Modi to Construct Mandir on the Place of Babri Masjid

News Desk3 months ago
Modi to Construct Mandir on the Place of Babri Masjid

Ayodhya, widely regarded as the birthplace of Lord Ram, holds profound spiritual, historical, and cultural significance within India’s religious and socio-political milieu. Since the resolution of the centuries-long legal battles by the Supreme Court in 2022, the anticipation surrounding the construction of the Grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya has been among the most eagerly awaited events in the country.

After a prolonged period of anticipation, the consecration, or ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of the Ram Lalla idol at the Shri Ram temple, has finally come to fruition in the state of Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.

However, one may ponder, how did the fervent communal battle over the contested land, entwining Hindus and Muslims since the pre-colonial era, persist through the legal complexities to reach this moment? Here, we present a detailed timeline unfolding the dispute over the centuries and the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 2019 judgment.

Major Events

 

Description Year
Construction of Babri Masjid by Mir Baqi 1528
Commencement of religious conflict in Ayodhya 1855
Filing of initial plea by Mahant Raghubir Das 1885
Communal clashes in Ayodhya 1934
Placing of Ram Lalla idol in 1949 1949
Order for status quo by Allahabad High Court 1989
Demolition of Babri Masjid 1992
Allahabad High Court’s three-way division judgment 2010
Supreme Court’s ruling on the Ayodhya title case 2019
Formation of 15-member Trust for Ram Temple 2020
Acquittal of all 32 accused in the Babri demolition case 2020
Supreme Court’s closure of all cases regarding the Babri demolition 2022
Resolution of legal battles by the Supreme Court 2022
Inauguration of the Ram Mandir Temple Complex 2023
Unveiling of Maharshi Valmiki airport and redevelopment of railway junction 2023
Launch of developmental projects by PM Modi 2023
Consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla idol in Ayodhya 2023

 

Background of Ayodhya dispute

The Ayodhya dispute, commonly referred to as the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, stands as one of the lengthiest political, historical, and socio-religious debates in the realm of Indian politics.

In addressing a 1991 plea by Muhammad Aslam Bhure and a subsequent contempt petition filed in 1992, the Supreme Court, in 2022, concluded and tied up all the loose ends in the centuries-long legal battle concerning the Babri Masjid Demolition in 1992.

In addition to upholding the 2019 verdict, the apex court acknowledged that the contempt plea should have been addressed earlier. It was also noted that both the destruction of the 16th-century Babri Masjid in 1992 and the placement of an idol inside the mosque in 1949 were deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court.

Construction of Babri Masjid in 1528

In the year 1528, Mir Baqi, a commander in the court of Emperor Babur, oversaw the establishment of Babri Masjid. Delving into historical records reveals varying perspectives, with some justifying that Babur constructed the mosque upon the remnants of a temple in Ayodhya, believed to be the capital of Lord Rama’s father Dashrath in the Ramayana.

However, a contingent of historians adheres to the narrative that Babur never visited Ayodhya.

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Tug-of-War between Hindu-Muslim

By 1934, communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims escalated, resulting in damage to the mosque’s dome and exteriors. The situation further deteriorated in 1949 when members of the fringe Hindu group Akhil Hindu Ramayana Mahashabha placed the Ram Lalla idol under the central dome outside the altered mosque.

Filing a petition in 1950 in Faizabad district court sought the right to worship the idol, while another petition was filed the same year to continue the worship and retain the idols. In 1959, the Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit seeking possession of the site, prompting a counter-suit by UP Sunni Central Waqf Board in 1961.

After a hiatus of over two decades, the religious conflict regained momentum in the latter half of the 80s when a local UP court in 1986 ordered the Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi to open the disputed site for Hindu worshippers, fueling religious tensions in UP and other parts of the country.

In August 1989, the Allahabad High Court issued an order for a status quo regarding the disputed structure.

The First Petitions filed

The origin of the land dispute in Ayodhya can be traced back to the 1800s when the site became a focal point for a religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims. The strife commenced in 1855 when Sunni Muslims claimed that the temple in nearby Hanumangarh was erected after the demolition of a mosque, sparking clashes between Muslims and Bairagis.

It is said that Wajid Ali Shah ruled in favor of the Hindus in this dispute.

In 1885, the initial plea in the land dispute case was submitted to the court in Faizabad by Mahant Raghubir Das. However, the court rejected the plea seeking permission to construct a canopy outside the mosque on the contested land.

Demolition of Babri Masjid

On December 6, 1992, ‘kar sevaks’ demolished the Babri Masjid during the culmination of the Rath Yatra led by veteran BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, which started from Gujarat’s Somnath and ended in UP’s Ayodhya. Advani, along with fellow BJP veterans Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, and others, was one of the prime accused in the case related to the mosque’s demolition.

