Sociology Project ON

‘RamJanbhoomi : A social Movement’

SUBMITTED TO : Mr. Ayan Hazra

MADE BY: Suyash Pande

Batch XII Roll No. 161


At the outset, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude and thank my teacher, Mr. Ayan Hazra for putting his trust in me and giving me a project topic such as this and for having the faith in me to deliver. Sir, thank you for an opportunity to help me grow. My gratitude also goes out to the staff and administration of HNLU for the infrastructure in the form of our library and IT Lab that was a source of great help for the completion of this project.



“Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.1”

  

To understand the impact of social movements. To analyze ramjanbhoomi issue from the very begining. To relate the Politicization of social issues with Ramjanbhoomi Movement.



Social Movements
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues. In other words, they carry out, resist or undo a social change. India in her history has seen number of social movements. One of those is the Ram janmbhoomi movement. This is one of the most long lasting movements in the world which is still prevailing from the past 500 years or more. The project is made to understand that how a social movement can effect the political as well as social structure of a democracy. Shri Ram According to the Hindu tradition, Shri Ram is the seventh avtaar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. He was born to King Dashratha of Ayodhya to deal with the setting of adharma (unrighteousness) in the trethta Yug, the second of the four Yugas. Hence he is not a mythical figure. In every nook and corner of India there is a unique citation of Shri Ram having visited their place. The belief in Shri Ram as a person has an antiquity of more than 3000 years, and this tradition is a continuous one. Shri Ram is accepted as a maryada purushottam all over the country, and also wherever Hindu civilisation had spread, as in Indonesia. Many of the incidents that have been mentioned in the Ramayana are being established on the basis of archaeology, attesting to the historicity of the various events that live today in the traditions relating to Shri Rama. As a person, Shri Ram personifies the characteristics of an ideal person who is to be emulated. He had within him all the desirable virtues that any individual would seek to aspire. For example, he gave up his rightful claim to the throne, and agreed to go into exile (vanvas) for fourteen years, to fulfil the vow that his father had given to Kaikeyi, one of King Dashratha‟s wives. This is in spite of the fact that Kaikeyi‟s son, Bharat, begged him to return back to Ayodhya and said that he did not want to rule in place of Shri Rama. But Shri Ram considered his dharma as a son above that of his own birthright and his life‟s ambition. For such supreme sacrifices, and many other qualities, Shri Ram is considered a maryada purushottam.

History of Ayodhya Ayodhya , also known as Saket is an ancient city of India, birthplace of the Lord

Vishnu Hindu avatar Rama, and setting of the epic Ramayana. It is situated adjacent to Faizabad city at south end in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya used to be the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom. Ayodhya - literally means „Unconquerable‟. The mention of Ayodhya as the capital of the emperors of the Soorya Dynasty (Soorya Vansh) is found in ancient Sanskrit scriptures including the Ramayan. Ayodhya is known to have been founded by Manu, and the dynasty of Raghu, raja, Dashrath ruled here. Ram, the iconic hero of Ramayan was born at this place, as per scriptures. The description of Ayodhya in Ramayan is beautifully tendered into verse by Mr. Griffiths, who was the Principal of the Banaras College in the late 19th century. He writes, “Her ample streets were nobly planned and streams of water flowed to keep the fragrant blossoms fresh, that strewed her royal road. There many a princely palace stood in line on level ground. Her temple and triumphal arc and rampart banner crowned. There golden turrets rose on high above the waving green of mango groves and blooming trees and flowery knots between. On battlement and gilded spire, the pennon streamed in state, and warders with the ready bow kept watch at every gate.” The kingdom of Kosal was ruled by King Dashrath who is believed to be 56th descendents from Manu. His 3 wives Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi lived intheir respective palaces. Shri Ram was born at the Kaushalya‟s temple, which is now termed as the Ram -janmbhoomi.



In the Brahmaand Puraan, Ayodhya is described as holiest of the 6 holy cities. Maharshi Vyaas refers to the story of Ram in the Vanopakhyaan of Mahabharat. Thus the city of Ayodhya and Shri Ram have been held in veneration by the residents of this land for centuries

History of Ramjanbhoomi temple at Ayodhya 1. Almost 200 years after Alexandar, during Mauryan rule, when Buddhism was flourishing, came the Greek King Minander. He embraced Buddhism and pretended to be a monk. He invaded Ayodhya and destroyed the temple on the Janmsthaan site. Soon he was defeated and killed in the battle by Raja Dhyumatsen of the Shrung Vansh, and Ayodhya was liberated. The janmsthaan temple was reconstructed by King Vikramaditya.

