A day after the Ayodhya verdict, elected representative on his ordeal, and hopes for a new India

Today, I want to make a statement on the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid and I consider it my right. My father toiled hard to build his own house in Byculla. Some goons burned it down to ashes after the Babri Masjid was martyred. We still cherish the memories of childhood [in that house] and also remember how that home was engulfed in fire and disappeared in front of our eyes.

Our neighbours opened their doors to give us shelter. They fed us. They stood by my father and helped him. Those who burned down our house did not even know who we were. They did not know our relations with non-Muslims from our colony. On the other hand, the entire lane knew my father. They knew he was a peace-loving individual. That entire colony craved for peace. Those memories of my childhood, my friends and our games are crystal clear, even today. But everything was destroyed.

Things changed… we shifted to Mumbra. We again worked hard. We are employed now and earn our bread and butter. My father is no more. We are six brothers and all of us live in this city. This is a city from where 70% residents have migrated after the riots. Those who run their shop claiming to be the guardians of a religion hardly understand the fear we live in every year from December 6 to 10. Because nobody burned down their houses.

Someone now has a mansion in Hyderabad. Someone else has the biggest house in one of the colonies in Lucknow. But if you want to know real pain, ask us.

The Supreme Court verdict has ended a controversial topic, once and for all. We follow the Indian law. If the law has given its verdict, then it is our duty to adhere to it. What’s the rationale behind raising questions over it? Few self-proclaimed leaders of both communities do not want this to end. Some people will oppose the mosque to the core, others will oppose the temple. Those who survive on this type of politics will struggle to find emotional issues if this matter is over. They have not lost their homes. They have not seen their children burning in front of their eyes. They have never wiped away the tears of their crying mothers.

It is always easy to announce we do not accept this verdict. Ask the Muslims. Ask the Hindus. Everyone is happy that in today’s conditions, this vital issue has found its end. They will construct the temple, we will build the mosque. They will pray, we will offer namaz. Both will have a home for their God.

What do we need to maintain peace and harmony in this country? Our Allah and their Bhagwan want the same. Why should we stand in between then? Those making statements with a fear that their shop will shut are harming Hindustan. If you think that your comments make the Musalmaan happy, then let me tell you that in the last 27 years, your emotional talk has destroyed the entity of Indian Muslims. Today, we are neither in Parliament nor in the Union Cabinet. Yes, the work to weaken the political power of Indian Muslims was performed diligently.

You, all those self-proclaimed leaders of both the communities, please stay quiet. We, the young Hindus and Muslims of this country who dream of a beautiful India, will fulfil it.

I remember my elder uncle trapped in that burning home. He could not come out. He died. We are letting go of those dreadful memories and dreaming of a new India. I am confident we will turn it in to a reality.

(The author is an NCP corporator from Mumbra)

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