Hindus demonstrate for a Ram temple in Ayodhya – BBC

Demonstration for Ram Temple in Ayodhya (2015)

Ram Lalla VirajmanHindu parties want to rebuild a historic temple, or mandir, to Lord Ram who they believe was born there, and achieving this was one of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign. But the demolition of a mosque on the site by Hindus in 1992 triggered some of the worst religious riots in recent Indian history—more than 2,000 were killed across the country.

And so it’s significant that this week Twitter has been flooded with messages saying “India wants Ram Mandir.”

The online campaign started on Sunday after the right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) renewed its call for construction of a temple on the disputed land.

The VHP created the hashtag “India wants Ram Mandir” to highlight the issue a week before the anniversary of the demolition. It became a top trend in India and more than 50,000 messages were posted including the tag.

Many tweeted in support of the building a new temple, adding that Hindus should “protect” their religion:

Kinshu Kumar Tweet

The story of the dispute over the land is complicated, but here’s the latest: in March 2015, an Indian court awarded two-thirds of the disputed land to the Hindu plaintiffs and one-third to a Muslim organisation that has staked claim to the land. The matter first went into litigation over 60 years ago, long before the demolition of the mosque. The case is now to be heard in India’s Supreme Court, but it may take a decade to assess the land records, meaning a legal resolution is unlikely anytime soon.

The anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque is always a sensitive time for India and security is beefed up across the country to avoid religious riots. The disputed site is heavily guarded by security personnel at all times. – BBC, 12 November 2015

Ayodhya Timeline

  • 1528: A mosque is built [on Babur’s orders] on the site which Hindus say marks the spot where one of the most revered deities in Hinduism, Lord Ram, was born.
  • 1853: First recorded incidents of religious violence at the site.
  • 1859: British colonial administration erects a fence to separate the places of worship, allowing the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.
  • 1949: Idols of Lord Ram appear inside mosque, allegedly placed there by Hindus. Muslims protest, and both parties file civil suits. The government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.
  • 1984: Hindus form a committee to “liberate” the birth-place of Lord Ram and build a temple in his honour, spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party (VHP).
  • Then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani, now home minister, takes over leadership of campaign.
  • 1986: District judge orders the gates of the disputed mosque to be opened to allow Hindus to worship there. Muslims set up Babri Mosque Action Committee in protest.
  • 1989: VHP steps up campaign, laying the foundations of a Ram temple on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.
  • 1990: VHP volunteers partially damage the mosque. Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar tries to resolve the dispute through negotiations, which fail the next year.
  • 1991: BJP comes to power in Uttar Pradesh state, where Ayodhya is located.
  • 1992: The mosque is torn down by supporters of the VHP, the Shiv Sena party and the BJP, prompting nationwide rioting between Hindus and Muslims in which more than 2,000 people die.
  • 1998: The BJP forms coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
  • 2001: Tensions rise on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. VHP pledges again to build Hindu temple at the site.
  • Jan 2002: Mr Vajpayee sets up an Ayodhya cell in his office and appoints a senior official, Shatrughna Singh, to hold talks with Hindu and Muslim leaders.
  • Feb 2002: BJP rules out committing itself to the construction of a temple in its election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. VHP confirms deadline of 15 March to begin construction. Hundreds of volunteers converge on site. At least 58 people are killed in an attack on a train in Godhra which is carrying Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya.
  • Mar 2002: Between 1,000 and 2,000 people, [Hindus and] Muslims, die in riots in Gujarat following the train attack.
  • Apr 2002: Three High Court judges begin hearings on determining who owns the religious site.
  • Jan 2003: Archaeologists begin a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Ram existed on the site.
  • Aug 2003: The survey says there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but Muslims dispute the findings. Mr Vajpayee says at the funeral of Hindu activist Ramchandra Das Paramhans that he will fulfil the dying man’s wishes and build a temple at Ayodhya. However, he hopes the courts and negotiations will solve the issue.
  • Sept 2003: A court rules that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque, but no charges are brought against Mr Advani, now deputy prime minister, who was also at the site in 1992.
  • Oct 2004: Mr Advani says his party still has “unwavering” commitment to building a temple at Ayodhya, which he said was “inevitable”.
  • Nov 2004: A court in Uttar Pradesh rules that an earlier order which exonerated Mr Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.
  • July 2005: Suspected Islamic militants attack the disputed site, using a jeep laden with explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces kill five people they say are militants, and a sixth who was not immediately identified.
  • June 2009: The Liberhan Commission investigating events leading up to the mosque’s demolition submits its report—17 years after it began its inquiry.
  • Nov 2009: There is uproar in parliament as the Liberhan Commission’s report is published and it blames leading politicians from the Hindu nationalist BJP for a role in the mosque’s razing.
  • Sept 2010: Allahabad High Court rules 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. A lawyer for the Muslim community says he will appeal.
  • May 2011: Supreme Court suspends High Court ruling after Hindu and Muslim groups appeal against the 2010 verdict. – BBC, 6 December 2012

Carved stones for the new Ram Temple at Ayodhya

Ram-Nam bricks donated by Hindus for a Ram Temple at Ayodhya

Sri Ram Temple Model

See also

7 Responses

  1. In India, where about 1,000 million Hindus live, we are unable to sell the idea to our Muslim cousins that we are not against their following Islam; but, we are only against the Invaders, who used their power to thrust ” ALL ” their thoughts, which shake our very fundamentals,only; unable to win the majority of the people to back them, the Congress too used this to develop hatred against the Hindus! And the West, claiming to be secular, but being afraid of Muslims and subtly and surely pro Christian, is forcing us, with their money & technical superiority, to dilute our Hinduism to a mere museum art! With this in mind, all the Hindu Organisations and the RSS should educate our internal cousins and convince them; that being pro Hindu does not mean anti Islam!

