Flashback 2019-  Supreme Court settles Ayodhya dispute 

Pic courtesy: Hon'ble Supreme Court

At last the Supreme Court settled the Ayodhya land dispute, ruling on November 9,2019  that the Hindus be allowed to construct Ram Temple at the 2.77 acre site which was claimed by Muslims as well. The five-judge Bench , headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi (since retired) gave the judgement after concluding a 40-day continuous hearing by the conflicting parties. 

The Supreme Court set aside the September 30, 2010  judgement of the Allahabad High Court which had ruled in favour of a three-part division of the disputed land .

The court ordered that the Muslims, fighting the case under different organisations be given alternative five acre of land for re-construction of Babri Masjid. 

The apex court mentioned that the  archaeological excavations suggested there was a structure under the Babri Masjid but that was “not of Islamic origin”. It also said that there was no evidence to suggest there was a temple at the site. 

The Ayodhya dispute had become a politically surcharged issue , especially after a 16th century (1528-29)  Babri Masjid , built by general Mir Baqi, was demolished on December 6, 1992 by volunteers belonging to different Hindu sects. 

The issue gathered storm after senior BJP leader Lal Krishan Advani had led a cross-state Rath Yatra, mobilising Hindu support for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya which Hindu believe is the birth place  of Hindu God Lord Rama.  On this  highly emotive issue, Advani had taken out a Rath Yatra in 1990 which began on September 25 ,from Somnath Temple in Gujarat and concluded in Ayodhya in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, on October 30. 

As the Yatra mobilised tens of thousands along the route, Advani was arrested on the way to Ayodhya ,  in Bihar, but thousands of volunteers, known as Kar Sevaks, managed to reach Ayodhya and razed the Masjid on December 6, 1992.  The event was followed by dismissal  of the  Kalyan Singh -led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh by the Centre and country-wide riots. Then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao faced flak for failing to avert the situation.  

A dispute which dragged for over a century  was finally settled  at least by judiciary on November 9, 2019.  

The Muslim Waqf Board, which takes care of Islamic properties , the Hindu Mahasabha and Nirmohi Akhara were the main litigants in the case. Politically, BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and All India Muslim Personal Law Board were spear-heading their movements.    

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