The End of The Ram Mandir Dispute- Ayodhya Verdict - Seeker's Thoughts

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The End of The Ram Mandir Dispute- Ayodhya Verdict



In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court has paved the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre alternate plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.





The Beginning of Fight


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  Since 22 December 1949, both the Sunni Wakf Board and the Akhil Bhartiya Ramayana Mahasabha ABRM filed civil suits in a local court staking their respective claims to the site.

The land was declared to be under dispute, and the gates remained locked.

In 1950, Gopal Singh Visharad filed a title suit with the Allahabad High Court seeking injunction to offer 'puja' (worship) at the disputed site.



A similar suit was filed shortly after but later withdrawn by Paramhans Das of Ayodhya.
In 1959, the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious institution, filed a third title suit seeking direction to hand over the charge of the disputed site, claiming to be its custodian. 

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A fourth suit was filed by the Sunni Wakf Board for declaration and possession of the site. The Allahabad high court bench began hearing the case in 2002, which was completed in 2010.


After the Supreme Court dismissed a plea to defer the High Court verdict,  on 30 September 2010, the High Court of Allahabad, the three-member bench comprising justices S. U. Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and D. V. Sharma, ruled that the disputed land be split into three parts.

The site of the Ramlala idol would go to the party representing Ram Lalla Virajman (the installed Infant Ram deity), Nirmohi Akhara to get Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara, and the Sunni Wakf Board to get the rest. The court also ruled that the status quo should be maintained for three months.


All the three parties appealed against the division of disputed land in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court (SC) held final hearing on the case from 6 August 2019  to 16 October 2019. 

On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the land to be handed over to a trust to built the Hindu temple.


It also ordered to the government to give alternate 5 acre land to Sunni Waqf Board to build the mosque.


The Demolition of Babri Maszid





The Babri Masjid was destroyed during a political rally which turned into a riot on 6 December 1992.



On 6 December 1992, a large group of Hindu activists belonging to the Vishva Hindu Parishad and allied organisations demolished the mosque, triggering riots all over India, killing around 2,000 people, many of them Muslim.





According to Hindus,
Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya on the banks of the river Sarayu, according to the Ramayana. This place is identified with Ayodhya in present-day Uttar Pradesh.

 As per Hindu beliefs, an ancient temple stood at the birthplace to mark the spot. And that it was demolished in 1528 by first Mughal emperor Babur when he built a mosque - Babri Masjid - which was subsequently demolished by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992. 


The History of Dispute 

 
The first recorded instances of religious violence in Ayodhya occurred in the 1850s over a nearby mosque at Hanuman Garhi. 

The Babri mosque was attacked by Hindus in the process. Since then, local Hindu groups made occasional demands that they should have the possession of the site and that they should be allowed to build a temple on the site, all of which were denied by the colonial government. 




In 1946, an offshoot of the Hindu Mahasabha  called Akhil Bharatiya Ramayana Mahasabha (ABRM) started an agitation for the possession of the site. 




In 1949, Sant Digvijay Nath of Gorakhnath Math joined the ABRM and organised a 9-day continuous recitation of Ramcharit Manas, at the end of which the Hindu activists broke into the mosque and placed idols of Rama and Sita inside.


 People were led to believe that the idols had 'miraculously' appeared inside the mosque. The date of the event was 22 December 1949.


Jawaharlal Nehru insisted that the idols should be removed. However, the local official K. K. K. Nair, known for his Hindu nationalist connections, refused to carry out orders, claiming that it would lead to communal riots. 


The police locked the gates so that the public (Hindus as well as Muslims) could not enter. However, the idols remained inside and priests were allowed entry to perform daily worship. So, the mosque had been converted into a de facto temple.


Since 22 December 1949, both the Sunni Wakf Board and the ABRM filed civil suits in a local court staking their respective claims to the site. The land was declared to be under dispute, and the gates remained locked. 


Christophe Jaffrelot has called the Gorakhnath wing of Hindu nationalism 'the other saffron', which has maintained its existence separately from the mainstream Hindu nationalism of the Sangh Parivar. 


After the Vishva Hindu Parishad was formed in 1964 and started agitating for the Babri Masjid site, the two strands of 'saffron politics' came together.




The district magistrate Nair, who refused to carry out orders, was eventually dismissed, but he became a local hero and subsequently a politician of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

What does the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI)  reveal about the site?

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has conducted various Archaeological Excavation in 1970, 1992, and 2003. 

 The disputed site received evidence that a large Hindu Complex existed on the site.

In 2003, one of the Indian High Court asked from ASI to conduct more –in-depth study. It was to confirm the type of infrastructure.  The remnants had more resemblance to a Shiva Temple. 



Stone and decorated bricks as well as mutilated sculpture of a divine couple and carved architectural features, including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapota-pali ["dove-house" crown-work], doorjamb with semi-circular shrine pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranala (water chute) in the north and 50 pillar bases in association with a huge structure.. 



Before the archaeological opinion was published, there were some differing viewpoints. In his Communal History and Rama's Ayodhya, written prior to the ASI researches, Professor Ram Sharan Sharma. 


He writes,-

 "Ayodhya seems to have emerged as a place of religious pilgrimage in medieval times. Although chapter 85 of the Vishnu Smriti lists as many as fifty-two places of pilgrimage, including towns, lakes, rivers, mountains, etc., it does not include Ayodhya in this list."

Tulsidas, who wrote the Ramcharitmanas in 1574 at Ayodhya, does not mention it as a place of pilgrimage. 


This suggests that there was no significant Hindu temple at the site of the Babri Mosque, or that it had ceased to be one, after the mosque was built.


After the demolition of the mosque in 1992, Professor Ram Sharan Sharma along with historians Suraj Bhan, M. Athar Ali and Dwijendra Narayan Jha wrote the Historians' report to the nation, saying that the assumption that there was a temple at the disputed site was mistaken, and that there was no valid reason to destroy the mosque.


 One of the judges of the Allahabad High Court in 2010 criticised the independent experts who had appeared on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board including Suvira Jaiswal, Supriya Verma, Shireen F. Ratnagar and Jaya Menon.


The witnesses withered under scrutiny and were discovered to have made "reckless and irresponsible kind of statements". He also pointed out that the independent witnesses were all connected, while adding that their opinions were offered without making a proper investigation, research or study into the subject.


Buddhist Site Claims


Udit Raj's Buddha Education Foundation claimed that the structure excavated by ASI in 2003 was a Buddhist stupa destroyed during and after the Muslim invasion of India.


The excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India were used as evidence by the court that the predating structure was a massive Hindu religious building.


Conclusion




The justice was served, and even though the judgement has arrived with the claim of win-win situation, there remains the deep routed hatred among communities.


Due to the fear of riots, there were preventive measures taken by the respective authorities.







 

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