The Ayodhya dispute was a major social, political and historical conflict inIndia. The dispute involved a piece of land in Ayodhya, Faizabad district inUttar Pradesh. Babri Masjid was a Muslim mosque and Ram Janmabhumi, believed to be the birthplace of Rama. It is one of the seven holiest places in India.
According to the Hindus, Mir Baqshi built the Babri masjid. He named it after the Muslim emperor who ruled Northern India. The Indians believed that the mosque was built on the site of a demolished Hindu temple. According to the Muslims, there is no record indicating the existence of a Hindu temple (Ashis, 1980). They say that the archaeological reports were politically motivated.
The earliest signs of a conflict were in 1861. Until 1855, Hindus and Muslims prayed in the contentious Ram Janmabhuni-Babri Masjid site. There was a rebellion in 1857 after which Hindus could not access the inner yard as the Muslims put up an enclosure. In January 19th1885, Mahant Dass filed a suit. In the Suit he claimed that priests had to face severe weather conditions during worship on the platform. He wanted authorization to build a temple over Chabutra. The Chabutra was a platform that had been put up after the Hindus could not enter the Babri Masjid. The suit was dismissed. The court also dismissed a subsequent appeal in November 1886.
In 1934, the slaughtering of a cow in a town near Ayodhya caused riots. Mobs destroyed part of the mosque’s walls and domes. In 1949, Hindus placed icons of Lord Ram in the Babri mosque. During that time, an Indian Muslim trust owned the land. Muslim and Hindu parties launched civil suits and the Indian government locked the site.
The 1980s was a bloody decade that saw communal clashes. The conflict was nationalized and everyone talked about it.1984 saw the founding of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and BharatiyaJanata Parties (BJP). These two parties wanted the creation of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple at the site of the Babri mosque (Dreze & Amartya, 1995).
On 6th December 1992, Kar Sevaks demolished the Babri mosque and erected a makeshift temple in its place. The Sevaks then moved to the courts to lodge a land title case. The demolition led to riots in many parts of India.
On 30th September, the Allahabad High Court ordered the division of the land into three parts. The Hindu Maha Saba got a third of the land for construction of a temple. The Islamic Sunni Wafq got another third and NirmohiAkhara; a Hindu denomination got the remaining third.
According to the Hindus, Mir Baqshi built the Babri masjid. He named it after the Muslim emperor who ruled Northern India. The Indians believed that the mosque was built on the site of a demolished Hindu temple. According to the Muslims, there is no record indicating the existence of a Hindu temple. They say that the archaeological reports were politically motivated.(Dreze J &Amartya S 1995)
In order to place this conflict in the Indian communal history, there is a need to go back in History to 1528 when the Babri mosque was built. Babur, the Mughal of India ordered the construction of the mosque. Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple, was allegedly demolished to allow for the mosque’s construction.(Singer W,2012.) The Mughals ruled India until the extinction of the imperial dynasty in 1862.
Communalism in the subcontinent of India refers to the sectarianism based on ethnicity that has more often than not promoted communal violence. This is as a result of the tension between the various ethnic groups in India. These conflicts go way back to the tenth century when the Muslims ruled Northern India.
The greatest spates of communal violence, however, occurred after the partitioning of the subcontinent. Before, the Muslims and Hindus coexisted peacefully they even worshiped in the same vicinity (Menon N& Nigam A, 2007).
Over time, there have been hostilities between the various groups in India. Recently, the Hindu nationalists have started attacking the Christians. A case in point was the attack on the Christian Gujarat state in 1998.In 2005 Islamists attacked the structured in what came to be known as the Ram Mandir Attack. This intensified the violence.
Communalism has economic implications on India. A lot of analysts say that poverty in India can be attributed to communalism. The Ram Janmabhoomi led to communal riots in Surat, Bombay Delhi among other parts of India (Menon N& Nigam A, 2007). The riots damaged a lot of property and made the economic climate of India unfavourable to investors.
Another issue brought by communalism is the issue of castes and social classes. There are the elites, the middle class and people at the rock bottom of the chain. The Hindus make up most of the elites; the rest make up the lower castes. Among the Hindu, there are also castes.
Historians argue that communalism in India is too big a situation; it is very hard to get rid of it from the society. Constitutionally, India is secular. The widespread communalism makes it hard to see that. All in all, communalism is deep rooted in India and its impact is felt in all spheres of life.