2. In 12th century, at least 5 temples existed in Ayodhya. They were, Guptahari at Gopratarghaat, Chadrahari at Swarga dwaar Ghaat, Vishnu hari at Chkrateerth Ghaat, Dharmahari at Swarga-dwaar Ghaat, and Vishnu temple, on what is known as the Janmbhoomi site.

Mehmood Gaznabi looted and destroyed the temple of Somnath and went back. His nephew Salar Masood advanced in the direction of Ayodhya. On 14th June 1033, Masood reached Behraich, 40 km from Ayodhya. The people united under the leadership of Raja Sohail Dev. Sohail Dev‟s army attacked Masood, defeated his army and killed Masoon himself. Abdul Rahman Chishti writes in the biography of Masood, titled, “Meerat-e-Masoodi”. “.. maut ka saamana hai, firaaq soori nazdeek hai, hinduon ne jamaav kiya hai, inka lashkar beintahaa hai, sudoor nepal se pahaadon ke neeche ghaghara tak fauz mukhalik ka padaav hai. Masood ki maut ke baad ajmer se Muzaffar Khan turant aaya par wah bhi maar diya gaya .. Arab Iraan ke har ghar ka chirag bujha hai ..”

3. ORIGIN OF BABRI MASJID Then in 1526, an invader from across the border invaded India. He hailed from the province of Fargana in Central Asia. His name, Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur. On 16th of March 1527, Babur defeated Rana Sanga and conquered Delhi. That was the beginning of the Moughal era in India. Soon thereafter, Babur‟s lieutenant on Babur‟s express

orders marched towards Ayodhya. The texts of Babur‟s order to Meer Banki have been printed in the 6th July 1924 issue of the Modern Review published from Delhi. It reads, “Shahenshah-e-Hind Malikul jahaan badshah Babur ke hukm wa Hajrat Jalaal Shah ke hukm ke bamoozim Ayodhya mein Ramjanmbhoomi ko mismaar karke uski jagah par usi ke malbe wa masaale se masjid taameer karne ki ijazat de di gayi hai. Bajariye is hukmnaame ke tumko bakaul ittilaa se agaah kiya jaata hai ki Hindustan ke kisi soobe se koi Hindu Ayodhya na jaane paawe, jis shaks par ye suba ho ki wo wahaan jaana chahta hai use fauran giraftaar karke daakhil-e-zinda kar diya jaave. Hukm ka sakhti se taameel ho farz samajh kar”2

4. By 1528, One Lakh Seventy Three Thousand (1,73,000) people had sacrificed their lives defending the janmsthaan site. They fought bravely and held Meer Banki at bay but ultimately they lost. The presiding priest of the temple, took away the idol of Ram-lala and ended his life by taking Jal-samaadhi at river Saryu with the idol. Meer Baanki set about to carry out Babur‟s orders and he demolished the temple by a canon. When Meer Baanki‟s men weer constructing the msoque it is said that the day‟s work used to get undone every night. Babur himself writes about this in his autobiography, “Tujuk-Babari”. “Ayodhya ke Ram janmbhoomi mandir ko mismaar karke jo masjid taameer ki ja rahi hai uski deewarein shaam ko aap se aap gir jaati hain. Is par maine khud jaa ke saari baatein apni ankohn se dekh kar chand hindu aauliyaon fakeeron ko bula kar ye masala un ke saamnbe rakha.. is par un logon ne kayi dinon tak gaur karne ke baad masjid mein chand tarmeemein karne ki raay di .. jinmein paanch khaas baatein thi .. yaani masjid ka naam Seeta Paak ya rasoi rakha jaaye, parikrama rahne di jaaye, sadar gumbad ke darwaaje mein lakdi laga di jaaye, meenarein gina di jaaye, aur hinduon bhajan paath karne diya jaawe. Unki raay maine maan li, tab masjid taiyaar ho saki.”


The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor by Zahirud-din Muhammad Babur, Wheeler M. Thackston (Translator), W.M. Thackston Jr.

