Decades after Babri Mosque
Reema Shaukat


IT seems Indian Hindu majority always tries to cash religion card. It was during and after the opening ceremony of Kurtarpur Corridor in Pakistan that India objected this peace vista between the two countries. Likewise, Sikhs and Muslims living in India do not enjoy the freedom to practice their religious values and mythologies. They often are bound to Indian orders, which is making India a secular fanatic country. 6th of December is the day to recall history when Babri Mosque in India was demolished in 1992. Almost 26 years have gone since the demolition of Babri Mosque but still today it awaits for its decision. There have been several adjourned sessions by Indian Supreme and high courts on the matter of Babri Mosque but yet no outcome has been announced after several years of its annihilation which shows Indian mindset and non-seriousness towards the sentiments of Muslims living particularly in India and all around. Often Hindu extremists gather in large numbers to crunch Muslims and show them their strength to build a temple on the site of Babri Mosque.

The Babri Mosque issue is vital to understand the Hindu belligerence and militancy that has left thousands dead in India in past many decades. Babri Masjid has been a source of Hindu extremist mobilization for the last 20 years. Babri Masjid is a three-dome mosque structure in Faizabad/Ayodhya which was established in 1526 by Mughal Emperor Babar. Hindus claim that the Babri Masjid was built where the Ram Janamabhoomi Temple was once located. In 1885, some Hindus filed a claim in the country’s British colonial courts that this mosque had been forcibly built by Muslims after demolishing a Hindu temple built on the birth site of their god Rama. Their request for restoration was denied by the court on the grounds that the petitioner had been unable to substantiate the claim. But the battle was not yet over.
After India’s independence from British colonial rule in the late 1940s, the District Magistrate of Faizabad (where this structure is located) informed higher authorities in December 1949 that “a few Hindus entered Babri Masjid at night when the Masjid was deserted and installed a goddess there. Police picket of fifteen persons was on duty at night but did not apparently act.” The District Magistrate of Faizabad, Mr. Nayar, admitted his responsibility and was asked to resign. However, Nayar’s dangerous and irresponsible action did not seem to bother India’s ruling Congress Party at that time. They gave him a seat in Parliament (Lok Sabha). Moreover, instead of removing the idol and restoring the mosque to its custodians, (the Sunni Waqf Board), it was locked. In addition, an official receiver, a Hindu, and a priest (also Hindu) were appointed to look after the place.
Muslims filed suit in the court – where it has been lying for almost a decade. But that was not the end of the matter. Almost 40 years later, Babri Masjid resurfaced as a symbol of Hindu militancy, as groups representing this dangerous ideology, which seeks to exclude non-Hindus from the vision of a “Mother India”, launched a movement for its restoration. In December 1985, a Hindu delegation called on the state of Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister, serving him notice that the temple must be handed over to them by March 8, 1986, otherwise they would forcibly occupy it. On February 11, 1986, the Faizabad district opened so as to let the Hindus exercise their “constitutional right” to worship. A report suggests that Minister Arun Nehru masterminded this coup. Up to this point, the situation was tense, but no major violence had yet erupted. This was to be in December 1992, when hundreds of thousands of Hindu militants mobilized by Vishwa Hindu Parshad (VHP) and led by L K Advani, stormed Babri Masjid and demolished it. This sparked serious protests by Muslims, police firings, and then Hindu-Muslim riots. Thousands lost their life in the violence.
A 2009 report, authored by Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, blamed 68 people for the demolition of the mosque – mostly leaders from the BJP and a few bureaucrats. Among those named in the report were AB Vajpayee, the former BJP prime minister, and LK Advani, the party’s then (2009) leader in Parliament. Kalyan Singh, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh during the mosque’s demolition, also came in for harsh criticism in the report. He is accused of posting bureaucrats and police officers who would stay silent during the mosque’s demolition. Former Education Minister Murli Manohar Joshi have also been found culpable in the demolition in the Liberhan Commissions Report. In Sept 2010, Allahabad High Court ruled that the site should be split, with the Muslim community getting control of a third, Hindus another third and the Nirmohi Akhara sect the remainder. Control of the main disputed section, where the mosque was torn down, is given to Hindus. However, in May 2011, Supreme Court suspends High Court ruling after Hindu and Muslim groups appeal against the 2010 verdict. Still today Indian Supreme Court adjourns decision by posing that it is not satisfied with the hearings of its petitioners. Modi’s and BJP Sarkar’s discriminatory policies are known to all and now when the elections are coming up in India, making “Ram Mandir” seem to be a core issue for 2019 election campaign. In another latest and alarming outburst, BJP MP Sachchidanand Hari Sakshi has also called for demolition of Jamia Masjid in Delhi while claiming that Mughals played with the sentiments of Hindus and constructed over 3,000 Masjids by demolishing temples. He is reported to have said that he would be ready to be hanged if idols were not found below the staircase of Jamia Masjid. Such growing unrest and religious extremism in India raises concerns that if this matter of Babri Mosque is not resolved timely, there are again chances of uprisings which surely India is unable to handle and as history shows present ruling govt is well on fuelling fire rather than cooling it down.