The Ayodhya dispute was the longest-running battle the country ever witnessed which started in the eighteenth century. As per Hindu mythology, Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, hence of a sacred value to the Hindus of India. But the Muslims of India have a different story to tell regarding them worshiping Lord Allah in Ayodhya over the years from generation to generation. The Hindus alleged that the Babri Masjid was built after demolishing the temple of Lord Ram and claimed that the birthplace of Lord Rama belonged to the Hindus. This belief of the Hindus was followed by them installing a Nishan by writing Ram inside this mosque and further performing certain havans and poojas. This led Mohammed Salim to knock on the doors of the court to file the first case in 1858 against a group of Nihang Sikhs. As per Muslims, the Babri Masjid was made in the 13th century by Emperor Babur and there was no existence of a temple of Lord Ram at the site as stated by Hindus. This was followed by a series of judgments to reach today’s state.
North to South, East to West with 29 states India is a diverse country with a humongous variety of religions, ethnicities, languages, cultures, and beliefs. The 4 major religions that took their birth and developed their form in the Indian subcontinent are Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Later, very prominent religions like Christianity and Islamism came in. Religion can be defined as a Social-Cultural system in which there is an organized set of beliefs in a God or a group of gods, ceremonies, rules, and other activities that are used to worship them. Freedom of religion is among the fundamental rights granted by the Indian Constitution and religion is of utmost importance to the Indian civilians. If we look at the older days of our country, we understand the respect given to different religions and how sensitive people were (and still are today) about their beliefs and cultures.
There have been multiple cases regarding the constitutional interpretation of the word “secularism”, which is the right to profess any religion. The Supreme Court explained that secularism is just a safeguard to make sure that no one is discriminated against based on religion and does not necessarily mean anti- God or Pro-God in the case of Ahmedabad St. Xavier’s College v. State of Gujarat. Further, in the case of S.R Bommai v. Union of India, the Supreme Court went ahead and elaborated that secularism talks about a heterogeneous community where the civilians have the equal right to choose any religion and follow it. But the word religion or secularism is interpreted differently in different nations. India necessarily follows the ideology of “Sarva Dharma Samabhava” which means equal respect for all religions. The US has a different perspective and elucidated that there is a fine line between religion and state and state functions independent of the religion. So here, the state cannot take any action as far as religion is concerned. Whereas in India, the state has all the rights to bring over any religious reform, form up policies to protect the religious minority. Similarly, different countries have a different interpretations of the word religion.
INTERPRETATION BY INDIAN JUDICIARY
Article 25 – 28 of part III of the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Article 25 guarantees freedom of conscience and allows citizens to profess, propagate and practice any religion of their choice. Article 26 talks about the freedom to manage and administer religious affairs and to establish and maintain institutions for any religious or any other charitable purpose. Article 27 prohibits the payment of taxes for the promotion or the demotion of any religion and finally, article 28 provides freedom of attendance at religious instruction of worship. The judicial interpretation of article 25 in the case of Gulam Abbas v. State of Uttar Pradesh was that courts are not supposed to interfere with the religious practices of a community unless it is not a part and parcel of the religion. The court went ahead by explaining that for a practice to be a part and parcel of religion, it should be an integral part of the very essential element of that religion. E.g. – the slaughter of cows cannot be regarded as a part and parcel of the religion. In the case of Muhammad Hanif Qureshi v state of Bihar, the court said that the slaughter of cows cannot be considered as an essential part of professing Islamism. There is no need for a man to exhibit his faith in religion by taking away one’s life. The said practice cannot be one against the provisions of article 25, like against public order, morality, etc. The best example of an interpretation of article 26 in the case of Azees Bhasha v. Union of India  also knows as the Aligarh Muslim community case. In this case, the Muslims claimed that they have the right to administer the Aligarh Muslim University. But the conundrum was that the university was not established by the Muslims. To this, the court said that under article 26, the words establish and administer are used conjunctively and go hand in hand. So, as the Aligarh Muslim University was not established by the Muslims, they do not have the right to administer the same.
RELIGIOUS DISPUTES IN INDIA
Multiple religious disputes in India created history. Citizens hold a variety of customs, traditions, and other practices about their religion very close to their hearts and were always tenacious to protect their religion and cherish every aspect attached to it. Cases were fought on multiple issues and one of the most prominent issues among them was permitted to a woman visiting the Sabarimala temple and offer their worship to Lord Ayappa.
