HYDERABAD, Telangana ― As responses poured in on Saturday after the Supreme Court pronounced the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid judgement, Thol Thirumavalavan, a Dalit MP from of Tamil Nadu, broke ranks with many other mainstream politicians to express his disappointment at the decision.
The MP, who was elected from Chidambaram constituency in Tamil Nadu for the second time in May this year, wrote on his party’s letterhead, “The faith in Supreme Court is shattered”.
The Liberation Panthers party (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi) leader further wrote in support of the review petition which All India Personal Law Board had planned to file but then decided against it. He wrote, “The SC verdict…is terribly shocking. It is very essential to stay calm until justice is done duly in the review petition to be filed”.
Casting doubt over the SC judgment which overturned the Allahabad High Court judgment of 2010, Thirumavalavan observed that the verdict by the five member bench “does not reveal the name of the judge who authored the judgment on behalf of the bench”. The statement further read, “The omission of the name of the authored judge leads to the doubt that even the judges did not believe in the genuineness of this verdict”.
Welcoming parts of the judgement, Thirumavalavan further stated, “The verdict says there is no substantial evidence to prove that the Babri Masjid was constructed after demolishing the Ram temple. This establishes that the Muslims, one of the parties in the case, have not indulged in any unlawful act. On the other hand placing the Ram idol in the Babri Masjid and demolition of the Babri Masjid are described as unlawful acts in this verdict. But saying this the SC has generously offered the site to the offenders. The legality of the approach of SC is questionable”.
Thirumavalavan pointed out that the SC was approached because the involved parties felt that the Allahabad High Court judgment, 2010 which offered two portions of the disputed site to the Hindu side and one portion to the Muslim side was unjust. “Now even that one portion is denied by the SC,” the statement read. In his statement Thirumavalavan, a Dalit man and two time MP boldly alleged that the Supreme Court seems to have taken into consideration only the recommendations of the three member mediation committee which it constituted. The statement read, “This judgment is not pronounced in line with law. It would be right to say this is a compromise settlement done fearing law and order issues”.
Referring to organs of the ruling government as “disfigured”, Thirumavalavan stated that people have been “looking up to the Supreme Court as their protective shield” and that it is this faith on the SC which is now shattered by the verdict. The searing take on the verdict, however, ended with a hopeful note that wished for justice to be served to the aggrieved party by the review petition. “Let us stay calm and wait without falling prey to any provocation in order to safeguard religious and social harmony,” the statement read.
While Thirumavalavan, who has been maintaining a radical tone to his politics for more than a decade opposed the SC verdict, his party’s alliance partner Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (DMK) welcomed the verdict.
DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu’s leader of opposition, M K Stalin in a tweet stated that “Everyone should accept the verdict pronounced by the constitutional bench”. The ruling AIADMK too welcomed the verdict.
However, Communist Party of India-ML, Liberation which has been supporting VCK in its electoral campaign in Tamil Nadu issued a statement questioning the verdict. “…the verdict has failed to provide a convincing resolution of the dispute and the incoherence between the premise and conclusion of the judgment makes it inconsistent and unconvincing”.
The statement which criticised the judgment for awarding the land to the Union government for construction of the temple further read, “What makes this anonymously authored judgment particularly incoherent is an addendum attributed to one of the five judges seeking to establish the disputed site as the birthplace of Ram according to Hindu beliefs even as the judgment asserts that the case should be decided on the basis of evidence and not faith”.
CPI-ML leaders did not issue individual statements.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (Marxist) which accepted the judgment, however, observed in its statement that, “While the judgment has provided a judicial resolution to this fractious issue there are certain premises of the judgment which are questionable”. The statement further read, “The cases pertaining to the demolition should be expedited and the guilty punished…The court has also appreciated the 1991 Places of religious worship act. Adherence to this law should ensure that no such disputes on religious places are again raised and utilised”.
CPI(M) leaders including Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, however, stated that they accept the judgment. Communist Party of India too has welcomed the judgment with its General Secretary D Raja issuing a statement to the media upholding further legal recourse.
Political parties including the Congress Party, the Samajwadi Party, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which have always banked on the minority vote, did not question any part of the judgment.
Other than Thirumavalavan, the only MP who expressed his dissent was Hyderabad MP and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, who said “Supreme Court is Supreme but not infallible” in a media conference held shortly after the verdict.