Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was built by the Mughal ruler Babar. The conflict arose in the late 19th century when some Hindus filed a complaint in the British colonial courts that the mosque was built after demolishing a Hindu temple on the birth site of Lord Rama. The conflict reached the courtrooms. In the year 1992, Babri Masjid was demolished over the argument that a Rama temple should be built on that site.
But, is it important to have a Rama temple or a Babri Masjid in Ayodhya?
India is a secular country. This means that the state and the judiciary act neutral towards all the religions. In such a case, at this point of time building a Rama temple or even a mosque will be unfair. It will go again the secularism that the constitution mentions. Even in response to the petition filed by Ismail Faruqi challenging the acquisition of the disputed land, Supreme Court of India said:
“How is this equal treatment possible, if the State was to prefer or promote a particular religion, race or caste, which necessarily means a less favourable treatment of all other religions, races, and castes…Secularism is thus more than a passive attitude of religious tolerance. It is a positive concept of equal treatment of all religions. This attitude is described by some as one of neutrality towards religion or as one of benevolent neutrality.”
Therefore, any result in the construction of Rama temple or a mosque in Ayodhya can result in violence among people of different communities.
Apart from this, there is no strong evidence as to if there was a temple in Ayodhya before the mosque or if there was a mosque before even before the Babri Masjid. The Archaeological Survey of India submitted a report to Allahabad High Court in August 2003. The report states that Babri Masjid was constructed by demolishing a Hindu temple. However, this has been repeatedly questioned. Supriya Varma is a professor of archaeology at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She, along with archaeologist Jaya Menon wrote a paper in the Economic and Political Weekly. In this paper, Supriya Varma argued:
“If you read the entire report, there is no mention of any temple. It is a standard report. ….in the conclusion, in the last paragraph of the report, they say that given the evidence of this western wall, and pillar bases, and some architectural fragments, there was a temple underneath the Babri Masjid. It is literally written in three lines. Otherwise, nowhere in the discussion, is there any talk of a temple being found.”
It is with this finding of ‘huge western wall and pillar bases’ that Varma argued that western walls are a part of the mosque’s structure in front of which namaz is being read.
Therefore, it is not important to have a Rama temple or Babri Masjid in Ayodhya because it goes against the secularism of the nation, can result to communal violence and also because there is not enough evidence to support that Babri Masjid was constructed on the site where there was a Hindu temple earlier or vice versa.
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