In the Indian Young Lawyer association vs. the State of Kerala, the apex court’s ruling on this issue was more focused on right to equality and gender discrimination thus permitting women to enter the sanctum sanctorum to offer prayers. The Supreme Court opined that everyone is equal in the eyes of law, ending this conservative notion that women shouldn’t be permitted in the Sabarimala temple.
THE AYODHYA DISPUTE
The Ayodhya dispute is one of the most controversial legal battles cum civil disputes in the history of India. This 1500 square yard plot is situated in Ayodhya in the district of Faizabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh. There have been never-ending disputes for claiming the rightful owner of the land fought by many religious groups, lawyers, and even the gods. This was a religious dispute like none before, which went on for centuries.
THE HINDU MYTHOLOGY AND RAMAYANA
To understand the whole dynamic, looking into the Hindu mythology, mainly the Ramayana and the Muslim mythology, mainly the period of the Mughals is imperative. The Ramayana is one of the oldest Puranas of ancient times widely accepted even in modern times. Rama, one of the most worshiped deities of the Hindus is believed to be the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Valmiki Ramayana demonstrates that Lord Rama was no ordinary man and was invested with seraphic symptoms. It is very well explained in Valmiki Ramayana that the very own son of Rani Kausalya will be born to rule the whole world and was indeed a blessing to Ayodhya. All together Ayodhya is of great significance with its sacred values to the Indian Hindus.
EMPEROR BABUR AND MUGHAL DYNASTY
Similarly, the Mughals also have a history of their own in India. The Mughals ruled most parts of the north of ancient India and had even conquered some parts of the south. This dynasty ruled India for more than 2 centuries from the 16th century and had governed the country for 7 generations. Ibrahim Lodi’s victory helped him annex Oudh in the Delhi Sultanate. Later, Babur conquered the Delhi sultanates to get control of Awadh. It all started with Babur moving from Kabul to Awadh. Dressed up as Qalandar, the main motive of Babur’s visit was to establish the Mughals territory in Hindustan and to put together Muslims and Hindus into a unified Indian state. Babur, first secured control over the Punjab region and later by 1526 defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the Delhi Sultan in the first battle of Panipat to include Delhi in his kingdom. It is said that Babur ordered to construct a Mosque at Ayodhya, and his commander Mir Baqi completed the construction in 1528. Unfortunately, he died in the year 1530 but by then he controlled the whole of north India from the Indus River to Bengal and from the Himalayas till Gwalior in the south.
The main issue of the Ayodhya dispute is about the building of the Babri Masjid in the supposed birthplace of Lord Rama. The other issue which was discussed in detail was that if a Hindu temple was modified/demolished to build the Babri Masjid. The inscriptions on the walls of the Babri Masjid suggest that it was constructed in the year 1528. Facts hints that it was constructed by Mir Baqi, one of the Mughal generals on the orders of the first Mughal emperor Babur. Further, there are records of William Finch which say that in 1611 pilgrims visited Lord Rama’s Castle and Houses. There are no texts available about the presence of the Babri Masjid on that site until 1717. In the year 1717, a Rajput, Jai Singh 2, bought the land where the mosque stood along with its surrounding. His documents suggest that there was a three-dome structure baring semblance to a mosque-like structure at the supposed birthplace of Lord Ram. Moreover, there is a courtyard with a platform popularly acknowledged as a Chabuthra, where the Hindus were worshiping their Lord Rama. Joseph Tieffenthaler, a priest alleged that the reason why alongside the mosque we can spot such structures where Hindus could worship is that, maybe years before there was a house where Lord Rama incarnated. He suggested a possibility of both Muslims and Hindus worshiping there. Further, in the 18th-century book Sahifa- I -Chihil Nasaih Bahadur Shahi, written by emperor Bahadur Shah’s daughter, it is mentioned that mosques were constructed after demolishing Hindu temples at Banaras, Mathura, Awadh, etc. Moreover, there were no records to prove the existence of a mosque in the 15th century. Tulsidas, who wrote the Ramcharit Manas on Lord Rama’s birthday in 1574, mentioned this birthday festival in Ayodhya but there was no mention of any Mosque.
