Ayodhya: The Foundation of a Hindu nation
The lengthiest battle of property in the legal history of India
Ayodhya, also known as Ramjanmabhoomi has gone through decades of controversies and legal parley. The Ayodhya case is considered as one of the lengthiest battles fought in the legal history of the most populous democracy in the world, India.
The Initial Stage
In 1528, Babar's commander Mir Baqi built the Babri-mosque, also known as the Babri-masjid at Ayodhya. This led to the Hindus protest, claiming the location to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. This dispute brought in the major political, historical, and socio-religious debate in India which initiated in Faizabad's civil court.
On November 30, an FIR was lodged by Mohd Salim against Nihang Sikhs as they went inside the mosque, performed certain rituals, placed their Nishan & wrote "Ram".
According to the official reports, a "chabbutara" was also constructed by the Sikhs inside the mosque (this acts as the first evidence that proves the presence of Hindus inside the courtyard).
Later, a seven-foot-high wall was built by the Britishers in order to separate the places of worship for Hindus and Muslims.
The first religious violence over the site took place in 1885. Mahanth Raghubar Das filed a suit in the Faizabad civil court and mentioned about his presence at the chabutra in the outer courtyard. He insisted the court permit the construction of a temple there. The suit was clearly dismissed.
In 1886, another civil petition was filed, District Judge of Faizabad, FER Chamier visited the spot before passing the order. Later, He dismissed the appeal.
A riot took place in 1934, after an incident of cow slaughter reported in the town led to the Hindus inflicting damage on the Babri Masjid. The then British government had imposed a large fine of Rs 84,000 on the Hindus of the area and had rebuilt the same.
THE TEMPLE GATE INCIDENT
On 23rd December, a group of Hindu entered the mosque and placed the idol of Lord Ram. Another FIR was filed and the gates of the holy place were locked on the same day.
On 25 January 1986, A lawyer appealed to the court and insisted on the removal of restrictions on Hindu worship in the Babri Masjid premises. Soon, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi ordered the locks on the Babri Masjid gates to be removed. After the ruling, all Hindus were given access to the site, and the mosque gained some function as a Hindu temple.
THE RATH YATRA
In 1990, the then BJP president LK Advani took out a rath yatra in support of a Ram temple at the site. By that time, VHP volunteers had already damaged the Babri mosque.
The demolition of the Babri Masjid took place in December 1992 by a large mob of activists of the VHA and others. This turned into mass agitation and the crowd overwhelmed security forces and tore down the mosque. An inquiry into the incident found 68 people responsible and immediately 49 FIRs were registered against several people including several leaders of the BJP and the VHP. This led to years of fights between both the religious communities- Hindus and Muslims.
HIGH COURT VERDICT
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ordered the division of the site of Babri mosque in three parts, each going to Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla, and the Sunni Central Waqf Board of UP.
SUPREME COURT VERDICT
Both the groups couldn't resist and moved to the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court verdict. After mediation proceedings, the apex court's appointed three-members failed to find any conclusion.
So, ultimately a five-judge constitution bench began day-to-day hearings on August 6, and it went on till October 16. The former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi led the bench of five judges for the hearing. After years of back to back petitions, the verdict was finally declared on November 19, 2019.
The Supreme Court ordered the land to be handed over to a trust to build the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. It further ordered the government to give 5 acres of land to the Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque in the city of Ayodhya.
THE HISTORICAL DAY
The 5 decades of animosity between Hindus and Muslims finally came to rest. Ayodhya has benchmarked 5th August 2020 in the historical calendar of India as the world's largest secular democracy's leader, PM Narendra Modi is at a site to establish the Hindu temple at a location that used to be a mosque till 1992. In the wake of these issues with decades of controversies, 5th August will be celebrated as a historical day and generations will remember the day with great pride.