A saffron twist
Revisit its 1994 observations about the place of mosques declining to
The Sangh Parivar interprets the Supreme Court’s verdict in Islam as a major step towards obtaining legal approval for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, but Muslim organisations are planning to seek a judicial review of the order.
THE capabilities of the propaganda machinery of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (Rss)-led Sangh Parivar to twist and turn any development or fact into a narrative that suits its political and social agenda—be it short, medium or long term—is time-tested. This attribute has once again come to the fore through the Sangh Parivar’s voluble interpretations of the Supreme Court’s September 27 majority verdict on a petition seeking to refer to a larger, five-judge Constitution Bench the question whether a “mosque as a place of prayer is an essential part of Islam”. The bench made it clear that it was addressing only this limited question and that it had no bearing on other legal proceedings on the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-babri Masjid dispute, including the crucial title dispute. However, sections of the Sangh Parivar, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, have started depicting the verdict as a major step towards obtaining legal approval for the construction of a Ram temple at the spot where the Babri Masjid existed until it was demolished on December 6, 1992.
To put the September 27 verdict into perspective, it is a judgment on one appeal in the many related cases that have come up along with the Ram Janmabhoomi-babri Masjid dispute but has no direct link to the original title dispute case. The appeal was essentially based on a 1994 judgment of the Supreme Court, which incidentally was made on legal challenges raised by one Ismail Faruqui to the government acquisitions of land in Ayodhya, particularly land in which mosque(s) stood, first in 1992 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh led by Kalyan Singh and later in 1993 by the Congress government at the Centre led by P.V. Narasimha Rao. Some of these government acquisition moves had targeted plots on which the Babri Masjid stood. The 1994 judgment of the Supreme Court in the Ismail Faruqui case had held that the offering of prayers in a mosque was
MUSLIMS OFFERING PRAYERS New Delhi on August 22. in the mosque at Feroz Shah Kotla fort in