THE CLASHES AND RIOTS
The year 1850 is marked as the beginning of religious disputes regarding Ayodhya which widened the differences between the Hindus and Muslims. The religious violence increased ferociously when the Hindus attacked the Babri Masjid. Since then, certain Hindu groups have made demands regarding the possession of the site. They wanted to construct a Hindu temple in the birthplace of Lord Rama. But all their demands were denied by the colonial government. Mohammad Salim, a local Allah devotee filed an FIR on the 30th of November 1858 against a group of Sikh Nihangs marking the beginning of the dispute. He argued that the Sikh Nihangs installed their Nishan by writing Ram inside the mosque and performed all their rituals. This was the first record of this religious dispute which proved that the Hindus were present in the outer courtyard as well as in the inner courtyard where the mosque stood. The then Thanedar of Oudh Sri Sheetal Dubey, made a report to the higher authority and stated that Mr. Nihang Singh conducted Pooja and a symbol of Sri Bhagwan was also erected inside the mosque. Another submission was made by Syed Mohammed Khateeb (caretaker of Masjid) based on the report of Thanedar of Oudh. It stated that Mr. Nihang Singh constructed a platform and made lighting arrangements inside the mosque. It requested Murtaza Khan Kotwal City to visit the site and order to demolish the construction and oust the Hindus from the mosque. It further demanded that the idol and the symbol should be removed and write-ups on the walls may be scratched out. Mr. Nihang Singh was summoned by the Thanedar on 01 December 1858. As the situation became worse Mr. Nihang Singh was evicted by the then colonial government and a record to this effect was created. The riots continued in 1856 and 1857.
Due to these never-ending disputes the colonial British administration took a step to prevent it by putting up a brick wall with grill gates in front of the mosque, to separate the area of worship into the outer courtyard and inner courtyard for Hindus and Muslims respectively. In the year 1877, the deputy commissioner of Oudh was allowed to make another door to the Outer Courtyard. The complaint by the opposite party against this additional door was dismissed by the deputy commissioner and a statement to that effect was recorded. He reported to the British government that no European officer need to visit the site to check the new door as the commissioner himself marked the spot for opening the new door. The reason stated by him was that there was only one opening which creates dangerous situations during fair days.
BEGINNING OF LEGAL BATTLE
Later in 1883, Mahant Raghubar Das began to build a temple on the Chabuthra. But because of the Muslim’s objection on this matter, the District Magistrate ordered him to stop the construction. Right after this, in 1885, he filed the first civil case at Faizabad civil court against the secretary of state of India. Das, in the said suit, claimed that he was a Mahant, the owner of the Chabuthra at the outer Courtyard, and through his petition, he wanted to seek authorization to construct a Hindu shrine on the Chabuthra. But the civil judge of the Faizabad court objected to it and did not grant permission to build a temple and the case was dismissed in 1886. The reason given by the Judge for this was that in case a temple is constructed on the Chabuthra there will be the sound of bells from the temple and shank (conch shells). This might disturb the Muslims and that will result in riots and bloodshed. An appeal was filed against this judgment which was also subsequently dismissed by the court. Against this, a second civil appeal was filed and this was also dismissed by the Judicial Commission.
That was not the end of the season of demand. In 1946, Akhil Bhartiya Ramayana Mahasabha (ABRM) a Hindu Mahasabha society started demanding the possession of the land. Moreover, Sant Digvijay Nath of Gorakhnath Math joined the ABRM in their struggle in 1949. As a part of their struggle, a 9-day continuous recitation of the Ramcharit Manas was organized. After this 9-days worshiping of Lord Rama, on 22 December 1949 Hindu activists rushed into the Masjid and ended up placing the idols of Lord Rama and Devi Sita inside. This incident is one of the major turning points in the history of the Ayodhya dispute. The then Prime minister Sri. Jawaharlal Nehru was keen that the idols should be removed, but Mr. K. K. Nair, the Faizabad deputy magistrate suggested that taking away the idols will only further ignite the fury and agony of Hindus and may lead to major riots. All this finally led to the police blocking the entrance and locked the gates thus baring Hindus and Muslims entering.
On 29 December 1949, a new order was passed by the city magistrate. The entire property of 2.77 acres was attached to a receiver, Priya Dutt ram the Nagar Mahapalika president, under section 145 of the CrPC. Later, Gopal Singh Visharad, a Hindu Mahasabha representative filed a suit (Suit No. 1) on 16 January 1950 against the state government and five Muslims before the Civil Judge at Faizabad, demanding the right to conduct regular prayers in the inner courtyard. As a result of his plea, the civil judge passed an order of injunction allowing him to conduct regular poojas.
