S M Yasin, the joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid committee, an official body which controls the affairs of Gyanvapi and many other mosques, on Friday, issued a strong statement calling out the majoritarian bias of the judiciary.
The reaction came out after the Allahabad High Court on Friday refused to allow the Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s plea seeking an interim stay on Puja being performed in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi Mosque.
The brief statement titled “The Abominable Face of Judiciary” begins by pointing out that the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Masjid marked the demise of the judiciary in India. He also blamed the inefficacy of the juridical machinery for the current crisis.
“The five judges in the Supreme Court bench which pronounced the verdict in the Babri Masjid case in November 2019 were addressed by people as “My Lord” or “Your Worship” out of reverence. On the contrary, they issued a judgement which betrayed the faith of the masses in law and degraded the judicial system. As they reaped rewards by delivering such a decision, the idea of justice was brought down to the lowest level. In a country where the legacy of Adl-e-Jahangiri (the justice of Jahangir) was celebrated, the decay of just law began, and today, the responsibility of the present “Chaos” in India lies squarely on the inefficiency of the judiciary”, the note read.
Further, he termed Gyanvapi Masjid the victim of the same unjust order and described the pattern in which both the court and the bureaucracy smoothened the process of encroaching on the mosque premises for the Hindu nationalists.
“Our mosque, Gyanvapi, is also a victim of the same judicial order. The permission for the ASI survey was the first step of what we call the “Judicial Karseva.” As soon as the order came out, the judicial dacoity (robbery) was also initiated. After the hearing in the case which continued for almost two years, on August 28, just three days before the decision was to be announced, the Chief Justice took justice into his own hands. On the very first day, in a packed session, he raised the question of whether an “Out-of-Court Settlement” could be possible. It was then that the justice-loving people realised that a storm was on its way. Finally, on January 31, just hours before his retirement, the order for the judicial siege was also passed. The barricading was lifted in the dark of the night, under the supervision of various constitutional officials who had pledged their allegiance to the rule of law in the Court. In the darkness of the night, following the instructions given by the superiors, idols were placed in the southern basement of the mosque, and the noise of ringing bells filled the eerie silence,” the statement added.
He compares the previous stances of the court with the current judgement to expose the hypocrisy and haste in issuing orders in favour of majoritarian whims.
“This worst day in the history of the Indian judiciary was witnessed by these old eyes. It is a significant test for those who believe in the Constitution and have faith in the judiciary. We are facing stumbling blocks in our pursuit of justice. The Supreme Court, by sending the case to the High Court, brushed aside such a crucial matter. But here, we must ask those who took an oath to uphold the Constitution about their commitment. We should inquire why we do not find the same enthusiasm in implementing the Supreme Court’s direction on offering prayers in the Tilbhandeshwar Mosque. Also, if the same sincerity was demonstrated in hearing the old petition of Mukhtar Ansari and others seeking rights for holding Urs (annual festival) at Mazars inside the Gyanvapi mosque compound before the district judge’s retirement, we could have at least discerned that there are some equitable principles in operation. But no, we have come to know the sick mentality behind all this.”
He ends the note with a sharp-edged question filled with anger and desperation.
“How could we even expect anything better to happen? Our fate is to mourn the downfall of the constitution and the justice system.”
A group of Hindus, led by Varanasi District Magistrate S Rajalingam, prayed inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex on Wednesday night, hours after a district court passed a direction allowing them to do so.
The court ordered that the arrangements for Hindu prayers, including the removal of barricades, be completed within a week.
In compliance with the court, a priest arranged by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust performed the Shayan Arti of the deities inside the southern cellar. A gate was also installed after cutting steel grills near the southern cellar doors.