On a day when the Supreme Court began its final hearing into the decades-old Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue, 'Social activists' have filed an application in the court challenging the Allahabad High Court's 2010 order.
The list of 32 activists includes people such as Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen, Teesta Setalvad, Aruba Roy, Kumar Ketkar and Anand Patwardhan who have filed the petition through an NGO called "Citizens for justice and peace" and one of their primary demands is that the 'disputed site be used for a non-religious public use, irrespective of the adjudication of the suit.'
READ: AYODHYA RESOLVE
Para 13: The Applicants refute the finding of the Hon’ble High Court that there exists a belief among majority of the Hindu community that the disputed property is the birthplace of Lord Rama, as there is no basis on which such a finding could be sustained.
Para 51: For five days in December 1992 (6th to 10th December 1992) and fifteen days in January 1993 (6th to 20th January 1993), Bombay, was rocked by riots and violence unprecedented in magnitude and ferocity, as though the forces of Satan were let loose, destroying all human values and civilized behaviour. Neighbour killed neighbour; houses were ransacked, looted and burned, all in the name of religion, as if to vindicate painfully the cynical observation of Karl Marx, "Religion ... is the opium of the people".
Para 58: That the applicants also submit that by virtue of the nature of the dispute this Hon'ble Court may also consider the necessity to constitute a larger bench of at least 7 judges as certain Constitutional questions are bound to arise and there may be a need to reconsider the judgement of this Hon’ble Court in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India (1994) 6 SCC 360.
Prayer: c) Direct that the disputed site be used for a non-religious public use, irrespective of the adjudication of the suit
While the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has begun the final hearing of the case, over the last few weeks, there has been a movement towards resolving the issue outside the court.
The Shia Waqf Board, as well as a number of Hindu organisations, have jointly submitted a resolution proposal that entails a Ram Mandir being built in Ayodhya and a Masjid in Lucknow. The joint proposal came in the days following Sri Sri Ravi Shankar beginning his mediation in the issue.