The second suit (Suit No. 2) was filed on 05 December 1950 by Sri. Pramahans Ramchandra before the Civil Judge of Faizabad against Zahoor Ahmed and others but was later on withdrawn on 18 Sep 1990 and hence the same is not of much importance in the Ayodhya dispute suits. A court commission was appointed on 01 April 1950 to prepare a sketch of the disputed property in Suit No. 1. The commission headed by Mr. Siva Sankar Lal submitted its report on 25 Jun 1950.
Another suit (Suit No. 3) was filed on 17 December 1959 by the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious denomination of Sadhus demanding the absolute right of the disputed property and its management from the receiver. The Sunni Waqf Board filed another suit (Suit No.4) on 18 December 1961 before the civil judge at Faizabad, along with all the defendants of suits 1 and 3. The main plea in this suit was to remove the idol of Lord Rama with Sita placed inside the central dome and then give the possession of the total disputed land to them. After 2 years, in 1963, the Faizabad Court pointed out that the whole of the Hindu community cannot be represented by just a few persons. A public notice was issued to Hindu Mahasabha, Aryasamaj, and Sanatan Dharma to give a better representation to the Hindus. The trial of suites 1, 3, and 4 were combined and a suit was made as to the leading case on 06 Jan 1964.
An advocate Umesh Chandra Pandey, along with the Munsiff magistrate applied on 25th January 1986, requesting that locks put before should be opened to allow people to have Darshan of the deity inside the mosque. But this suit was not appreciated in court. After 6 days on 31st January 1986, he filed an appeal in the Faizabad district court. After these repeated suites, the court ordered the opening of locks on 01 Feb 1986. Then a Babri Masjid Action Committee was formulated and Zafaryab Jilani became the convener of the same. A writ petition was filed in the High Court challenging this order and an interim order was passed on 03 Feb 1986 directing until further order, the nature of the property shall not be changed from as existed.
The fifth suit (Suit No. 5) is a very interesting one filed on 01 July 1989 before the civil judge of Faizabad. The plaintiffs of this suit were the deity himself “Bhagwan Shri Ram Lalla Virajman” and “Asthan Sri Ram Janmabhumi” the birthplace. Legally, Former Judge Deoki Nandan Agarwal was appointed as “next friend” to represent the child deity and birthplace. After he died in 2002, Trilok Nath Pandey, a member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) became the next friend. The main plea in this suit was to give the whole site to Ram Lalla and to permit to build of a temple in the Ram Janmabhumi. But the court ruled that the deity Ram Lalla is a juristic person, but Ram Janmabhumi cannot be recognized so as it is an immovable property and the suit by Ram Lalla was decreed.
Further, the Shia Waqf Board also filed a suit to become an independent defendant in the case. With all these issues overlapping over the previous ones, on 10 July 1989 all the suits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court. The court went ahead by combining all these suits and transferring them to a three-judge bench of the high court on 12 July 1989. On 14 Aug 1989, the court passed an interim order directing all the parties to maintain the status quo concerning the disputed site. The UP-state government by promulgating a land acquisition act acquired 2.77 acres of the disputed land to serve the purpose of tourism. The Muslims challenged this through 6 writ petitions and on 11 December 1991 the high court quashed the acquisition.
Meanwhile, a new movement was launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to get back this land and to erect a temple for the respect they have for the young Lord Rama. The order of opening the gates to allow worship was a major plus point to the movement. In 1990, L.K. Advani, a BJP leader conducted a “Rathyathra” to generate strength and support for the movement. But the movement turned all violent evoking communal riots in many places and Advani was arrested by the Bihar Government. Then the Kar Sevak activists bombarded Ayodhya and tried attacking the Masjid but were blocked by the UP police and paramilitary forces which resulted in disastrous battles and many Kar Sevaks were killed. It also necessitated BJP withdrawing the support and fresh elections were called for. The BJP won majority seats in the UP assembly and increased their share in Lok Sabha.
DEMOLITION OF BABRI MOSQUE
By 06 December 1992, thousands of Kar Sevaks and other Hindu supporters gathered at Ayodhya near the mosque. On 6th December 1992, a rally was organized by the VHP along with the BJP. This was a huge ceremony with all leaders which included even Advani giving speeches. The large mob gathered at the place, grew restless during these speeches, and shortly after noon stormed into the mosque. The police protection force placed to safeguard the mosque was outnumbered by the large Kar Sevaks and Hindu supporters. The police stood helpless while the Kar Sevaks brought down the mosque to the ground using different hand tools.
