First Battle of Panipat. The date is 21 April 1526. Ibrahim Lodi, ruler of Delhi, was defeated by Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur. Mughal rule began in India. A mosque was built in Ayodhya a couple of years later. Made by Mir Banki, one of Babur’s generals. And this is Ayodhya, which is known as the birthplace of Lord Ramachandra in Ramayana.
It went on like this for about four hundred years. In addition to prayers in the mosque, there was worship and kirtan in the nearby chabutara. There was no problem. This incident did not create any differences between people in Ayodhya. But no one can say for sure when this mosque was named Babri Masjid. However, the popular belief is that founder Mir Banki named this mosque after his emperor.
The noise started in 1853. Then the Mughal rule was burning in Delhi. Much at the mercy of the British. By then the Englishman had become proficient in writing the history of the area in his own way. At this time, the local Hindu community first demanded that the temple was demolished during Babur’s reign and a mosque was built at that place.
The Sepoy Mutiny, which is known as India’s first freedom struggle, started in between. After suppressing this rebellion or struggle, the British built a fence around the Babri Masjid in 1859. Ruled, Muslims will pray in the mosque. And Hindus can worship from outside the fence.
90 years went on like this. By that time, Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was labeled as controversial. On December 22, 1949, two years after the independence of India, which was divided on the basis of religion, a Hindu priest placed idols of Rama and Sita inside the mosque. The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were very upset by this incident. He ordered the statue to be removed. But the Prime Minister’s order was not obeyed by a single decision of the local district magistrate. Finally, the government locked the mosque to avoid controversy. The prayer stopped.
In 1950, a civil case was filed in Faizabad court for worshiping and erecting idols of Ram. In 1961, the Sunni Waqf Board approached the court to remove the statue and get back the rights to the mosque. There were four cases in 11 years, which continued year after year.
In 1986, the court decided to open the lock. In line with this, the Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi ordered the mosques to be opened.
In 1989, Rajiv Gandhi started his election campaign from Ayodhya. But very quickly, the BJP took away the wind from the Congress on the issue of mosques and temples.
In 1990, under the leadership of the then BJP president Lal Krishna Advani, the Rath Yatra began demanding the construction of a Ram temple in place of the Babri Masjid. The Rath Yatra was supposed to end in Ayodhya after covering 6,000 kilometers starting from Gujarat. But Lalu Prasad Yadav’s government arrested Advani in Samsipur in Bihar.
On December 6, 1992, in the name of Bhumi Puja, leaders and supporters of the BJP and its affiliates destroyed the upper part of the Babri Masjid. The security forces were relentless. Six days after the incident, the Congress government in Delhi set up the Liberhan Commission to investigate it.
In 2003, during the Vajpayee government’s tenure, the Department of Archeology of India started a survey on whether the temple was demolished and the mosque was built.
After 17 years in 2009, the Liberhan Commission submitted its inquiry report to the central government. It blamed the RSS for the demolition of the mosque. At the same time several senior BJP leaders including Advani are said to be brought under justice.
The following year in 2010, the Allahabad High Court ordered the 2.77 acres of disputed land to be divided equally between the three parties. These three parties are Ramlala, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara. But no one accepted the verdict, went to the Supreme Court.
Seven years later, on March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court asked all the disputing parties to settle the matter out of court. But the reconciliation did not happen. On January 25, 2019, the hearing of this case began in a 5-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The hearing continued from August 6 to October 16 that year.
In a historic verdict on November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court gave the entire 2.77 acre area including the Babri Masjid to the Ramjanmbhoomi Trust for the construction of the Ram Temple. And it is said to give land elsewhere for the construction of the mosque. This judgment of the Supreme Court gave rise to a great controversy. After the retirement of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, he became an MP in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, with the support of the BJP.
On August 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
On 30 September 2020, the Lucknow High Court acquitted all BJP leaders, including Advani, of their involvement in the Babri Masjid demolition.
Today 22 January 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Although the work of the temple is not finished yet. It will take more than a year. But with this the history of independent India took a new turn. Now to see where that path goes.