AYODHYA DISPUTE: HOLY SITE AT QUESTION

AYODHYA DISPUTE: HOLY SITE AT QUESTION

This article informs you about the Ayodhya Dispute in detail.

INTRODUCTION

The Ayodhya Dispute is known for religious, political and historical debate in India since more than a century. The dispute is on the piece of land situated in the newly formed Distrtict Ayodhya, located in Uttar Pradesh. The issues revolve around the possession of the site, as Hindus call it birth place of Lord Ram whereas the historical Babri Masjid is also at the same site. Further it was also believed that previous temple was abolished to form Babri Masjid.

The Masjid was destroyed during the Political Rally turned riot on 6 December 1992. Later, the ?land title case? was registered in Allahabad High Court in which the verdict was pronounced by the court on 30 September 2010. In the verdict the three High Court Judges divided the Land of Ayodhya in three parts among Ram Lalla represented by Hindu Mahasabha, Babri Masjid through Sunni Wakf Board and Nirmohi Akhara. The preceding Article will give you precise information about this Thorniest court cases.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Babar came to India in the year 1526 to defeat Ibrahim Lodhi. It was believed by Hindus that the Mosque was built by Mir Baqi (General of Babar) by demolishing pre-existing temple of Lord Rama. The mosque was named after Mughal King Babur. The Mosque was built in such a way where both, Hindus and Muslims can worship under a single umbrella, Muslims inside the mosque whereas Hindus outside the mosque. This complete timeline of Babri Masjid-Ram Janamabhoomi Dispute will make you understand why this issue remains unsolved-

1853: First time when incident of communal violences were observed during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. Hindus claimed that mosque was built after the demolition of Temple.

1859: The possession of this site led to community clashes. Thus, British built a fence between the Masjid and Temple, the fence separates two worship places.

1885: The District Court of Faizabad rejected the plea of Mahant Raghubir Das for the building a canopy on Ram Chabootra.

1949: The violence started in this year when the Idol of Lord Ram was placed inside the temple by Hindu Activist and the rumors were spread that the Idol appeared ?miraculously? inside the mosque. This act became very controversial and led to riots.

1959: Nirmohi Akhara became a new contender and suit was filed for the possession of the site. They claimed to be the custodian of the spot at which Ram was believed to be born.

1961: Sunni Waqf Board moved to the court against forceful installation of Idol and seeking for the possession of the mosque and adjoining land.

1986: After Hari Shankar Dubey?s plea, a district court directed to open a gate for ?darshan? to hindu community. The door was opened for half an hour and again remains locked. In the protest of verdict, Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee.

1989: The suit was filed by Deoki Nandan Agarwala in Allhabad High Court for the possession. The matter came under the Special Bench of High Court. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP ) puts foundation stone on the land adjacent to the disputed land.

2002: The High Court started hearing the disputed matter. The High Court passes and order to the Archaeological Survey of India to find out if there would be evidence of temple beneath the Mosque.

2010: Allahabad High Court suggested the parties to resolve the matter through friendly discussion but the suggestion failed. And at the end of this year, the High Court gave historic judgment that the disputed land shall be divided into three equal parts-:

1.) Ramlalla under the representation of Hindu Mahasabha

2.) Babri Masjid represented by Islamic Waqf Board.

3.) Nirmohi Akhara.

2016: Plea filed in Supreme Court seeking construction of Ram Temple.

2017: The Supreme Court on the basis of Babri-Masjid Demolition case held that the charges on politicians will not be dropped and the case must be revived. Further the court reinstates to complete the case within two years.

January 2019: SC reconsituttes 5-member Consitution Bench to hear the case. The new Bench comprised CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S A Bobde, D Y Chandarchund, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.

February 2019: SC starts hearing the civil appeals.

July 2019: SC order 8 weeks of mediation by three-member panel.

August 2019: CJI declared that the mediation has been failed and daily hearing will begin.

October 2019: Hearing concludes, judgement expected before CJI?s retirement i.e., on November 17.

PARTIES TO THE APPEAL

Before the Judgement of the High Court,14 appeals were filed in the Court, among which five original suits were filed in Allahabad High Court. The parties to that suit were as follows ?

1.) First two were filed by individual in their capacity as worshippers.

2.) Third suit was filed by Nirmohi Akhara of the Ramanandi Sect through its Mahant in 1959.

3.) The fourth suit was filed by Uttar Pradesh Wakf Board with eight Muslim Residents of Ayodhya and Jamiat Ulema Hind (UP Branch).

