Ram Janm Bhoomi: The Historical quest

A new era unfolds itself for Ayodhya as the substructure stones are stowed at Ram Janm Bhoomi. 

Ram Janm bhoomi Awadh: The name Ayodhya in the world’s most primitive language Sanskrit, means indomitable or unconquerable. And somewhere in the Puranic literature, Awadh is also named as Saket. Today, the city whoops in joy and yearns to conquer its bygone days on the account of decades-old hard work that paid off today.

And just as the faithful laze in the eminence of the river Saryu lit with Diya blooms and celebrates the homecoming of Ram Lala, their beloved king, they also reminisce about the long, hard road to the Ram temple in Awadh.

Almost everyone knows about the dispute that remained enmesh in the legal war of words for decades before the apex court. But, this clash of perception is centuries old. It all started in the year 1528 when the Mughal emperor Babur built a mosque on the site that was allegedly the Janm bhumi of Sri Ram Lala. Here’s a brief history of events that ensued after 1528.

1853: The first-ever recorded event of communal violence. 

1853: The first-ever recorded event of communal violence, Ramjanm bhoomi: The Nirman Karya begins, Historical quest of The Ram Janm Bhoomi,

For the first time, an event of religious violence over the site was recorded in the year 1853. During regnant of Nawab Wajid Shah of Awadh. A Hindu sect of Nirmohis alleged that a Hindu temple had been destroyed during Babur’s times to lay the foundation of Babri masjid.

Later, the British government raised a fence to divide the site into two portions —  the Muslims were allowed to pray inside the mosque, and the outer court was reserved for the Hindus.

1949-1950: Ram Lala’s idol was found in the mosque

In a state of foggy despair since 1885, Dispute showed up in the headline when, on the mediating night of 22 and 23 December 1949, an idol of Lord Ram emerged exactly at the supposed birthplace. And this was followed by the erupting crowd of Hindu devotees coming in and the protests by Muslims. 

The local administration declared the area disputed and locked the gates to keep things under command.

That prompted Gopal Singh to file a case in the civil court of Faizabad on January 16, 1950, seeking exclusive rights for puja performance and a judgment prohibiting the relocation of the Janmasthan idol. The court granted a provisional injunction, and that order was later confirmed by an Allahabad High Court bench.

1961: The plea for restoration of the site

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Board of Wakfs enters the clash along with nine Muslim residents of Ayodhya just days ahead of the expiry of the 12-year limitation period after which they would have lost their claim to the site. It claimed the mosque and the nearby land and demanded the removal of the idols. which was clearly immoral in light of the law.

1986: The locks were taken off

On 1 February 1986, the district judge directed that the gates of the structure be unlocked for Hindu worshippers. The same year, Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee to protest against the decision.

1989: A suit was filed in the name of Ram Lala Virajman 

Deoki Nandan Agarwal, former vice-president of the VHP and a former Allahabad H.C judge. filed a case in front of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad H.C. The suit was filed in the name of Ram Lala Virajman.

Referring to the Gazette of H.R. Nevill, alleged that the temple of ram Lala was destroyed by the Mughal emperor Babur in 1582.

Later, all four suits were clubbed together and were presented before the Allahabad high court.

1990-1992: Rath Yatra and the Kar Sevaks

Ramjanm bhoomi: The Nirman Karya begins, 1990-1992: Rath Yatra and the Kar Sevaks, Historical quest of The Ram Janm Bhoomi,

Kar-Sevaks are termed as an instrumental force behind the construction of Ram mandir. The decades-old struggle begun in September 1990, when the leading Hindu groups campaigned for Ram Mandir. The scenario took a steep turn when BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani called for a rath yatra, intending to reach Ayodhya from Somnath.

A huge crowd headed toward the disputed area. the state was completely locked down. But that could not deter the Kar Sevaks. They reached Ayodhya bare-foot and some even swam across the Saryu river. The police evidently tried to stop them but their efforts turned into a clash. 

And then, the tragedy struck, the security personnel open fired the crowd. Many Kar Sevaks were brutally headshot, many died due to the stampede. The Saryu banks were shrouded with blood. Writing the paragraphs in history with their red blood, over 2000 Kar Sevaks took their last breath in the name of Ram Lala.

Kar sewaks on top of Babri Masjid during its demolition on December 6, 1992. Credit: T. Narayan, Historical quest of The Ram Janm Bhoomi,

But this wasn’t the end, another fateful event took place on the 6th of December 1992. A saffron flag was hoisted from the top of Babri masjid. It was seen as a signal by the crowd, who then stormed the structure. The people attacked with whatever they could. Some had axes in their hands, some had hammers while some with bare-hand used their fists. Within a few hours, the chalk was leveled and the structure was turned into mud.

2003- ASI’s survey

ASI's survey, Historical quest of The Ram Janm Bhoomi

 ASI surveyed the disputed site where they found residuals of a large Hindu complex under the mosque. Muslim organizations disputed the findings.

2010- Allahabad High court’s verdict

 Court settled the four title suits pertaining to the conflict. The HC ordered the land to be divided into three parts — one third to Ram Lalla, one third to the Islamic Waqf Board; and the remaining third to the Nirmohi Akhara. The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and the Sunni Waqf Board appealed to the Supreme Court in December, opposing the judgment of the HC.

2016: Subramanian Swamy files plea in Supreme court

On February 26, 2016, Subramanian Swamy filed a petition in SC seeking to build a Ram Temple at the disputed site.

2019: the FINAL verdict.

On 9 November 2019, a Supreme Court five-judge bench ordered the controversial land (2,77 acres) to be handed over to a government-operated trust to construct the temple of Ram Janm Bhoomi.   The court also directed the government to grant the Sunni Waqf Board an alternative five acres of land to build a mosque in another location.

India’s then-Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi led the five-judge bench that passed the order. He retired eight days after the judgment was passed. The remaining four were Senator SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan, and Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

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2020: The Bhoomi Poojan Ceremony

The Bhoomi Poojan Ceremony, Historical quest of The Ram Janm Bhoomi,

On August 5, 2020, the foundation stone for the construction of Ram Temple was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A plaque was launched by the Prime Minister and a commemorative postage stamp was issued.

This hard long journey isn’t just a tale of sacrifice… It is a story of everlasting faith, patience, and devotion of Hindus towards Sri Ram. And in the end, Dharma prevails like always…

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