Today even after 26 years, Ram Janambhoomi- Babri Masjid issues remains as controversial as since its very inception. The very mention of the issue creates ripples not only among the political parties but also among the sentiments of the common man and very strongly among the two communities. Not much has been done even after so many years to settle the issue with the consent from both the communities.
The pressure is mounting on the government to bring in an ordinance. Shiv Sena has even asked the government and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce date for temple construction. The government has so far refrained from making any announcement is cautious about the growing Ram temple chorus. The BJP has been accused of raking up the Ram Temple issue only when elections are in the horizon.
Now fingers remain crossed till the proceedings begin from January 2019 as announced by CJI Ranjan Gogoi
Timeline of events:
1528: Babri mosque was built on a site which few Hindus claimed that was the birth place of Lord Ram.
1853: First recorded incidents of religious violence at the site.
1859: British colonial administration built 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 appeared inside the mosque, allegedly placed there by Hindus. Muslims
protested against the act and both parties file civil suits. The government marked it as a disputed area
and locked it up.
1984: A committee was formed lead by Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) to build a temple in his honour.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani, headed the campaign.
1986: District judge ordered the gates of the disputed area to be opened in order to allow Hindus to
worship there. Muslims set up Babri Mosque Action Committee in protest.
1989: VHP laid the foundation of a Ram temple on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.
1990: VHP volunteers partially damaged the mosque. Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar tried to resolve
the dispute through negotiations, which failed the next year.
1991: BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh state, where Ayodhya was located. Kalyan Singh was Chief Minister, who promised to Supreme Court that no harm will be done to disputed structure.
1992: Babri mosque was brought down by VHP, Bajrang Dal supporters, the Shiv Sena party and BJP which resulted in riots leading to 2,000 deaths.
1993 : Three BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh were dismissed after demolition of babri Masjid by prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao
1998: BJP formed coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
2001: Tensions arose on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. VHP pledged again to build
Hindu temple at the site.
Jan 2002: Atal Bihari Vajpayee set up an Ayodhya cell in his office and appointed a senior official,
Shatrughna Singh, to negotiate with Hindu and Muslim leaders.
Feb 2002: BJP backed out from the construction of a temple in its election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh
assembly elections. VHP confirmed deadline of 15 March to begin construction. Hundreds of volunteers
converged on site. A train returning from Ayodhya carrying Hindu activists was attacked in Godhra and
58 people were killed.
Mar 2002: Between 1,000 and 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in riots in Gujarat following the train
attack. Narendra Modi was then the chief Minister of Gujarat and was pulled up by then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who advised Modi to follow ‘Raj Dharma’ in the state.
Apr 2002: Three High Court judges began hearings to decide who owned the religious site.
Jan 2003: Archaeologists began a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Ram
existed on the site.
Aug 2003: The survey said there was an evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but Muslims
disputed the findings. Mr. Vajpayee, at the funeral of Hindu activist Ramchandra Das Paramhans said
that he will fulfill the dying man’s wishes and build a temple at Ayodhya. However, he hoped the courts and negotiations will solve the issue.
Sept 2003: A court ruled that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the
Babri Mosque, but no charges were brought against Advani, now deputy prime minister, who was
also at the site in 1992.
Oct 2004: Advani said his party still had commitment to build a temple at Ayodhya.
Nov 2004: Uttar Pradesh court ruled that an earlier order which exonerated Advani for his role in the
destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.
July 2005: Suspected Islamic militants attacked the disputed site, using a jeep laden with explosives to
blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces killed five people they say are militants, and a
sixth who was not immediately identified.
June 2009: The Liberhan commission investigated events leading up to the mosque’s demolition
submitted its report – 17 years after it began its inquiry.
Nov 2009: There was uproar in parliament as the Liberhan commission’s report is published and it
blamed leading politicians from the Hindu nationalist BJP for a role in the mosque’s razing.
Sept 2010: Allahabad High Court ruled that the site should be divided, 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, was given to Hindus. A lawyer for the Muslim
community said he will appeal.
May 2011: Supreme Court suspended High Court ruling after Hindu and Muslim groups appeal against
the 2010 verdict.
December, 2014: Mohammad Farooq, the oldest litigant in the case, died. He was one of the seven main
Muslim litigants in the 1949 Babri Masjid case.
February 26, 2016: The Supreme Court permitted BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to intervene in the
pending matters related to the Ayodhya dispute with his plea seeking construction of Ram temple at the
site of the demolished disputed structure.
March 6, 2017: The apex court with a bench of Justices, Nariman and PC Ghose heard a CBI plea to
invoke conspiracy charges against the top politicians but the court indicated that the charges won’t be
April 6, 2017: Supreme Court indicates it will use its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to transfer the Babri Masjid demolition related trial in Rae Bareilly against top BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to Lucknow, where a CBI court was hearing conspiracy and other serious criminal charges against “lakhs of unknown kar sevaks” for the actual act of razing down the 15th century mosque.
April 19, 2017: Supreme Court revives conspiracy charges against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and 13 others in the 25-year-old Babri Masjid demolition case.
May 30 2017 : A Special CBI court charged senior BJP leaders L.K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti with criminal conspiracy in the December 6, 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. The court framed charges against the trio along with three others — BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar and VHP leaders Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambhara — under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. The conspiracy charge ended Advani’s bid for Presidency after the exit of Pranab Mukherjee.
August 8, 2017: Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board informs the Supreme Court that they would settle for a masjid located in a “Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram.”
August 11, 2017: Supreme Court schedules hearing of 13 appeals in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute on December 5, 2017, the eve of the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the 15th century mosque.
December 5, 2017: A special bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer
heard the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case at the Supreme Court.
February 8, 2018. The stakeholders had moved the SC after the Allahabad High Court directed the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Lord Ram Lalla to settle for a three-way division of the disputed site.
July 20, 2018 : The court concluded a series of arguments on the pleas challenging the 1994 verdict that mosque was not integral to Islam and to refer the Ayodhya dispute to a larger Constitution bench. The bench reserves verdict.
September 27, 2018 : The Supreme Court declined to refer to a five-judge Constitution bench the issue of reconsideration of the observations in its 1994 judgement that a mosque was not integral to Islam which had arisen during the hearing of Ayodhya land dispute.
October 30 2018 : A three three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi announced that Ayodhya dispute case will be heard from January 2019 . And appropriate bench will hear the case . “We have our own priorities. Whether the matter will be heard in January, February or March, the appropriate bench will decide,” the court said after a brief hearing.