“MANDIR” from “MASJID” or “MASJID” from “MANDIR”. In starting, we should know about some important questions related to this case because after that you should not be in doubt, that’s why this AYODHYA DISPUTE is why so lengthy and complicated. The history of this case is nearly 500 years old which starts from 1528.
By keeping all the emotions and faiths besides, one can assume that the Hon’ble Supreme Court believed one of the aim of its judgement must be to “restore a lasting sense of peace and tranquility”.
When the East India company surveyor Francis Buchanan reported that he found an inscription on the Masjid walls which attested to this fact. He also recorded the local tradition, which believed that emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707) built the Mosque after demolishing a temple dedicated to Ram.
The belief of the local people of that place, was that ‘Masjid’ is built after demolishing Ram Mandir over there and because of this the first Riots happen between HINDU and MUSLIM Between 1853 to 1859.
To stop this Riots, British Government comes around and they say that, we will divide this area into two different parts are as:
- The inside portion of that area will be used by Muslims.
- The outside portion will be used by Hindus.
After stating this they do fencing of that area. In 1885, for the first time this matter goes to court, when Mahant Raghubir Das demands for building the roof on the outer side for worship.
- In 1950 – Mahant Ram Chandra Das filed a case for Right to worship for Hindus.
- In 1959 – Nirmohi Akhara, a hindu religious institution, filled a title suit seeking the direction to hand over and the possession of that area should be handed to them.
- After two years of this, In 1961, Sunni Waqf Board also files a case saying that the ownership of that place ( BABRI MASJID ) should be given to them.
Demolition of the Babri Masjid
In September1990, BJP Leader Minister Lal krishna Advani began a “Rath Yatra” ( pilgrimage procession) from Somnath of Gujrat to Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh in order to generate support for the movement. Advani later stated in his memoirs, “If Muslims are entitled to an Islamic atmosphere in Mecca and If Christians are entitled to a Christian atmosphere in the Vatican, then Why is it wrong for the Hindus to expect a Hindu atmosphere in Ayodhya?” The result of this act was very dramatic, situation got more tensed, Riots begins all over and Mr. Advani got arrested in Bihar.
In spite of this, On 6th of December, 1992 when large number of Kar sevaks or sangh parivar activists reached Ayodhya and tried to attack the mosque.
Lal Krishna Advani was the senior leader of BJP. So, opposing the arrest of Advani, BJP took back their support from the VP Singh government.
On 16th December, 1992 about the matter of demolition of Masjid, who was responsible and to look after the situation Liberhan Committee was appointed. At that time, in Center there was Narsimha Rao’s Congress government. So, the proposal of Congress government was at that disputed land of Ayodhya. A Ram Mandir, A Masjid, library and A Museum and other facilities should be provided. This proposal of Congress was strongly opposed by BJP.
Allahabad High Court
In April 2002, for deciding the ownership and the right of that land, a bench of three judges constituted at Allahabad Court. The three judges were:
- Justice Sudhir Agarwal,
- Justice SU Khan and
- Justice DV Sharma.
For the hearing of case, Allahabad High Court tells Archeological Survey of India to investigate that land and tells to submit a report on that. ASI’s report claims that they found evidence of Mandir under the surface of Masjid and that found temple was of 12th century.
So, according to the report of ASI, a timeline creates that, 12th century at this area only a temple was there, and in 1528, on the same area a Masjid was built, and time period of 300 years between there is no evidence for that but if we connect the dots we will see that, in 12th century there was a temple and On 1528, there was a Mosque and if we listen to the local people, the Masjid was built after demolishing the temple only. So, this was ASI’s report.
After considering all the reports and evidence, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. On 30th September, 2010 delivered a historic judgement. They divided the whole disputed land into 3 parts:-
- The first part of Ram murti was given to Ram Lalla Virajman.
- The second part, Seeta Rasoi, Bhandara and Ram Chabutra was given to Nirmohi Akhara.
- The remaining and the third part was given to Sunni Waqf Board.
All the three parties appealed against the division of the disputed land in the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya
On 9th May 2011, Supreme Court put a stay on the decision of the Allahabad Court. Till December 2017, there were 32 appeals in Supreme Court against the decision of Allahabad Court. Supreme Court said the hearing of this case will start from January 2019. For the hearing of this case, Supreme Court composed a bench in which there were five judges:-
- Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
- Justice Sharad Arvind bobde.
- Justice Ashok Bhushan.
- Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
- Justice Abdul Nazeer.
On 8th March 2019, on this dispute Supreme Court says to settle it by a Mediation Panel regulated by the court. On May 2019, Mediation Panel, submit their final report in the Court. After that in Supreme Court 40 days of hearing goes on from 6th August to 14th October.
After the hearing, Supreme Court reserves its final judgement, but it tells to the parties to submit Moulding of Relief. Moulding of Relief means which ever party has asked for their claims, If in case Supreme Court doesn’t deliver that.
- Nirmohi Akhara represented by Sushil Kumar Jain.
- Sunni Waqf Board represented by Rajiv Dhavan.
- Ram Lalla Virajman represented by C.S. Vaidyanathan.
Main Argument by both the parties. Nirmohi Akhara was saying that possession of Inner Courtyard from 1934 should be given to them, but they didn’t have any documents to prove their demands that from 1934 they only had the possession of that area.
While representing Sunni Waqf Board Rajiv Dhavan said that On 1949, in the middle of the night Ram murti was placed on the Masjid which was an illegal act, no other party should benefited from this.
Sunni Waqf Board said that in Ram Chabutra Hindus can worship and it is the birth place of lord Ram and they don’t have any problem regarding Hindu people worshipping in Ram Chabutra but the inner courtyard belongs to them and should get them only.
C.S. Vaidyanathan said that, there was only Ram Mandir since from the beginning and Babri Masjid was built after demolishing the temple. He stressed on ASI’s report and said that in the slabs and pillars of Babri Masjid, Hindu motives and scruptures were found, which indicates that there was Ram Mandir here before.
Verdict of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
Supreme Court said that the decision of Allahabad Court of dividing that land into three parts was a unsustainable decision and it was a wrong relief. Why? Because this relief was never being asked by any party. So, Supreme Court said that the Judgement of Allahabad Court was wrong.
Supreme Court said that, majority of this case is based on historical facts and figures and by relying on the probabilities, it is clear that from 1857 Hindus were worshipping in the outer place of that area by which their control being establishes. Court also said that, the stay on the Muslims for doing Namaaz over there was from 23rd December 1949, means from that date when the murti was placed in the Masjid, by which in their 400 years old Masjid Muslims right to worship got deprived.
Then Supreme Court using its power of the Constitution. Article 142 which ever mistakes has been made, it corrects that and gives a final decision and said that the land of Babri Masjid means 2.77 acres of land will go to Ram Lalla Virajman and from Central government or State government Sunni Waqf Board will be given an alternate 5 acres of land for the purpose of building a Mosque. Both the parties will get their alloted land on the same day only.
The Supreme Court also said in its verdict that the Nirmohi Akhara is not a shebait or devotee of the deity Ram Lalla and the Akhara’s suit was barred by limitations. The Supreme Court dismissed all 18 petitions seeking reviews of the verdict on 12 December 2019.
Hence, to take a decision that takes its consequences into account which would be the most peaceful decision, and it secures India’s unity and secularism for its future.
Author Details: Anima Yadav (Chandigarh University)
The views of the author are personal only. (if any)