Yesterday I was shocked as I watched TV to learn that the area under dispute is just 2.77 acres. The country was at a stand still for all practical purposes because of this disputed acreage. There was tension all over the country. It took me back to the times as a kid during the second world war when there were air raid warnings in the night and I could not sleep being scared.
Frankly I felt sorry for the three judges. My first reaction was why did they have to get stuck with this. The case was going on for 60 years and could have gone on. How could they decide on an issue which goes back 500 years in history. Read any paper in Bangalore, it is full of stories of hundreds of distressed people who were victims of all kinds of land scams and land grabs and they are all in recent times when you expect things to be better as a democratic country. It was neither the feudal times nor the colonial days.
Like Lord Rama, who it seems is one of the litigants , even many of us are victims of land grabs. Many are retired people who had invested their life savings and are cheated. The advise given to any victim of a land scam is to forget it as bad karma. They say land records are manipulated all the time. When I get worried and ask them 'What about the project where I have booked a flat?' They console me with 'There are so many of you involved, so it should be OK. It is more risky if you are a single owner'. That seems to be the clue. Be the majority or be large enough to be a nuisance.
So if the judges have given a panchayat type of verdict, I can empathise with it. They are surely aware of the ground reality of the very corrupt systems prevalent in all land dealings and have taken a pragmatic view of things. Why should they and their families face a mob with their own set of rules, who stop at nothing and are willing to put the whole country and the lives of many at risk. If our land records as a democratic country is so suspect, where is the sanctity of times which were feudal and later colonial. How can anyone be sure?
In any case there is one more level of judges who are supreme. It is true that they are bound to interpret laws which are in place. But again they are bound by the same unreliable set of facts which the judges of high court were faced with. While we can wait for them to finally dispose of the case, reason dictates that this is an issue which should be decided in a pragmatic way.
We can accept either the panchayat type of dispension or it could be left to the spirits of Ram or Rahim. We are told that Ram resides in each one of us, the believers. I gather Allah is pleased if the believers offer prayer at given times while facing Mecca. I have seen believers do this in as far off places as in a park in Vancouver. B.C. Ultimately the sanctity is in your heart not in the place you kneel on or the aarthi you perform. It also does not depend on how grand is the temple or the mosque is built.
I suggest that the litigants could share this plot of land as suggested by the pragmatic judges or they can ask a child to pick up a chit choosing one of the litigants. I think anything else is just politics and not really faith. Let us hope that the politicians finally work together for the common good of the people, diverse as they are.