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The Babri- Masjid dispute in Ayodhya as been the cause of violence between the Hindus and the Muslims for many decades each faith claiming the ownership of the disputed holy site. Ayodha is a pilgrimage is a pilgrimage site that is used both by Muslims and Hindus and two faiths attend the annual Ram festivals which are attended by more than 500000 people. Both faiths belief that the well water found in the site has miraculous curative properties. Hindus claim that the site where the mosque stood was similar spot where the temple build in 12th century in honor of the Lord Rama had stood and got destroyed during the reign of Babur. The two faiths have been clashing constantly especially with the Hindus trying hard to erect a temple for worship in the same site while the Muslims resisting and refusing to allow such ideas. Violence has erupted severally calling for the intervention of the civil administration which refused the place to be used as a place of worship and that no one builds a temple there until the dispute is resolved. Getting a viable solution the dispute had taken decades characterized with massive bloodshed and l loss of lives and still remains a contentious issue in Ayodhya region and the entire Indian/muslim society.
History of the Babri-Masjid dispute in Ayodhya
The Babri Mosque was in 1528 by Babar’s general Mir Baqi following the orders that were given by Babur after the destruction of the Ram Mandir. The first recorded violent incident regarding the issues took place in 1853 at the time when Nawab Wajid reigned. The clash emanated from the claims by the Hindu sect Nirmohis that the mosques stood where the destroyed ancient temple stood. To curb the spiraling violence the British administration in 1859 was forced to erect a fence in the site to separate the places of worship allowing the Muslims to use the inner court and the Hindus to use the outer court (Jaffrelot, 1996).
In 1949 there was a controversial incident where idols of Lord Rama appeared inside the mosque and it was alleged to have been placed by Hindus and that incident led to a massive protests by the Muslims and resulted to both parties filing law suits against each other and to curb the situation the government proclaimed the premises as a disputed area and all the gates to the site were locked. In 1984, Vishwa Hindu Parishad party spearheaded the formation of a committee that was intended to liberate the disputes holy site and to carry out the building of a temple in the site and the leader of the Janata party Lal Krishna later took over in leading the campaign. Formation of the committees prompted the order by the district judge to open the gates of the Babri mosque to allow the Hindus to worship in the site and this again sparked protests by those of muslim faith resulting to the formation of the Babri Mosque Action Committee which was responsible for ensuring that no temple was build near the mosque.
1n 1989 the campaigns by the VHP party to construct a Ram Mandir in the site were stepped up and led to the laying down of its foundations on the land that was adjacent to the mosque. 1990 saw the VHP activists destroy part of the mosques and the Prime Minister Chandra put some efforts to resolve the issue in vain. The VHP supporters demolished the mosque in 1992 and stirred up nationwide riots between the two faiths Hindus and Muslim resulting to death of more than 2,000 people and in response to the disaster the government set up a justice MS Liberhan commission which was to inquire in to the conspiracy that led to the destruction of the mosque.
Since then there have been several attempts to resolve the dispute but an amicable solution have been reached and more deaths and riots have been experienced in 2002 when 58 people were killed on an attack on the train in Gordha which was ferrying Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya. The train attack sparked more protest in Gujarat which lead to death of 1000-2000 people which were mostly Muslims and the high court started hearings on the ownership of the site same year. Following a court order archaeologists begun a survey in the religious site to determine whether Lord Rama really existed on the disputed site and the team attested to have found evidence of a temple beneath the mosque and the finding were disputed by the Muslims.
By 2004 Advani and the BJP still had unwavering commitment that the building of the temple in Ayodhya was inevitable and in 2005 the government extends the term of Liberhan Ayodhya commission and in 2007 fifteen persons that included a lawyer were sentenced to life sentence by a local court on accusations that they burned nine persons alive during the communal riots in Kanpur after the demolition of Babri Masjid in December 1992. Seventeen years after it was setup and with 48 extensions, the Liberhan commission submitted its report to the prime minister Singh and that saw the high court pronounce its final judgment which was a split verdict suggesting division of the disputed land into three equal portions between the Ram temple, Nirmohi Akahara (plaintiff) and finally the Sunni Wakf board (Irani, 2004).
Formation of Hindu community.
As the comment ‘every history is the history of the present’ goes, the Hindu community have been formed and reshaped for centuries by the progressive events that would lead to the demolition of the Babri-Masjid mosque by in December 1992 in Ayodhya. The community has had occurrences that have taken place on a progressive chain that when linked form the history of the formation of the Hindu community. The Babri-Masjid case has taken more than eighteen years to with nearly fifty trans-governmental extensions, more bloodshed and loss of lives in riots and intentional attacks directed towards the disputing factions. The case was opened in 1992 and closed in 2010 having faced a lot of challenges in trying to deliver a fair judgment to the contesting parties the muslim and Hindu believers who both claim to own the Ayodhya religious site (Yadav, 2008).
The case manifests an act that done by Hindus as a manifestation of violence that is fought psychologically and is directed towards their oppressors mainly the Muslim community who are alleged to be gradually converting Hindu places of worship into mosques. The Hindu community is believed to be fighting a psychological war that involves a collective or folk memory of the people and the institutional memory of its oppressors. This struggle for liberation by the Hindu community is just a record of resistance that the people have been fighting since the destruction of their temple build for Rama in Ayodhya back in 15th century by the Muslim leaders of the time. Such re-currying riots and resistance have contributed to the formation of present Hindu society. For instance the existence of the various factions of Hinduism like the Buddhism and are as a result of defection by members of the Hindu mainstream due to pressures related to the continued fight to reclaim their grabbed religious sites like the Babri Masjid.
The collective memory in such community formation have been eternalized by intergenerational passage of ancestral events through literature, art, folk traditions and culture and in the current generation such memory is fostered by the wring down of biographies which evokes the continued struggle for liberation by the community. Celebration of birth and death anniversaries of their past leaders is also used by the community to keep the memory alive. The memory unleashed to their leaders inspires the current generation to do something to avenge the atrocity. For example a sportsperson and a crusader against racial injustice once commented that they are haunted by the misdeeds that their ancestor faced in the hands of their oppressors and that are why when they bowl lethally and bet explosively as if they are taking revenge. This means that the daily activities carried out by the current Hindu community is influenced by the past events and which makes current events the future history.
Several religions like the Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and the influx of Christianity and Islamic faiths as well as their easy acceptability by some Hindu community is a revelation of de-fragmentation of the community into new formations as result of the continued struggle with the caste system in the society. The minority groups have continuously resisted to the discrimination by the majority dogma and this has resulted to defection from the community and the n joining forces with the group that consider their pledges like promotion of equality. The act of splitting of the community leads to adoption of varying beliefs and practices which have greatly contributed formation of a diversified Hindu community.
The Babri-Masjid Demolition Case has led to more misunderstandings between the Hindu community as people are divided between supporting their religion by fighting for the building of the temple in Ayodhya and advocating for peace and harmony between the Hindus and the Muslim community. The daily controversy has led to formation of a more divided Hindu community which affects the future history of the community in a similar way the past events and struggles for liberation led to the current history of the past Hindu community.
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