What binds Modi, Manmohan and Maulvis
It is an issue that has cut across party lines and united political leaders with varying ideologies and agendas. Almost every leading politician worth his salt agrees on this issue -- the necessity to maintain peace in the wake of the verdict in the title suit of the disputed site at Ayodhya that will be pronounced on September 24.
Leading politicians across India have all urged their supporters and the general public to remain calm and maintain peace, irrespective of what the verdict turns out to be. The memories of the violent riots that broke out across India in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition, and the horrific Mumbai serial blasts in retaliation, have managed to etch a deep scar on India's collective conscience.
Let's take a look at leaders from various parties who have decided against milking the sensitive issue for political mileage.
Image: 'Kar Sevaks' stand atop the demolished Babri Masjid
'The judgments would have to be read carefully'
Appealing for peace ahead of Friday's pronouncement of the Ayodhya title verdict, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said it would be inappropriate to reach any hasty conclusion that one side has won or that the other side has lost.
"The judgments would have to be read carefully, and the findings of the Hon'ble judges on each of the issues in the four suits would have to be analysed meticulously, before any conclusions may be drawn," he said.
Chidambaram said it is the government's earnest hope that all sections of the people will cooperate with the government in maintaining peace, order, harmony and tranquility.
Image: P Chidambaram
'All Indians should keep faith in the court's verdict'
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday appealed for peace and harmony prior to the Ayodhya title suit verdict.
"All Indians should keep faith in the court's verdict. We appeal to all citizens to have respect for the court's order whichever way it goes," the Trinamool Congress chief said.
Stating that some elements might try to take advantage of the situation, Banerjee said, "I appeal to people of all religions to keep faith in the judiciary and each other, and maintain peace and harmony."
Image: Mamata Banerjee
'There will be excitement about the Ayodhya verdict'
Gujarat chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday appealed to the people of the state to maintain peace after the verdict.
"There will be excitement to know about the Ayodhya verdict which will come after a long legal battle, but momentary anxiety will not do any good to anybody," Modi said in a message just two days ahead of the verdict.
"Enemies of the country are in search of opportunities to disturb the social fabric of the country and we should not allow them to succeed," Modi said.
Ironically, Modi has often been accused of being responsible for the communal riots that rocked Gujarat in February, 2002.
Image: Narendra Modi
'The Sainiks have been instructed to maintain peace'
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday appealed to party activists to maintain peace on September 24.
"The Sainiks have been instructed to maintain peace after the Babri-Ayodhya verdict and we will cooperate with the government," Uddhav said after he met party leaders to discuss the issue.
Taking a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, the Sena leader said if the government was scared of the situation ahead of the verdict, then it should deploy more security like it did during Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Mumbai visit and release of the movie My Name Is Khan.
Incidentally, the Shiv Sena has been one of the staunchest supporters of the demand for the construction of a temple at the disputed site.
Image: Uddhav Thackeray
Senior BJP leader L K Advani is scheduled to visit the Somnath Temple near Veraval in Saurashtra region of Gujarat on September 25, the day he had started his historic rathyatra in 1990.
"He said he will give his message from there on September 25 on the issue," party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Party sources said the leaders have been asked to 'practice restraint' whichever way the verdict goes. The party cadre has also been asked to 'await the verdict'.
Both Advani and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat have already indicated that the option of going to the Supreme Court is open and likely to be adopted.
Image: L K Advani
'The judgment needs to be treated with the utmost respect'
Wary of extreme reactions to the Allahabad high court judgment, the Centre on Thursday appealed for peace, saying the judicial recourse will not end till all sections are satisfied and further legal remedies available.
The issue was discussed at the Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and it passed a resolution, appealing for peace after the delivery of the judgment.
"It goes without saying that the judgment needs to be treated with the utmost respect. At the same time, we must remember the fact that the judgment, at this state, is one step in the judicial process. The determination of the issues need not necessarily end with this judgment unless it is accepted by all parties," said the resolution.
The government said it is necessary for "all sections of the people of India to maintain equanimity and tranquility in the aftermath of the judgment."
Image: Manmohan Singh
'They should not lose their cool'
The senior-most Muslim leaders of the country have appealed to all citizens to maintain peace and calm after the verdict on the Babri Masjid title suit is pronounced on September 24.
The appeal has been signed by Babri Masjid Committee Convener Dr S Q R Ilyas, President of All India Muslim Personal law Board Syed Mohd Rabe Hasni Nadvi and Rector of Darul Uloom Deoband Marghoobur Rahman, among others.
"We advise the Muslims to express their humble gratitude to the Almighty if the verdict is in favour of Babri Masjid but they should refrain from any public expression of rejoicing or celebration.
If (Almighty forbid) the verdict is otherwise, they should not lose their cool, take it in their stride and not indulge in any protest or demonstration of their disappointment.
We realise that this would not be the final judicial verdict as the doors of Supreme Court are open to either party. At the appropriate time we shall decide the terms of rebuttal to the other side, if necessary, or the terms of appeal, if required," said the appeal.
Image: Hindu activists demand construction of the Ram temple at the dispute site