Babri Masjid Issue

By Team Legal Helpline India, December 25, 2014

Historical perspective of the Babri Masjid Issue:


Babri Masjid issue in India is a very old politico-religious dispute between Hindus and Muslims which has led to several bitter confrontations on religious lines between the two communities. Babri Masjid issue post 90 era has again gained a disputed importance when it was made a political issue and tampers of both the communities ran very high. It has now assumed a very complex issue which involves law, politics, religion and has become a point of rally for both the communities in India. Ayodhya is the birth place of lord Ram which fact is not disputed.The place where the Babri Masjid was located was called Ramkot which signifies the fort of Ram.Till 1950 the Masjid was also called as “Masjid-a-Janamsthan.”

In 1527 when Babur intruded the central Indian parts he deputed one Mir Babri as his viceroy in the region. It is historically admitted that several Hindu temples were destroyed in the era including the one located at Ramkot at Ayodhya. Since the temple at Ramkot was constructed to commemorate the birthplace of Lord Ram, the Muslim invaders demolished it at named it after his emperor Babur. The worship of the idol of Lord Ram inside the temple continued even after the construction of the Babri Masjid.After the decline of the Muslim rule in India, the demands and attempts to restore Babri Masjid into a temple continued.Hindus have been protesting against the conversion of Ramkot into a mosque and as early as 1853 there were disputes between the Hindus and Muslims during the rising of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh on the issue. In 1855 during the great mutiny, the Hindus were not allowed to enter the structure hence there were again violence on the issue. In 1933 Hindus again attempted to construct a Chabutra which was restrained by the then Deputy /commissioner. One Pandit Harikishan filed suit for permission to construct chabutra for worship which suit was dismissed , appeals filed against the orders were also dismissed. The court had however given a categorical finding on the Babri Masjid issue as under:
“It found that Masjit built by Emperor Babur stands on the border of the town of Ayodhya. It is most unfortunate that Masjid should have been built on land specially held sacred by the Hindus, but as that event occurred 358 years ago it is too late now to remedy the grievance. All that can be done is to maintain the parties in status quo. In such a case as the present one any innovation would cause more harm and derangement of order than benefits.”

The Babri Masjid issue remained alive and always with communal tensions, it erupted time and again. During the communal riots of 1934, one portion of the wall of the mosque was damaged by Hindus which was subsequently reconstructed by the British Government. On 22/12/49 during midnight Hindus erected some part of the temple and started worshipping the statutes of Ram inside the structure, Indian Government ordered for the removal of the statutes but the then District Magistrate Mr KK Nair expressed his inability in carrying out the orders. Babri Masjid issue became a political issue since then and continued after independence of the country. A civil suit was filed in the court of Faziabads district civil court on 16/1/50 by Sh Gopal Singh Visharad which was decided by allowing joint possession of both the parties.


Paleographic evidence of Hindu Temple on the site are found on the inscription on a thick stone slab containing 20 lines, 30 Shlokas composed in Sanskrit and inscribed in Nagri script recovered from the debris of the demolished structure in 1992 besides that more than 250 artifacts showing the existence of Hindu temple were also recovered which are very important evidence of existence of a Hindu Temple at site which was later converted into a Mosque. The Babri Masjid issue could not be solved by such evidence as both the parties declined to admit the said findings.The Archeology Society of India has also conducted excavation and study of various structures and the rubble of the demolished Mosque and came to the conclusion of temple under the mosque , the distinctive features of the temples of north India were found present in the rubble. The Babri Masjid issue even could not come to an end despite such findings.

In 1984 VHP launched a massive movement for removal of the locks at the gate of the temple which was allowed by the local administration of Faizabad. The massive movement finally resulted into the demolition of the Babri Mosque on 6/12/92 by Kar Sevaks. The government of India appointed Justice Liberhan commission to inquire into the demolition , which submitted its report on 30/6/09 after 16 years of the incident. This report tried to blame some prominent members of BJP & VHP against which hot debates are going on in political circles and the Indian Parliament. There was a leak in the said report in November 2009 which led to uproar in the Parliament which is still continuing. We can conclude by saying that the Babri Masjid issue which was initially a religious issue has now taken form of a strong political issue and various political parties are taking up this issue time and again during their election manifesto.Any discussion about the Babri Masjid issue will remain inconclusive as the matter is now seized with the Supreme Court of India after the decision of the civil court in Faizabad. Babri Masjid issue will remain as a strong political as well as historical dispute between the two communities in India. It is only with time that the matter can come to an end either by amicable settlement or by a judicial verdict but the uncertainty still continues and political parties remain fanning the communal flares time and again.

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