  2. Bhagwat’s temple remarks aimed at creating communal rift: SP – Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui – The Times of India – Dec 5, 2015

    LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party on Friday demanded action against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for provocative remarks on Ram temple in Ayodhya. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, SP MP Ram Gopal Yadav said Bhagwat’s call to people to prepare for construction of Ram temple could lead to communal riots in the country. Alleging nexus between the Centre and RSS on Ram temple, the SP MP sought action against the RSS chief.

    Reacting to Yadav’s statement, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government respects the court’s decision on the Ayodhya issue, but people have “fundamental right” to reiterate commitment for construction of a temple.

    Speaking in Kolkata, Bhagwat had on Wednesday said people want a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya and urged them to be prepared to build one and added, “The temple will be built within my lifetime. We need to plan it carefully with a good mix of “josh” and “hosh.”

    Reacting to RSS chief’s remarks, the oldest litigant in Babri case, Hashim Ansari, had challenged him to go ahead with his plans claiming that any such move will divide the country.

    “We have demanded a ban on RSS for making such statements to raise communal sentiments, particularly in Uttar Pradesh before the assembly elections,” SP MP Naresh Agarwal told TOI.

    SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary accused the RSS of whipping up communal passions by making such statements. “Everybody knows that the temple issue is before the Supreme Court. Still the RSS is making provocative comments about building a Ram temple in order to vitiate the atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the 23rd anniversary of Babri demolition on December 6,” he said.

  3. ‘BJP is not serious about Ram temple, they treat Ram like a party member’: Nitish Kumar – FirstPost – FP Staff – Dec 4, 2015

    With the confidence of a man who’s beaten a prime minister-led campaign to win the top job in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said BJP is not serious about constructing the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. His comments come barely 24 hours after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday said he hopes the construction of the Ram temple be completed in his lifetime.

    “The grand goal may be realised in our own time. May be we can see it with our own eyes,” Bhagwat said in Kolkata.

    “None can say when and how the temple will be constructed, but we need to be prepared and ready,” Bhagwat said.

    Nitish Kumar said the BJP is keeping the temple issue warm for purely political reasons and the reality is that only a court verdict and consensus between two communities can pave the road to construction.

    “They will talk of constructing the Ram Temple at the same site, but will not give dates. The BJP has only been trying to keep the issue alive”, Nitish said without naming Mohan Bhagwat.

    BJP does not have “genuine respect for Ram”, Nitish Kumar told reporters in Patna.

    “They just want to exploit people’s feelings for Ram. The party has hardly made efforts to sort out the (temple) issue, but uses it for political reasons at intervals”, said the Bihar CM.

    Kumar said the BJP has been treating Ram as if he were a “party member”.

    The CM also said efforts are on to change the JD(U)’s symbol from arrow to ‘Chakra’ (wheel), as the party lost many seats because voters confused its symbol with that of other parties. Many JD(U) leaders had complained that candidates of JMM and Shiv Sena, having the bow and arrow as their symbol, got JD(U) votes in the recent Bihar elections, reports The Indian Express.

    To Narendra Modi, the man who was not at Nitish Kumar’s swearing in, the message from Patna is loud and clear – the anti-BJP movement is gaining steam.

    After Modi’s historic mandate in 2014, ‘his’ Bihar election loss has exposed BJPs feet of clay.
    National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah — a veteran of Opposition unity efforts over the past three decades has recently said “Nitish ji ko ab tayyiari karni chahiye Dilli aane ki aur agla Pradhanmantri banne ki,” (Nitishji should now get ready to move to Delhi as the next Prime Minister).

    The next general election is in 2019. But before that come a string of state elections. West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala will all go the polls in mid-2016 and Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Goa in the first half of 2017. The anti BJP bloc is well and truly taking shape and Nitish Kumar is checking off some boxes on the to-do list as a warm up routine. First up: prohibition from April next year, then Rs 5 crore to Jayalalithaa for flood relief, and now, taking on the RSS.

  4. In my opinion , nothing can be demanded by majority Hindus in India,especially against the interest of Muslims.That is the INDIAN secularism.Had our ‘FATHER’ allotted Hindustan for Hindus while giving Muslims’ share as Pakistan,lot of present day problems would not have been arised .But Father decided otherwise.He wanted his two children should always quarrel and die on fighting.What we can do as his children? Let us die fighting,so that his atma in heaven will be pleased.

  5. If a temple comes up, why moan?

  6. The VHP is always giving ultimatums to the government for the building of a Sri Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

    But when the ultimatum date comes due, the VHP backs down and makes excuses for not holding the government to account.

    The VHP is just another old boys club. Its members are really good at making noises of all kinds. But when push comes to shove, they will do little more than that. We should not depend on them to get the temple built.

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