The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute in Ayodhya, India, has been a source of contention and religious tension for centuries. The site, which holds great significance for both Hindus and Muslims, has been at the center of legal battles and communal clashes. Let’s delve into the history of the Babri Masjid and the Ram Temple site to better understand the complexities surrounding this issue.
The Destruction of Ram Temple and the Construction of Babri Masjid
In 1528, the first emperor of the Mughal Dynasty, Babur, ordered the destruction of a pre-existing Ram temple to make way for the construction of a mosque. The mosque, known as the Babri Masjid or Masjid-e-Janmastan, was built on the site believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Claims and Counterclaims
Over the years, various claims and counterclaims have been made regarding the history of the site:
- In 1822, a court official stated that the Babri Masjid was built after the destruction of a Rama temple.
- In 1858, a group of Nihang Sikhs entered the Babri Masjid and conducted Hindu rituals, leaving inscriptions of “Ram! Ram!” on the walls.
- In 1885, Mahant Raghubar Das filed a suit seeking permission to construct a Ram Temple on the site. In response to inter-religious violence, the British authorities divided the site, giving the outer court to Hindus and the inner court to Muslims.
- In 1949, a murti (icon) of Lord Ram was placed inside the Babri Masjid, leading to protests from the Muslim community. The site was subsequently closed and declared a disputed area by the government, with no Muslim prayers being held there since then.
- In 1950, two lawsuits were filed by Hindus seeking the right to conduct religious rituals and keep murtis of Lord Ram at the site.
- In 1959, the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu spiritual body, filed a lawsuit for the right to conduct religious worship at the site.
- In 1961, a Sunni Muslim body filed a lawsuit seeking possession of the site and the removal of the murtis of Lord Ram.
- 1989: A district court orders the site to be unlocked and open for Hindu worshippers.
- 1992: The illegal structure erected by Babar at Ram Temple was brought down by Ram Bhakts.
- 2019: India’s Supreme Court ordered the land to be awarded to a trust to build a Hindu temple. It also ordered the government to give an alternate five acres of land to the Sunni Waqf Board for the purpose of building a mosque. The Shia Waqf Board also intervened in the lawsuit in support of allowing Hindus to build a Ram temple at the site.
- 2024: The consecration of Ram Temple will happen, and justice will be done with lakhs of devotees wait in for 550 years.
The Demolition and Its Aftermath
The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute is a longstanding religious and political conflict in India. It revolves around a site in the city of Ayodhya, where both Hindus and Muslims claim to have historical and religious ties. The most significant event in this dispute took place on December 6, 1992, when a group of fervent Ram Bhakts (devotees of Lord Ram) illegally brought down a structure known as the Babri Masjid, which they believed was built on the site where Lord Ram was born. The Babri Masjid was a 16th-century mosque that was built under the rule of Mughal Emperor Babur.
The demolition of the Babri Masjid was a highly controversial and polarizing act that led to widespread riots and communal violence across India. The incident sparked intense emotions and reactions from both Hindu and Muslim communities, with many people feeling deeply hurt and offended. The event also had significant political ramifications, with many political parties and leaders getting involved in the dispute. The aftermath of the demolition has been marked by court cases, inquiries, and ongoing debates about the rightful ownership of the disputed site, which remains a contentious issue in India to this day.
Legal Battles and Supreme Court Verdict
The legal battle over the ownership of the site continued for decades, with multiple lawsuits filed by different religious groups. In 2019, India’s Supreme Court finally delivered its verdict. The court ordered the land to be awarded to a trust for the construction of a Hindu temple at the site. Additionally, the court directed the government to provide an alternative five-acre plot of land to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque.
The Future: Consecration of the Ram Temple
As per the Supreme Court’s verdict, the consecration of the Ram Temple is set to take place in 2024. This event holds great significance for millions of devotees who have waited for justice and resolution for over 550 years.
The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute remains a sensitive issue in India, highlighting the complexities of religious coexistence and the challenges of resolving historical and cultural conflicts. The Supreme Court’s verdict, while providing a legal resolution, is a reminder of the need for dialogue, understanding, and respect between different religious communities.