Neither temple nor mosque, build a school in disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site
New Delhi, Dec 6: Twenty five years is a long time--a new generation comes into existence--and an old order makes way for new ideas, objectives and roadmap.
In 25 years, most often the history of a nation undergoes a sea change, really enough time for the political establishment and intelligentsia to reflect on what went wrong and most importantly what mistakes not to repeat in the future.
But as we stand today, 25 years after the "shameful" episode of the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, time stands still, at least politically.
If the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates want to build the Ram temple in the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site at the earliest, the Congress trying to revive itself with the help of "soft Hindutva" wants to wait till the Lok Sabha election of 2019 gets over, as indicated by senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, for the final judgment to come on the long pending case, to gauge the mood of the nation, once again.
While our politicos--cutting across party lines--still want to reap benefits from a horrendous act of violent vigilantism by majoritarian Hindus in a country that claims to be secular, commoners want a closure on communal politics.
On Tuesday, a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, when the Supreme Court decided to defer the commencement of final hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute to February 8, 2018, and as usual our political parties got busy throwing muck at each other, thankfully some sane voices from the civil society emerged.
"We should leave the property of dispute; this is a dispute that divides the nation into communal lines. Instead, we should build an educational institution on the disputed land," filmmaker Aparna Sen told CNN-News 18.
Sen's colleague from the film fraternity Shyam Benegal told CNN-News 18, "The place (disputed land in Ayodhya) needs to have a national, secular character. A national monument that stands for the secularism of the country should be made."
Echoing similar sentiments, filmmaker Joy Sengupta said, "It is not about a property dispute. The constitution should be the main priority for us, and we should move the country in the correct democratic path."
In matured and unbiased voices like that of Sen, Benegal and Sengupta, India actually gets a sense of calm and belonging, not in the vitriolic speeches of our netas that foment division in the name of Ram and Allah.
One lesson that the never-ending dispute over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site teaches us is that time to forget old "cancerous" wounds to welcome a future that talks about development of all.
Some "cancers" never heal, better to forget and forgive.