Following the destruction, several riots took place in many parts of Indian mainly Delhi, Bhopal, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, and more than 2000 people were killed. The government of India constituted Liberhan Commission to probe into the circumstances which led to the demolition of the mosque. On January 1st, 1993, the Allahabad High Court held that Hindus have the right to worship in the birthplace of Lord Rama. The central government sensing serious troubles on account of the demotion of the mosque promulgated an order ‘Acquisition of central are at Ayodhya’ and acquired 67 acres of land along with the disputed site.
Mr. Mohammed Ismile Farooqi by a writ petition challenged the acquisition. A 5-judge bench was constituted by the Supreme Court and on 24th October 1994, the court held the acquisition valid. The High Court of Allahabad took up the case in March 2002 and began hearing the suit of Ayodhya dispute. India witnessed many riots and attacks during the anniversary period of the demolition across many places for many years. Many lost their lives and properties. One of the main attacks was at Godhra, Gujarat on a train that was carrying Sadhus from Ayodhya. By court order in July 2003, Allahabad High Court ordered the excavation of the site by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The ASI submitted the report on 22nd august 2003 and it stated that there is a gigantic structure underneath the disputed site resembling artifacts of Hindu pilgrimage. The court further ordered that no religious activities will be allowed at the disputed site. It also ordered seven Hindu leaders including some prominent BJP leaders to stand on trial in connection with the demolition of the Babri mosque.
The Allahabad High Court in 2010 tried to resolve the issues through bilateral dialogues but the concerned parties were not interested. The 3-judge bench, Justice Dharamveer Sharma, Justice Sudhir Agarwal, and Justice S.U Khan of Allahabad High Court pronounced the historic judgment on the Ayodhya dispute on the 30th September 2010. The order states: –
- Divide the disputed land into 3 equal parts, the first part going to Ram Lalla, the second part to Sunni Waqf Board, and the third to the Nirmohi Akhara, making all of them joined title holders.
- The court asserted that as per the faith and beliefs of the Hindus, the portion under the central dome of the mosque where the idol of Ram Lalla was placed is the birthplace of Lord Rama, and the same be given to Bhagwan Ram Lalla.
By Dec 2010 all of them filed an appeal in the apex court challenging the high court order and claiming full control of the disputed land.
AT THE APEX COURT
On 09 May 2011, a bench consisting of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M Lodha admitted many appeals from the entire three plaintiffs and other Hindu and Muslim organizations. The bench stayed the 2010 judgment of the High court and affirmed that the status quo would remain. In 2015, the VHP initiated a process to construct the temple. But Akhilesh Yadav, the 2015 Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh denied permitting the same stating that this would further ignite the fury to cause communal tensions among Hindus and Muslims. It became the need of the hour to solve this communal temple-mosque dispute and the Supreme Court in 2017 appealed to all stakeholders to come up with a solution that could please both the Hindus and the Muslims. A three-judge bench was constituted to listen to all pleas that rose after the 2010 verdict. The bench was constituted of then Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice Ashok Bhushan, and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer. Two additional district judges were appointed by the Allahabad High Court as observers. Even this could not find a suitable solution to long pending issues. Finally, in Feb 2019 Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi constituted a five-judge bench under him, along with Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Nazeer, Justice Bobde, and Justice Chandrachud.
The Apex court made several attempts including setting up a panel on 08 March 2019 with former SC Judge Justice FM Kalifulla, Sri. Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravisankar to mediate between both parties, unfortunately, this all went to vain even after seven rounds of discussion as the parties were not ready for any negotiation or settlement. Later Justice Bobde went on medical leave and Justices Ashok Bushan and S. Abdul Nazeer were replaced with Justice N.V. Ramana and U.U. Lalit. Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi led the constitutional bench to hear all appeals from 06 Aug 2019 regularly. It began by listening to the 2010 judgment and the marathon hearing completed on 16 Oct 2019. An interesting fact to be noted is that senior advocate, Rajeev Dhavan, a Hindu himself was appearing for the Muslim party. On 16 August 2019, the court stuck to the excavation reports from the ASI and said that there was solid proof that the Babri Masjid was built over a temple.
On August 28th, the court came up with a new assumption that Babur may not be the one who built the Masjid. A strong point was put forth by the Hindu Mahasabha on the 30th of October that Babur was an invader who wanted to invade the country. Law should not be applied to “institutionalize” the rights of an invader. Advocate Rajiv Dhavan who appeared for the Muslims argued that the act of installing the idols of Lord Rama and Sita which happened on the 22nd of December 1949 was a “surreptitious attack”. He also pointed out that both the Hindus and the Muslims alike worshiped the mosque – temple. On September 14th, the Supreme Court said that one cannot question the faith of a devotee.
