Ayodhya and Babri Masjid- Timeline

The Liberacy:- In the last decade of the 20th century, India faced many allegations and got inked in black for its justice to minorities and caste system, and one of such cases includes the incident of 6th December 1992, the Ayodhya and Babri Masjid incident.

Ayodhya

On the 6th of December 1992, under the political shadow of major Hindu inclined political parties, around 150,000 Kar Sevaks (volunteers) gathered in Ayodhya (the birthplace of Lord Rama) and demolished the Babri Masjid (Babri Mosque), which was supposedly built by demolishing the temple of Lord Ram at his birthplace (Ramkot) by Mughal emperors in 1528.

Lord Rama is considered as the 7th avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu and according to Ramayana (the holy book of Hindu religion), Ram was born to Queen Kaushalya and the King of Avadh (Ayodhya) Dasharatha, at the same city of Ayodhya, about 9000 years ago and now, the exact place of Lord Ram’s birth is known as Ramcot. It is the exact place where Babri Masjid was supposedly built in 1528, under the wake of Mughal empire expansion in India and was demolished on the 6th of December 1992.

History of Ayodhya:

Garuda Puranam is one of the 18 Mahapuran of texts in Hinduism, basically centering on the Lord Vishnu. According to Garuda Puranam, Ayodhya is one of the seven sites where Moksha (release from the cycle of birth and death) can be achieved and it is because Ayodhya was the place where Lord Rama took birth, lived, ruled and gave up his life after entering the Sarayu River, achieving Moksha.

During Buddha’s period (600 BC), Ayodhya was known as ‘Saketa’ and was one of the largest cities of North India which was ruled by Guptas and they made Ayodhya their capital.

After the Guptas dynasty was daggered, the capital of North India moved to ‘Kannauj’ keeping Ayodhya back. The neglected Ayodhya was then revived by Gahadavalas, in the 11th century A.D when they came into power. It is said that Gahadavalas were Vaishnavs (followers of Lord Vishnu) and built several temples of Lord Vishnu in Ayodhya.

History of Babur:

Babur, the son of Timur, came to India in 1525 from Kabul, Afghanistan. He was born in Andijan, Uzbekistan. He came in 1525 with 12000 men in hope to conquer India. Daulat Khan Lodi promised him to help in conquering India and they together planned to march against the Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, then King of Delhi.

On April 21, 1526, the two forces clashed on the grounds of Panipat, and Babur won over Delhi defeating Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, laying the foundation of the coming Mughal Empire.

History of Babri Masjid (Mosque):

According to a 20th century text by Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar, Babur came from Kabul dressed and disguised as Qualndar and took the blessings of Sufi saints Shah Jalal and Sayyid Musa Ashiqan and pledged to conquer India in return of their blessings.

Lala Sitaram, in 1981, had access to the older edition of 1932 book by Abdul Gaffar, in which the incident has be precisely written and it states, “Babur came to Ayodhya and met some fakirs. When Babur tried to seek their blessings, the fakirs in return asked for a mosque at Janmasthan. Babur promised a mosque at the Ram Janmasthan Temple and returned with their blessings.”

In 1528, during the Mughal conquest in various parts of India, including Ayodhya, a mosque was built by Mir Baqi and named it after the Mughal Emperor Babur as “Babri Masjid”

Reportedly, it is believed that Mir Baqi built the mosque after demolishing the Ram Janmasthan Temple to full fill the promise made by Babur to the Fakirs.

Documents available bearing nothing about the mosque or temple:

  1. Babarnama (Babur’s diary) which runs through the life of Babur has no mention of either Ayodhya or a Mosque build after demolishing any temple.
  2. Babur’s grandson, Akbar in his court documents, Ain-i-Akbari, also never mentioned about a Mosque or a temple in Ayodhya.
  3. The great Hindu poet, Tulsidas went to Ayodhya in 1574 and began writing Ramcharitmanas, has never mentioned anything about a mosque being built at the birthplace of Ram (Ramcot) in Ayodhya.

