Ayodhya dispute : A deadlocked communal brawl

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Disputed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, and addressed as Ram Janmabhoomi as being claimed so by the Hindu Nationalists solely on the ground that the city bears the name Ayodhya, the place is witnessing worst and most intolerant communal struggle of the Indian subcontinent. The name depicts that it should be the birth place of Lord Ram as according to the Hindu mythological texts denoting the place as the capital of Dashrath’s (Lord Ram’s father) kingdom where his four sons namely, Ram,  Lakshman, Bharath, and Shatrughan took birth.

Every Hindu nationalist and his followers believe that a place by the name of Ayodhya should be Lord Ram’s birth place and merely this is their argument to ensure their claim over the disputed site. Interestingly historical pieces of evidence too are not clear as to whether Lord Ram, in fact, took birth at the named site. In terms of a layman, nobody knows the exact year or date zone of Lord Ram’s birth, but everyone is sure that a place marked by the requisite name should definitely be the birth place of Lord Ram irrespective of any archaeological /historical facts. Laymen like these are conveyed that a highly held Hindu deity whose life, acts, behavior, characteristics are an extraordinary example of an outstanding being; should be worshipped in all forms and places which marked an importance in his life whether it be the battleground in Lanka(Sri Lanka), or the Ram Setu, or his birthplace.

According to the mythology, Ayodhya stands to be the birth place of Lord Ram which is located near river Sarayu. Keeping in mind the archaeological facts, it was found that there existed no human civilization before 1000 BCE at the disputed site in present-day Ayodhya, secondly, archaeologists have different opinions about the exact location of Lord Ram’s birth place. Noteworthy here is the fact that nobody knows the exact accurate or correct location of Lord Ram’s birth place. The worshipping and offering of prayer have been a customary and religious practice rather than demographic and mythological practice. All the incidents took place on the face of the globe and euphemistically restricting them only among the boundaries of India and nearby countries shall be an ignominious ignorance of the history not yet acknowledged.

In the light of the above-mentioned perception, it can be inferred that the disputed site could or couldn’t have been the actual birthplace of Lord Ram. The same can’t be traced except by the means of archaeological excavation as there are no specifications geographically as to what had been the exact location where the Ayodhya of that era stood. Though there is proof that a temple was situated beneath the Babri Masjid when its rubble was excavated but the same is or has been the original place of birth of Lord Ram remains an unanswered question. Furthermore, the Babri Masjid stood at the disputed site since the 1523 AD.

Looking at the dispute from the macroscopic point of view, it arose simply due to the fact that the Babri Masjid was constructed by demolishing a temple which was alleged by Nirmohi Akhara to be the temple /palace where Lord Ram was born. Therefore it had been previously and initially a place of worship of Hindus which was callously destroyed by Barbur and in its place Babri Masjid was constructed.

The issue of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid caused serious socio-religious problems among both the religious groups. From the Godhra incident in 1992 to the Allahabad High Court’s verdict about sharing the place amongst the Nirmohi Akhara, Hindu Mahasabha, and Sunni Waqf Board to the Supreme Court’s stay on the High Court’s order and its request to all the concerned personnel and groups to amicably solve the matter; things are now deadlocked. The tussle to acquire the site is backed by the adamant attitude which doesn’t involve religion as a perspective as it has been clearly stated in the case of Md. Ismail Farooqui v. Union of India that a religious right to worship doesn’t involve the right to pray at a particular place.

The dispute has grown more of a land acquisition matter than that of sorting out issue encasing religious sentimentality. The parties involved seek benefit for themselves rather than the masses supporting them which have been hypnotized to do the same.

Circumstances that gave rise to this issue were well affected by the surrounding condition of the time which was orthodox religiously and bore no tolerance for any other religion. With the passage of time, the communal blame-game turned into means of rioting and disrupting peace.

Presently, the issue being deadlocked due to the fact that nobody wants to share the site but want it completely, it is of grave importance that a mutual understanding should be reached at keeping in mind the interest of the other.

BJP’s involvement in this matter is perceived as that of a party supporting Hinduism and its members as radical Hinduists. Their election manifesto since 2009 has been to get the Ram temple constructed at the disputed site. No matter what may come,  the same shall remain in place and efforts will be made to get it done. The stance is neither lenient nor aggressive but a cautious one keeping in mind the consequences of the supposed act.

Considering the claims of the parties to the Ayodhya dispute, Nirmohi Akhara has been the initial party which sought for the Ram Janmabhoomi in 1853. Their only claim is to have a Ram temple constructed at the disputed site irrespective of any other religious structure on the same site. Further, Hindu Mahasabha which later joined the dispute strongly allege that that which has been a place highly held among Hindus since ages should not bear the burden of atrocities of a Mughal invader; that which has been done in the past should be undone in order to establish justice. Here, Sunni Waqf Board urges and points out that a religious structure which was in existence for nearly 400 years and is highly held among Mohammedans, destroyed wrongfully should not be an example of an atrocious state. They are seeking justice for the wrongful demolition of the Mosque and reconstruction of the same. It is rightful in the sense that what had been standing in place for more than three centuries should not be displaced merely for a belief not backed by material or archaeological fact.

Clearly, this isn’t a case of religious beliefs being hurt by an act committed or disputed to have been committed 400 years back; but that of instituting the rightful owner of the land. Moreover, no harm shall come to Hinduism if a temple is not constructed at a particular place. It has been pointed out in the holy Bhagwad Gita that God resides in every person and particle. It is the God who is inflicting wrongful acts and he is the one who is suffering from such acts. Believing the same, demarcating God to only a particular place shall be ignorance of his omnipresence and omnipotence.

The matter can be solved by understanding the issue from a legal standpoint of land acquisition rather than a communal point of view where constructing a temple or mosque is the only means for establishing religious sentimentality among the respective masses.

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