This is why Hindus won the case.

BTW, the only endorsement of religion in India is for Christians and Muslims. For example, Romila Thapar actually insists that Saint Thomas existed and came to India in 52 CE. This is clearly a case of intellectual inferiority.

Dilip D'Souza said...

What is really a case of intellectual inferiority is the use of "Vincent" instead of your real name. But that's only par for the course, so never mind.

Not even the "Hindu" groups think they "won the case". Never mind that either.

One judge wrote: "The court has to uphold a faith."

What part of these 7 words are to be interpreted to say that faith was not used to decide this case?

Etc.

Vincent said...

Vincent is my real name and I know enough to shun organized religions and their bogus claims. You just cannot seem to swallow the fact that ex-Christians are objective instead of being spiteful and hateful of others. There are many good atheirts - Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Pat Condell, etc.

And yes, it is silly to claim that St. Thomas was a real character. It shows a lack of intellectual ability when it comes from an alleged academic.

Let me repeat this again, you just do not understand the legal and justice system if you claim that the ruling was based on faith. It is typical of the judges to put in all sorts of rhetoric and opinion in their judgment, but the actual determination is made on facts that they have to list down and are used to make SPECIFIC determinations.

In this case, there were SPECIFIC determinations to be made. I have already explained what those determinations are.

Regarding your claim that the issue of adverse possession was made on upholding the faith, it shows that you have not read the ruling.

Regarding your claim that the issue of whether the land was put to its intended use was made on the idea of upholding the faith, it once again shows you have not read the ruling and do not understand how the legal system works.

Regarding your claim that the issue of statute of limitations was arrived at based on upholding the faith, you are wrong there too. Again, it shows that you do not understand the legal system.

If you want to claim it was a ruling based on faith, you need to show where in the ruling the sentence on faith is tied directly to the above three points and how no other evidence has been used in the ruling for the above three points.

It looks like you are reading up some bitter statements from Communists without understanding law.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Yeah Vincent is your real name. Sure. Mine's actually Shaquille Kobe Nowitzki, but never mind.

"Regarding your claim" appears thrice about claims I never made. Speaking of inferiority, perhaps?

When I read a judgement and run across these 7 words - "The court has to uphold a faith" - it tells me that faith was used to come to that judgement. (Among other things, the court does not have to uphold a faith).

It's a wonder that you read the same 7 words and interpret them to say faith was not used to come to that judgement.

What St Thomas has to do with this is beyond me.

Vincent said...

Okay, I went back and looked at the ruling and it is clear that Dilip is making up stuff by snipping out the relevant half of the statement!

The judge wrote that faith needs to be upheld and so the court cannot seek direct evidence for the birthplace of Ram. In fact, he says that this cannot be proved.

That has no bearing with the property dispute on which the judges ruled. Whether Ram was born there or was not born there or even if he existed is not the issue. The issue before the court was threefold which I have described in a previous post.

What you have done is to take half a message from the part where the judge says that seeking evidence for the place of birth is moot, removed the second half, and claimed that the first half of this message was actually used in the determination of adverse possession and statute of limitations!

Come on, we need to be honest. Is that too much to ask for?

Vincent (real name and ex-Xian) said...

I agree that the court does not have to uphold the faith, but the other half of the sentence that you have cleverly snipped out was that there is no need for the court to seek direct evidence of Ram's birth.

The court is correct in this conclusion because the judiciary is not the place to investigate matters of faith. The best you can say is that the argument for this specific conclusion is wrong, but that conclusion has nothing to do with the issues of adverse possession, homesteading law or statute of limitations. you are just being silly and bitter.

Thomas comes in because the so-called experts used by the opponents of Hindus in this case have published claims in academic journals based on faith. One such issue is the issue of Thomas.

Vincent said...

"The court has to uphold the faith and not seek direct evidence of Ram's birthplace which cannot be proved."

So according to you, the judgment was whether the exact birthplace of Ram was at the disputed site?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ah, now the attempt to add authenticity, the "ex-Xian" label.

