Ayodhya ruling – Hindus win case over website online disputed by means of Muslims

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India’s supreme court has ruled on the disputed religious site of Ayodhya – deciding the case in favour of Hindus, with alternate land to be provided for Muslims.

The supreme court ruled on Saturday that 2ha (five acres) of land will be allotted to the Muslim community in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya. The disputed land will be given to a board of trustees for the construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram.

About Ayodhya
Ayodhya (listen ; IAST Ayodhyā) is a city in India and the administrative headquarters of Faizabad district (officially Ayodhya district) of Uttar Pradesh, India. It shares municipal corporation with its neighbouring twin town of Faizabad. The city is identified with the legendary city of Ayodhya, and as such, is the birthplace of Rama and setting of the epic Ramayana. The accuracy of this identification is central to the Ayodhya dispute: modern scholars variously believe that the present-day Ayodhya is same as the legendary Ayodhya, or that the legendary city is a mythical place that came to be identified with the present-day Ayodhya only during the Gupta period around the 4th-5th century CE.
The present-day city is identified as the location of Saketa, which was an important city of the Kosala mahajanapada in the first millennium BCE, and later served as its capital. The early Buddhist and Jain canonical texts mention that the religious leaders Gautama Buddha and Mahavira visited and lived in the city. The Jain texts also describe it as the birthplace of five tirthankaras namely, Rishabhanatha, Ajitanatha, Abhinandananatha, Sumatinath and Anantnath, and associate it with the legendary chakravartins. From the Gupta period onwards, several sources mention Ayodhya and Saketa as the name of the same city.
Owing to the belief as the birthplace of Rama, Ayodhya (Awadh) has been regarded as one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Saptapuri) for Hindus. It is believed that the birth spot of Rama was marked by a temple, which is said to have been demolished by the orders of the Mughal emperor Babur and a disputed mosque erected in its place. The Ayodhya dispute concerns the activism by the Hindu groups to rebuild a Grand Rama’s temple at the site of Janmabhoomi.

Ayodhya ruling: Hindus win case over site disputed by Muslims

About ruling:

The Ayodhya site has been one of the country’s most controversial religious grounds since the Babri mosque, which had been standing since the 16th century, was reduced to rubble by Hindu fundamentalists during a 1992 riot in which more than 2,000 people died.

In anticipation of the ruling – on whether to restore a temple or a mosque to the site – about 500 people were arrested and security was tightened as authorities tried to minimise the possibility of violence.

Ayodhya ruling: Hindus win case over site disputed by Muslims

Fearing riots, political leaders from across India’s political spectrum have called for peace, while residents of Ayodhya city were banned from holding any events related to the temple.

The conflict over ownership of the site dates back as far as 1885. According to Hindus, Ayodhya is the birthplace of their god Ram and is one of the holiest religious sites. They claim that the first Mughal emperor Babur tore down an ancient Hindu temple to build the Babri mosque.

An archaeological survey performed after the mosque was destroyed claimed to have found evidence of a Hindu temple beneath its foundations.

The long-running case was taken before the supreme court in August after mediation between the Hindu and Muslim claimants failed. An initial court ruling in 2010, which ordered that the land be divided into three parts – two belonging to Hindus and one to Muslims – was rejected by both parties. The supreme court panel that ruled on Saturday is seen as favourable to the Modi government agenda.

Over the past five years, the Ayodhya dispute has become a rallying point for the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and become a focal point of their Hindu nationalist agenda. Several BJP members are currently standing trial for their involvement in the violent 1992 riots.

The ruling comes at a turbulent time for India’s 200 million Muslims, who face increased hostility from the government and wider Indian society. Since Modi came to power there has been an upsurge in violent attacks against Muslims and the recent clampdown in Kashmir has been cited as evidence of the BJP’s anti-Muslim agenda.