Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Ayodhya Dispute

Many people in the West may not be aware of the 100 year old Temple/Mosque dispute in India which has caused a lot of communal disharmony, violence and terrorism in our country.
Ir revolves about the ownership of a 16th century Mosque which the Hindus claim was built on the remains of a temple in the birthplace of god Ram, which the Muslims destroyed.

After a century long litigation a case was filed 60 years ago in post Independence India which has dragged on till today taking on many political and religious twists and turns.

Today the judgement concerning the ownership of the disputed land was to be pronounced by the (State) Allahabad High Court. The whole state ( and several parts of India) have been in a state of high security alert fearing clashes between Hindus and Muslims after the pronouncement of the judgement. There has tension , fear and nervousness in my city. It was due to virtually close down for the next 3 days and there was panic buying etc.

But today the country 's apex court -the Supreme Court in Ne w Delhi has deferred the judgement until Sept 24th. So everybody is again on tenterhooks.
Below is the history of the land dispute and reactions to it.


The decades long Ayodhya dispute revolves around the claim over the land in Ayodhya, which is considered scared by Hindus as it is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram while Muslims seek to defend the Babri Masji at the site.
Land in question:

Hindus believe that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. The land is, therefore, considered sacred and befitting the profile of a holy pilgrimage spot.The communal tension over the land took root in the construction of the Babri Masji, by Muslim emperor Babur, who in 1527 defeated the Hindu King of Chittorgarh, Rana Sangram Singh at Fatehpur Sikri.The king left his general, Mir Banki as the Viceroy of the region. Mir Banki, who enforced Mughal rule over the population, came to Ayodhya in 1528 and built the Mosque.There are claims that when the Mosque built, the Ram temple at Ayodhya was either demolished or modified largely.Over the years, Hindus have sought to reclaim the 'Ram Janmabhoomi' while Muslims have sought to defend the Babri Masjid.Growth of dispute over the years

According to literature dating back to 1987, before the 1940s the mosque was called Masjid-i Janmasthan ('mosque on birthplace') by Indian Muslims

1947 - A Government order prohibited Muslims from being around the site (at least 200 yards). The main gate was locked. However, Hindu pilgrims allowed to enter through a side door.

1984 - The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) started a campaign to reclaim the site for Hindus so that a temple dedicated to the infant Ram (Ramlala) could be erected.

1989 - Allahabad High Court passed an order that the main gates should be opened up and restored the site to Hindus for eternity.But the communal discord re-erupted when the Hindus intented to make modifications of the Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki.When they inaugurated the proposed new grand Temple with Government permissions, unrest erupted across India as the Muslim community was against this.This is when Government moved the court, turning the dispute sub-judice

1992 - The dispute took a rather ugly turn on Dec 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished during a political rally. This led to riots in which over 2000 were killed.Ten days after the Babri Masjid demolition, the Liberhan commission was set up to probe the circumstances that led to the demolition.

2003 - On the order of the High Court, the the Archaeological Survey of India carried out excavation at the disputed site of Rama Janmabhumi - Babri Masjid from 12 Mar,

2003 to 7 Aug, 2003. The study reportedly found evidences of an ancient temple. A 574-page report with maps, drawings as well as opinions was presented before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court in Aug 2003.Based on the archaeological evidence the the ASI report noted that the remains had distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India and said that there was sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50x30 metres in north-south and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure.

2005 - On July 5, 2005, five terrorists attacked the site of the makeshift Ramlalla temple, in Ayodhya. All the five terrorists were killed in the ensuing gunfight with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), guarding the area. The attack claimed life of one civilian, who died in a grenade blast that the terrorists triggered to breach a cordon wall. 2009 -

In Nov 2009, some of the findings of the Liberhan commission was leaked to the media. These leaked reports indicted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.Read: Vajpayee, Advani indicted for Babri demolition

2010 - On Sep 24, 2010, the Allahabad High Court was slated to give its verdict on the Ayodhya title suit on ownership of the disputed land. On the eve of the judgement, the Supreme Court deferred the verdict by a week on a deferment plea and scheduled hearing of the postponement petition on Tuesday, Sep 28. Read: SC stays Ayodhya verdict; to hear deferment plea on Sep 28

More news on:
ram temple
babri masjid
Ayodhya verdict: UP in tight security, high alert
Babri row: Govt bans bulk SMS, MMS till Sep 25
Congress leaders wanted Ram temple: VHP
Advani dreams of a 'grand' Ram Temple
Respect Ayodhya verdict: AIMPLB tells Muslims
BJP likely to move to SC over Babri verdict
Related news

Ayodhya: Americans cautioned on possible violence
No provocative remarks on Babri verdict: PC
Topics: ayodhya, ram temple, babri masjid, hindus, muslims, vhp, bjp, allahabad high court, ayodhya hc verdict

Ayodhya verdict deferment a bad precedent: Soli
Smitha Nair , CNN-IBN Posted on Sep 23, 2010 at 19:00 Updated Sep 23, 2010 at 19:15

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee on Thursday said deferment of the Ayodhya verdict by the Supreme Court has set a bad precedent for the future.
"Is it really expected that in a week a settlement will be found when persons of different shades of public opinion different political personalities have tried and failed…is blind irrational optimism," Sorabjee said when asked to comment about the apex court's decision to stay the verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case.
The Supreme Court has said the deferment is in public interest and has posted the matter for further hearing on September 28.
"Settlement of a case in any matter is welcome. In this case efforts have been made for a settlement over months… nothing has come out of it. Is there any scope of settlement? I'm sorry there's none," he said.
The political atmosphere was conducive to the verdict and the Supreme Court's decision has led to a lot of complications, Sorabjee said.
"Let the verdict be given. Look at the complications, the judge is going to retire. Because of the political parties, because of the appeal of the Muslim Board, the atmosphere was good.
"We had to go on with the verdict. What's the idea of putting it off? If there was real possibility of settlement I'm all for it," he added.
"This will be an unhealthy precedent for future. It should not be repeated," he said.

Videos from the temple town

8 Fertilize my soul:

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
What a complicated conflict.
It must be a headache to find a solution all parts can live with.
For the sake of future peace, I hope a bright head finds a compromise that makes all parts satisfied.
When so much prestige is at stake, no one can tolerate to come out as a looser.
Praying for the peace of India!
From Felisol

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

This is the problem when two fanatical religions clash. Both Hinduism and Islam are highly fanatical and their adherents are highly fanatical too. I cannot imagine how this impasse will be resolved as India is opening itself open to retaliatory attacks by highly fanatical Muslim groups like the Al Qaeda. We may see a repeat of the recent Mumbai massacre and attacks. Let us all pray that this problem be resolved peacefully for all parties concerned. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.


This is the first I've heard of this. I pray that God will protect you and you family when the judgment comes down on Sept 24th. ~Ron

Dani said...

this is the first time I've heard of this for cool heads and for you and yours also...

monsoon dreams said...

I just pray that peace be restored.

Grayquill said...

Now that is what I would call a mess.

Zimbabwe said...

I didn't know about it. I heard that India is the country with "the biggest democration", but nothing about religion conflictes. Thank You Amrita for this illuminating post.

Amrita said...

Dear friends, we have received temporary releif till Sept. 28th, then lets see what happens. I have updated the situation in the next post.