4.) The fifth suit was filed in 1989 by Bhagwan Sri Ramma Virajman (the deity regarded by law as perpetual minor requiring representation through human agency)

5.) The another party in the fifth suit was Asthan Sri Rama Janma Bhumi Ayodhya ( the place of birth) through Deoki Nandan Agrawal, who was a former High Court Judge and resident of Allahabad and sought to be treated as the friend of the deity.

According to the reports, some are the significant parties to the case, but not all are the parties to the settlement. Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the form of Ram Janambhumi Nyas and its supporter T.N Pandey as the current friend of deity on one side whereas Jamiat Ulema Hind on another side.

PREVIOUS JUDGEMENT

The previous case, Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui Etc, Mohd. vs Union Of India And Others (AIR 1995 SC 605) was decided by Allahabad High Court in three judge bench, comprising of Justices Sibghat Ullah Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma. The case was held as follows-

  • Justice Khan and Aggarwal said that the spot where the idols are placed should be allotted to the deity for construction of temple.
  • Muslims have failed to prove that the entire land belong to Babar on whose order the mosque was constructed.
  • On the other hand Hindus also fails to prove that there was temple on the existing land.
  • It was also said by Justice that the Hindus believe that place to be a ?Janamsthan? of Lord Ram and worshipping there before constitution was formed and the Nirmohi Akhara and Masjid is only claiming a possession over the land.
  • Further it was held that 2.77 acre of land shall belong to the Hindu for construction of temple.
  • Thus through majority of 2:1, the HC divided the land in dispute into three equal parts, 1/3 for construction of Ram Temple, 1/3 for Mosque and 1/3 for Nirmohi Akhara.

KEY ISSUES

The issues raised by the Hindu side were ?the entire disputed land is Ram Janambhoomi and shall belong to Hindu only?. On the other hand, issue raised from Muslim side was ?the report of Archeological Survey of India does not declare that whether the temple was destructed and the mosque was built over the destructed temple?. The evidences produced and issues raised from Hindu sides are as follows-

  • The strongest evidence produced was the ?belief? that this land belong to Hindu.
  • The Archeological Survey Report declares that there was a temple on the dispute site before Mosque.
  • That the temple was built on the land possibly by Hindu King Vikramaditya centuries ago.
  • The temple was demolished by Babur or Aurangzeb in 17th century.
  • Historical Text such as Skanda Purana shows that place belong to Ayodhya birth pace of Ram.
  • Mosque cannot be built by demolishing existing site according to Quran and Hadith.
  • The key issues raised and evidences produced from Muslim side are as follows-
  • The Mosque has been present from the site since 1528.
  • Physical trespass and attacks have been proved in 1835, 1934. 1949 whereas in 1992 attempt to destruct the temple have also been proved through official documents.
  • The British Government has also recognized the grant to the Babri Masjid and maintained by the Nawabs.
  • Muslims were in possession of the place and offer their prayers to God till 22 December 2018.

CONCLUSION

Ayodhya Dispute has become a perfect synonym for all key debates in Indian Citizen?s life. As the dispute include every flavor of democracy: secularism, historical injustices, political movements, nature of Constitution, intercommunity ties etc. The chapter of most controversial case of Indian History is coming to its end. With this end, few question arises, Will there be Harmony in Society? Will people live at peace? Will the government focus on the real issues hindering the life of Indian Citizens? And the most vital question arises from the previous act of people, that will the people abide by the verdict this time? However, the verdict should be respected. The verdict is yet to be pronounced by the Apex Court of India.

REFERENCES-

? Ayodhya case: All parties repeat their claims before SC in written submissions; Sanjay Sharma ; October 19, 2019

? Ayodhya Ram Mandir hearing enters final week. Why it is not a simple Hindu vs Muslim case; Prabhash K Dutta ; October 14, 2019

? Ayodhya Dispute; A.G. Noorani; June 15, 2019

? Ayodhya case: Medieval docs to arguments that grabbed interest, recapping Supreme Court drama of last 26 days; Aneesha Mathur ; September 19, 2019

? Ayodhya: the history of a 500-year-old land dispute between Hindus and Muslims in India; April 16, 2019

? Ayodhya dispute: A saga that shaped history nears end; Prashant Jha Hindustan Times; Oct 17, 2019

? Ayodhya dispute: The complex legal history of India’s holy site; 16 October 2019

? Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui Etc, Mohd. … vs Union Of India And Others; AIR 1995 SC 605 A

? Not Just Hindu versus Muslim; Sruthisagar Yamunan; October 16, 2019

? Settling the Ayodhya Case once and for all; K. Kannan ; 29 October 2019

? What The Allahabad HC Held In Ayodhya-Babri Masjid Dispute? 16 August 2019

? Image Credits- www.unindia.com