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Muslim party wants Ayodhya of period 1854-1992 back

The Muslim party argued in the Supreme Court today that the British government had been providing a grant for the mosque since 1854 even though it was a conglomerate of princely states had captured by the East India company that was ruling the region until 1857

In the last phase of the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title case in the Supreme Court, advocate Rajeev Dhavan, arguing on Monday for the Muslim party to the dispute, said that his clients wanted the Ayodhya of the pre-6 December 1992 period, implying a reinstatement of the Babri Masjid.

On behalf of the Muslim party in the Supreme Court, Dhavan said that the nation could not assume that 1992 did not happen.

Monday happened to be the last day for the Muslim side to plead in the court. The hearing in the case is to end on 17 October, with the Muslim side concluding its arguments on 14 October (today).

On 15-16 October, the Hindu side has to counter the arguments of the Muslim side.

Significantly, when the hearing started on the Ayodhya issue on Monday, Dhavan said that the faith could not determine who would get the disputed land. He added that the Skanda Purana did not entitle Hindus to own Ayodhya. The Hindu side had referred this particular Purana on quite a few occasions in its arguments.

Dhavan raised many questions in the apex court in his presentation today, among which he said that the bench always questioned the Muslim side while sparing the Hindu side. The court did not react to the accusation.

The Muslim party argued further that the British government had been providing a grant for the mosque since 1854, defying the historically undeniable fact that it was a ragtag administration of the East India Company until 1857, comprising a conglomerate of several small princely states. The British government per se began only after quelling the mutiny or India’s first struggle for independence.

Furthermore, the Muslim side argued that Hindus had not staked a claim on the plot in the period 1885-1989. It said that the Ram Chabutra was established in 1858 while avoiding any reference to the happenings of the epoch of Babur except the insistence that the Mughal invader had not razed any temple to build a mosque in its place.

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Reconstructing Ayodhya History To Decide Who Wins

A legal expert reacted to the day’s development in the highest court by saying that the history of Ayodhya did not begin in a year that suited the Muslim party to the dispute. “Clearly,” he said, “the place of worship of Hindus that existed there was not demolished in the 19th century. Why should the plot be restored to its status in that century? Today’s argument of the Muslim side can be challenged easily.”

In the early 1990s, when the VHP-led RSS and BJP took out the Ram Rath Yatra, a movement where LK Advani was the mascot, politics revolved around the Ayodhya issue. Sources said the RSS had hit upon the idea of this movement as Lord Rāma had been ubiquitous in the invocation of God by Hindus in speech, greetings or otherwise. The Sangh believed “Rām nām” (the name of Lord Rāma) would mobilise the people like nothing else. It is said that the BJP joined the movement to keep Hindus a cohesive force, as the community was threatened of a massive fissure along caste lines, thanks to the “Mandal politics” of VP Singh who was wary of Devi Lal’s quest to seize power from him.

On 6 December 1992, amidst heavy security in Ayodhya, a mob marching towards the Babri structure and climbing atop its domes, finally demolished it. Since that day, the top brass of the BJP has denied responsibility for the demolition and claimed that their own people were not behind the act. At the time, Balasaheb Thackeray had said he would have been proud if Shiv Sainiks had felled the structure but “unfortunately” they didn’t do it either. A separate ‘whodunnit’ case is going on in the court against Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Kalyan Singh, et al.

The police had managed to stop the karsevaks, as they came to be referred to as — the term was previously used by Sikhs alone to refer to the service they render at gurudwaras — when the first attempt to challenge the Babri structure was made under the chief ministership of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Many swayamsevaks were killed in police firing then.