Ayodhya dispute comes to an end; Supreme Court delivers “Historic Verdict”


NATIONAL | NOV 9, 2019:

The century and a half dispute over the title suit of the Babri Masjit-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute (Ayodhya dispute) has finally been put to rest today with the "historic" verdict delivered by the Supreme Court today.

In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court on Saturday held that the entire disputed land of 2.77 acres in Ayodhya will be handed over for the construction of Ram Mandir subject to conditions. At the same time, the Court held that an alternate plot of 5 acres must be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board for construction of mosque.

Meanwhile, the apex court held that the central government will formulate a scheme in this regard within three months and a trust must be formed to oversee the construction of the temple.

However, the Court clarified that the rights of Ram Lalla to the disputed property is subject to maintenance of law and order and communal harmony.

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Thus the Court decreed the suit filed on behalf of the deity Ram Lalla, and partly decreed the suit filed by Sunni Waqf Board.

Meanwhile, the Muslims has expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict even as they respect the verdict of the apex court.

The Ayodhya title suit verdict comes nine years after the 2:1 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres of land between the three parties — Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara. The Lucknow Bench of the High Court, on September 30, 2010, held that Hindus and Muslims as joint title holders of the disputed land.


The Ayodhya dispute began way back in 1853 when the first incident of communal violence over the Ayodhya issue was recorded.

By 1859, Hindus and Muslims both had started praying at the site. The issue of possession of the site led to more communal clashes and the Britishers built a fence that divided the compound into two parts — the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.

The first big controversy in the Ayodhya conflict came in 1949 when an idol of Lord Ram was allegedly placed inside the mosque by Hindu activists and a message was spread that Lord Ram had miraculously appeared inside the mosque.

There was a protest from the Muslim side. Both Hindus and Muslims filed a civil suit each in the court. The government had to declare the premises 'disputed area' and lock the gates until further notice.

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The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru asked the idol to be removed immediately but the local officer, K.K.K Nair, refused to carry out the order stating that doing so would lead to communal violence.

Cases were filed in the court by the Hindu side seeking permission for the right to worship the idol in the premises. The court held back the removal of the idol and allowed the Hindus to worship. The Nirmohi Akhara became a party to the dispute in 1959 and the Sunni Waqf Board joined in 1961.

After two decades, in the early eighties, the dispute became more political than legal as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the torch bearer of Hindutva.

With Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and other fringe outfits working overtime to whip up a Hindutva wave, Lord Ram's temple became the dominant issue of Indian politics, dividing communities on religious lines and blurring regional divides.

The Hindutva frenzy reached a crescendo on December 6, 1992 when volunteers of fringe groups demolished the mosque. More than 2,000 died in riots that ensued across the country, but the Hindu flag flew high.

For 29 years after the Babri Masjid demolition, the case of the title suit — ownership of land — has been keenly contested in various courts and the issue has been driving the politics of the country in one way or the other.