India is a secular country and is not defined by a single religion. Every now and then the culturally
diverse country experiences disputes. These disputes, majorly religious, wound our motherland and its
natives. One such dispute is the Ayodhya Dispute or the Ram Mandir Dispute. This dispute is decades old
and we will now get to know everything in detail about the same.
Ayodhya is one of the holiest cities for Hindus. The holy city is the birthplace of Lord Ram, Lord Vishnu’s
Avatar. Obviously, the place is a prime city for many Hindu Religious Organizations. The Hindu Temple,
that is the disputed site, was earlier demolished. It is said that in the year 1500 the commander of the
then Mughal Emperor, Babur, built a mosque in place of the existing temple, by demolishing it.
In the year 1949, idols of Lord Rama and Sita appeared inside the temple and Hindus were accused of
placing the idols in the temple at Ayodhya. Protests from both Hindus and Muslims led to the filing of
cases from the respective parties. Furthermore, the court locked the gates to the entrance and declared
the site as disputed. While Hashim Ansari filed a case on the behalf of Muslims, Mahant Paramhans
Ramchandra Das, Chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, stood up for the Hindus.
Mahant Paramhans, Ramchandra Das and Gopal Singh Visharad, in the year 1950, lodged cases in
Faizabad. A request was made to the court to allow them to pray in front of the idols of the deities.
Although the inner courtyard gates remained locked, they were granted permission to pray.
Nine years later, that is in the year 1959, a case was filed by Nirmohi Akhara, seeking permission to offer
prayers to the idols. Nirmohi Akhara was one of the main parties fighting in the Ayodhya Dispute.
Sunni Central Board of Waqfs in Uttar Pradesh filed a case in the year 1980. According to them, the
mosque is their property and what surrounds it is a graveyard.
In a major breakthrough for the Hindus, the local court allows them to worship by opening the gates for
them, in the year 1986.
Ram Rath Yatra
Several rallies for Ayodhya Dispute were led by BJP’s LK Advani, who was BJP’s President back then. One
of them was Ram Rath Yatra. The yatra was held from September 1990 to October 1990. Vishwa Hindu
Parishad’s agitation was politically supported by BJP and so the yatra was also a part of this support. The
main aim was to erect a temple at the disputed site.
Kar Sevaks were the main component of this Yatra. They were the volunteers from the Sangh Parivar.
Beginning from Somnath on 26th September 1990, the yatra aimed at covering the nation and end at
Ayodhya. Covering more than 300 kilometers a day, this yatra turned out to be one of the largest mass
movements of the country.
Since religion was the main agenda, riots were bound to happen. LK Advani along with 1,50,000
supporters got arrested for the same. While the Bihar Government arrested Advani, the supporters
were arrested by the UP Government.
6th December 1992
BJP along with Vishwas Hindu Parishad and 1,50,000 Kar Sevaks organized a rally close to the disputed
site. Several speeches from the senior most politicians of BJP like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and
Uma Bharti made the crowd restless. Slogans were subsequently raised by the crowd. Although enough
security was deployed to avoid any mishap, one of the sevaks slipped past the security. The successful
attempt of the man resulted in him climbing over the dome like structure of the disputed site.
Post signaling the mob, the mob, which outnumbered the deployed security personnel, resulted in the
fleeing away of the latter. Within a few hours, thousands of people demolished the structure reducing it
to dust. This act led to widespread unrest in the country.
A major decision involving the partition of the Ayodhya structure into three was taken by Allahabad High
Court on 30th September 2010.
But SC put a hold on HC’s verdict on Ayodhya land dispute on May 9, 2011.
The case again gained momentum in the year 2017, but as of now no decision has been taken as to who
will own the Ayodhya disputed land.
The dispute needs an amicable settlement and violence will not solve any purpose as quoted by
Mahatma Gandhi “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only
temporary; the evil it does is permanent”. Hopefully, the SC will find a way through this dispute and
provide justice to everyone.