5. Devideen Pandey alone is said to have killed 600 men in five days. Meer Baanki survived however and killed Devideen. On the day of Eid in 1529, Rana Rannvijay tried to liberate the Janmsthaan site from the clutches of Meer Baanki but in vain. Babur died in 1530. His son Humayun succeeded the throne. During his regime from 1530 to 1556, Rani Jairajkumari and Swami Maheshwaranand made ten attempts to regain the janmsthaan site. The control of the janmsthaan site kept on intermittently passing from the hands of one side to that of the other.

6. Akbar succeeded Humayun and turned his kingdom into an empire. During his rule there are said to have been twenty outbreaks when Hindus fought relentlessly to regain the control of the janmsthaan site. Akbar granted permission to the Hindus in recognition of their rights to construct a platform right outside the mosque and perform pooja there. The platform today is known as the Ram chabootara. Akbar also introduced a silver coin by the name of Ramtaka with the images of Ram and Seeta on either side of it. One of the courtiers of Akbar presented Akbar with a Ramayan in a pictorial form. Abul Fazal, the author of Akbarnaama and Aayine-Akbari categorically associates Awadh with the residential place of Ram and one of the holiest places of the antiquity. 7. Meanwhile, during Jahangeer‟s rule, Wiliam Finch visited Ayodhya somewhere between 1608 and 1611. Wiliam Finch was a traveller who has confirmed the existence of the ruins of Ramkot, in his report which has been quoted and reproduced by Wiliam Foster in his book “Early Travels in India”. After 1658, Aurangzeb‟s lieutenant Jaanbaaz Khan attacked Ayodhya but was defeated. Guru Govind Singh‟s Akaalis fought against his army near Ayodhya at Rudali and Sadatganj. In 1664, Aurangzeb himself went to Ayodhya and killed ten thousand Hindus, and demolished the Ram Chabootara. But even thereafter, the Ram Navmi celebrations continued. There were fights between Nawaab Salamat Khan and Raja Gurdutt Singh of Amethi and Rajkumar Singh of Pimpra. Saadik Ali also had to face five attempts made by Hindus to recapture the janmsthaan site.

Archeological surveys Archaeological studies in the 1970s: Project "Archaeology of the Ramayana Sites The first excavation at the site was done in 1967, by Banaras Hindu University.Though results of second study, done ASI study of 1975-76 were not published in that period,between 1975 and 1985 an archaeological project was carried out in Ayodhya to examine some sites that were connected to the Ramayana story. The Babri Mosque site was one of the fourteen sites examined during this project. After a gap of many years since the excavation, an article in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) magazine Manthan in October 1990 by the BB Lal- led Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team claimed to have found the pillar-bases of what may have been a temple at the site which must have belonged to a larger building than the Babri Mosque. The team of archaeologists of the ASI, led by former Director-General ASI (1968-1972), B.B. Lal in 1975-76, worked on a project titled "Archaeology of Ramayana Sites", which excavated five Ramayana-related sites of Ayodhya, Bharadwaj Ashram, Nandigram, Chitrakoot and Shringaverapura. At Ayodhya, the team found rows of pillar-bases which must have belonged to a larger building than the Babri Mosque. In 2003 statement to the Allahabad High Court, Lal stated that he submitted a seven-page preliminary report to the Archaeological Survey of India, mentioning the discovery of "pillar bases", immediately south of the Babri mosque structure in Ayodhya. Subsequently, all technical facilities were withdrawn. Thus the final report was never submitted, the preliminary report was only published in 1989, and in Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) volume on historicity of Ramayana and Mahabharat. Subsequently, in his 2008 book, Rama: His Historicity Mandir and Setu, he wrote, "Attached to the piers of the Babri Masjid, there were twelve stone pillars, which carried not only typical Hindu motifs and mouldings, but also figures of Hindu deities. It was self-evident that these pillars were not an integral part of the Masjid, but were foreign to it." Accordingly, archaeological findings of burnt bases of pillars made of brick, a few metres from the mosque, indicated that a large temple stood in alignment with the Babri Mosque since the 11th century. In a trench at a distance of four metres south of the mosque, parallel rows of pillarfoundations made of brick-bats and stones were found.

