The Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ayodhya land title dispute marks the beginning of a new dawn for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a 11-minute televised address to the nation hours after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.
PM Modi, who pitched the verdict and its acceptance by the people at large as a reflection of the country’s robust and vibrant democracy, said this unanimous verdict by the top court proved that answers to the most difficult problems come under the constitutional framework and law.
PM Modi, who had earlier in the day travelled to Punjab to open the corridor to Darbar Sahib Gurudwra in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, stressed that both events had taken place on November 9, the day the Berlin Wall fell.
“The message of 9th November is to unite, to join up and go ahead with all. It is the day to end all bitterness,” he said, asking people to leave behind any bitterness that may have been left behind.
He also country to see the verdict as a call for a new beginning for a new India. “Don’t leave behind any Indian,” he said, urging people at large to take everyone along in the path ahead of progress.
The verdict, which settles a fractious issue that dates back to more than a century, backed the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya by a trust set up by the government. The five judges also ordered that an alternative five-acre plot be given for a mosque in the ancient city of Ayodhya.
The ruling by a five-judge bench was preceded by appeals for calm by top religious and political leaders. Thousands of policemen were also deployed by state governments – 4,000 rushed to Uttar Pradesh by the Centre – to prevent miscreants from creating trouble.
PM Modi’s appeals for communal harmony were matched by other political parties including the opposition led by Congress. In a statement after the verdict, the Congress Working Committee, the party’s top policy-making body, said it was everyone’s responsibility to “reaffirm the tradition of mutual respect and unity among all that has defined our society through the ages”.