Documents claiming the demolished temples:

  1. The very first report of the Babri mosque appears in the book Sahifa-I-Chihil Nasaih Bahadur Shahi which was written by the daughter of Bahadur Shah-I (granddaughter of Aurangzeb) in the early 18th century. It clearly mentions that “Several Mosques have been constructed after demolishing the temples of Hindus at Awadh (Ayodhya), Banaras and Mathura. The Hinds call the demolished temples of Awadh as Sita Rasoi and Hanuman’s Abode.”
    There was no mention about Babur in the context here.
  2. An Austrian Jesuit Priest, Joseph Tieffenthaler, who visited Awadh in 1766-1771, suggested that Babri was built after Emperor Aurangzeb demolished the fortress called Ramcot. But, this claim was 200 years after the mosque was constructed.
    He further added that the Muslim mosques are constructed with triple domes and has reused the columns of the previous Hindu temple structure, brought by Hanuman (god of monkey and a devotee to Lord Rama) from Lanka.
  3. In 1810, a Scottish physician, Francis Buchanan recorded about the destruction of Ram temple and construction of a mosque on top of it in Awadh (Ayodhya).
  4. Jai Singh II (Sawai Jai Singh) started purchasing the lands of Hindu religious places in North India in a way of protecting the temples from the foreign rulers. He purchased lands in Mathura, Varanasi, and Ayodhya. Combining there purchased Hindu religious places he established ‘Jaisinghpuras’.
    The documents of all the purchased lands are well preserved in Kapad-Dwar collection in the city palace museum in Jaipur.
    Professor R Nath, who examined the documents, has stated that the Ram Janmasthan in Ayodhya was acquired by Jai Singh II in 1717.
    The documents also state that during the Muslim reign the people were restricted for religious practice like taking bath in the Saryu River, but the establishment of Jaisinghpuras removed those restrictions from the Hindus.
  5. Archaeological evidence shows different structures of Hindu and Buddhist construction after pre-dating the remains of mosque post demolition.

Timeline:

  • 1528:- The Babri Masjid (Mosque) was built by Mir Baqi, reportedly after demolishing Ram temple on the birthplace of Lord Rama.
  • 1853:- Records by British administration reports the very first dispute between Hindu and Muslim over the issue at this year, near the mosque in Hanuman Grahi (abode).
    – The Mosque was attacked by Hindus, claiming it to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
    – A resolution was taken out, that said, Muslims praying in the inner courtyard and Hindus in the outer part separated by a railing. This system continued for over 90 years.
  • 1949, December:- A Hindu organization, Akhil Bhartiya Ramayan Mahasabha performed a 9-day nonstop recitation of Ramcharitmanas outside the Babri Masjid (Mosque), and at the end of the 9th day, on the night of 22-23 December, some 60-70 men thrashed inside the mosque and placed the idols of Ram and Sita inside the Mosque (as claimed by the Muslim side).
    – On the morning of 23 December 1949, they started announcing on loudspeakers that the idols were miraculously produced inside the mosque and urged everyone to come for Darshan (take blessing).
    – On the verge of the producing tension, the government declared the land as Disputed.
    – Then, Union Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ordered then Chief Minister of the state, Govind Ballabh Pant and state Home Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to get the idols removed from the inner courtyard after 26th January 1950.
    – CM ordered the Faizabad deputy commissioner K K Nayar to get the idols removed to which he declined, stating his inability to do so.
  • 1950, 16th January:- Gopal Singh Visharad filed a civil lawsuit in the Fizabad court, asking for the permission to allow Hindus to worship Ram and Sita at the disputed place.
  • 1950:- Nirmohi Akhara filed a law suit demanding the possession of the Babri Mosque.
  • 1961, 18th December:– Sunni Central Waqf Board, filed a lawsuit demanding the possession of the land and the removal of the idols from the mosque premises.
  • 1964:– Establishment of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) by M S Golwalkar and S S Apte in collaboration with Swami Chinmayananda with an objective to protect Hindu religion.
  • 1980:– Establishment of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on 6th April 1980 led the formation of a political face for protecting the objective of VHP and began the campaign for the construction of Ram temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi (birthplace of Lord Ram).
  • 1986:– The 1986 ruling by the district court allowed Hindus to worship at the disputed land. It was seen as a move by then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi to gain the Hindu support after the ‘Shah Bano Controversy’ and gain an upper hand at the coming 1989 general elections.
  • 1989:– Despite of several attempts, Congress lost the 1989 general elections and BJP grew from 2 seats to 88 seats which gave BJP an increase in power inside the V P Singh government.
  • 1990, September:– Lal Krishna Advani, a prominent BJP leader, and a Hindutva face began a Rath Yatra traveling much of North India, but was stopped and arrested in Bihar under the governance of then CM of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav.
    – Still, a large body of Kar Sevaks (Volunteers) succeeded to reach Ayodhya and started attacking the Babri Mosque.
    – Then CM of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh, ordered to fire bullets on Kar Sevaks (volunteers) that resulted in many deaths and the withdrawal of support from BJP to the central government that led India to fresh general elections.
  • 1991:- Congress won the 1991 general elections and P V Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister of the Union. BJP won the state elections of 1991 in Uttar Pradesh assembly and Kalyan Singh became the Chief Minister.
  • 1992:- 150,000 Kar Sevaks (volunteers) from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) organized a rally to the site of the disputed structure.
    – It included speeches from L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, and others. It has been reported that speeches from these leaders provoked and triggered the Hindu sentiments and made the Kar Sevaks (volunteers) to climb the tomb of Babri Mosque and demolish it down to the ground using hammers, axe, and hooks. They brandished the leftover structure in the Hindutva Saffron Flag.