Professor Gupta later commented on the findings made before 1990: "Several of the temple pillars existing in the mosque and pillar-bases unearthed in the excavations conducted in the south of the mosque (although in the adjoining plot of land) show the same directional alignment. This will convince any student of architecture that two sets of material remains belong to one and the same complex. June to July 1992 In July 1992, eight eminent archaeologists (among them former ASI directors, Dr. Y.D. Sharma and Dr. K.M. Srivastava) went to the Ramkot hill to evaluate and examine the findings. These findings included religious sculptures and a statue of Vishnu. They said that the inner boundary of the disputed structure rests, at least on one side, on an earlier existing structure, which “may have belonged to an earlier temple”.The objects examined by them also included terracotta Hindu images of the Kushan period (100-300 AD) and carved buff sandstone objects that showed images of Vaishnav deities and of Shiva-Parvati. They concluded that these fragments belonged to a temple of the Nagara style (900-1200 AD). Prof. S.P. Gupta commented on the discoveries: "The team found that the objects were datable to the period ranging from the 10th through the 12th century AD, i.e., the period of the late Pratiharas and early Gahadvals. These objects included a number of amakalas, i.e., the cogged-wheel type architectural element which crown the bhumi shikharas or spires of subsidiary shrines, as well as the top of the spire or the main shikhara ... This is a characteristic feature of all north Indian temples of the early medieval period There was other evidence — of cornices, pillar capitals, mouldings, door jambs with floral patterns and others — leaving little doubt regarding the existence of a 10th-12th century temple complex at the site of Ayodhya." 2003: The ASI report The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavated the Ram Janm Bhoomi site at the direction of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court Uttar Pradesh in 2003. Jonathan Walters remarks: "The impact of the 2003 discovery of Buddhist ruins underlying both Hindu and Muslim layers at Ayodhya remains to be seen." The archaeologists also reported evidence of a

large 10th century structure similar to a Hindu temple having pre-existed the Babri Masjid. A team of 131 labourers, including 52 Muslims — who were later on included on the objections of the Muslim side[citation needed] — was engaged in the excavations. On 11 June 2003 the ASI issued an interim report that only listed the findings of the period between 22 May and 6 June 2003. In August 2003 the ASI handed a 574-page report to the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court. The ASI, who examined the site, issued a report of the findings of the period between 22 May and 6 June 2003. This report stated: Among the structures listed in the report are several brick walls „in east-west orientation‟, several „in north-south orientation‟, „decorated coloured floor‟, several „pillar bases‟, and a „1.64-metre high decorated black stone pillar (broken) with yaksha figurines on four corners‟ as well as "Sanskrit inscription of holy verses on stone"Earlier reports by the ASI, based on earlier findings, also mention among other things a staircase and two black basalt columns „bearing fine decorative carvings with two crosslegged figures in bas-relief on a bloomed lotus with a peacock whose feathers are raised upwards‟.The excavations gave ample traces that there was a mammoth pre-existing structure beneath the three-domed Babri structure. Ancient perimeters from East to West and North to South have been found beneath the Babri structure. The bricks used in these perimeters predate the time of Babur. Beautiful stone pieces bearing carved Hindu ornamentations like lotus, Kaustubh jewel, alligator facade, etc., were used in these walls. These decorated architectural pieces were anchored with precision at varied places in the walls. A tiny portion of a stone slab is sticking out at a place below 20 feet in one of the pits. The rest of the slab lies covered in the wall. The projecting portion bears a five-letter Devanagari inscription that turns out to be a Hindu name. The items found below 20 feet should be at least 1,500 years old. According to archaeologists about a foot of loam layer gathers on topsoil every hundred years[citation needed]. Primary clay was not found even up to a depth of 30 feet. It provides a clue to the existence of some structure at that place over the last 2,500 years. More than 30 pillar bases have been found at equal spans. The pillar-bases are in two rows and the rows are parallel. The pillar-base rows are in North-South direction. A wall is superimposed upon another wall. At least three layers of the floor are visible. An octagonal holy fireplace (Yagna Kund) was found. These facts prove the enormity of the pre-existing structure. Surkhii

has been used as a construction material in our country for over 2,000 years and, in the constructions at the Janma Bhumi, Surkhii has been extensively used. Molded bricks of round and other shapes and sizes were neither in vogue during the Middle Ages nor are they in use today. It was in vogue only 2,000 years ago. Many ornate pieces of touchstone (Kasauti stone) pillars have been found in the excavation. Terracotta religious figures, serpent, elephant, horserider, saints, etc., have been found. Even to this day, terracotta figures are used in worship during Diwali celebrations, then put by temple sanctums for invoking divine blessings. Gupta Empire and Kushan Empire period bricks have been found. Brick walls of the Garhwal period (12th Century CE) also have been found in excavations.Nothing has been found to prove the existence of residential habitation there. The excavation suggests a picture of a vast compound housing a sole distinguished and greatly celebrated structure used for divine purposes and not that of a colony or Mohalla consisting of small houses. The ASI kept their neutrality by declining to make any comments on the team's findings and left the matter to the High Court. The Muslim contestants did not deny the authenticity of the discovery of archeological materials but only differed in their interpretation and refusal to take the evidence as a conclusive showing that the structure was a Hindu temple.

