Societies and nations face serious challenges in the form of disputes that are seemingly unresolvable, from time to time. The maturity of the leadership is put to test in such situations.
Looking back, I believe that the very nature of the judgment on the Ayodhya dispute delivered by the Supreme Court on Saturday, the response of most political parties to the same and the adroit handling of the situation, post-verdict, by local administrations almost all over the country, together serve as a testimony to the extraordinary sense of responsibility shown by all.
All sections of society in general, all major political parties, as well as all pillars of our democratic edifice deserve to be commended for this.
Ayodhya was a complex case to be adjudicated and, therefore, several facets of this judgment deserve attention.
Firstly, the political will shown by the apex court in conducting day-today hearing in a stipulated time frame and then ensuring that the judgment is delivered before the incumbent Chief Justice of India retires is noteworthy.
Secondly, the fact that this is a verdict given unanimously has also sent a strong message that not just the CJI but all judges were resolutely working for this day and had a commonality of approach.
Thirdly, the language used in the judgment has ensured a tight-rope walk between 'not mincing words' on the one hand and avoiding sweeping comments and drawing hasty conclusions on the other. Remarkably, honourable judges have not refrained from calling a spade, a spade. At the same time, they have carefully avoided making general observations prone to wrong or misleading interpretations.
About the operational part of the judgment, the judges have shown notable foresight and almost presented a very unambiguous roadmap for the implementation of this brilliant judgment.
Like policies of the government, even to court rulings, the rule that 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating' applies perfectly.
Conscious of this fact, the apex court has come clean on questions like 'What next? When? And by whom?
Most remarkably, the basis of the verdict delivered is not faith or belief system but, purely and clearly, the law of the land. The measured use of right terminologies and appropriate vocabulary by the judges underscores the fact that the Court has strictly gone by the book and delivered a clinically indisputable judgment. As they say, the judges have not only sincerely tried to do justice but also ensured that they are collectively seen to be doing justice as well.
Finally, the fact that this judgment puts to an end a long-standing dispute for which the nation has paid a disproportionately high price cannot be undermined. A resolution was needed to put a full stop to the machinations of those who wanted to play politics of minority-ism.
Hopefully, those who may have some reservations about certain aspects of this judgment will not stretch it further and go for any review petition, although nothing can prevent them from doing that. However, they must understand that the Indian polity and the society has moved ahead in this judgment.
Identity issues are important and they continue to be so, but an aspirational India also knows that development leading to prosperity and better quality of life also significantly adds to one's identity.
There is evidence to suggest that in the emerging 'New India', socially backward and marginalised communities too look at identity issues through the prism of development.
Exactly 30 years ago, on this very day, the world witnessed the collapse of the Berlin Wall which artificially divided the German people.
The curse of 'vote bank' politics - like the Berlin Wall - has always caused artificial divisions in India. Article 370 and Triple Talaq were some of the large vestiges of that alluring, but toxic, divisive wall harming the innate unity of the people of India.
With this thoughtfully drafted and dexterously delivered Ayodhya verdict, yet another part of the unseen wall between communities has collapsed.
As described by Prime Minister Narendra Modi very beautifully, this judgment provides a strong ground to both, those engaged in Ram Bhakti as well as Rahim Bhakti - to join hands and unitedly move towards Rashtra Bhakti!