Three-way division: The 2010 judgment

In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled in favor of a three-way division of the disputed area among the Ram Lalla petitioners, the Sunni Waqf Board, and the Nirmohi Akhara.

Decision in Favor of Ram Lalla

In 2019, the apex court constituted a five-judge constitution bench to hear the title case. During the same year, the Centre moved the Supreme Court for permission to return the 67-acre acquired land around the disputed site to its original owners. The Supreme Court ruled that the case should be mediated by a panel headed by former SC judge FMI Kallifulla.

On November 9, the Supreme Court granted the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to the deity Ram Lalla and ruled that the possession of the land would remain with the central government receiver.

However, the apex court also directed the Centre and UP government to allot 5-acre land to the Muslims at a prominent place for building a mosque.

In 2020, a 15-member Trust for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya was announced in Parliament.

All 32 accused in the Babri demolition case were acquitted in September 2020 by a special CBI court, including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, and Kalyan Singh.

In 2022, the Supreme Court closed all cases regarding the Babri demolition.

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Ram Mandir temple complex: The ‘Atmanirbhar’ architecture

The map of the revamped Ram Mandir Temple Complex in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya has been released ahead of its grand opening scheduled today by the Ram Temple Trust, where they have shared a holistic view of the sprawling 70-acre temple premises. According to the temple trust, the planning and architecture of the newly built complex represent the ‘Aatmanribhar’ narrative.

As per the map, devotees are supposed to enter the temple from the east side, while they can exit from the southern side. Precisely, devotees will have to tread 32 steps from the eastern side to reach the main temple. The complex will also have a lift and two ramps at the entrance for the elderly and people with disabilities.

From sewer plants and water treatment plants to a fire brigade post and a dedicated power line, the temple complex encompasses a long list of state-of-the-art facilities.

There will also be a pilgrim facilitation complex with a healthcare center and a toilet block in the temple complex. Moreover, it has been stated that 70 per cent of the 70 acres of the temple complex will be covered by greenery, including centuries-old trees.

Inauguration

Amidst active preparations, the temple trust meticulously planned a seven-day schedule of rituals and events leading up to the consecration ceremony. This comprehensive plan, commencing with Pran Pratishtha on January 17, culminated in the formal consecration ceremony on January 22, marked by the arrival of the idols in a majestic procession named ‘Nishan Yatra.’

Significant rituals during this period included Agni Sthapana, Navagraha Sthapana, and Havan, followed by the sanctum sanctorum’s purification using holy water from the Saryu River in a ritual known as ‘Abhishek.’ Subsequently, the idols of Ram Lalla and Sita Mata underwent a sacred ablution with 125 urns of holy water in a rite called ‘Shayadhivas.’

The seven-day-long journey of religious rituals culminated today with the placement of the idols in the sanctum sanctorum during the auspicious ‘Mrigashira Nakshatra.’

Invitations to Ram Mandir Consecration

On January 22, the Ram Mandir was inaugurated in the esteemed presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Alongside saints, priests, religious leaders, former civil servants, retired Army officers, and lawyers, the temple trust extended invitations to journalists and administrative officers who served in the Ayodhya region around 1992. Approximately 100 representatives from different countries graced the grand ceremony.

With over 7,000 invitees for the idol consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the detailed guest list included spiritual and religious luminaries like Dalai Lama, Mata Amritanandamayi of Kerala, and Baba Ramdev, alongside Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth, Madhuri Dixit, Arun Govil, and film director Madhur Bhandarkar.

Eminent sports personalities, including Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, PT Usha, Mary Kom, Sania Mirza, Kapil Dev, and Sunil Gavaskar, were also present, among several others who received official invitations from the temple trust.

The list further featured prominent industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Ratan Tata, acclaimed painter Vasudev Kamat, and Nilesh Desai, Director of Space Applications Centre (SAC/ISRO), Ahmedabad.

Ayodhya’s Facelift Ahead of Ram Mandir Inauguration

Just before the inauguration ceremony, Ayodhya underwent a substantial transformation with the unveiling of the Maharshi Valmiki airport and the redevelopment of the railway junction by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30, 2023. On the same day, the prime minister inaugurated two Amrit Bharat Express and six Vande Bharat Express trains.

Furthermore, PM Modi launched a series of developmental projects exceeding Rs 11,100 crore to enhance civic amenities and establish world-class infrastructure in Ayodhya. Projects worth over Rs 4,600 crore were also initiated for other parts of Uttar Pradesh.

In an effort to improve accessibility to the upcoming Ram temple, PM Modi inaugurated four newly redeveloped, widened, and beautified roads in Ayodhya – Ram Path, Bhakti Path, Dharm Path, and Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Path.

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