Attempts to Recover the Janbhoomi sthan During Mughal Rule Tens of thousands of people died till now at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. Further, right from the time of the destruction of the temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi in 1528 AD, the efforts to recover the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site has been a continuous one. In spite of a relatively strong Islamic rule in the area, Hindu kings used every opportunity to liberate the site. Prior to 1947, there have been a total of 77 recorded attempts to wrest the control of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi from the clutches of Islam. The insistence of construction of the Ram Chabootar and Sita ki Rasoi, within the precincts of the Babri structure, was with the intention of establishing the Hindu claim to the site. At the Ram Chabootar, prayers of Shri Ram were conducted on a continuous basis. Ram Navami was always celebrated at the site, even during the time of Islamic rule. During the time of Mughal, a peaceful return of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site to the Hindus was demanded by the hindus. But this was not entertained by the Islamic rulers. However, Hindus insisted on having at least a symbolic presence at the site. The permission to construct the Ram Chabootar and Sita-ki-Rasoi next to the Babri structure was a recognition of the Hindu sentiment of attachment to the site. This permission was only given by Akbar. For the Hindus, it was only a second best option. It was accepted only to establish their rightful claim for a future return of the site. Thus , Ram chabootra which is platform for worship and sita ki rasoi were constructed beside the disputed structure. In 1664, Aurangzeb himself went to Ayodhya and killed ten thousand Hindus, and demolished the Ram Chabootara. But even thereafter, the Ram Navmi celebrations continued. There were fights between Nawaab Salamat Khan and Raja Gurdutt Singh of Amethi and Rajkumar Singh of Pimpra. Saadik Ali also had to face five attempts made by Hindus to recapture the janmsthaan site. In 1751, the second nawaab of Awadh Safdarjung invited Malhar Rao Holkar, the eminent courtier of the Marathas to fight against the pathans. Malhar Rao Holkar put a condition that in return Safdarjung would hand over the three holy cities of Ayodhya, Kaashi and Prayaag to the Hindus. Again in 1756, Shujauddaula asked for Maratha help when the Afghans invaded Delhi. The maratha agent in his court demanded the transfer of the three holy citiies. Shujauddaula

agreed to it. Unfortunately, the marathas lost the bloodiest war at Panipat and the fate of Ayodhya remained in the dark, for another century. Numerous muslim and European writers during the century confirm that a mosque had been built by Meer Baanki at Babur‟s orders after demolishing the temple at Ramkot. They also confirm the tradition of Ram worship at the janmsthaan site. They also confirm the existence of the practice of celebrating Ram Navami with great gathering of people from all over India. Let us have a look at some of these books and their authors. In this relatively peaceful period, there were repeated attempts to recapture the janmsthaan. Five such attempts were made by Baba Uddhav Das, Baba Ramcharan Das during Nasiruddin Haidar and Wazid Ali Shah‟s rule. In 1857, one Amir Ali declared a Jihad and attacked the site of Hanuman Garhi with a 170 men. However, they were defeated and the jihad wiped out. Then came the Indian war of Independence of 1857 when the Muslims collaborated with Hindus to reestablish the Moughal king Bahadur Shah Jafar as the emperor of India and fought against British Imperialists. This time, another Amer Ali, a maulawi and the leader of the rebels of Awadh convinced the native muslims and decided to handover the Janmsthaan site to Hindus. However, the British imperialists using their tactics arrested Amer Ali and Baba Ramcharan Das and hanged both of them by a Tamarind tree which still stands in Ayodhya as a mute witness to the event. During British Rule The hindus preferred judiciary as an option of seeking the return of ramjanbhoomi rather than its invasion. This was taken up and a case was filed in 1885. In 1885, Mahant Raghubar Ram moved the courts for permission to erect a temple just outside the Babri Mosque premises. Despite validating the claim of the petitioner, the Faizabad District Judge dismissed the case, citing the passage of time.On 18 March 1886, the judge passed an order in which he wrote: I visited the land in dispute yesterday in the presence of all parties. I found that the Masjid built by Emperor Babur stands on the border of Ayodhya, that is to say, to the west and south it is clear of habitations. It is most unfortunate that a Masjid should have been built on land specially

held sacred by the Hindus, but as that event occurred 356 years ago, it is too late now to agree with the grievances3. The post Independence period: A Time line Year 1949: Idols of Lord Rama appear inside mosque allegedly placed there by Hindus. Muslims protest and both parties file civil suits. The government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.