Please know that whether you are a Xian or a ex-Xian or a y-Xian or a y-chromosome or something else makes no difference here. What you write does.

You quote the whole sentence: "The court has to uphold the faith and not seek direct evidence of Ram's birthplace which cannot be proved."

Thank you for a fine attempt to divert the issue.

As I say in the post itself, "I have no argument with ... the faith and belief of a lot of Hindus that Ram was born there."

To me the issue never was about proving that it was Ram's birthplace. People believe that to be true and nothing will change that. That's fine with me.

My problem is with such faith being used to decide a court case. The court does not have to "uphold the faith."

Dilip D'Souza said...

By the way, I was waiting for you, "Vincent" to correct both me and yourself and present here the real quote from Justice Agrawal's judgement.

Here it is: "In the matter of faith and religion, the Court will have to form an opinion and adjudicate the matter on the basis of preponderance particularly if it found the evidence of continuous faith of the entire community to several hundred and thousand of years i.e. beyond the memory of mankind and if it is found that there has been a continuity in such a faith with respect to such a place, no further adjudication by asking for direct evidence would be necessary and the Court will have to uphold such faith which has continued for time immemorial."

Chandru K said...

What's wrong D'Souza, can't take someone with a non-Hindu name defending the Hindus? Horror of horrors. It is well known that Moslem fanatics hate internal criticism more than anything, and they are most intolerant and ruthless toward such Moslems who criticise or denounce Islam from "within". Apostates, dissidents, critics, opponents are given the nastiest treatment. Could D'Souza be displaying a similar Christian tendency.

Vincent said...

You are way off the mark again and prove that you do not understand law. Nothing, absolutely nothing in what you quoted has anything to with the three issues of

(1) adverse possession
(2) land being put to intended use
(3) statute of limitations

What you have quoted is merely the useless opinion of the judges which has no bearing on the judgment.

I definitely have my own disagreement with the concept of a judgment that is thousands of pages long with lots of useless opinions and information. And this is not the only judgment where the judgment is more than a couple of pages long.

You simply do not understand either law or causality if you keep insisting that the issue of adverse possession was a matter of faith. You are being silly, Dilip. Adverse possession is not a matter of faith.

And let us use your methodology, shall we? One of the JNU experts admitted he is a card-carrying Communist and all Communists believe as a matter of faith that there will be a Revolution some time in the future and all of them oppose science. So all evidence presented by those opposed to Hindus is unscientific. I am not saying this, I am just demonstrating what happens when we extend your silliness to the witnesses of your side.

And as for my religious background, no one can change what culture I was born into. I can definitely change what I believe in. And no, Thomas is a myth and every "historian" including Romila Thapar who has claimed that Thomas is true is foolish.

There is also no need to feel bitter. We have had it better than the Hindus in India with more privileges than them and Hindus have been nice to us over the centuries despite Christians practicing violence on them. We owe them an apology and we are the ones who should try to make peace with them.

Dilip D'Souza said...

We have had it better ... [etc]

Perhaps, but exactly who do you mean by "we"?

Please do learn to speak for yourself -- one step in that is the courage and substance to use your own name -- before attempting to speak for others.

Dilip D'Souza said...

you keep insisting that the issue of adverse possession was a matter of faith.

Of course I never "insisted" that, but don't let that stop you.

The only thing I've insisted on is that this judgement explicitly says the court "will have to uphold" a certain faith.

I do not believe any court has to uphold any faith.

Let's put this in perspective. Suppose the court makes an observation about how it is the faith of many people for generations that Santa Claus exists. (Which is exactly what it observed about Ram's birthplace).

Suppose the court then observes: "the court will have to uphold such faith which has continued for time immemorial."

Nope, I'm sorry, I don't believe the court has to uphold a faith in Santa Claus. In exactly the same way, I apply the same reasoning to the court's determination to uphold the faith in the birthplace of Ram.