ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Majoritarian Politics and the Ayodhya Verdict

The Ayodhya verdict favours politics over history. It bypasses the settled principles of legal scrutiny in adjudicating land conflicts. Such a verdict has detrimental ramifications for democracy and constitutional values. 

On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court delivered the final judgment in the much awaited Ayodhya–Babri Masjid land dispute case. The citizens by and large, welcomed the verdict. The Court’s judgment has succeeded in settling the inordinately delayed land dispute by providing the right of possession of land to one party over another. The order, however, has wider implications for the culture, society, economy and polity of the country. This judgment will become a reference document for future generations to understand and reflect upon how law intersects with historicity, religion, and crucially, the political economy of the country. 

Contrary to the general understanding that the court judgments are beyond the purview of politics, this order of the apex court conveyed the impression that it is amenable to the political circumstances and factors, especially in dealing with sensitive land dispute cases. It is true that the Constitution provides a governing framework for the country. However, it is the politics that determines the form, shape and direction of the governance. The judiciary is a constituent part of the whole institutional arrangement of governance. To understand the verdict from the perspective of politics in particular, it is important to understand the majoritarian regime of the contemporary times, and get a comprehensive picture of the interface between law, polity and society. 

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Updated On : 3rd Apr, 2020
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