Year 1950: Gopal Singh Visharad and Mahant Paramhand Ramchandra Das file suits in Faizabad, asking for permission to offer prayers to the idols installed at Asthan Janmabhoomi. Inner courtyard gates are locked, but puja is allowed

Year 1959: Nirmohi Akhara and Mahant Raghunath file a case, claiming to be the sect responsible for conducting puja

Year 1961: Sunni Central Board of Waqfs, UP, files a case claiming the mosque and the surrounding land was a graveyard

Year 1984: Hindus form a committee to "liberate" the birth-place of Lord Rama and build a temple in his honor, spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party (VHP). Then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani takes over leadership of campaign.

Year 1986: On a petition of Hari Shanker Dubey, a judge directs masjid gates be unlocked to allow darshan.District judge orders the gates of the disputed mosque opened to allow Hindus to worship there. Muslims set up Babri Mosque Action Committee in protest.

Year 1989: VHP steps up campaign, laying the foundations of a Rama temple on land adjacent


(Court verdict by Col. F.E.A. Chamier, District Judge, Faizabad (1886)

to the disputed mosque. Former VHP vice-president Justice Deoki Nandan Agarwal files a case, seeking the mosque be shifted elsewhere Year 1990: The then BJP president Lal Krishna Advani took out a cross-country rathyatra to garner support for the move to build a Ram temple at the site. VHP volunteers partially damaged the Babri mosque. Prime Minister Chandrashekhar intervened and tried to negotiate with the various groups. But talks failed. When the ratyatra reached Ayodhya , the then state govt. put a ban on the yata in U.P. but the kar sevaks continued to march towards the janmbhoomi and Mulayam Singh as the chief minister ordered open fire on the kar sevaks to stop them. several kar sevaks died in his massacre. Year 1991: Riding high on the success of Advani's rathyatra, the BJP became India's primary opposition party in Parliament and came to power in Uttar Pradesh. The movement for building a temple gathered further momentum with Karsevaks or Hindu volunteers pouring into Ayodhya. Bricks were sent from across India. Year 1992: On Dec 6 1992, lakhs of kar sevaks joined the shilanyas pujan at the janmbhoomi site. Suddenly the mob became aggressive and demolished the three domed structure of disputed babri masjid to liberate janmbhoomi. On December 16, ten days after the demolition, the Congress government at the Centre, headed by PV Narasimha Rao, set up a commission of inquiry under Justice Liberhan. In December 1990, when the Chandrashekar government organised the meetings to discuss the history of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi site, VHP gave written submissions, with sufficient supporting material to establish the authenticity. The VHP has, in its own, published the evidence, and many people have written about it. Thus, the documents are available for study by the general public. These submissions covered all the aspects relating to literary, historical, revenue, judicial and archaeological records. All these had clearly proved the stand of the Hindus that a temple in honour of Shri Ram and was deliberately destroyed in 1528 AD with an objective of constructing the Babri structure in its place.

The government did acknowledge the receipt of this information. The relevant minutes of the time read as follows: “The VHP submitted the rejoinder in which it tried to refute claims of the AIBMAC point wise. The AIBMAC did not react to the evidences put forward by the VHP. Instead it submitted photo-copies of more evidences in support of its claims. Since the AIBMAC did not give comments on the evidences put forward by the VHP, it is not possible for the government to decide the areas of agreement and disagreement.” The Narsimha Rao government had formed a cell under Shri Naresh Chandra called the Ayodhya Cell. This was to evaluate the evidence already submitted. The deliberations of the cell is not publicly known. Year 2009: The Liberhan Commission, which was instituted ten days after the demolition of the Barbri mosque in 1992, submitted its report on June 30 - almost 17 years after it began its inquiry. Its contents were not made public.

Year 2010: The High Court bench in Lucknow hearing the title suit case, said it would pronounce verdict on September 24, Friday last. Days later, a plea to defer verdict on theRamjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit was rejected by the Allahabad High Court.