Finally, on the 23rd of September 2019, the Court said that Hindus had a constant faith in the Ram Janmabhumi, and it would not be lawful to rebut their beliefs. Court further questioned Rajiv Dhavan that whether the exact form and divinity of an idol of a deity were obligatory to hold that they had a “juristic personality”. After a series of arguments, the Muslims said that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Rama and the Chabuthra is the exact birth sport. Further, on 25th September, the Muslims argued that the ASI reports which dated back to 2003, were filled with inbuilt and conspicuous inconsistencies. The Bench responded to this statement saying that reports cannot be contested now and posted a reasonable question to the deity’s lawyer that why did Hindus claim that the disputed land was divine and why the land should be recognized as a separate juristic person and, a sign of divinity.
The five-member constitutional bench of the Apex court headed by the Chief Justice of India pronounced the landmark judgment on Ram Janmabhumi– Babri Masjid dispute on 09 November 2019.
The court ordered
- Within a period of three months, the Central Government shall prepare a scheme by the powers vested in it under Sections 6 and 7 of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act 1993. This includes setting up a trust with a Board of Trustees or any other appropriate body for the construction of the temple in the disputed site. All the provisions regarding the functioning of this body including on matters relating to the management of the trust will be decided by the Central government.
- Possession of the inner and outer courtyards shall be handed over to the Board of Trustees of the Trust or the body so constituted. Suitable provisions may be formulated by the state regarding the rest of the acquired land. It may hand over the land to the trust for the development and manage the same as directed above.
- The disputed property will continue to be in the possession of the statutory receiver of the state until in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 6 of the Ayodhya Act of 1993, vesting the property in the trust or another body was affirmed by a notification.
- Together with that, the handing over of the disputed property to the Trust or body, a suitable plot of land admeasuring 5 acres shall be handed over to the plaintiff in the suit, the Sunni Central Waqf Board.
Many appeals were filed in the Supreme Court against the order. The Supreme Court dismissed all the 18 petitions seeking review of the verdict, on 12 December 2019. This became the final closure of the longest civil dispute in Indian history. Finally on August 5, 2020, the honorable prime minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi conducted Bhumi Pujan in Ayodhya which marked the beginning of building a temple in the sacred site after the dispute which created history.
The religious dispute and clashes which persisted for over 3 centuries finally came to a settlement by the apex court order referred above. Analyzing this judgment in the wake of religious rights, secularism, and fundamental constitutional rights in India the conclusion may be summarized as follows: –
- The apex court and the government formulated many processes for amicably settling the dispute. Their main aim was to bring peace and avoid bloodshed among the religions. Ensuring communal harmony among the religious group is the prime responsibility of the government and the apex court had to come up with an order that could ensure peace and harmony within the country.
- Even though concrete and authentic shreds of evidence were not produced which could prove that the mosque was built on a platform where a Ram temple had existed as argued by the Hindus, the Court pronounced a judgment favoring the construction of a temple to end the centuries-old religious dispute. In a larger context, it appears that this judgment was not exactly in line with the “secularism” as mentioned in the preamble of the constitution. The statement in the Preamble reads secularism as equal respect for all religions and we can observe that somewhere the judgment is a bit tilted to favor one religion over the other. But still, the court directed the government to provide suitable land to Sunni Waqf Board to construct a mosque within the same locality, which may give some relief to the Muslim community.
- On the other hand, the Muslims could not put forward historical documents which would substantiate that the Babri Masjid was built by Emperor Babur in the 15th century. The apex court also concluded that the spiritual attachment to the disputed site for Hindus is much more than the Muslims as it was the Janmabhumi of Lord Ram. Further, the judges also agreed to the argument of the Hindus that Babur was an invader and the rights of an invaded cannot be institutionalized.
- The court also observed that the Hindus had a better case and provided historical and scientific pieces of evidence and documents to prove that they have been worshiping at the disputed site for many years. Whereas the Muslims could not prove that they were worshiping inside the mosque continuously from the 15th century till 1949 when the state barred entry into the disputed site.
- A very different perspective that can be inferred from this judgment as well as from many other famous judgments is that somewhere still the majority is favored at the time of a crisis. Taking the majority into consideration, most of the policies are made to please them. Hindus, without a doubt, are the majority as far as India is concerned. Moreover, most of the judgments are also influenced by the legislature.