“Kalyan Singh, the chief minister resigned from his post on the same day of the demolition, taking the moral responsibility as the Chief Minister of the state.”

“Riots began all over the country between Hindus and Muslims resulting in the lives of 2000 people and loss of over 9000 Crores ($1.3 Billion) across the country.”

After the Demolition:-

  • 1993:- Mumbai bombing of 1993 was a result of avenging the Muslim sentiments lost during the demolition of Babri Masjid and during the riots by Hindus.
    Indian Mujahideen (a terrorist organization) cited the Babri Masjid demolition as the reason for the Mumbai attacks in 1993.
  • 2005:- Former Intelligence Bureau Joint Director, Maloy Krishna Dhar, claimed that the Babri Mosque demolition was not a one-day thing, but was a well-planned stage of atleast 10 months by the top leaders of BJP, RSS, and VHP, where RSS, BJP and Bajrang Dal agreed to work in coordination.
  • 2009:- Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan gave out a report after an investigation that included names of 68 people to be held responsible for the demolition.
    This included the names of:-
    – Atal Bihari Vajpayee
    – L K Advani
    – M M Joshi
    – Vijay Raj Scindia
    – Kalyan Singh (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh)
  • 2010:- Allahabad court came out with a verdict from a 3 judge bench that spoke about the distribution of the 2.77 acres disputed land into 3 parts.
  • 1/3rd of the land to Ram Lalla, represented by Hindu Mahasabha for the construction of the temple.
  • 1/3rd of the land to Islamic Sunni Waqf Board.
  • 1/3rd to Nirmohi Akhara.
  • 2014:- Over the years, the bench sat for many times but came out with no results.
  • 2017:- CBI framed criminal charges against Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and others.
  • 2019, January:- Supreme Court of India decided to sit every day to solve the issue.

International Reactions:-

  1. Pakistan:- Pakistan being a Muslim state, closed offices and schools on 7th December 1992 to protest against the Babri Masjid demolition.
    – Pakistani foreign ministry summoned the Indian ambassador to lodge a formal complaint and threaten to raise the issue in the United Nations (UN) and at the Organization of the Islamic Conference to pressurize India to protect Muslims.
  2. Bangladesh:- Hindu temples and houses were burned and an India-Bangladesh was disrupted when a mob of around 6000 people stormed the Banglabandhu Stadium.
  3. Middle East:- The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at its summit in Abu Dhabi, condemned the Babri Masjid demolition and passes a resolution describing the incident as an act of crime against Muslim holy places.
  4. Dubai:- Indian council faced several stone pelts over a continuous period of time.

Documentaries and Movies:-

  • Documentary ‘Ram ke Naam’ by Anand Patwardhan.
  • Bombay (1995)
  • Daivanamathil (about muslims in Kerala)
  • Black Friday (2007)
  • Naseem (1995)
  • Striker (2010)
  • Slumdog Millionair (2008)
  • 7 Khoon Maaf (2011)
  • Sacred Games (2018)

Youtube Video of the article for better understanding:-

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