The petitioner, Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, then approached the Supreme Court, which stayed the High Court verdict on Friday. The two judges who heard the case differed, resulting in the Chief Justice stepping in. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India on Tuesday, September 28, cleared the way for the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court to pronounce verdict on the Ayodhya title suit case. Decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad On 30 september 2010 ruled that the 2.7 acre of land has been divided into three portions; one going to Hindus and the idols of Bhagwan Ran (Lord Ram) will remain where they are, 1/3 rd will go to Muslims - Sunni Waqf Board and third portion " Sita Rasoi" will go to Nirmohi Akhara.

Whether the structure was used as a mosque? Before 1934 the buildings inner part was used by the muslims to offer Namaz and in the outer parts at the Hindu used to offer prayers to Shri Ram. In 1934 severe clashes broke out in among the two communities in which the babri masjid was partly damaged and the muslims abandoned the mosque and discontinued offering Namaz as it was against their ethos. Is Mosque an essential part of Islam? In the famous Ismail Farooqui vs Union of India4 case [reported in (1994) 6 SCC 376], the Supreme Court of India observed: “It has been contended that a mosque enjoys a particular position in Muslim law and once a mosque is established and prayers are offered in such a mosque, the same remains for all time to come a property of Allah … and any person professing Islamic faith can offer prayer in such a mosque, and even if the structure is demolished, the place remains the same where namaz can be offered “ [para 80].

The Constitution Bench then rejected this contention, stating: “The correct position may be summarised thus. Under Mohammedan law applicable in India, title to a mosque can be lost by adverse possession. A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) can be offered anywhere, even in the open. Accordingly, its acquisition is not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India”(para 82). Thus what was wrong with the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 was that it was unauthorised by law. Otherwise any government can deprive Muslims of the Babri Masjid, which would be lawful if the government decides to do so in the interest of public order, public health and morality (Article 25 of the Constitution). This is the position in Islamic law as well since in Saudi Arabia the authorities demolish mosques to lay roads. Even the mosque where Prophet Mohammed used to pray was demolished. The Hindus also claims that the babri masjid was a symbol of slavery by the Islamic invader over the Hindus as it is clearly stated in Babur nama. It was humiliating to see that their idol was in


(1994) 6 SCC 376

miserable condition on his own land.

So by rebuilding the mandir there Hindu wants to

symbolically restore their dignity and cultural heritage.

Whether it was a political Movement? For the Hindus, a temple at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi is not an issue of mere bricks and mortar.It is an issue of our cultural resurgence and identity, where Shri Rama, as maryada purushottam, has a prime place of importance. The movement is an expression of the collective consciousness of the Hindu ethos which was also articulated by Shri K M Munshi in case of the Mandir at Somnath: “The Hindu sentiment in regard to this temple is both strong and widespread. In the present conditions, it is unlikely that, that sentiment will be satisfied by mere restoration of the temple or by prolonging its life. The restoration of the idol would be a point of honour and sentiment with the Hindu public.” Hence, for the Hindus Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement is not political. The politicizing such an important issue is natural in a democray . By giving the Babri structure a significance other than that of monument of slavery, the issue becomes politicised. Not accepting a legitimate claim of the Hindus on their holy sites is what causes politicisation.

Conclusion Ram has ruled Indian and Hindu psyche since time immemorial, and the importance of Ayodhya can never be erased. Taking into consideration the records maintained by the Britishers and the Mughals it is clear that the Janmbhoomi Mandir existed at the disputed site. Though the struggle for construction of mandir started as a social movement but after 1980‟s it turned political also. In a democracy like India it is natural that such an important movement is politicized. But politicization of social movement cannot negate the social and cultural importance of any movement. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement is not an issue related to electoral politics. It should be viewed on its own merit, and not on the basis of political fallout, favouring the BJP, or any other party.The movement has come into the realm of electoral politics due to those who oppose the construction of the temple. After the wise decision of Hon‟ble High court a patient India and Hindus across the world now waits for the construction of mandir that signifies the glorius past of Hinduism.

Refrences      Ayodhya - a journey through time Ram Sharan Sharma. Communal History and Rama's Ayodhya, People's Publishing House (PPH), 2nd Revised Edition, September, 1999, Delhi http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11436552 http://elegalix.allahabadhighcourt.in/elegalix/ayodhyafiles/hondvsj-gist-vol2.pdf www.vhp.org

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