National Convention on Ayodhya (Lucknow, 27 November 2010)


Anhad had called a National Meeting of a small group of academics, writers, lawyers, social workers and activists on 15 Oct 2010 in New Delhi to discuss the issues arising out of the judgment on Ayodhya.

The statement issued by the meeting is pasted below.

The developments after the September 30 Verdict on Ayodhya clearly show that there is a need to reflect on the serious repercussions and grave implications of this judgment for Indian public life, and the principles of justice, secularism, democracy and rationality.

ANHAD is calling a NATIONAL CONVENTION in Lucknow on Saturday, November 27, 2010 to discuss the issues arising out of the September 30 verdict .

We are inviting secular, democratic groups, women’s groups, anti gobalisation movements, people’s movements to join and endorse the National Convention, to Mobilise for the convention and to support it.

ANHAD will make all efforts with the endorsing groups to raise resources to look after the logistics in Lucknow. the mobilisation and the travel will have to be borne by the participants/ their organisations.

It will be our endevour to make a detailed note on the judgment available by the end of this month.

For endorsements , all other questions related to the National Convention please write to “Mansi Sharma” : mansidev[at]

Statement on the Judgment of the Allahabad High Court on the Ayodhya Dispute

Released at the National Meeting called by Anhad

Ayodhya Verdict: Repercussions and Civil Society’s Response

15 Oct 2010

A meeting of concerned citizens, academics, writers, lawyers, social workers and activists took place on 15 Oct 2010 in Delhi to discuss the issues arising out of the judgment on Ayodhya.

They were unanimous in their dismay over the judgment of the three judges of the Special Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court, who recently passed their final verdict in the 60 year old title suits over the bitterly contested property in Ayodhya. They were distressed with the grave implications of this judgment for Indian public life, and the principles of justice, secularism, democracy and rationality.

The judgments of Justice DV Sharma and Justice Sudhir Aggarwal are based on language and arguments which effectively and dramatically invert the principle of a secular state, which subordinate faith to law, by making the law subordinate to faith. The non-secular, nay, anti-secular idiom of the judgments of the two Judges is deeply disturbing.

The meeting was of the opinion that verdict constitutes a dangerous precedent, which can be used against other vulnerable groups in future, like dalits, tribals and women. For almost 500 years, Muslims had worshipped routinely in the Babri Mosque, while Hindus worshipped at the Ram Chabutra in the open area adjacent to the mosque, in a spirit of mutual communal goodwill. The disputed claim of Hindus to the land on which the mosque stood is based on naked aggression from 1949 to 1992. With this judgment, the movement which challenged India’s secular Constitution and took hundreds of lives, and fostered fear and hate has triumphed.

This movement demanding that a grand Ram Temple should be built on the site in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood is often understood to be a clash between Hindus and Muslims. The meeting affirmed that there is indeed no such clash, and there never has been. It has always been a dispute between two alternate visions of India; between Hindutva and secularism; between a minority of persons unreconciled to the secular democratic idea of India, and the majority of Indians of every faith who believe in and live this idea.

The judgement reopens again the question about the terms on which people of minority faiths would have to relate to cultural domination of the religious Hindu majority. In effect, it interrogates the guarantees of the Indian Constitution, which pledged equal rights and equal protection of all persons, regardless of their religious persuasion. Both in courts of law, but more importantly in the arenas of society and the polity, the meeting resolved to battle for the restoration of the values of the freedom struggle, and the Constitution which the people of India gave themselves.

Aban Raza, Amit Sengupta, Amrita, Anil Chaudhary, Anupam Gupta, Anuradha Marwah, Apoorvanand, Arjun Dev, Asad Zaidi, Avinash Kumar, Bhasha Singh, Bibin Kuakose, Dominic Emmanual, Dr. Suresh Khairnar, Farah Naqvi, Gauhar Raza, Hakeem IrfanHarsh Dobhal, Harsh Mander, Humra Quraishi, Jitendra, K.M.Shrimali, Karen Gabriel, Kartini, M.Hilal, Madan Lal Arora, Manoj Mitta, Mansi Sharma, Mohan Kumawat, Ravindra, Mukul Manglik, Nandini Sundar, Naseeruddin, Navaid Hamid, Neelabh Mishra, P.K. Vijayan, Padmini Mongia., Priyanka Gautam, Prof. K.N. Panikkar, R.K. Gupta., Rajendran Prabhakar, Rakesh Bhardwaj, Ram Puniyani, Roop Rekha Verma, Ruchira Gupta., S.Irfan Habib, S.VenkateshanS.M.A. Kazmi, Sania Hashmi, Vineet Tiwari, Satya Sivaraman, Shabnam Hashmi., Sheetla Singh, Shesh Narain Singh., Sukumar Murlidharan., Sundaran., Sunita Dhar., Syeeda Hamid., Tanveer Alam., Uma Chakravaorty., Usha Ramanthan., Uttam Bhai Parmar., Vrinda Grover., Zafar A. Haq, Zafar Agha., Zoya Hasan

The above statement is available at Anhad

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