Rana Ayyub On Ayodhya Verdict: Forget Closure, Muslims Can’t Even Say How Unhappy We Are

Betwa Sharma
Indian journalist Rana Ayyub during the launch of her self-published book on May 27, 2016. 

 

NEW DELHI — India’s Muslims have been silent after the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict because they are afraid of what will happen if they speak up, said journalist Rana Ayyub. 

There is a lot of anger and sadness in the community over the Babri Masjid demolition, but people are scared that “anything they say or do will only make things worse for them,” Ayyub told HuffPost India in a long phone interview. 

“This silence is of fear, not happiness. It’s only when you are intimidated that you are silent. We have been asked to shut up. Muslims are numb right now. The community has gone into a cocoon. People are just going about their routines because they don’t want to think anymore. They don’t know what is going to happen next,” she said. 

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Ayyub’s opinion was shared by other Muslim leaders and activists this reporter spoke to after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Hindu parties last week, granting the disputed land in Ayodhya to a Hindu trust for the construction of a temple devoted to Ram, and offering an alternative five acres to the Muslim parties to build a mosque. 

“Do you know what would have happened if we had condemned the judgement? ‘Unsatisfied’ is the strongest word we could use,’” said a young Muslim leader in Delhi, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity. 

“Of course, we are deeply unhappy about the verdict but no one can say it openly because we fear the consequences would be worse for us, Muslims,” he said. “We don’t have any other choice but to keep quiet.”

The young man also recalled how the Amethi police threatened legal action against Ayyub for making a “political comment,” when she tweeted ahead of the verdict about how the demolition of the 16th century mosque in 1992 in Ayodhya had changed her life. 

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