India’s most contentious legal battle is over and how. A unanimous verdict by five judges has drawn curtains on what was arguably considered to be the country’s oldest legal dispute over a meager 0.3 acre of land in Ayodhya.
The Ayodhya verdict touched upon aspects as diverse from the dim prints of documents dating back to 1856 to texts of ‘Skand Puran’, from travellogues in 18th century to Hadith and Quran, and from scientific reports by the archaeologists to evidentiary testimonies -- a title dispute that in every sense was much bigger and complex than every land dispute in the judicial history.
Bringing it out of the cold storage, it took 40 days of continuous hearings for the five-judge bench in the Supreme Court to reach a conclusion – one which was bound to acknowledge and honour faith and belief despite all its statements of steering clear of theology.
Devotees got the entire disputed land on behalf of their deity, Lord Ram whose temple will now be constructed by a new trust. Muslims will get an alternate plot in Ayodhya as a token of compensation for the wrongs they suffered due to demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Win-win for all? Perhaps not. The five judges could be of the same opinion in the Ayodhya verdict but the jury is still out if this was the best the highest court of land could do.